I must admit I find it very hard in recent years to evaluate an album. I think we’re going through a general creative crisis, but to be clear from the beginning, this is just my opinion based on my tastes and my point of view over the whole music landscape.
I think it’s becoming easier and easier these months to consider a single album a “masterpiece”, ignoring that in another couple of months everybody will forget about that album as well.
I remember reading an A-Ah’s interview years ago. The guitarist was asked what he thought about their last album. He answered it was a bit to early to say: albums need a year or more to be judged. I perfectly agree with him. Music is like wine from this perspective: it needs to decant for a while.
So I think there are two albums in particular, released in 2017, that will deserve to be listened again through the years to be judged.
The first is Sohn‘s RENNEN. This mixture of soul, R&B and deep electronic LP is to be considered somekind of an innovative album and like all the brand new things, it’s not perfect, not perfect at all. I think most of Aphex Twins’ albums were not perfect, but they contain some of the most avantgarde songs we’ve ever listened to. Even Jon Hopkins’s Immunity is a brand new work, but it can’t be considered perfect in its whole.
Talking about Sohn, in this collection of 10 tracks, the artist tried to explore new musical fields meeting obstacles but also great intuitions. “Hard Liquor”, “Primary”, “Falling” and, in my personal opinion also “Harbour”, are great songs that cannot be compared with many more others in recent years.
The second album I will listen to again in years to judge its value is Sevdaliza‘s ISON.
This trip hop, electronic, down tempo 12 tracks album is, in some way, the opposite of Sohn’s Rennen. Sevdaliza isn’t looking for innovation. She just gave back to life a kind of music that hasn’t been much appreciated in recent years. So what could be considered “experimental” ten or fifteen years ago, can’t be still considered innovative nowadays. But Ison flows from the first to the last song like a single, long harmonious piece. This is a prerogative for a good album I think and Sevdaliza’s debut owns it all.
So, I don’t know if these albums will be considered masterpiece in future years. I doubt about the second one especially, being a very niche like LP. But I consider both of them two albums worth be known at the end of 2017. Even just to take a look at this two young acts in years to come.