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Talia Schlanger's 10 Albums That Made 2017 Brighter

St. Vincent's <em>Masseduction</em> was one of Talia Schlanger's favorite albums this year.
Needa Afsari
Courtesy of the artist
St. Vincent's Masseduction was one of Talia Schlanger's favorite albums this year.

I loved Kendrick Lamar's arresting DAMN. I loved Father John Misty's sardonic yet strangely empathetic Pure Comedy. I loved how The National hurled grief like an empty solo cup into the abyss on Sleep Well Beast and the way Lorde cleaned up champagne glasses on Melodrama. I loved missing along to Big Thief's Capacity, mourning along to Rhiannon Giddens' Freedom Highway, raging to Fever Ray's Plunge, sinking into Rose Cousins' Natural Conclusion and slinking to SZA's CTRL. But in reflecting on the music I really wanted to write about at the end of 2017, I noticed the albums I clung to hardest this year were ones that made the world around me feel brighter. Not sunnier or happier necessarily, although in some cases that's true, but brighter. Music that infused newsprint grayscale with dreamscape technicolor in ways that made me feel alive and connected — if not entirely hopeful — were at least helpful in narrowing down hope's mailing address. I hope these albums make you feel a bit brighter at the end of 2017 too.

Copyright 2017 XPN

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.
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