Best funk and soul albums of 2017
Mascot Label Group

When you go through the radio dial in your car, you probably don't come across a lot of funk and soul. It's unfortunate that funk and soul don't get more mainstream attention because both kinds of music have a way of getting listeners in a good mood. If funk and soul are part of your musical spectrum, know that they do get some attention. These are the essential funk and soul albums from 2017.

Tanika Charles 
Soul Run
If you listen to this album without knowing when it was released, you might guess that it's a 70s album. Charles has an old-time feel in her vocals. The backing vocals are pretty reminiscent of old soul also. On top of all the great soul sounds is the fact that this is a tremendous kiss-off album with lyrics like "I've got plans and they don't include you." Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along with Charles's soulful vocals on this album.

Bone Reader
It's rare that a band can make you groove and think simultaneously. Funkadelic has always been great at it. On this album, D.C. band Chopteeth shows that it's pretty good at it too. This band combines funky melodies and rhythms (if the rhythms on this album don't get you moving, you may need to check your vital signs) with lyrics about social issues. 

Bootsy Collins 
World Wide Funk
Any year Bootsy Collins releases a new album, he could make the list of best funk albums of the year. This album features Bootsy's signature funky bass lines that will get you grooving. "Bass Rigged System" is a great example of a song to get you grooving. As great as Bootsy is, this album is made even better with guests like Musiq Soulchild, Chuck D, and Buckethead.

Crowd Company
Stone and Sky
There's just something about a female vocalist in a soul band, and this band boasts two really good vocalists in Esther D and Jo Marshall. Add in some sounds that are reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and what you have is an album that is sure to get you grooving.

If you're someone who likes unusual albums, this is one you'll probably enjoy. While it does include a lot of progressive sounds and structures (think Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention), there are plenty of funky rhythms that are sure to get you swinging your hips. 

New Day
Some funk will get you thinking. Other funk is simply party music. Flyjack is the latter. This album is full of good-time songs that will be great additions to your party playlist. With its bright horns and groovy rhythm, "Funky Fast Bump" is a particularly good song for that party playlist.

The Haggis Horns
One of These Days
The Haggis Horns delivered another album of clean guitar tones, bright horns, groovy organ parts, and rhythms that are sure to get you swaying your hips.  Whether the song sounds like a dance-floor hit or the theme to a blaxploitation film it's hard to be in a bad mood when you listen to this.

Martha High with Osaka Monaurail
Tribute to My Soul Sisters
You would expect good soul music from someone who performed with James Brown, and Martha High delivers just that in this collection of 13 great soul tunes with Japanese funk band Osaka Monaurail. This album sounds like it could have been recorded in the early 60s and it is full of bright, upbeat melodies that are sure to get you moving. 

Ross Livermore
This Is Not Forever
From the opening notes of this album, you can hear the soul in Livermore's voice whether he's singing an upbeat, hopeful song or a socially-conscious plea for us as humans to do better. With only seven songs, Livermore definitely leaves you wanting more.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong 
The chorus of the first song on the album includes the lyrics, "We put the fun in funk." It's no empty boast. This band plays some good-time tunes that are sure to put a smile on your face and some movement in your hips - especially with the funky bass lines.