Here are my nominees and winners of 16 different specialized categories, all having to do with the albums released in 2017.

(winners in bold)

Most Important Cultural Album
“Process” – Sampha
“Pure Comedy” – Father John Misty
“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar
“Flower Boy” – Tyler, the Creator
“MASSEDUCTION” – St. Vincent

Most Detrimental Album
“Divide” – Ed Sheeran
“Dua Lipa” – Dua Lipa
“Witness” – Katy Perry
“Lust For Life” – Lana del Rey
“reputation” – Taylor Swift

Most Surprising Album
“Hang” – Foxygen
“Damage and Joy” – The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Harry Styles” – Harry Styles
“A Deeper Understanding” – The War On Drugs
“As You Were” – Liam Gallagher

Most Disappointing Album
“Spirit” – Depeche Mode
“One More Light” – Linkin Park
“Something to Tell You” – HAIM
“Sacred Hearts Club” – Foster the People
“Everything Now” – Arcade Fire

Most Hope Inducing Album
“SweetSexySavage” – Kehlani
“All-Amerikkkan Badass” – Joey Badass
“Rocket” – (Sandy) Alex G
“Truth is a Beautiful Thing” – London Grammar
“Antisocialites” – Alvvays

Best Delivery of Emotion
“The Order of Time” – Valerie June
“A Crow Looked at Me” – Mount Eerie
“Pure Comedy” – Father John Misty
“CTRL” – SZA
“Rainbow” – Kesha

Best Boundary Breaking Album
“Drunk” – Thundercat
“Flying Microtonal Banana” – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
“Planetarium” – James McCalister, Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly
“The OOZ” – King Krule
“Utopia” – Bjork

Best Album Cover
“Migration” – Bonobo
“Black Origami” – Jlin
“A Black Mile to the Surface” – Manchester Orchestra
“Rainbow” – Kesha
“Relatives in Descent” – Protomartyr

Most Overachieving Song
“Near to the Wild Heart of Life” – Japandroids
“Supermarket Flowers” – Ed Sheeran
“Sweet Creature” – Harry Styles
“Writer in the Dark” – Lorde
“Be the One” – Dua Lipa

Most Underachieving Song
“No Friend” – Paramore
“Sunday Rain” – Foo Fighters
“Santa’s in the Closet” – Ariel Pink
“The Calling” – The Killers
“Wow” – Beck

Strongest Melodic Album
“Heartworms” – The Shins
“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar
“Whiteout Conditions” – The New Pornographers
“After Laughter” – Paramore
“Antisocialites” – Alvvays

Strongest Harmonic Album
“Ty Segall” – Ty Segall
“Flying Microtonal Banana” – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
“Mental Illness” – Aimee Mann
“Murder of the Universe” – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
“Dark Matter” – Randy Newman

Strongest Timbral Album
“Oczy Mlody” – The Flaming Lips
“Elwan” – Tinariwen
“Planetarium” – James McCalister, Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly
“Luciferian Towers” – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
“Utopia” – Bjork

Worst Aspect of the Year
“The Summer Dud”
The overall lack of strong releases this summer, despite the multitude of them.
“The Industry’s Hapless Godchildren”
The lack of quality music that came from the small circle of musicians built up by the industry to achieve commercial success.
“Greatness is Meager”
Only 14 albums achieved my rank of “Great” this year, and none achieved the “Incredible” rank.

Best Aspect of the Year
“The Incessant Lizard Wizard”
The albums released by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard this year were all of high quality and showed perpetual creativity.
“Forgoing Retirement”
Many musicians nearing the end of their career continued to release worthwhile music.
“April’s Showers”
April 2017 was a strong month for new music releases; three of the seven albums that scored higher than 150 this year were released this month.

Song of the Year
“Wedding in Finistère” – Jens Leckman
“Nuclear Fusion” – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
“Next Time” – Laura Marling (runner-up)
“Rollercoasters” – Aimee Mann
“DNA” – Kendrick Lamar
“Whiteout Conditions” – The New Pornographers
“Star Roving” – Slowdive
“Mercury” – James McCalister, Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly
“Strangest Thing” – The War On Drugs
“Plimsoll Punks” – Alvvays

2 thoughts on “TMO 2017 Music Awards

  1. Constructive Criticizer

    It’s pretty evident that you have a bias toward songs that have a psychedelic elements to them and seem keen on disliking the pop genre of music. While I agree with some of your reviews, your attitude degrading those artists makes you come across as kind of a self-righteous douche. You do not explain specific musical elements (ie. I liked this part of this song, this riff, this harmony), you simply give your opinion in a broad manner, focusing on either hating or liking the song/album. It’s evident that you just listen to pop albums once, scoffing/eye-rolling the entire time, while making those graphs on Excel based on first impressions. Your approach is not open-minded. Of course, music is subjective based on personal experience. Your knowledge of music theory and search for melodic intrigue clouds your judgement. Just like someone who’s used to eating at 5-star restaurants will not appreciate eating at McDonald’s. You give that analogy in one of your reviews, assuming that everyone would pick the 5-star restaurant. But not everyone would. I personally love McDonald’s and the cheap, repetitive, catchy, danceable music. But I do not call the 5-star restaurant abysmal and degrade it. I respect it, cuz at the end of the day someone relates to it. By ignoring the human element of music (ie. motivation, influence, artist history, label pressure, societal pressure, target audience, budget) and sticking to a broad approach, your reviews lack depth for me. You can’t just say something doesn’t have melodic intrigue and expect me to believe it (and yes I’ve read your ‘in depth’ reviews that barely scratch the surface of songs/albums). I’m sorry, but you come across as arrogant. You forget that not everyone can afford to eat at a 5-star restaurant and degrading those who prefer McDonald’s is just snobbish. Similarly, the simplicity of those “bad” albums helps a generation see their feelings conveyed in a manner in which they would understand. I don’t mean to sound rude or disrespectful. I think the general album analysis idea is a good concept, however, you must define your biases as a disclaimer. Don’t fall into the trap of “let’s hate everything mainstream” because I’m “musically superior”. After all, once upon a time rock-and-roll was also seen as the McDonald’s of the music industry. Anyway, I wish your channel the best of luck for 2018. (Also, if you’re looking to grow your channel, use hashtags on twitter, Youtube, and Instagram to be more discoverable).

    • Album Analysis

      First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to express these thoughts. Although I don’t really appreciate being called “self-righteous” or “arrogant”, I understand and respect your comments. I’ll rebuttal a bit just to defend myself, but know that I do welcome your remarks and will reflect on them more. Given the limited amount of music I’ve talked about on this blog, it may seem as though I enjoy “psychedelic” music over “pop” music. However, I can assure you that I hold no bias over strict style. Sure, I’d rather listen to Pink Floyd than Justin Bieber, but I’d also rather listen to Cyndi Lauper over Phish, Lady Gaga over Cobweb Strange, and Johann Stamitz over Richard Wagner. I guess I do have a bias, but it’s for “use of intelligence” for lack of a better term. Hell, my favorite album of 2017 was a cliche pop rock album, and my 2nd favorite was perhaps the most mainstream album of the year. I may have sounded quite harsh when giving my opinion on a few certain albums this year, but I won’t apologize for it. I’m actually glad that I came off as “scoffing/eye-rolling” for those, because that’s exactly what happened. Still, I do tell you why in my reviews, even if it’s pretty trite. I’d say about 5-10% of what I listened to last year pissed me off to the point where I literally wanted to sound like I was selling it as poison (the Maroon 5, Lil Yachty, Chainsmokers, and Linkin Park albums come to mind). I understand that those particular reviews have a different tone and are more tongue-and-cheek, which I don’t necessarily sell this blog as so I guess you’ve called me out on that and I’ll dial back on those in the coming year. One such review like that last year was the Fifth Harmony album, which you reference in your comment. The actual quote from that review is “choosing to listen to this over other music because you actually like it is akin to having unlimited money and time but choosing to eat at McDonald’s when there’s a Five Star cuisine right next to it. Kids might do it…”. Your point you try to make with it doesn’t quite make sense, as I do say that not everyone would choose it, and I also take away the variable of it being affordable. Now, your main overall point comes across clear and I do agree with it. I am self-aware that I’ve become quite broad and I give my conclusions about my perceptions of the elements with very little specifics. That’s a sacrifice I’ve made only because of time. I really wish I had the time to give more specific examples and do more of a track by track discussion. I have a full-time music job, and this is just a spare time hobby. I did start out the blog a couple years ago doing just song reviews and being very specific in those, but I quickly realized that if I were to keep this blog up I’d have to find a way to be more inclusive and expedite my process. What I decided to do was ease off on magnifying a specific moment in the music too much and make sure I summarized my perception of the music genuinely through technical terms, while also emphasizing the score/rank I give to show where I place it amidst all other music. My reviews as they stand today do require some background technical knowledge, or least a willingness to pick it up. For example, while you may think all I’m saying is “it doesn’t have melodic intrigue”, I’m really discussing aspects such as “lack of conjunct melodic shape” or “inability to follow harmonic tendencies”, which I expect my readers/listeners to understand to a degree. My compromise has been to stop there and let people hear it for themselves (with those terms I would think you’d be able to recognize the difference in melodic taste between something like Katy Perry’s “Witness” and Alvvays’s “Antisocialites”, two pop style albums with very different results). Up until now I thought I had found an acceptable balance, especially regarding the general lack of technicality I see in the music review world, but now that you’ve expressed otherwise I may want to rethink. My Intangible Influence category is there specifically for that “human element” you talk about, because I certainly do give merit to its effect on the world. Now, I think it’s silly to take something like “label pressure” or “motivation” into account; I’m not going to curve the grade or give anyone slack based on circumstances outside of the music. While I may come across as arrogant, I guess you come across as a little butthurt that I hated a few popular albums you liked, but no hard feelings. I genuinely appreciate your comments, and I will think about finding a better balance and being more in depth in my explanations. I’d honestly love to do my reviews at the piano so I can readily play examples back of what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get to the level of depth either of us want this blog to be unless it becomes my full time job. For now I’m just doing what I can do.

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