The Wild by The Rural Alberta Advantage
Welcome to the Top 10 of 2017! At #10, we have a mainstay of the Bacon Review. I’ve featured the Rural Alberta Advantage many times over the years. Their debut, Hometowns, was #6 in 2009; Departing, their 2nd album, was all the way up at #2 in 2011; and their third album, Mended With Gold was my absolute favorite album of 2014.
With nowhere to go but down, the Toronto band’s fourth album, The Wild, comes in at a relatively meager (for them) #10 on the year. By many accounts, this album is their best album to date. I’ve been more attracted to their previous efforts, but I will admit this one has grown on me significantly over the months that it’s been out. Their sound is generally the same, but the band has been through a fairly significant line-up change since their last album: keyboardist/background vocalist Amy Cole left the band in 2016, to be replaced by Robin Hatch. Robin’s contribution to the band could be seen as fairly equal to Amy’s, but when I saw the band live a few months ago, I was disappointed by Hatch’s lack of dynamism on the stage.
Nils Edenloff’s songwriting continues to shine, and his voice has taken on a Tom Waits-esque strain that I worry can’t be maintained long term, lest his voice wither away completely. Drummer Paul Banwatt’s excitement behind the kit is still very much evident, and continues to be the main draw for me.
This is a great album in a sea of greats from the trio. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the band’s ability to stay around and current given their rather meager following, but I will continue to sing their praises. Someday, maybe they’ll catch on with a larger American public, but for now, I will love them as if they were my own.
11. american dream by LCD Soundsystem
12. Crack-Up by Fleet Foxes
13. Famous Last Words by The True Loves
14. Cry Cry Cry by Wolf Parade
15. Pure Comedy by Father John Misty
16. Shake the Shudder by !!!
17. La La Land (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by La La Land
18. The Underside of Power by Algiers
19. What Now by Sylvan Esso
20. 50 Song Memoir by The Magnetic Fields
21. Plunge by Fever Ray
22. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
23. Capacity by Big Thief
24. The Tourist by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
25. CCFX EP by CCFX
26. Woodstock by Portugal. The Man
27. MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent
28. On the Spot by Hot 8 Brass Band
29. A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
30. Planetarium by Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, & James McAlister
31. A Moment Apart by Odesza