Hello? Is this thing still on? Am I still connected to the tubes?
Looks like it.
Here’s a bunch of pop culture things I loved from 2017.
Favourite Albums of 2017
Manchester Orchestra – A Black Mile to the Surface
Probably the album I’ve visited most this year, I love how this album feels big without being aggressive or doing too much. Just an excellent use of instruments and reverb. It’s a pretty moody and slow paced album mixed gracefully with moments of melodic levity. Don’t expect to be tapping your toe, but slowly bobbing your head. I can’t say I’ve picked up on most of the lyrics, but if they match the music in anyway, they’re probably pretty thoughtful and introspective. Favourite songs are The Maze, The Gold, The Grocery, and The Silence.
Brand New – Science Fiction
Long live emo. Apparently my favourite music of 2017 was made up of white dudes mumbling their way through “dark” lyrics. It’s actually a really mellow album; it starts really slow and ends really slow. You might say it’s a bit of a slog to get through but, honestly, it’s a slog I kind of really enjoyed. Waste is one of my favourite songs this year, the rest of the album is mostly equal in its enjoyability.
Free Throw – Bear Your Mind
This album, mostly about being drunk and upset about various things, is definitely upbeat and quite relatable. This is more of a punk album than anything; sloppily shouted vocals, loud unrestrained guitars; I love every minute of it.
Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?
What a groovy album! Just chalk full of awesome riffs and tunes that demand to be played loud enough to rumble the dishes in the kitchen cupboard. Reminds me a lot of Queens of the Stone Age mixed with Middle Class Rut. An amazing collection of songs from a drum and bass duo.
Tove Lo – Blue Lips
Fun fact, I like to pretend I know how to dance when I’m alone. This is a great album to do that to. Also, this album is just oozing sexy from its bass lines to the x-rated lyrics. As if you couldn’t tell from the album cover… I had this whole album on loop for a good month or so. Definitely check out disco tits, dont ask dont tell, and romantics.
Favourite Movies of 2017
Edgar Wright took a simple movie about car chases and robbing banks and turned it in something that was like watching a painting about music in motion. The story and characters are a little thin, but it’s just so much fun to watch. And that soundtrack, such a great collection of songs that just ropes you in from the opening seconds of the movie. I didn’t have as much fun at the movies this year as when I watching Baby Driver. Just try not to let knowing Kevin Spacey is giant sack of shit ruin it for you.
Blade Runner 2049
You can literally take a still from any moment in this film and put it in a frame and call it fine art. A great mystery movie that kept me guessing the whole time. The world of Blade Runner feels like takes place in a world that looks like Elon Musk and Donald Trump had all their dreams come true. While the movie is really long, none of it feels wasted or pointless. Every moment had me engaged and excited to see what happened next.
Dunkirk is more or less at 90 minute anxiety attack. The pacing and score of this movie are absolutely relentless, far more engaging and tense than any horror movie I’ve ever seen. I can’t say I’ve ever felt this stressed watching a movie, and breathed such a sigh of relief when the ending came about.
Honourable mentions: Logan, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Spider-Man Homecoming, Wonder Woman
Favourite Games of 2017
Horizon Zero Dawn
Robot. Dinosaurs. That should really be enough to make for a fun enough game, but it also packs an interesting sci-fi story, a super fun open world to play in, and excellent characters all together in a package that looks beautiful and sounds phenomenal. If you have a PlayStation 4, you’re doing yourself a disservice not at least trying out this game.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
This is how you make a sequel to one of the best shooters of this generation. Upping the ante in every way, with an incredible story that takes you trotting across a disturbing vision of the United States, and spoilers, a flying saucer to a base on Venus where you can kick Hitler in the face. The real stand out here though is the cast of characters, written and acted with such depth to feel like real people fighting for something; not one note stand ins to push the story along.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Shut up. After 100+ hours it’d be weird if I said I didn’t enjoy this game. Sure it was real fucked up when it came out, and they abandoned the DLC and shut down Bioware Montreal, but I had a good time with this. Lots of great moments and good times spent with each of the characters; even the ones that annoyed me at first I eventually came to like as their stories unfolded. There are a ton of story threads that were really intriguing, it’ll be a shame if we don’t get to explore Andromeda more.
Honourable mentions: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, South Park The Fractured But Whole, Halo Wars 2, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy