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Alt.Latino's Favorites: The Top 10 Latin Albums Of 2017

ÌFÉ made one of Alt.Latino's favorite albums of 2017.
Joa Rodriguez
Courtesy of the artist
ÌFÉ made one of Alt.Latino's favorite albums of 2017.

Every year, the Latin Alternative music world seems to get more interesting — more nuanced and complex, entirely setting aside genre limitations. With so much variety, it's almost impossible to define Latin music at all, so how is it even possible to narrow a list of favorites down to just a handful?

To make Alt.Latino's list of the best Latin albums of 2017, I called in some help from two contributors: The Chicago-based host of Beat Latino, Catalina Maria Johnson is an intrepid globetrotter who always seems to end up at just the right place at just the right time to catch just the right band, no matter where in the world she may be, and we've got the ever-curious Marisa Arbona Ruiz, who this year reported for Alt.Latino from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, interviewed the musical and cultural icon Juanes, and braved the notorious East Coast humidity to file a report from this summer's Nuevo Fest in Philadelphia.

This week, the three of us compared notes on the albums we felt made significant statements about where Latin Alternative music stands today. (The list also includes contributions from Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, who couldn't make it to the taping.) Below, you'll find our top 10 albums, as discussed on this weeks' podcast, plus 13 more honorable mentions that we couldn't let slip by. The discussion kicks off three weeks of end-of-the-year coverage for Alt.Latino; next week, with the help of our friends at Remezcla (who recommended some amazing Latinx music writers), we've got a list of the year's best songs. Then, in two weeks, we turn to listeners to check out what made your musical year.

Note: These albums aren't ranked, and are instead listed in the order in which they came up in our conversation.

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Catalina Maria Johnson
Marisa Arbona-Ruiz
Felix Contreras
Felix Contreras is co-creator and co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.