Even with our expanded Best-Of list courtesy of The Process, there were still a ton of great albums released last year that were worthy of recognition. Since we here at Rust Is Just Right are big believers in spreading all good music, we’re going to put a spotlight on some other great records that you may have overlooked from the past year.
YG – Still Brazy
This would be a memorable album even if it didn’t include the future national anthem of the United States, “FDT.”
Wilco – Schmilco
A delicate album that seems tossed-off now, but future Wilco fans will enjoy as a secret gem.
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
The token country album, but its status as one that even indie kids would enjoy is earned, even beyond the touching cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.”
PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
Forgotten too soon (or worse, seen as a disappointment), this was a strong album from one of rock’s most consistent artists.
Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow
It didn’t measure up to their debut, but there’s still gold in their shoegaze-meets-hard rock sound.
The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come To Expect
Not quite as strong as their debut, but it was a treat to see Alex Turner’s side-project return once again
Gojira – Magma
I saw these guys open up for Mastodon, and instantly became a fan.
DIIV – Is The Is Are
They pretty much play only one song, but it’s a good one.
Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
Just when it seemed like the creative well was running dry, Death Grips find new nuance in their abrasive sound.
David Bowie – Blackstar
Goddamn, who knew he had this in his backpocket the entire time? Bowie was still capable of musical surprises, like this futuro-jazz album, up until the end.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. – The Letter O
Damian Lillard is easily the best rapper in NBA history (and in all of professional sports), but really his talent is better than everything that sentence implies.
Clipping. – Splendor and Misery
Daveed Diggs got mass recognition for his role in “Hamilton,” but a lot of fans would prefer he stick to his day job. A great sci-fi hip-hop concept album.
Bleached – Welcome the Worms
One of the strongest garage rock albums during the current wave of the genre.
Also Worthy of Praise
Yuck – Stranger Things, Band of Horses – Why Are You OK, Wire – Nocturnal Koreans, Banks & Steelz – Anything But Words, Joy Formidable – Hitch
All Albums That Were Considered
In the interests of full disclosure, here are all the other albums that we listened to last year, in full. Most of these were quite good and worthy of repeated listens, but they just could not crack the previous lists.
The Men – Devil Music, Kanye West – The Life of Pablo, Beyonce – Lemonade, Frank Ocean – Blonde, Red Fang – Only Ghosts, Teenage Fanclub – Here, Anderson .Paak – Malibu, Beach Slang – A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, Tim Hecker – Love Streams, Adrian Younge – Something About April II, A Giant Dog – Pile, Walter Martin – Arts & Leisure, Andrew Bird – Are You Serious, Bloc Party – Hymns, Holy Fuck – Congrats, Pixies – Head Carrier, Yung – A Youthful Dream, Dandy Warhols – Distortland, Pinegrove – Cardinal, of Montreal – Innocence Reaches, Savages – Adore Life, Hot Hot Heat – Hot Hot Heat, DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall, Deerhoof – The Magic, Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light, Tindersticks – The Waiting Room, White Lung – Paradise, Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”