2017 best album feature

Our Favorite Albums of 2017 – Margo Price, King Leg, Ibeyi and More!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

December 30, 2017 – Our Year-End Special!

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What does a Five Whistle Shark Sandwich review mean? We don’t review albums we don’t at least like on some level, but a perfect Five Whistle album is pretty special. It’s an “event” album, a work of musical art that will stay with us for a long time.

As we ease into an uncertain 2018, let’s review all of the Five Whistle albums from 2017. Consider this a “best of” the year list, but know that it isn’t comprehensive. Music is a journey. Music is discovery. #MusicisAChoice.

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Margo PriceAll American Made

King LegMeet King Leg

First reviewed in our October 27th Shark Sandwich, both are mining similar veins. They are exploring classic country and early rock and roll sounds with expertise and love… and a pulse. You’ll want to get up and boogie, and perhaps get into a heated argument in the case of Ms. Price’s album.

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IbeyiAsh

We covered these twins in our October 2nd Sandwich, and their intoxicatingly smooth Afro-Cuban doompop is as mesmerizing today as it was then. Ash is a perfect winter album.

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INHEAVENINHEAVEN

On September 4, INHEAVEN rocked us. Hard. We called it, possibly, the most enjoyable release of the year, and I think that is still true. You just have to leave your cynicism at the door, and turn it up as loud as you possibly can.

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Dead CrossDead Cross

GhostpoetDark Days + Canapes

October 27th was a good day for a Shark Sandwich. Mike Patton returns with another band, this time a vicious hardcore outfit. Dead Cross will tear your throat out, and dance on your bones, and you will like it. Ghostpoet worms his way into your consciousness with a dark vision and subtle tricks. Any album with a song called “Dopamine if I Do” deserves our attention.

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WaxahatcheeOut in the Storm

As stated on July 7th, Katie Crutchfield (who is Waxahatchee) is a true American badass who gifted the world a tightly-wound rock and roll record perfect for an in-car break up or running away from yourself on a treadmill on New Year’s Day.

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The SuburbsHey Muse!

On June 24th, Minneapolis’s own original dancepunks, the Suburbs, returned to us with Hey Muse! This is a joyous album that rocks with purpose, reflection, and conviction. Worth it just for the autobiographical “When We Were Young” alone, the fact that there are nine other top-flight tracks is sort of amazing in this day and age.

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Jason Isbell and the 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound

Jason Isbell topped a lot of year-end lists with his June 19th release, and the recognition is well-earned. The Nashville Sound is full of assuredly elegant acoustic moments as well as howlers. Jason Isbell had a lot to say, and he said it as well as he ever has on this confident release.

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Thea GilmoreThe Counterweight

Ms. Gilmore has been a favorite for a long time now, so we were pretty stoked to review The Counterweight on June 5th. She is a poet who happens to put together damn-near perfect pop songs while exercising her singer/songwriter muscles. This is a real gem.

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Matthew RyanHustle Up Starlings

Listening to Mr. Ryan is always like welcoming an old friend to the bar, and on May 15th we got a little tipsy while reviewing the superb Hustle Up Starlings. He has always straddled the line between rocking and singer/songwriting, and he has never done it more perfectly before.

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There it is. Eleven albums that earned the coveted Five Whistle rating. Eleven albums that will stand the test of time. Eleven albums for the discerning music fans. See you in the new year!

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All artists are available on iTunesAmazonGooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

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NewsWhistle music contributor Chad Werner is “ahead of the curve, behind the times.” You can contact this rock n’ roll sphinx at chad@newswhistle.com (e-mail) or @scooternotmoped (Twitter).

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Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Margo Price – Third Man Records; King Leg – Sire Records; Ibeyi – XL Recordings; INHEAVEN – Pias America; Dead Cross – Ipecac Records; Ghostpoet – Pias America; Waxahatchee – Merge Records; The Suburbs – Suburbs Music; Jason Isbell – Southeastern Records; Thea Gilmore – Cooking Vinyl; Matthew Ryan – Matthew Ryan Music