Disappointment of the year...Elbow - Little Fictions. Has not stood up well to repeated plays, certainly nowhere near the album that "The Take Off and Landing of Everything" was.
Best of the year...One problem here is that I seem to have bought very little new music in 2017 so this list is almost self selecting.
Sparks - Hippopotamus. There is no such thing as a bad Sparks album, only degrees of wonderfulness. This one is among the best, up there with "Exotic Creatures of the Deep" and "Number One In Heaven" If you don't know Sparks this is the perfect album to try. The combination of good tunes and a sense of humour is irresistable for me.
Black Country Communion - BCCIV The quintessential rock band come back after the quarreling surrounding "Afterglow". This is as good as BCC 2. Glenn Hughes voice is working well, and the simpler arrangements make for an album that wins the best music to sit in a queue on the M6 to award.
Kim Seviour - Recovery Is Learning Kim's singing was always the best thing about Touchstone. With better material she is now flying. As a fellow ME sufferer I get the title song and the cover. Call To Action is the song to try if you haven't heard the album. John Mitchell provides his signature "modern Prog" production, which means it sounds like the Lonely Robot album, no bad thing. And she is a local.
Bill Nelson - Tripping The Light Fantastic A Bill Nelson live album would be great in itself, but that it documents a show where he played many of my favourites 'I Always Knew You Would Find Me', 'The Raindrop Collector', 'Gloria Mundae' amongst them makes it doubly so.
Nolwenn Leroy - Gemme. A new purchase at the very end of the year. After the diversions in Celtic music this is her best "Pop"album since Histores Naturelles. Nolwenn will be part of a post on French Music that is in development hell at present. Watch this space.
And the rest is old stuff.
I caught up with Lonely Robot's "Please Come Home" through listening to Kim's album. Pop enough to have tunes, Prog enough to challenge the listener. Seeing Over The Rhine live in April was a highlight and sent me back to the albums yet again. Ozric Tentacles most recent live album appeared on Bandcamp. I love them, but recognise that you might not. More good music for long car journeys though, and I do plenty of them. I found London Grammar's first album "If You Wait" and should really catch up with the next one.
Oh and 2017 was the year I rediscovered Jazz. You have been warned...