50 Best Albums of 2017

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

Load Previous
Randy Newman, 'Dark Matter'

13. Randy Newman, 'Dark Matter'

Newman opens his first album of new material in eight years with three songs that play the end of Western civilization for laughs – starting with a Marx Brothers version of the Scopes Trial and culminating with a Vladimir Putin variety show – and then hits one that plays the end of life for tears: "Lost Without You," in which a husband listens in the shadows as his dying wife tells her kids to take care of him after she's gone. It's a stunning miniature, with swells of American prairie strings and horns giving way to Newman alone at the piano delivering a simple message: The darkness is coming to us all, one way or the other. J.L.

Back to Top