50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

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

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Valerie June, 'The Order of Time'
Valerie June, The Order of Time25/50

Valerie June, 'The Order of Time'

We Say: Her second LP is louder and more confident than her beguiling debut, steeped deep in electric blues and old-time folk, gilded in country twang and gospel yearning, with a hypnotically gnomish voice that suggests a brawnier Joanna Newsom. Near-perfect front to back, its politics are subtle and sly, mostly implicit and matter-of-fact, transmitted through sketches of lovers and other strugglers. The emblematic song is "Got Soul," which June croons over Stax/Volt horns, banjo and bluegrass fiddle, celebrating cultural intersection as it's lived, and defining America's sustaining greatness in the process. 

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