April belonged to Kendrick Lamar, no question about it after he released one of the year’s best albums. He currently has every track on DAMN. charting on the Billboard 100. Kendrick isn’t included in this list because DAMN deserved it’s very own review so make sure you read that if you’re a K. Dot fan. Gorillaz also released a new album after a long hiatus but as much as I enjoyed half the album, it wasn’t as strong as other albums on this list that received a lot more play.
Here are the five best albums of April 2017:
White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band
Let’s call a spade a spade, this album is fun as fuck. Plain and simple. White Reaper’s 2nd LP, The World’s Best American Band, takes them on a more polished route and lets them shine. If you were a fan of their lo-fi debut, you may be put off by it’s new cleaner sound but the Kansas band sounds better than ever. They’ve taken all the elements that made em a must hear garage rock band, and amplified that ten fold with better songwriting.
Right off the rip they let you know what they’re about with the album’s title track. The bass line instantly hooks you and it’s chant worthy chorus starts the album on a high note that never lets off. Other tracks such as Eagle Beach, Little Silver Cross and Daisies are equally as infectious, not only vocally but with great riffs that will definitely get your head nodding. Even though the album is only slightly over 30 minutes long, the replayability of it is so high that the whole album is guaranteed to be on repeat on a constant basis. Easily one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. Afte this release, there can’t be an argument, White Reaper really is one of the world’s best American bands.
Stand out tracks: Eagle Beach, Little Silver Cross, Daisies
Joey Bada$$ – ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$
Joey Bada$$ could have easily put together an album full of basic boom gap beats and just ripped em apart just like he’s done on his mixtapes, but he chose to grow. His first album allowed him to expand his musical palette and try on a mix of different sounds. On his second album, ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$, he takes a huge leap forward in both songwriting and production choices.
His first single Devastated seemed to have split his fan base a bit as he clearly aimed for a more mainstream sound. However, it’s a really well composed song with a lot of layers and a really memorable hook that accompanies Joey’s positive outlook on his lyrics. Hooks are one of the strongest features on this album with Babylon and Temptation providing some truly appealing choruses. His old fans still have plenty of tracks to enjoy such as Super Predator with Styles P or Ring The Alarm, a posse cut featuring some stand out Beast Coast MCs. Lyrically Joey doesn’t falter on this release at all. On For My People and Land Of The Free, his second single, he speaks on racial inequality in a very relatable way. Joey has managed to take his sound to a more mainstream crowd without betraying his core fans, not a lot of rappers are able to do so as well as he did.
Stand Out Tracks: Devastated, Ring The Alarm, Rockabye Baby
Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
There is nobody whose lyrics represent a generation of cynics more than Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty. After his critically acclaimed love story, I Love You Honeybear, Tillman takes a step back from romance and relationship issues to concentrate on his snarky view of society. Pure Comedy is FJM’s most ambitious album. Like most of his fans now, FJM packs quite a punch when it comes to songwriting and that remains true on Pure Comedy. The title track alone is a nearly 7 minute ballad that touches on different current subjects from politics to religion. Total Entertainment Forever warns about our obsessing over technology and paints a grim reality where we’re all “bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Occulus Rift.” Two Wildly Different Perspective touches on the great divide between political beliefs and how we all end up suffering in the end because of it.
Pure Comedy is an album that can not possibly be properly absorbed or appreciated on a first listen. For all the times I’ve heard this record, it’s rare for me to give it another spin without finding or appreciating another line or reference that I had previously missed. Every song is packed with sarcasm, wit, controversy, and poignant observations about every day life. The instrumentals are equally as melodic as they are grandiose, and Tillman’s lyrics are pure poetry that truly groups him among today’s best songwriters.
Stand out tracks: Pure Comedy, Total Entertainment Forever, Ballad of the Dying Man
JMSN – Whatever Makes You Happy
Christian Berishaj has had a bizarre career. From an electro-pop band, to re-branding himself as and R&B singer named JMSN, it seemed like he was hopping like a nomad from sound to sound. But ever since last year’s It Is…, JMSN seems to have finally found a sound that suits him perfectly. The combination of soulful 90’s R&B combined with some blues allows Berishaj to produce his best material yet with his new album, Whatever Makes You Happy.
Drinkin‘ starts off the album with a bluesy ode to alcohol that soothes the soul. Where Do You Go is one of JMSN’s most well produced tracks as luscious strings and piano adorn the bass heavy instrumental. Completely ignore he creepy ass video and admire the beautifully layered vocals he provides on the track. The trend continues through out the album as Berishaj combines all his musical experiences into a refined release that focuses his talents where they fit best.
Stand out tracks: Drinkin’, Slide, Where Do You Go
DJ Quik & Problem – Rosecrans LP
Last year, Problem teamed up with the legendary DJ Quik to drop one of the best EPs of the year with Rosecrans. With the success and fan praise for the project, the duo decided to add 6 more tracks and make it a full LP. DJ Quik provides quality instrumentals through out the album’s 12 cuts, with not a single filler in sight. The new tracks provide just as much dopeness as the original EPs track list..
Problem sounds right at home over Quik’s timeless production, such as New Nite/Rosecrans Groove, a banger with a classic G Funk feel that closes out with a 6 minute instrumental. Bad Azz features Dom Kennedy, Boogie and Bad Lucc as they all effortlessly glide over Quik’s slick bass line. Chachi’s Ride is the only song to not feature Problem, it works as a bit of an interlude with Brittany Barber’s silky voice blessing the track, it’s definitely the album’s smoothest cut. Rosecrans is the very definition of West Coast hip hop. This is Problem’s best work and some of the best Quik beats I’ve heard since his 90s classics, which makes Rosecrans a must listen.
Stand out tracks: New Nite, Chachi’s Ride, Rosecrans