50 Best Albums of 2017

Taylor Swift clapped back, Kendrick Lamar got personal, Lorde threw a high-concept party and more

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, 'Lotta Sea Lice'

15. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, 'Lotta Sea Lice'

A match made in indie-rock heaven. Vile is a sly lyricist with a stoner's demeanor who's always made his most articulate statements with his guitar. Barnett is a sly melodist, and so adept a wordsmith you can imagine any randomly-ripped-out page from her diary would make an engaging song. Together they craft a sublimely chilled-out set that shines with tossed-off bedhead dazzle, whether rambling about fabric softener, their daily routines, or – on the standout "Continental Breakfast" – the flickering disconnect of maintaining relationships while schlepping around the world playing music. It's also sweetly romantic, never more so than on the giddy "Blue Cheese" when the duo harmonize the line "so kiss me with your mouth, girl of my dreams!" W.H.

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