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Robin Hilton's Top 10 Albums Of 2017

Feist's <em>Pleasure</em> was one of Robin Hilton's favorite albums this year.
Mary Rozzi
Courtesy of the artist
Feist's Pleasure was one of Robin Hilton's favorite albums this year.

2017 was a year of chronic whiplash, not only for the ceaseless horror show of news headlines, but for the overwhelming number of albums and songs that were released. From the moment The xx dropped I See You in January (remember that one?) to Eminem's upcoming Revival, it seems we barely had enough time to get all the way through a single listen of a single album before a miles-wide torrent of other ones — all by bands we love — sloshed over the cracked and buckling dam.

I'm not entirely sure whether this is good or bad, or whether it even matters. But I know I spent a lot less time (and failed to connect) with a number of artists who once dominated my list of favorites in previous years: St. Vincent, Fleet Foxes, The Flaming Lips, Ty Segall, Dirty Projectors, Laura Marling, The Magnetic Fields, The Shins, Conor Oberst, Future Islands, Timber Timbre, the list goes on and on. All are wonderful, sometimes even brilliant artists, who never held my attention long enough to track. Maybe I was too busy listening to Kendrick Lamar on repeat. I just know that in 2017, it was incredibly hard for any band to capture and hold the imagination of an audience for very long before something else came along to steal it away.

That said, here are 10 albums from this year that locked me in.

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Robin Hilton
Robin Hilton is the Senior Podcast Producer for NPR Music and hosts the New Music Friday episodes of All Songs Considered. He is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose original scores have appeared in podcasts, films, radio programs and other works. He arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and composed and performed its elections coverage theme. You can hear more of his music here.