Eric Fine Poop 2017

Wow – interesting year, huh? No need to go down that rabbit hole, but I can say how depressing the music was this year. Not that I didn’t find a few gems, but those albums that I did enjoy were sadder than the usual stuff I gravitate towards. Sign of the times, anyone?

Buy Aimee Mann – Mental Illness  New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
1) Aimee Mann – Mental Illness
It’s been awhile since I have been able to embrace an Aimee Mann album so strongly. I knew I was in for a treat once I saw the title. It has the right amount of melancholy, with a mix of sweet harmonies and a dash of pop.

Rent Anders Parker – The Man Who Fell from Earth via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
2) Anders Parker – The Man Who Fell from Earth
What a delight! His voice sounds powerful, the guitar playing stellar, and the lyrics strong. I typically prefer when he plugs in but the sparse arrangements really suit him well.

Buy Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
3) Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
By far, my most listened to new record of the year, even though it barely qualifies as a full album. This is the record that brought jazz back to the forefront of my listening. Now need to play genre catch-up.

Buy The National – Sleep Well Beast  New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
4) The National – Sleep Well Beast
It’s always a slow build with these guys, but you do get rewarded in the end. Subtle and never rushed, they are at their best when they let out the air, as they do in “Day I Die”.

Buy Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
5) Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
I love that intersection where chaos meets harmony. After too long of a hiatus, Fleet Foxes return to form right where they left off. Strong on building up the drama, this is what The Zombies would sound like if they started today.

Buy Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
6) Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog
Very seasoned album from someone so young. It’s an intimate release, a bit off kilter. You get the feeling it’s about to turn sour, but instead soars all the way though.

Rent Jeremy Enigk – Ghosts via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
7) Jeremy Enigk – Ghosts
I was hardly expecting another Jeremy Enigk record, let alone one I would be writing about. Hints of the theatrical sound that made Sunny Day Real Estate so endearing to so many, including myself.

Buy (Sandy) Alex G – Rocket New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
8) (Sandy) Alex G – Rocket
Barely sung above a whisper, this is the musical equivalent of mumble-core.

Buy Jay Som – Everybody Works New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
9) Jay Som – Everybody Works
Dreamy, lo-fi production layered on top of pure pop. Every track sits like a painting and the album is the gallery.

Buy Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors  New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
10) Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors
A really engaging, unique collection filled with electronics and aggressive auto-tune. It’s a true collage of sounds, a very visual album.

Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow Something right out of the Jayhawks’s playbook. It has the charm of the Midwest with the laid-back atmosphere of California.

Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile To The Surface
Layered harmonies and a great single in “The Gold”.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound
Always a great storyteller, this release feels more like a complete band rather than a feature for Isbell.

Sorority Noise – You’re Not As _____ As You Think
Classic 90’s emo indie rock for the new millennium. Hearts on the sleeve yelling in your ear.

New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
Just as smart and infectious as all of their releases. The harmonies and pop sensibilities never get old.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Soul of a Woman
Such a tremendous loss.

Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me
After I wipe away the tears, I am hypnotized by his soft sweetness. Artistry from tragedy is nothing new, but this is emotionally challenging.

Cornelius – Mellow Waves
It’s no Fantasma, yet still an enjoyable background listen.

Sufjan Stevens – Planetarium A super-group of sorts, it’s an outer-worldly (see what I did there…) collection of songs about the solar system. Classic Sufjan, it is experimental and accessible at the same time – a montage of soundscapes.

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains Another strong release, with that underlying pop sound.

Reissues, Live, Covers, Soundtracks, etc. etc. etc.
Jeff Tweedy – Together at Last Stripped-down versions of some of my favorite tracks.
Ben Gibbard – Bandwagonesque Interesting. Hoping not much time was spent on this.
Jaco Pastorius – Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC What a gem they unearthed.
Hüsker Dü – Savage Young Du Ambitious box finally sees the light of day.
Wilco – A.M. and Being There Nothing new to me but great to have it out there.
Neil Young – Hitchhiker Nice addition to the catalog.
Elliot Smith – Either/Or: Expanded Edition Wow. Enough said.
Sufjan Stevens – The Greatest Gift A look back at Carrie & Lowell, from a new perspective.
Mike Watt – Contemplating the Engine Room The live part from RSD is well worth it.
Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane – The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings Amazing.

As difficult as this past year has been living in the current political climate now officially known as hell, I look back fondly on the year watching my son grow, watching my relationship with my wife grow and growing as a person. Let’s call it the year of growing! Peace Out!

Eric Fine NYC