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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LCD Soundsystem, 'American Dream'

5. LCD Soundsystem, 'American Dream'

James Murphy gathers his old gang of New York punk-funk virtuosos together for some truly festive paranoia – in the masterfully pissed-off American Dream, he can't decide whether he's making a party album for the end of the world or an apocalypse album for the end of the party. LCD Soundsystem meet the audience on equal terms – "You've lost your internet and we've lost our memory" – while Murphy rants about feeling like just another smug loser in a collapsing culture. As he says in "Emotional Haircut," "You've got numbers on your phone of the dead that you can't delete." Yet the music crackles with the joy of communal celebration, from the cracked Detroit techno of "How Do You Sleep?" to the art-funk guitar squall of "Change Yr Mind." And in "Black Screen," he gives David Bowie the kind of chilly farewell that Ziggy Stardust himself would have appreciated. R.S.

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