Top 89 Staff Picks: Mac Wilson, host


Top 89 of 2017 Staff Picks
Host Mac Wilson shares his favorite music of 2017, sequenced as a 10-song mix. (Luke Mills | MPR graphic)

Sequenced as a 10-song mix, as per usual - a Tradition Like No Other.

1. Alex Lahey - "Every Day's the Weekend"
For seeming so effortless and carefree, this song offered multiple layers that will keep you busy for spin after spin after spin.

2. Father John Misty - "Total Entertainment Forever"
Misty summons technology's karma police in one of his leanest, catchiest tunes to date.

3. Alvvays - "In Undertow"
Like being caught in an actual undertow, this song lulls along with Molly Rankin's placid voice, before sucking you under with a few of the year's most well-timed drum cracks.

4. The War on Drugs - "Pain"
The band embraces its low end like never before with series after series of earth-trembling guitar crescendoes.

5. Feist feat. Jarvis Cocker - "Century"
Feist wanders the first half of the song in typically mysterious fashion, before vanishing as if into a trapdoor, giving way to Jarvis' best Old Testament God impression.

6. LCD Soundsystem - "How Do You Sleep?"
As with all of LCD's greatest moments, a song that may appear to be written about one specific thing, yet takes on a vastness that encompasses broad human emotion.

7. Arcade Fire - "Creature Comfort"
Perhaps Arcade Fire's most telling sign of confidence and competence (up until now) has been in sequencing their albums so that the penultimate track is arguably the best song on the album: there isn't a compulsion to bang out all the hits up front and just let the album tail off. Everything Now is the clear exception to this; it's tantalizing to envision a world where the album was strong enough for them to drop the gigantic "Creature Comfort" towards the very end to complete the experience. Alas, it got pushed out front in the opening run of singles, which actually worked against the song's power. When they performed live at Xcel this fall, "Creature Comfort" was the penultimate song of the main set, and it sounded absolutely titanic - Everything Now may fade from memory, but if there's justice, "Creature Comfort" won't any time soon.

8. Lorde - "Green Light"
Fairly or unfairly, the release of "Green Light" seemed like a make-or-break moment for Lorde; thankfully, it further established her as one of the top talents of her generation, expectations that were amply followed up by the full-length Melodrama.

9. Paramore - "Hard Times"
10. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Cut to the Feeling"

These two songs go together because they were together on a two-song playlist that I made in Spotify and probably played a thousand times this year. In true "best of times, worst of times" fashion, they constitute a six-and-a-half minute journey of resilience and elation that will wind up as my defining soundtrack to 2017, the good times and the bad.

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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