50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

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

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Hurray for the Riff Raff, 'The Navigator'
Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Navigator36/50

Hurray for the Riff Raff, 'The Navigator'

We Say: "Now all the politicians/They just squawk their mouths/They say, 'We'll build a wall to keep them out" chants [Alynda] Segarra, a Bronx-bred Puerto Rican who doubles down on the ambition of her group's debut and its feminist murder-ballad-answer-song "The Body Electric" with The Navigator – a coming-of-age concept LP about a young woman that suggests Patti Smith as a barrio poet. Its definition of folk tradition is broad. "Hungry Ghost" lays Jim Morrison love-as-funeral-pyre imagery against a bassline that might've wandered off the Cure's Seventeen Seconds. "Rican Beach" recalls the cratedigger conga-funk of Seventies New York City legends the Ghetto Brothers. "Palante" invokes the rallying cry of the Young Lords – the Black Panthers' Latinx analogues – in an anthem echoing the Band as much as the Fania All-Stars. This is proudly intersectional folk music.

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