Rob Sheffield's Top 20 Albums of 2017

From Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift to Kelela and Japanese Breakfast

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Harry Styles, 'Harry Styles'
20
3/20

3. Harry Styles, 'Harry Styles'

What a revelation to see Styles live the same week as Paul McCartney – a tutorial on the connection between joy and brilliance. So is this album. The songs are built to last, standing up to months of ridiculously heavy listening. The only rock star who can come on like Macca and Mick at the same time. The only rock star who could earn all six minutes of "Sign of the Times." The only rock star using his hard-won artistic freedom to craft the kind of hilariously anti-commercial old-school personal statement where every song counts, making big guitar moves everybody else this year was too timid to try. The only rock star who thinks cigarettes in New York are "cheap." The only rock star.

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