Review: Best albums of August 2017

Written by: Paul Horsman

We’ve filtered the best music releases in August so you don’t have to. Highlights from our favourite ten albums can be heard here: The Void – August 2017 Highlights

Not got Spotify? Then be sure to check out these top three…

Everything Everything – A Fever Dream

Since 2010, Everything Everything has been thrilling us with their electronic driven sound that has seen them bracketed as art-poppers rather than indie-rockers. And as each album shuffled closer towards commercial success, their creativity, critical acclaim and catchy choruses all remained intact.

It’s business as usual on fourth album A Fever Dream, with lyrical comments about the changing political climate cleverly disguised as singalong pop songs. It starts solidly with Night of the Long Knives – a name given to the purge of people Adolf Hitler believed was holding back his Nazi regime – before tackling the more current affairs of Brexit, generational anxieties and the general mistrusting of national authorities. Not that these themes matter when they’re set to the explosive melodies of Can’t Do, Desire and Run the Numbers. Inevitably, they’re unable keep the momentum going throughout the entire album… but that’s not such a bad thing when its latter songs are as dreamy and complex as the title track.

Kesha – Rainbow

You probably know the backstory by now; bratty poppet Ke$ha enters the music scene with an auto-tune banger, releases a couple of unexceptional albums, tries to break free from her recording contract, files a lawsuit against her producer following claims of rape, drops the dollar sign from her name and then releases a coming-of-age album that’s brave, bold and balmy.

Yet anyone claiming Rainbow to be a statement of artistic maturity is way off the mark. This is very much an OTT pop record geared towards youthful ears, despite its narrator’s newfound fondness for naughty words. But once you embrace this, you’ll find heaps to enjoy no matter what age you are. Kesha’s adventurous appetite for genre hopping sees her fleeting from country queen to rock chick to sassy funkster to bruised-but-not-beaten balladeer without any of it (remarkably) sounding like a mess. ‘You said I was done, but the best is still to come’ she states on lead single Praying. Based on this evidence, you have no choice but to believe her.

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains

Having balanced the right amount of darkness with enough swagger and groove, QOTSA are perhaps the band who’ve most kept traditional rock music alive during the past twenty years. Which is why fans of their trademark sound may have silently gasped on hearing the news that uptown funkster Mark Ronson was stepping into the Producer’s chair on this seventh album.

There was no need to worry. Rather than putting his own musical stamp on things, Ronson has merely embraced his inner rock demon by encouraging frontman Josh Homme to excel in what he does best; creating a storming set of songs you can stomp your feet along to. Highlights The Way You Used To Do, Head Like A Haunted House and The Evil Has Landed (particularly its final 80 seconds) not only prove that QOTSA can still sound sexy in today’s musical landscape, but that they can do it while remaining faithful to the rock roots they’re known and loved for. They’ve most definitely still got it.

Follow Playlist

Listen to more highlights from some of the best albums of 2017…

The Void Playlist – July 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – June 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – May 2017 Highlights

The Void Playlist – April 2017 Highlights

The Void Playlist – March 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – February 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – January 2017 Highlights

Author: Paul Horsman

Paul likes writing. And music. It’s unclear whether he likes sharing his suggestions with others or simply likes unleashing an ugly critic within… but we allow him to write about music on The Void.

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