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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Queens of the Stone Age, 'Villains'

8. Queens of the Stone Age, 'Villains'

Nearly 20 years in, Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme still gets down like a black leather jacket zapped to life by Dr. Funkenstein himself. He called in a surprising assist for the SoCal rockers' seventh album, Top 40 genius Mark Ronson, who perks up zany Zeppelin grooves like "Feet Don't Fail Me" and "Head Like a Haunted House," playing up the swing in their strut. Ultimately, though, Villains is less about reinvention than refinement. It's a beast of a record, and its red-hot heart is pure Queens. S.V.L.

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