Most Underrated Albums of 2017
As 2017 wraps up, the CommRadio Arts Department will be taking a look back at the year in music. For underrated albums, the albums placed on this list were deemed to be very good albums by the Arts Department, but did not receive the credit they deserved by fans and critics. Here is the Arts Department’s list of the most underrated albums of 2017.
Shofu – Trap Ketchum
In a year where hip hop continues to push the envelope of what the genre can be, there was maybe no album that did this more than Shofu’s Trap Ketchum. Shofu came into this album with the idea to base much of his production, and even some lyrical content, around the Pokémon franchise. Not only does Shofu capture the feel of Pokémon perfectly, but he’s also an extremely skilled rapper. When the first song “Woke Up in Pallet Town” hits, you’re overcome with shock at his rapping ability and the way he can fit so many Pokémon references into a trap song. With so many new rappers coming up being inspired by and having played video games their whole life, Shofu could be paving the way for artists to full embrace this passion in their music. – David Arroyo
Iglooghost - Neō Wax Bloom
Of all the boundary pushing and forward thinking music released in 2017, none felt more unique than Iglooghost’s debut album. Frantic, chaotic and futuristic, listening to Neō Wax Bloom is one of the few albums of the year that can truly put the listener into a different state of mind. The album wastes no time pushing its ideas further than it absolutely needs to, offering lots of small melodic bursts with transitions that transition into each other. While the album could benefit from a bit more diversity in the sonic palettes of each of these bursts, Neō Wax Bloom nevertheless is an engaging and attention grabbing record from start to finish and one of the most exciting electronic releases of the year. – Chandler Copenheaver
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with Mild High Club – Sketches of Brunswick East
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s collaboration with Mild High Club is one album that should not be overlooked in 2017. Sketches of Brunswick East is the third of the expected five albums coming this year from the band. It is hard to create a psychedelic-rock album that can be considered extremely relaxing, but this record does just that through the use of acoustic elements such as a piano, flutes and guitars. Alex Brettin, the man behind Mild High Club, is the mastermind of the mellow and slowed-down sound this record holds. The jazz-oriented direction, along with a heavy focus on a slow and calm rhythm, help to make this album stand out from others this year. Something that should be noted regarding this album is the lack of advertisement prior to its surprise release. This proves the point that King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard do not need a huge promotional team in order to deliver an accomplished record. – Jenna Minnig
Poppy – Poppy.Computer
Pop music, on the back of Carly Rae Jepsen, has gotten better and better over the last few years. Riding a wave from Jepsen, Poppy, a YouTube sensation, released one of the most fun albums of the year. From the K-pop influenced tracks to the more electro/dance-pop songs, Poppy takes a satirical look at the genre that she is firmly planting herself in. The lyrics are simple intentionally, but the production just forces you to dance and sing along. Although building on something that has already been done, Poppy does it in such a unique way that it is hard not to love this album. She makes fun of pop music throughout, but despite that, Poppy needs to continue to make pop music and try to help push the envelope of what the genre can be. Criticism without action means nothing and Poppy puts her money where her mouth is on Poppy.Computer. – David Arroyo
Quelle Chris - Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often
Hip hop has been graced by a year of great introspective projects, but none was quite as abstract or as groovy as Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often. Quelle Chris takes the listener deep into his deadpan and humorous psyche, more interested in subverting expectations than pleasing the listener. It’s an existential crisis that feels more like a stand-up act than it does a therapy session. While the album is certainly nothing short of experimental and abstract even by underground hip hop standards, the album’s production provides the album with an incredible flow, ensuring that the complex themes and personal revelations never bog down the actual enjoyment of listening to the album. In a year that’s been incredibly fruitful for hip hop, it would be heartbreaking for such a unique and complicated project like Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often to get loss in the shuffle. – Chandler Copenheaver
David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.