Top 89 Staff Picks: Jay Gabler, digital producer


Top 89 of 2017 Staff Picks
Digital producer Jay Gabler shares his top songs and albums of 2017. (Luke Mills | MPR graphic)

Top 10 songs of 2017

1. Lorde - "Green Light"

Instantly iconic get-this-party-started anthem.

2. Japandroids - "North East South West"

Sometimes a great song isn't about what you do right — it's about what you don't do wrong. All hail Canada.

3. Tristen - "Glass Jar"

The year's best-written song, which makes it a bummer that the production is a little thin.

4. Now, Now - "SGL"

An incredible comeback from Minnesota's best pop band.

5. Matthew Dear feat. Tegan and Sara - "Bad Ones"

Could do without Dear's verse, but his guests make this track more than worthwhile.

6. Dizzy Fae - "Don't Hate For Me"

The year's sultriest song. Drop that long-player, Diz!

7. Miley Cyrus - "Malibu"

Gorgeously wistful.

8. The xx - "Say Something Loving"

Quietly epic.

9. Dua Lipa - "New Rules"

This year's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."

10. Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow"

The jam that had everyone cheering.

Top 10 albums of 2017

1. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights

Light some candles and get a box of tissue. Bathtub optional.

2. The xx - I See You

Newly accessible, still rich and uncompromising.

3. Lorde - Melodrama

Taylor and Katy more or less bombed their Big Releases this year, leaving Lorde standing alone with the major pop release you can love.

4. SZA - Ctrl

Breakout star of the year.

5. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

An essential document of America in 2017. It's not could it be?

6. Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

Electronic bliss.

7. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Fluid verses, vibrant beats.

8. Tristen - Sneaker Waves

How has the world still not discovered Tristen's genius? Despite rave reviews and a boost from NPR Music, this one didn't reach nearly enough ears.

9. St. Vincent - Masseduction

Like I See You, this is an album that's easy on the ears but reveals new hidden riches with each listen.

10. (tie) Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch - Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack; Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein - Stranger Things 2 soundtrack; John Williams - Star Wars: The Last Jedi soundtrack

Three sequel scores that build brilliantly on past greatness — especially impressive in the case of Blade Runner, which managed to Zimmer-ize the original Vangelis score without watering its weirdness down.

(I know, the Last Jedi score isn't out yet...but if John Williams disappoints, I'll drink a gallon of blue milk.)

The Current Hosts' and Staffers' Top 89 of 2017

Brett BaldwinBill DeVilleJay GablerJadeCecilia JohnsonLindsay KimballMary LuciaJim McGuinnSean McPhersonShelley MillerMike NovitzkiBrian OakeAnna ReedJill RileyNate RyanDerrick StevensAndrea SwenssonLuke TaylorMark WheatMac WilsonJesse Wiza

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