50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Harry Styles, Roger Waters and more

Valerie June, 'The Order of Time'
50
Valerie June, The Order of Time25/50

Valerie June, 'The Order of Time'

We Say: Her second LP is louder and more confident than her beguiling debut, steeped deep in electric blues and old-time folk, gilded in country twang and gospel yearning, with a hypnotically gnomish voice that suggests a brawnier Joanna Newsom. Near-perfect front to back, its politics are subtle and sly, mostly implicit and matter-of-fact, transmitted through sketches of lovers and other strugglers. The emblematic song is "Got Soul," which June croons over Stax/Volt horns, banjo and bluegrass fiddle, celebrating cultural intersection as it's lived, and defining America's sustaining greatness in the process. 

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