50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

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

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Mastodon, 'Emperor of Sand'
Mastodon, Emperor of Sand23/50

Mastodon, 'Emperor of Sand'

We Say: [A] lofty concept piece about a man wandering a desert with a curse over his head set to swirling, frenetic guitars and gut-rumbling drums. The LP is their most ambitious outing since 2009's proggy Crack the Skye – following two relatively pared-down LPs – and at its best (the radio-ready pop-rocker "Show Yourself," the triumphal outro of "Ancient Kingdom," the Zappa-inspired synthesizer-and-bells duet midway through "Clandestiny") it's a glorious metal miasma.

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