Rob Sheffield's Top 20 Albums of 2017

From Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift to Kelela and Japanese Breakfast

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Craig Finn, 'We All Want the Same Things'
20
10/20

10. Craig Finn, 'We All Want the Same Things'

Nobody's written as many great rock & roll songs in this century as Craig Finn, mostly with the Hold Steady. (Who just dropped the superb "Entitlement Crew.") Yet this solo album is his strongest since the Hold Steady's 2008 Stay Positive, hard-scrabble tales of Midwestern losers, junkies, amateur crooks, dealers at the car wash, birds trapped in the airport, teenagers who cheer when you get sick on the bus. "God In Chicago" is the centerpiece, but "Be Honest" almost counts as a love song: "Our safe word is still 'stop it'/And our style is self-involved/And I can't guarantee I'll pick up every time you call."

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