20 Best R&B Albums of 2017

Sharon Jones, Khalid, SZA, Miguel and more

Matt Martians, 'The Drum Chord Theory’
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20. Matt Martians, 'The Drum Chord Theory’20/20

20. Matt Martians, 'The Drum Chord Theory’

With The Drum Chord Theory, Matthew Martin eases back and puts his feet up. It's been an epic six years for the producer-instrumentalist – scraping away at new sounds and, eventually, scoring a Grammy-nominated album, Ego Death, in 2015 with his band the Internet. On this pleasingly eccentric solo record, Martin emphasizes hazy, lazy bass, jazzy percussion and jumpcut edits for his boyish musings on romantic misfires and, well, taking acid. Its lack of coherence is its charm, and the music fares surprisingly well as playful test runs of crooked grooves that may straighten out later on (or not). At one point, Martins wonders of women, "We just want to know what the fuck you want? Is that hard?" Weaving freely from track to track, The Drum Chord Theory seems to playfully ask that same question of Martins himself. M.O.