50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

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

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Songhoy Blues, 'Résistance'
Songhoy Blues, Resistance35/50

Songhoy Blues, 'Résistance'

On their second LP, this fire-breathing Malian guitar band becomes a stylistic hall of mirrors. "Voter" detonates a West African strut with garage-rock combustion; "Hometown" is a fiddle-spiced hoedown; "Bamako" is Afro-funk with swarming William Onyeabor synths and charging Earth, Wind and Fire horns. The most startling moment, though, is in "Sahara," a Tuareg-style desert blues in which Iggy Pop is suddenly growling about the emptiness of Western culture. "Listen, you can hear/The music of the spheres!" he insists, before stepping aside and letting the guitars shred. It's raw power, indeed. 

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