Slowdive Makes Pitchfork’s 50 Best of 2017
Though our culture of fast distraction seems hell-bent on crushing the album beneath its endless scroll, the form remains a pillar of art, something to aspire to. In music, when you want to make a statement, you make an album. Still. And right now, those statements are perhaps more varied and fluid than ever before. In the following list, you will find full-length declarations of self-worth sung through the languages of R&B and goth, political rebellion both rapped and screamed, musical memoirs backed by beats and guitars, and multidimensional dreams of escapism by way of pulsing synthesizers. Here are the 50 best albums of 2017.
How to make a successful comeback album: 1) have a relatively small original catalog so fans still hunger for new material; 2) make sure key members are involved; 3) pay close attention to what you used to do best; 4) write great songs. Slowdive’s first album in more than two decades checks all these boxes, capturing the precise sound of the band at its shoegazing peak, but it also adds an extra half-turn of beauty. These are among the most captivating melodies frontman Neil Halstead has written, and the album’s lush guitar tone is gorgeous as ever, while infused with a new delicacy. Where their 1993 classic Souvlaki could be dense and heavy, still speaking the language of rock, Slowdive is pure weightless dream-pop bliss—every track shimmers and sparkles and floats like a soap bubble in the sunlight. –Mark Richardson