In years past, I always posted my top (10? 20?) records of the year sometime in December. I always loved writing up the reviews, but like various things in life that you enjoy doing, they simply get pushed aside – especially in a busy month like December with the holidays. NoCoda.org, my review website, only posted one review in 2016, along with a ranking of the best TobyMac records in 2015, and stopped being regularly updated in mid 2014.
I decided that – this year – I was going to write up my top record reviews and get them posted, and make it a priority! Somehow, I actually accomplished it, even with a 7 week old daughter at home! So, without further ado, I give you the top 18 records that I’ve heard in 2018! There are countless others that I have really been looking forward to that I’ve yet to listen to (the new Low record! The new Atmosphere record! The new Tokyo Police Club record! Dang it!), but hey – there are only so many free hours in a day.
Ok, I lied. A little further “ado”. The write-ups start tomorrow. Here is a list of 10 that are tied for 18th place, with only one-line write ups and single song recommendations, because I’m never able to whittle stuff down like this. Some are 2018 releases, while others are 2017 releases that didn’t get a proper listen until 2018. Consider this a “catch all” for records that I wanted to mention before we get to the official countdown.
One post per day until the best record of the year is revealed on New Year’s Eve!
Number 17 starts tomorrow!
Dreamcar – Dreamcar. No Doubt cuts Gwen Stefani, and puts Davey from AFI on vocals. 80s new wave rock. Phenomenal. Listen to: Kill For Candy.
Justin Courtney Pierre – In The Drink. It sounds like a slightly more pop-rock version of Motion City Soundtrack (which makes sense, seeing as he was the lead singer), which I can’t complain about. Emo pop-rock to warm your heart. Listen to: I Don’t Know Why She Ran Away.
Smoking Popes – Into The Agony. They still can’t get the girl, but they can still write pop-punk jams like nobody’s business. Listen to: When You Want Something.
Beautiful Eulogy – Worthy. It’s shameful to include such an important record in the middle of a list like this. This experimental, hip-hop worshipful experience overflows with quality. Listen To: If…
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude. Find your loved one, dim the lights, pour some wine, and hold them close while you dance the night away into the early AM hours. Listen to: Elegy.
Chelsea Wolf – Hiss Spun. Haunting and heavy, and surely makes you feel like things are moving underneath you skin. Do not find your loved one, pour any wine, or try to dance. You will fail. Listen to: The Culling.
Baptists – Beacon Of Faith. Hardcore punk done perfectly. Three records in and there are no misstep to be found. Go to a show a throw your neck out because you’re in your freaking 30s, and hate yourself the next morning. That’s my plan! Listen to: Gift Taker.
Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer. The weakest Janelle Monae record is still a winner. No one does soul / r&b / funk like this one. Listen to: Make Me Feel
Brother Ali – All The Beauty In This Whole Life. Rhymesayers Entertainment continues to bring us the best hip-hop out there. Brother Ali speaks truth. Listen To: Own Light (What Hearts Are For)
Steven Wilson – To The Bone. Was Porcupine Tree one of the most popular progressive rock bands of the 1990s / 2000s? Yes. Were they deserving of that honor? Absolutely. The brainchild continues to create and can’t be touched. Listen To: The Same Asylum As Before.