Music is so wonderful. There are albums that I’m obsessed with and I’ve been listening to for over 10+ years. However, I indulge in new music every now and again. For fellow music lovers, I’ve ranked my top 10 albums of 2018.
Before we begin, let me know about your favourite albums/bops from this year in the comments. Also is there any new music coming in 2019 that you’re so excited for? I want to know, please!
10. Biosphere – “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings.”
One of my most beloved ambient electronica albums is by ‘Biosphere’. He is a Norwegian artist called Geir Jenssen. He creates incredulously atmospheric, chilling albums through sampling and loops. His album ‘Substrata‘ will always be my favourite of his, but he really delivered with his 2018 album, “The Hilvarenbeek Recordings.” It quickly became an anthem for my writing and studying this year.
If you’re looking for music to work to, I recommend any of his stuff. Other great albums include “Departed Glories,” “Patashnik,” “Substrata,” and, “Man With A Movie Camera.”
9. Scotty Sire – “Ruin Your Party.”
Viner turned YouTuber turned musician Scotty Sire surprised me this year. While there have been many attempts by YouTubers to transition to music I think Sire really pulled it off. Genuinely I was a fan of his self-deprecating humour, as the sad man in David Dobrik’s vlogs. Somehow he translated this very well to music.
Not only can he sing and rap, but he also’s a pretty decent songwriter. The best parts of his personality shine through. This is not novelty music, it harkens of real modern pop. Notable tracks that really caught my attention were:
“American Love.” – Elijah Blake & Myles Parrish.
“Take Me Away.”
“Get Better.” – The Weekend Riot.
8. Louis Cole – “Time.”
While Louis Cole is better known for his work with ‘Knower’, (and silly music videos), you can’t deny his solo musical chops. This recommendation from Le’Boo quickly became one of my favourite albums to listen to while reading or chilling out.
His groovy style and high voice is soothing in an unexpected way.
If you’re into music videos you should check out some of Cole’s they’re pretty strange, albeit attractive. Like a train wreck, you can’t look away. Notable tracks:
“When You’re Ugly.” With – Genevieve Artadi
7. Vulpeck – “Hill Climber.”
Look if you haven’t heard of Vulpeck yet… haha you thought I was going to go full hipster, didn’t you? Acting.
No seriously though yet another recommendation from my musician “I went to jazz school,” Le’Boo. I couldn’t pretend to dislike them if I tried. Their inexplicable rhythms, lyrics, and grooves actually vibrate into your organs. The resulting dancing is a side effect of their brilliance.
I’ve seen them in Dublin twice and both times came out exhausted yet elated from singing and dancing. Stand out tracks you ask? All of them. If I had to choose a couple I suppose:
“Half of the way”
“It Gets Funkier.” With – (That’s right) Louis Cole.
Also if you are a Christmas music fan, they have one of the best Christmas songs out there.
6. Fall Out Boy – “Mania.”
I’m a huge Fall Out Boy stan (that’s what the kids are saying right?). Ever since I picked up a copy of “From Under The Cork Tree,” in 2005 I’ve followed their evolution as better pop punk than Blink 182, superior lyrics to Greenday and musical chops The Ramones might raise their eyebrows at.
This is just another fantastic album, like their last and the one before that. It spawned 5 singles and all those songs were great. They appeal to my inner ansty teenager that still refuses to give up hope of becoming a rock star.
“I lived so much life I think God’s gonna have to kill me twice.”
5. Christina Aguilera – “Liberation.”
There was Britney Spears, and there was Christina Aguilera. People took sides, it was a whole big thing. In fact, some people like to compare it to the Blur / Oasis fiasco of the 1990s. It wasn’t like that. One of them had a message, the other just wanted to be a pop star.
Aguilera comes back swinging with singles like “Fall In Line” featuring Demi Lovato, soothing tunes such as “Twice,” and mooning love songs like “Unless It’s With You.”
This was a great album, arguably better than Ariana Grande’s “Sweetner” (yes I did listen to it for fairness) even though the latter did better commercially. If you want to hear some fresh Aguilera give this album a chance.
4. MGMT – “Little Dark Age.”
In 2007 I listened to “Oracular Spectacular” over and over again. I then promptly forgot all about MGMT until their album “Little Dark Age” appeared on the lists of 2018’s best albums. Right between “EVERYTHING IS LOVE” by The Carters, and “Scorpion,” by Drake I almost missed it. Thinking to myself what harm could it do, and how charming the cover was I gave it a spin.
(Well no I didn’t I don’t have a record player sadly, I just went to Spotify).
The album blew me away. The soothing tones of the ’80s incorporated with the unique vocals both harkened back to their 2007 album, yet detached from it too. A difficult task to say the least. I danced around the kitchen to “One Thing Left To Try,” like a maniac.
“Me and Michael.”
“One thing Left To Try.”
3. The Crystal Method – “The Trip Home.”
Whatever happens, do not drive while listening to this album. It will cause speeding and possible death. Electronic music is one of my fever highs and The Crystal Method have been sweet sweet providers of that for a long time.
I can’t pick out standouts. This album has a coherence that demands you listen, and you will have no choice. They have a way of grabbing you by the proverbial cojones and bringing you along on their crazy ride with them.
When the album is over, you’ll feel a mixture of fatigue, euphoria, and a little hungover.
2. A Perfect Circle – “Eat The Elephant.”
This was a gift this year I’d been waiting for since “Emotive” in 2004. Yes, that long of a hiatus. Then they came back with this gem. There was divisiveness with this album among fans, yet I loved every drop of it.
The musical side of the album has a distinctive eerieness to it (like the original Doom 3D game) coupled with precision production. It very nearly took my number one spot.
While the whole album was, in my opinion, one great song after another, “Get The Lead Out,” will be one of my favourite’s for the rest of time. I implore you to listen to that song, if not the whole album.
1. Janelle Monáe – “Dirty Computer.”
I mentioned this album earlier this year in a post about female musicians I adore which you can read here. Regarding our girl Monáe I said the following:
I stand by what I said, except listen to “American” because that song really draws the album to an almighty crashing close.
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