50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

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

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Paramore, 'After Laughter'
50
Paramore: ‘After Laughter’16/50

Paramore, 'After Laughter'

We Say: What "pop" can be in 2017 is open to question, and on After Laughter Paramore thankfully decides to junk large chunks of the concept as it's currently practiced. ("I can't imagine getting up there and playing a Max Martin song – at that point we might as well just stop," guitarist Taylor York told The New York Times in April, shortly after the album was announced.) Instead, they embrace "pop" as a musical vibe, with a record that's so sunshine-bright it gives off a glare at times, rooted in fleet basslines and beats made for open-road drives and solo bedroom dance parties. ... But while the surfaces of After Laughter might glint, Hayley Williams' lyrics evince a weariness that makes that brightness seem garishly empty.

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