20 Best Pop Albums of 2017

Kesha, Harry, Taylor and more of the year in hooks

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Jens Lekman, 'Life Will See You Now'

12. Jens Lekman, 'Life Will See You Now'

Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman's storytelling reached a new pinnacle on his fourth record, which combines stories of personal rebuilding and reflection with joyous dance music (the steel drum-assisted "What's That Perfume That You Wear?," the giddy "Wedding in Finistere") and shimmering synth-pop ("Postcard #17"). In a year where even the biggest pop titans got down with introspection, "How Can I Tell Him" was a track that stood out for its searing thoughtfulness; its string flourishes and gently strummed guitars framing Lekman's tale of male friendship and its communication breakdowns ("We can talk about anything/As long it's about nothing," he sighs). The song ends with the singer thinking – but not saying – "I love you, too" as his pal bikes away. M.J.

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