Review: Best albums of November 2017

Written by: Paul Horsman

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

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

Bjork – Utopia

Let’s cut to the chase. It’s fantastic that a unique artist like Bjork is still making distinct music. But her albums (at least those created after the nineties) are a bit of a slog. It seems every exciting single such as Earth Intruders or Crystalline must be accompanied by a set of lengthy songs focussed on mood rather than melody.

Utopia doesn’t break this mould, despite initial hopes for a more playful vibe when Bjork referred to it as her “tinder album.” Recovering from that painful breakup documented on 2015’s Vulnicura, she was perhaps suggesting a newfound sense of freedom to explore opportunities and examine her self profile. Cue 70 minutes of expressive emotion, animated vowels, lush forest sounds and a shed load of flutes.

Whether this appeals to you or not will depend on how you consume Bjork’s music. If you’re a gannet, feast away on Utopia’s rich material and it’ll leave you satisfyingly full. If you prefer bite sized samples, test your taste buds with Arisen My Senses, The Gate and Sue Me before committing to the full dining experience. If you’re entirely new to the table, put down the menu immediately and order the chef’s classic: Bjork’s Greatest Hits.

Morrissey – Low in High School

The infamous Morrissey, aka Britain’s King of Doom, returns with a new album, aka another vehicle to impose his middle-aged crankiness onto anyone who’ll listen. But having regularly protested the nation’s jolliness during patriotic events, William and Kate’s ongoing happiness, and pop’s obsession with “very very stupid people”… what’s there left to complain about?

Quite a lot as it happens. Military troops, police brutality and mass media propaganda are just three topics within his firing range, while the not-so-subtle cover makes it clear where he stands on our biggest tourist attraction. The hatred is rather on par with his recent comments about sexual assault victims. As one tweet responded: “I don’t understand how so much of what Morrissey sings is so beautiful, yet so much of what he says is so ugly.”

Perhaps that’s the best way to anticipate Low in High School, because beyond the lyrical despair are some pretty decent tunes. In fact, My Love, I’d Do Anything and I Wish You Lonely are up there with his best, while Home is a Question Mark and In Your Lap prove he can also be a bit of a softie. He’s probably baking mince pies for the carol singers as we speak.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?

Completing this month’s trio of experienced musicians is Noel Gallagher and those blimmin’ birds of his. Whether it’s a natural progression of his work or a competitive reaction to young Liam nipping at his toes, Who Built the Moon? is by far the best solo album to come out of the Gallagher household. 

This could partly be down to teaming up with electronic composer and film scorer David Holmes. Together they soak up an exhilarating concoction of rock-rave flavoured beats (Fort Knox), glam stomping horns (Holy Mountain), psychedelic grooves (It’s a Beautiful World), widescreen drama (The Man Who Built the Moon) and some good old fashioned Beatles-aping (take your pick, really).

All this would be meaningless if it wasn’t for Gallagher’s glorious singalong tunes. He may be flirting with new tones, but he never strays too far from the faithful sound that stuck by him all these years. Had half the albums from Oasis been this adventurous, the band’s catalogue of music might have lived up to its legacy. No wonder Liam wants to reunite.   

Follow Playlist

Listen to more highlights from some of the best albums of 2017…
The Void Playlist – October 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – September 2017 Highlights
The Void Playlist – August 2017 Highlights

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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