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50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

10. Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Frances Quinlan is a rare breed. Few vocalists can turn a melody in as many directions, alternating between raspy falsetto and out-of-breath shouts in a way that sounds both melodically pleasing and emotionally poignant. But we already knew that about Quinlan, thanks to 2012’s Get Disowned and 2015’s even bigger Painted Shut; this year’s masterpiece only augments her growing legend. Bark Your Head Off, Dog remains loyal to Frances’ most endearing quirks, yet expands Hop Along’s elastic bounds with more complex and refined instrumentation, elaborate texturing, and its cleanest, most inviting production to date. It’s basically – gasp! – a pop album.

Genre categorization is of little consequence with an artist like Hop Along, though, because Quinlan & co. have established themselves as one of those outfits that are always on their way to another sound. Sure, Dog reduces the volume a tad, but it retains a certain jaggedness; this acrobatic ability to bounce between musical ideas with fleeting commitment while remaining totally unified as an album. The deft balance between eclectically adrift sound-searching and tight, focused execution of every point along that path is an artform in and of itself. Quinlan weaves between raw, piano-underscored belters such as “Not Abel” and acoustically-driven, self-harmonizing classic rockers like “Look of Love”. Every song possesses its own tiny reserve of magic that slowly leaks out until you’re immersed in it, grinning ear to ear.

To say that Bark Your Head Off, Dog is Hop Along’s most “stripped-down record” would be inaccurate because it implies a reduction in the instrumental contributions or musical atmosphere. Dog is more like a single cell in which the more you break it down, the more complex it becomes. This album sounds sleeker and more cleaned-up than previous Hop Along outings, but the instrumentation is broader, the songwriting more clever, and the melodies even more addicting. This is the fulfillment of Hop Along’s potential, a target that we’re beginning to find more elusive as they continue to elevate themselves higher up on the artistic totem pole. –Sowing

9. Thou – Magus

Thou - Magus

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There’s a reason Magus has been rearing its head on lists just like this one. For Thou, it’s a brilliant exclamation point to an at times bewildering year. But instead of going on about the band’s prolificity or how weird the rest of their music was this year, I’ll leave you with this: Thou are perfect and beautiful and we should all count ourselves lucky to exist on Earth the same time as them. –Eli K.

8. Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed?

Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed?

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Nine albums and more than twenty years in, Alkaline Trio finally think to check if they’re cursed. The band have weathered two drummers leaving, two political administrations whose policies they despised, and endless vitriol from leagues of fans complaining they sold out, or lost the spark, or whatever. Befitting of any band stubborn enough to still be playing pop-punk in 2018, they’re back from the cursed years as strong as ever –- sellouts or not, there’s sure as hell a spark powering Is This Thing Cursed? Matt Skiba’s writing is as sharp as ever, whether he’s somehow flatteringly comparing a girlfriend to a spy plane on “Blackbird” or becoming the human embodiment of the angry shrug emoji re: Trump on “I Can’t Believe”. Meanwhile Dan Andriano, the better writer since Good Mourning, makes concessions to his sloppy punk roots with some hard-and-fast bangers, only returning to his normal role as a uniquely sensitive and mature balladeer on “Stay”. As ever when they work together closely, as on the year-best bridge of “Demon and Division”, the two bring out the best in one another, proving for the ninth time over that the secret ingredient of Alkaline Trio’s formula is the chemistry. –Rowan

7. Tim Hecker – Konoyo

Tim Hecker - Konoyo

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Bandcamp]

The 2010s have found Tim Hecker solidifying a new stage in his sonic philosophy; he has distinguished himself from droves of other drone-adjacent artists by yoking his songs’ structural peaks to moments captured in the flux of the recording process, with minimal obfuscation to smooth out aural quirks. This is to say that the best moments of Ravedeath, 1972, Virgins, and Love Streams feel real, like they have not been mediated by a powerful creative personality but instead exist as documents of a particular moment in time — conveying the revolution of a volume knob on a synthesizer, the clank of a drumset.

The film theorist André Bazin, though he focused on an entirely different medium and might blanch at my attempt to extend his ideas, is my forebear in this kind of thinking. Bazin posited that there existed an “ontology of the photographic image” which, through the seemingly “impersonal” process of chemical emulsion, served to deliver to its audience a depiction of reality in which conventional aesthetics could not intervene. In emphasizing rather than playing down the vicissitudes of the space and time in which it was recorded, Hecker’s 2010s output — which I see as reaching a zenith with Konoyo seems to me trenchantly “photographic” in nature, even as it siphons pleasure from the bountiful well of Hecker’s previous sonic strategies.

This album, despite apparent similarities in the recording process from his albums earlier in the decade, represents yet another distinct dot on the wildly gratifying timeline of Hecker’s musical development. A few wrinkles exist therein. Konoyo, for example, develops in an incremental, linear fashion rather than as a set of looping pieces progressing in chunks: you positively cannot zoom around Konoyo and expect to experience the thrill of the entire album (I think one could reasonably tune into, say, Virgins‘ “Prism”, tune out, and be said to have experienced something of value). Hecker also integrates elements of traditional Japanese music for the first time here, employing such instruments as the percussive uchimono and the woodwind ryuteki and hichiriki, affirming his penchant for experimentation and deepening his aural palette in one fell swoop. (The “photographic realism” I tried to describe in the first two paragraphs can also be linked, interestingly enough, to the subgenre of minimalist Japanese music called onkyo — Hecker is not one to take influence lightly or in a facile manner).

Konoyo, above all, solidifies Hecker as a preternatural talent with unimpeachable instincts; each subterranean buzz, each hit of the aforementioned uchimono, augments the sonic weave and resonates emotionally. No doubt festooned with great respect in critics’ circles and with a growing audience, this guy deserves to be recognized as no less than one of the great artists of the 21st century. A bit like his fellow Tim, Timothy Theodore Duncan, winning a fifth ring — both with a whopping 17 years under their professional belt — Konoyo miraculously finds Hecker working at the peak of his powers. Picture that. –Alex Robertson

6. Coheed and Cambria – The Unheavenly Creatures

Coheed and Cambria - The Unheavenly Creatures

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

The Unheavenly Creatures marks the awaited return to The Amory Saga, developing a new storyline that will stretch onto 5 LPs. As a result, the excitement towards this album grew considerably, since we all get to immerse ourselves into that respective universe once again. This fervor can be felt throughout the album too, as Coheed and Cambria crafted a really strong, 79-minute odyssey. The band leaned towards their progressive influences which shaped earlier releases, spitting one tight song after another. Building on familiar grounds, the powerful and melodic choruses are constantly surrounded by dynamic progressions or groovy structures. Everything is carefully crafted and refined to the last note, but designed to continuously capture your attention with catchy melodies. The Good Apollo days are well behind us; however, it’s okay to still indulge yourself in these puzzling dramas Claudio Sanchez details. The group’s enthusiasm is definitely infectious, and most importantly, they are more consistent than a large number of acts out there. –Raul Stanciu

5. Pusha T – DAYTONA

Pusha T - DAYTONA

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One could almost have thought Pusha T was content lording over his dark little corner of rap, where the only thing cleaner than the acetone wash was your belief that, yes, a line like “Leave you like Malcolm where X marks your grave” probably isn’t just your average rapper’s empty bluster. To casual fans, Pusha’s always been rap’s most effective character actor, swooping in to steal a scene or three before retreating back into the shadows to count his G.O.O.D. Music stacks. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

DAYTONA demolishes that myth without ever really trying. At only seven tracks, it lifts a middle coke nail to Hot 100 rap, no album bloat nor skits, just lean, muscular eviscerations. There were no marketing blitzes; a tour that didn’t lift off until after Pusha had satisfied his obligations overseeing the rest of G.O.O.D.’s June releases; only the nostalgic “If You Know You Know” served as a single with an obligatory video. This, too, is part of the Pusha mystique, the enigma behind the cold, effortless persona. After all, what more does one need to do when you have a product as pure as DAYTONA?

The record is a throwback both to Clipse’s heyday and to vintage Kanye, all brutal, scalpel-sharp verses paired with classic samples and unflashy beats. “See these diamonds in this watch face? / All that shit came from pressure,” goes one particularly apt line. On its own, DAYTONA is Pusha’s most focused effort: when taken in conjunction with the cement shoes Pusha tied to Drake’s feet four days after DAYTONA dropped, it became legendary. “The Story of Adidon” is a fitting climax, the knockout punch to “Infrared”‘s testing jabs. In less than a week, Pusha crashed his grimy realism onto both Billboard charts and gossip websites, finally allowing a spotlight to illuminate the ruthless economy of his life and his lyrics. Los Angeles writer Jeff Weiss said it best: “It never wound up a surgical summer because the operation was too effective on the first go-around.” Weiss was referring to “The Story of Adidon”, but I haven’t heard a better metaphor for Pusha’s 2018 yet. –klap

4. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs

Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs

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“It’s a feeling.” This deceptively simple quote comes courtesy of Ishmael “Palaceer Lazaro” Butler, one half of Shabazz Palaces, from their 2011 debut, Black Up. That line leads into a track that blooms outward into an incisive plumbing of the philosophies that drives Butler toward and through hip-hop, the way society conscripts idols and idolatry — especially those of black audiences and artists — to deliver content and profit from it. “At a tender age we learn to turn the page,” a mere verse later, “to mind the screen and stage; to see who got the glaze.” Take even a cursory glance at the narrative that surrounded a young Thebe “Earl Sweatshirt” Kgositsile (from his infamous beginnings in the collective Odd Future through his return to a cult following, which only grew in his absence attending a Samoan boarding school), and it becomes increasingly clearer why Earl invokes the song in the opening bar of his third proper album, Some Rap Songs.

A preternaturally gifted linguist burdened with unruly expectations, Earl Sweatshirt has spent the last four years underwriting his own ascent to fame, drawing distinct lines between what could be expected from his as an artist, and the actual qualities he gravitates towards. But… it’s a feeling. Those four years underwriting has come with an honest depiction of his struggles with depression, a mode he entered and emblazoned with a streak of dark humor on 2015’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. The sonics to match: dusty rattlers colored like negative photographs, a stream of words deliberately enunciated like they’re painful, a huff of bravado that slips into lapses of defiant un-sentimentality. And yet, always a sense of sadness and trepidation, a worldview shaped by reflexive humor and self-awareness. It was, as Earl promoted, closer to his artistic truth than what came before on 2013’s Doris.

On Some Rap Songs, Earl foregoes the photo-negative production in light of impressionistic sound collages, a slice-and-dice reckoning with soul samples and jazz inflections that are suffocated of both space and time. The effect feels pointed, the bedlam purposeful: a sonic representation piped directly from a troubled inner space. The lyrics and vocals follow suit: “I know I’m a king / Stock on my shoulder, I was sinking.” And yet, the cumulative effect is positively soothing. The aggrandized sonics and posturing that has subsumed a large faction of hip-hop culture is eviscerated in Earl’s hands, and the truths it presents are as much a product of the interplay of these sounds as they are the direct meaning of Earl’s raps, pared down to the barest symbolic gestures and their shortest syllables. That Earl accounts for production on ten of these 15 tracks is not just showboating, but speaks to something tangible in his songwriting, to further depict what he can’t when he won’t. To honor his fallen father and uncle, as he does on “Playing Possum” and “Riot!”, Earl remains silent; but Some Rap Songs feels it all. –Lewis P.

3. Julia Holter – Aviary

Julia Holter - Aviary

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Over the past decade, Julia Holter’s works have been leading up to Aviary, a behemoth of an album and a tour de force in artistic freedom; or to others, an exercise in self-indulgence taken to its greatest extremes. Aviary is a difficult album in a discography rife with albums that are all challenging in their own right, whether it be from the electronic-tinged Tragedy or the minimalistic art pop of Loud City Song.

Holter, for a lack of a better word, sounds absolutely at ease in the world of Aviary, whether it be in the chaotic bagpipe dronage that makes up most of “Everyday is an Emergency”, or the majestic balladry found on “Words I Heard”. Aviary is highly indulgent, almost seemingly prideful of just how diverse it is, at the cost of being a widely divisive record in a catalogue of difficult albums. No matter the cost, Aviary is, without a single doubt in my mind, Julia Holter’s masterpiece. –Aaron W.

2. Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want

Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

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I wonder when Daughters lost their sense of humour. Hell Songs had a song called “The Fuck Whisperer”. Their self-titled had songs that played like parodies of blues rock. And this? Well, You Won’t Get What You Want‘s first lyric is “The city is an empty glass,” and Alexis Marshall sounds equally as hollow singing it. This is a record writhing in that realm that sits just past the point of no return.

Normally when a person or an entity gives up, resigns, there is an acceptance and then a sense of calm. Daughters, cut from a misanthropic cloth, obstinately refuse this trajectory sheerly — one would assume — out of spite. The band spend the duration of this record lodged in between two diametric states: resigning to the state of the world, and attempting to warp and corrupt it with their own brand of negative, hateful energy. To contextualise it in the Daughters canon, they’ve made it out of their own little corner, only to be backed into another one.

As a result, You Won’t Get What You Want marks the transition from absurdism to stark reality, or perhaps merges the two until they’re indistinguishable, synchronous. “Less Sex”‘s buttery smooth bassline blends so effectively with the seething, astringent guitars that it comes full circle, signifying a sense of purpose that Daughters have accrued in the long interim between albums; this coming from a band who once wreaked chaos for the sake of chaos. Now they’re creating it to combat the havoc which is inherent in the world around them. This considered, it’s appropriate that the record has pushed Daughters into the broader social consciousness (exemplified by its position here); it feels very 2018, like it’s a collage of every “What the fuck is going on?!” uttered throughout the year as we watched social and partisan and cultural institutions fall into disarray. In short, it’s the quintessential reactionary album, and it feels necessary because The Shit Very Hitting the Fan is the only thing that could’ve snapped Daughters out of 1) hiatus and 2) their absurdist, high-as-a-kite aesthetic. This feels trite, and I haven’t read much vis-à-vis this album so forgive me if it actually is: with this record, You Won’t Get What You Want, but you will absolutely, unequivocally get what you need. –verdant

1. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

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“The image is that of a world which presents itself to me, in any individual case, in accordance with the concepts and categories that I employ: the world of an energetic and brave man is a different world from the world of a passive and cowardly one – literally different.” –Isaiah Berlin

Golden Hour is an image of the world, its coordinates and contours bound by the imperatives of a soul whose kindness seemingly knows no bounds. It is, in this sense, the polar opposite of the album it beat out for the top spot on this list; where Daughters open their dark masterwork with the mantra “This city is an empty glass,” Kacey Musgraves gently pours water into the glass and passes it on to her audience to sip therefrom. The crown jewel in a sterling discography, Golden Hour feels like therapy, like church: we as listeners gather to participate in a communal practice of total honesty, and we exit the experience feeling renewed. This feeling of renewal is linked inextricably to Musgraves’ commitment to a seemingly unattainable philosophy, one which contends that benevolence and honesty are the same thing — the world of which Golden Hour is an image is fundamentally a good place, and her music is suffused with the fruits of this outlook.

Kacey Musgraves’ Keatsian belief that beauty is truth and truth beauty notwithstanding, Golden Hour takes on a pleasing, becalming shape no matter how far you zoom outward or inward. From the celestial strumming of opener “Slow Burn” all the way through to the clear-eyed piano of closer “Rainbow”, this is an astonishingly gorgeous album, replete with harmonious sonic details that bear out Musgraves’ ebullient musical personality. Too glossy or, yuck, “Disneyfied” for those who prefer their melodic schema raw and wholly unprocessed, Golden Hour repeatedly demonstrates the indelible pleasures of what we can broadly call “pop” music. Aesthetic and emotional gratification flows from this album like honey; on every single track, the form (how everything sounds) is matched seamlessly with the function (imparting to us listeners Musgraves’ idealism and allowing us to inhabit her dazzling world). When “Butterflies” comes around and I hear her voice, fed through a perfectly modulated vocoder, sing the affirmation “Now I remember what it feels like to fly,” I feel like I can fly, like I have butterflies, like I am in love. “Oh, What A World” makes me never want to leave it; “Mother” makes me want to call mine. I could go on.

On particular days, in the wake of particular listening sessions, the affective power of Golden Hour seems like it exceeds the boundaries of music itself, as if it were a purer manifestation of love and hope than could be explicated by the scrutiny of aesthetic qualities. This impression, of course, is an illusion, and the album’s virtues are rooted firmly in the particulars of the ethereal sound which Musgraves so deftly navigates. Yet the feeling that Golden Hour is not an album nor an artistic document but some sort of fellow consciousness remains a powerful one, finessed by an artist who wants nothing less than to transform the world and our relationship to it through the power of art. All this without a hint of political agitation or social commentary; Musgraves instead opts to lean into her latent Romanticism — her belief that music can deliver to us a new version of ourselves and therefore of the Earth we inhabit — and call forth us citizens of this wonderful environment to witness slack-jawed the setting of the sun, the formation of a rainbow. The greatest album of the year dares to communicate the wonder that exists within and without us forever and ever Amen. –Alex Robertson

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List of participating writers (alphabetical order): 204409, Arcade, Atari, AtomicWaste, Correction, Frippertronics, Gameofmetal, Greg., insomniac15, Jom, klap, manosg, mynameischan, plane, robertsona, robin, Rowan5215, ScuroFantasma, SowingSeason, TalonsOfFire, theacademy, Trebor., verdant, Voivod, Willie, Xenophanes





mynameischan
12.21.18
ultimately a very surprising top 10

but i like it

Xenophanes
12.21.18
Great work to all involved. A pleasure as always.

klap
12.21.18
#blessed

luci
12.21.18
you're my golden houuuuurrrrrrrrrrrr

plane
12.21.18
Just wanna comment with my fellow writers. Great work this year. 8)

Ryus
12.21.18
honestly better than i thought it would be

Chortles
12.21.18
Holter up at number 3 is what it's all about. great write-ups all around fellas

mynameischan
12.21.18
the kacey and earl blurbs are 2 die 4

Nazzadan
12.21.18
lmao

SowingSeason
12.21.18
Never thought I'd be okay with a country album winning this list, but Kacey deserves it. Outstanding effort by all the writers, and also by Willie (artwork) and Jom (editing), whose efforts are invisible to most of the userbase but hold the entire operation together. Cheers!

Relinquished
12.21.18
awesome that Thou made it

lol Coheed

Xenophanes
12.21.18
Probably the most fun, unique, and well written list I’ve taken part in during my seven-years.

DungeonBoy
12.21.18
Where's the metal? Also y'all got Horrendous at 47, that's crazy. But thanks for being staff!

theBoneyKing
12.21.18
Wew lad

ZombieToyDuck
12.21.18
my number 2 aligned with this, nice

onionbubs
12.21.18
holy fuck alkaline is actually in the top 10

Toondude10
12.21.18
C&C is a surprised 0_o

Slinkinlip
12.21.18
Arbiter not making the list at all is surprising

Demon of the Fall
12.21.18
Great work guys!

On a personal level this makes for a borderline horrendous top 10, a bunch of 2-3s & a couple that I didn’t think warranted checking. Alkaline Trio are good now, what?

JS19
12.21.18
Ew who let Coheed join this party gross.

That Hecker write up is beautiful

DungeonBoy
12.21.18
The new Alkaline Trio is the best album they've ever written. It belongs in the top 10

JS19
12.21.18
Run run run run like a son of a gunman

Demon of the Fall
12.21.18
The Hecker one is really good so there’s that!

laughingman22
12.21.18
Golden hour at #1? I can dig it

hesperus
12.21.18
aw fuck yeah, Thou in the top 10. "Thou are perfect and beautiful and we should all count ourselves lucky to exist on Earth the same time as them." couldn't have said it better myself, Eli.

fuckin fantastic job with these write-ups, everyone

brainmelter
12.21.18
;_;

luci
12.21.18
robertsona killed it with the write-ups, as did the lot of you. superb work

aaronrkc
12.21.18
Lol Coheed [2]

Sinternet
12.21.18
lmao another year another awful staff list

ChaoticVortex
12.21.18
Coheed at #6.

R.I.P. this comment section.

Xenophanes
12.21.18
As much I personally didn’t care for Coheed or Alkaline Trio showing up here. It makes this list one of a kind which is a good conciliation

brainmelter
12.21.18
Olbliteration not making the cut is surprising. but I just noticed jac didn’t participate, makes sense

mynameischan
12.21.18
what's really surprising is coheed is in the top 10 yet i didn't vote for it. if this was like 2007 coheed would be my number 1

Xenophanes
12.21.18
Would not have mattered because no one else voted for that boring album

Atari
12.21.18
Obliteration isn’t even top 5 DM of the year

Sinternet
12.21.18
staff are out of touch oldies we need more youth in this site

Xenophanes
12.21.18
The only Obliteration on this list was Kaceys vote count compared to the rest. Not even close.

DungeonBoy
12.21.18
I need to give Obliteration some more spins, but it didn't wow me in the way Black Death Horizon did. I'm a big fan of them, and OSDM in general, but it didn't make my top 10 either

Gyromania
12.21.18
damn, alex went all out on is blurbs. rly good stuff.

happy kacey got aoty, very well deserved

ProjectFreak
12.21.18
I cannot fathom why people prefer Kacey to Brandi, if we're sticking to country specifically, but this was a great writeup regardless

BlazinBlitzer
12.21.18
Great write-ups! Kids See Ghosts got ghosted it seems.

insomniac15
12.21.18
Many people guessed a fair number of LPs in the top 10, so most of it shouldn't come off as a surprise. Anyway, great job everyone!

Gyromania
12.21.18
naw, kids see ghosts had no business on this list imo

plane
12.21.18
Alex's Golden Hour blurb will go down as one of the best defenses for its inclusion on EOTY lists. Absolutely stunning.

SowingSeason
12.21.18
yeah that's among my favorite blurbs ever, really well done Alex

BrushedRed
12.21.18
Outside of #2 and #9, this is quite disappointing.

PostMesmeric
12.21.18
I was really hoping Daughters would grab that top spot. Still, I can't say I didn't appreciate the surprises on this year's list. Great work, staff.

botb
12.21.18
Good write ups as usual but as far as the choices go... big oof

Demon of the Fall
12.21.18
I’m definitely not salty about Obliteration being excluded... Horrendous, Hooded Menace & Tomb Mold were all superior. I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. In fact I got just as much enjoyment out of the Kasey album & that’s not even really ‘my thing’.

luci
12.21.18
I’ll take the “quirk” of coheed and alkaline in the top 10 over yet another thrice spot. thank you, next

nolerthebowler
12.21.18
Maybe I should check Kacey more.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
I skimmed the first few tracks from 1 and kinda wrote it off what am I missing

nolerthebowler
12.21.18
^^^ that’s exactly how I felt the first time I heard it. But maybe I’ll give it a full listen and see where it takes me

PistolPete
12.21.18
I knew Coheed would make it. But Kacey as #1, didn't see that.

Keyblade
12.21.18
"Holter up at number 3 is what it's all about. great write-ups all around fellas"

didn't she get top spot in 2013 or am i not remembering that right

robertsona
12.21.18
thank you for the kind words. this staff list was great fun to work on and it turned out awesome IMO

nolerthebowler
12.21.18
I like to think Space Cowboy is a reference to cowboy bebop

MarsKid
12.21.18
I forgot #1 existed but there you have it. Guess my Obliteration call was off after all.

theacademy
12.21.18
https://youtu.be/OzeQMs3B4c0

RogueNine
12.21.18
Loud City Song was indeed the #1 in 2013.

Dylan620
12.21.18
Welp guess I have to finally check Golden Hour, and revisit Magus, Aviary, and Konoyo while I'm at it

Glad (though unsurprised) to see Hop Along make the top 10, and the Daughters album is great too

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
good trolling sowing m/

SowingSeason
12.21.18
I tried. You were one of the few who even noticed :-)

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
204409 still participates but couldn't influence hopesfall into the top 50? how felonious.

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
Ahaha Coheed at 6 has made my day. 1 at 1 is an awkward fit, but I guess it's an album that everyone can enjoy to some degree

plane
12.21.18
Musgraves won by nearly 1,000 points. The woman dominated.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
Therefrom

Snake.
12.21.18
that annoying guy at the duster show must work for staff on sputnikmusic why else would km be at #1

brainmelter
12.21.18
8, 6, and 1 are the most bewildering here for me but cool list guys. I’m just happy that hop along and Julia made top 10, I feel a sense of relief knowing that brockhampton and the ocean weren’t included tbh

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
That write-up makes me want to 1 it

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
1 deserves to be 1. 1,000 points victory over Daughters is also deserved.

As Coheed and Cambria champion I appreciate their high ranking but would not have cared if they were left out of the top 50. Too much good music this year.

Gyromania
12.21.18
hopesfall not being on this list is a good thing imo

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
you don't know enough about good things to be objective about taste, or even subjectively to be honest.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
Alex writes like he went to university for yoga studies and lives on a cultish communist hippy farm where he imparts celestial knowledge to the hive-mind of his ever-children and it gives me acid reflux

Gyromania
12.21.18
'be objective about taste'

plane
12.21.18
Damn Pots, don't be an ass

SowingSeason
12.21.18
There's a lot of money to be made in yoga studies, and besides, his blurb gave me an out-of-body experience.

theacademy
12.21.18
also that accurately describes where he went to college

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
I just want some of that kool-aid

Snake.
12.21.18
"Alex writes like he went to university for yoga studies and lives on a cultish communist hippy farm where he imparts celestial knowledge to the hive-mind of his ever-children and it gives me acid reflux"

sounds fun actually

too bad i'd utilize those writing skills into bottling up my feelings for a better album that wasn't hyped to shit for fuck all

SowingSeason
12.21.18
the whole staff is high about 90% of the time, so

WatchItExplode
12.21.18
forever and ever Amen

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
What exactly do you guys smoke and will it make me smarterer if I obtain some?

Demon of the Fall
12.21.18
@LordePots: why did you make me read it?! Yeah the opening sentence in the final paragraph (in particular) is a slightly grating read. No offence Alex, just personal preference.

SowingSeason
12.21.18
"What exactly do you guys smoke and will it make me smarterer if I obtain some?"
We smoke rolled up yoga pants

WatchItExplode
12.21.18
One of us! One of us!

thedoom
12.21.18
What‘s up with The Ocean not making the top 50 though.

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
"Yet the feeling that Golden Hour is not an album nor an artistic document but some sort of fellow consciousness remains a powerful one, finessed by an artist who wants nothing less than to transform the world and our relationship to it through the power of art."

This literally translates into "Kacey Musgraves is a sentient who wrote autobiographical music and wanted to make people happy."

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
*sentient human being

Chortles
12.21.18
what is ur point

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
Not hating on anything here, just a little miffed at how suitable the tone and register of that write-up is given the style and content of the album, but I guess that comes down to personal preference etcetc

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
He's a good writer and I'm mostly giving him the wind, but his word choices are sometimes so over-the-top and deliberately gaudy that that it's hard to take seriously that's all. Like it's an album, not a spiritual metamorphosis come on.

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
^excactly

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
Lovin u rn sowing

MarsKid
12.21.18
A fairly average album, at that.

Snake.
12.21.18
robertson would've made a perfect sales associate at your local lush cosmetics tbh

SowingSeason
12.21.18
I don't resent your point at all (of course I'm not the writer), but my defense - as a hyperbolic staffer in my own right - is that if you can't wax poetic and get swept up in the music to the point of it meaning more than "an album", then you're not enjoying music to the fullest. Of course, on a practical level, you're not wrong.

robertsona
12.21.18
I can take it! I can see how you would think the writing is over the top. Always trying to make my writing a little less flowery so I want the constructive feedback...I guess it was hard for me to let that dovetail with Golden Hour in particular, where I felt so emotionally affected by the work that I wanted to go above and beyond. There may be some collateral damage there

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
Sowing, I respect that logic and reviews written with it as a basis, but would you agree that staff/other proficiently written reviews on this site and in general tend either to swing towards informed sensationalism (in your line) or rationalised demystification (in a more technical/crtitical line)?

WatchItExplode
12.21.18
The sput melodrama spawned from the staff and user lists will sustain me till spring : )

MarsKid
12.21.18
1. Staff are biased omg
2. Metal sucks/indie sucks
3. Wow pretentious so stupid

There's the thread

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
"There may be some collateral damage there"

Sounds like you need to listen to some emotionally soothing and healing music. Might I suggest Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves?

Trifolium
12.21.18
Didn't like 1 at all, sadly, her voice was way too Beaaaauuutyyyyy aaaaand the beeeeeeeast- Hermione-esque for me.

Darius the Great
12.21.18
some unexpected picks that i didn't expect to be in the top ten though

SowingSeason
12.21.18
@johnny, it's a mix of both depending on the writer...I think there's a very good balance of rationalization and emotion in the site's reviews in general...if you're merely asking if they tend to swing ~one way or the other~ then yes, because those are pretty much the two primary styles of reviewing.

luci
12.21.18
what if dj healer is a kacey musgraves alias? *thinking*

ProjectFreak
12.21.18
why are we grumbling about Alex's beautiful rumbling when we could be grumbling about the fact that mewithoutYou is somehow ranked below Coheed

SowingSeason
12.21.18
^^^
good perspective

ProjectFreak
12.21.18
beautiful writing ** haha

Chortles
12.21.18
"what if dj healer is a kacey musgraves alias? *thinking*"

Princess of Denmark, Texas

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
@Sowing as a follow-up (and I guess the main reason I'm asking), would you agree that it is especially important to maintain a rationalised approach when it is especially tempting to write emotionally (without foregoing the latter, ofc), so as to afford credibility to any affinities with hype or mass consensus? Agreed that this site generally strikes a decent balance.

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
"why are we grumbling about Alex's beautiful rumbling when we could be grumbling about the fact that mewithoutYou is somehow ranked below Coheed"

Aha, can get on board with this

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
@sowing I agree with that to an extent... music that you connect with should be able to emotionally or spiritually elevate your experience beyond "just an album" but on the other hand I think when the point of reviewing is to convince others who don't yet share that attachment it can have a counterproductive effect to... over-wax lol. For people already stanning that shit it might be cathartic but to those unfamiliar it might come across a little agonizing.

@sona if i had fallen in love with the album the way you have before reading your blurb my perspective may very well be entirely different and to be fair if I COULD write that way about the albums that I feel similarly about, I probably would, and probably wouldn't be able to edit myself down either. Self-editing is hard.

plane
12.21.18
I will always appreciate flowery writing, because word choice can be every bit as important as meaning. Just like the little details that take an album like Golden Hour from good to capital-G Great, how you communicate an idea and the passion it instills can come through with diction. Were he just saying “this is beautiful” in so many words, or in so many thesauruses, then maybe knocking it would be appropriate. But Alex is directly intuiting the Effect of the album, how it came together for so many people, and for himself.

There’s a reason some of us on staff have avoided falling into the trap of cynicism.

cfbassist
12.21.18
Amazed no hopes fall or haken in top 50. Rest of the list is pretty good as far as the albums I recognize go.

mynameischan
12.21.18
i just like catchy music so that's why i enjoy kacey musgraves

TalonsOfFire
12.21.18
I didn't vote for or listen to any of these 10 albums but great write-ups anyways. Maybe I'll give some of these a shot.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
I guess ideally writing about music should strike a delicate balance between being convincing to the unconvinced and cathartic to the bewitched

Storm In A Teacup
12.21.18
i really don't understand how coheed could be in the top 10. the hype was 5/5 but the delivery was a 4 at best. :-/

JohnnyoftheWell
12.21.18
"I guess ideally writing about music should strike a delicate balance between being convincing to the unconvinced and cathartic to the bewitched"

Now that's an instance of word choice I can get behind


brainmelter
12.21.18
how is coheed above a lot of things

ZombieToyDuck
12.21.18
I find it ironic a wildly experimental album got beat out by a country album

luci
12.21.18
so holter nabbed #1, #6 and #3 with her albums this decade. queen of sputnik?

robertsona
12.21.18
I think the difference between a writeup for the purpose of “reviewing” an album and writing something for a best-of list makes sense to invoke, albeit that doesn’t change if my language is overly flowery or dense or whatnot

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
@plane well i offer you my suspension of disbelief while i prep for my Golden Hour OBE

Darius the Great
12.21.18
yeah didn't expect 3 to be that high maybe like in the 40s somewhere

also is 1 like americana country

brainmelter
12.21.18
Yeah I noticed that too, Holter is queeeen

Snake.
12.21.18
y'all single-handedly made golden hour a meme by putting it at #1

SandwichBubble
12.21.18
"the affective power of Golden Hour seems like it exceeds the boundaries of music itself"
How much did MCA Nashville pay you guys to put Kacey Musgraves at number 1?

plane
12.21.18
I find that a lot of these other lists from pubs write the top spots as if the quality of the album is self-evident and they just end up describing what it does/is about. Whereas blurbs like Alex’ directly speak and give voice to the intangible thing that makes certain albums or artists more-than. Like yes, Chan liking Musgraves for being good and catchy is every bit as valid as Alex’s reading, but to make concessions to audiences seemingly primed to disparage top slots their due is the opposite of why I write & am passionate about music. This isn’t 2017 The National as the low-hanging unifying thread between a bunch of lists, but a real important presence on 15 of 26 submissions. Throw me some flowers tbh

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
sona, yeah i suppose so, in the end this is more of a reflection on why these albums made their way to the top so the context might forgive a little extra spectacle

Artuma
12.21.18
daughters at 2. i approve

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
I get your point Plane and it's valid and appreciated but all teasing aside I'd dare say that I'm probably not the only one who would rather be handed a tasteful bouquet rather than having a fistful of flowers thrown in my face ;]

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
sans flower metaphors, matter of preference

theacademy
12.21.18
its 2018 and people have finally noticed robertsona's flowery writing style

theacademy
12.21.18
finally

budgie
12.21.18
wow no night flowers

i'm quitting this horrible website

Sniff
12.21.18
See y'all again next year for the 2019 staff list

luci
12.21.18
someone's optimistic about the site's prospects

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
@acad have I opened a can of worms???

bgillesp
12.21.18
It looks like Rowan is the only one who rated Coheed over a 4.0, so how is it ranked so high?

Flugmorph
12.21.18
of course there is no place for the ocean love at the staff office smh

Trebor.
12.21.18
great work everybody


hesperus
12.21.18
y'all in the comments think Disney paid off critics to pan Batman v Superman and praise The Last Jedi, don't you?

plane
12.21.18
irt C&C, it placed on enough lists to induce a multiplier that helps push albums that appear more but might be placed lower on respective lists. It did appear in a few top 10s though.

BlackTaxi2d
12.21.18
looks like the year that I fully removed myself from sputniks tastes. yuck

Trebor.
12.21.18
we sure will miss you random user I've never heard of

Xenophanes
12.21.18
Hahahaha

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.21.18
@hesp tbf certain studios have the leverage to very heavily incentivize critical praise. Reviewers arent often quick to blacklist themselves from early screenings for the studios with the biggest, most frequent buck. Disney/marvel being the ultimate example. So in general, paid off? No. Given incentive to not write bad things? Heck ya

plane
12.21.18
I think certain publications are just literally owned by the same magnates as the studios, which is where that kind of stuff plays out. The reviews become PR spreads

theacademy
12.21.18
xeno wrote a 4.0 review for coheed lol

theacademy
12.21.18
(the third staffer to give it a 4.0)

Jasdevi087
12.21.18
1 is like if debut era Taylor Swift was kinda good

SharkTooth
12.21.18
Idles should have been in the top 10 imo

Lucman
12.21.18
Some real good stuff and some eh. I don't quite get the Kacey Musgraves love.

SharkTooth
12.21.18
Also I am completely outraged by the fact that Sleep is not anywhere here

rabidfish
12.22.18
10 is 1
3 is 2
1 is not it, chief

StreetlightRock
12.22.18
Well done lads! (And lasses?)

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.22.18
I'm still tryna figure out how Blood Orange isnt here

BlushfulHippocrene
12.22.18
Lists like these will always be reflective of where the hyper-specific quirks of the staffbase intersect, and that'll never not be interesting to see, regardless of how the selections turn out. I appreciate its oddities for the mere fact that it makes things feel far less doctored than most "publications'" year-end lists do. Also, this is some fantastic writing. Wasn't feeling Alex's write-up at first, but on second glance I think it's overwrought and airy in the best and most thoughtful and most befitting of ways -- toes the line between an acknowledgment of the ~transcendant~ quality (magic) of art and also an acknowledgment of those pretensions in such a good and effective way. In other words, this is lame but good job, fellas, this is one of the best staff lists I've read in a while.

SowingSeason
12.22.18
@streetlight: just lads, for now. hopefully adding some lasses soon.

nolerthebowler
12.22.18
1 being 1 is definitely a head scratcher. Even when it was just coming out I thought that album was anti-Sputnik lol. It’s an enjoyable album tho fr just.... very Texan.

hesperus
12.22.18
nail on the head, Blushful

Xenophanes
12.22.18
“xeno wrote a 4.0 review for coheed lol“
Album is a three but I wanted to be the third 4.0 review lmbo

jmh886
12.22.18
pusha t in the top ten? and no hopesfall in the top 50? i'm calling shenanigans. other than that, enjoyable list.

theacademy
12.22.18
haha im just trollin :)

Rowan5215
12.22.18
Coheed n Alkaline making the top 10 feels like a concession to my incredibly basic and nostalgic music taste and that makes me very happy

btw who are Daughters

SowingSeason
12.22.18
I dunno some shitty Swans knock off

JesusCage
12.22.18
No Ben Howard on top 50 was the only shock to me. That, and no thrice on the top 5.
Great list anyway, and thanks for the findings i'll surely do

onionbubs
12.22.18
yea but they actually are

onionbubs
12.22.18
hey sowing is this finally gonna make you give alk3 an honest go

JesusCage
12.22.18
No Ben Howard on top 50 was the only shock to me. That, and no thrice on the top 5.
Great list anyway, and thanks for the findings i'll surely make on this list.

Tyler.
12.22.18
this certainly is a list

Trebor.
12.22.18
After seeing this I was all like who is ben howard but then I looked him up on here and apparently I gave his last album a 3.5

Winesburgohio
12.22.18
knew x would be here, aggrieved at the unforgivable omission of y, absolutely stoked that someone likes z as much i do,

Storm In A Teacup
12.22.18
"Coheed n Alkaline making the top 10 feels like a concession to my incredibly basic and nostalgic music taste and that makes me very happy"

you liking those albums is more redeeming considering some of your other questionable taste

Rowan5215
12.22.18
I don't think anyone on staff honestly remembered there was a Thrice album this year. completely slipped my mind lmao

"you liking those albums is more redeeming considering some of your other questionable taste"

I don't even know if this is supposed to insult me or not... fuck you/thanks???

Winesburgohio
12.22.18
see alkaline here made me grin so much considering i'm lukewarm towards it. it's just so... sputnik. god bless what's always at least a unique, representative end of year list. also alex fuark your write-up for Konoyo is exquisite and convincing and the Musgraves one is beautiful. spectacular work.

Storm In A Teacup
12.22.18
"fuck you/thanks"

oh gosh lol. welcome

onionbubs
12.22.18
new thrice is really not good

mynameischan
12.22.18
sowing and academy put thrice on their lists i think but no one else

cuz it sucked

Cryio
12.22.18
Ultimately, a sad year when both Thrice and Between the Buried and Me release albums, neither good enough (they really weren't) to crack Top 50. Sigh.

BeyondCosby
12.22.18
I honestly didn't expect to see Coheed on the list, esp. not that high.

SowingSeason
12.22.18
I liked the Thrice album a lot and originally had it on my list but did a last minute switch. It just hasn't aged well (and obviously many would argue it was not good to begin with).

Divaman
12.22.18
Just goes to show that thanks to this newfangled interweb thingy, there's so much music available that everybody's year of music is very different from everybody else's. Haven't heard any of these.

Nocte
12.22.18
What Blush said but [3]

greg84
12.22.18
"Idles should have been in the top 10 imo"

Idles should be 1 tbh lol

Dewinged
12.22.18
Whoa, no Ben Howard and Kacey takes the #1! Surprising top 10 tbh but top notch write ups people, amazing job.

Firedust
12.22.18
First top 10 rule hard. Thank fuck there's no indie shit in here.

Papa Universe
12.22.18
Okay, in the past years there were more-or-less clear AOTY pretenders, but this year it was really, really scattered around. Perhaps that somewhat helps me rationalise the placement of Kacey on the first spot, even though it is headed directly towards my list of the worst albums.

Lucman
12.22.18
It's a really, really well-written list but yeah, Kacey over Daughters is a little sad to see. It's a pleasant but completely unmemorable record.

SowingSeason
12.22.18
Daughters is way less memorable lmao. I can't say that Kacey has more going on instrumentally/structurally or anything (she obv doesn't), but I don't think the argument to make is that Daughters is more memorable that Musgraves.

luci
12.22.18
Daughters is a little sad to see. It's a pleasant but completely unmemorable record.

MarsKid
12.22.18
I'll make that argument Sowing lmao. Musgraves was basic country/pop that drifted in and out of consciousness. If not for this list I wouldn't have remembered it even came out this year. Each entry on You Won't Get... has its own personality and feel to it that contributes to the greater whole, while Golden Hour is just a mass of uninspired tunes. But I suppose they're "happy," which gives them a pass?

luci
12.22.18
I get not liking Musgraves but idk how you can listen to that collection of songs and think it's "uninspired." It brims with artistic purpose.

onionbubs
12.22.18
guess i should listen to musgraves to see how it compares but daughters was a fucking mess

MarsKid
12.22.18
And you're welcome to disagree. I just thing it's silly to say that they're on such different levels when Daughters is certainly a memorable experience. Claiming otherwise doesn't make much sense to me.

theacademy
12.22.18
for the record i have over a thousand kacey plays and i actually think is this thing cursed is a bigger and more genuine triumph *bolts out of the room*

MarsKid
12.22.18
Oh sweet, is it the hot take hour?

onionbubs
12.22.18
shouldnt be a hot take that is this thing cursed is a bigger and more genuine triumph than like, any album ever

MarsKid
12.22.18
I never got in to Alk3 so I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but I got a feeling there'll be disagreement over that. Seems like a nice comeback album though if nothing else, which is always entertaining to witness.

theacademy
12.22.18
https://youtu.be/4BUOQPLytEw

onionbubs
12.22.18
yea i understand how if you arent me you wont feel that way lol

danielito19
12.22.18
has this list ever been good

MarsKid
12.22.18
I got a feeling when it comes to comeback albums Storm might want to have a word

onionbubs
12.22.18
hes right about hopesfall yea

theacademy
12.22.18
and atreyu

MarsKid
12.22.18
NOW we're hot takin'

cheapcrayon
12.22.18
Golden Hour is the most overrated album of the year. I like Kacey, but seriously most of the songs on that album are either very generic or just not good. It has some good ones too but her album before that one, Pageant Material, is wayyy better in every way. So much more personality on it too.

cheapcrayon
12.22.18
Tierra Whack and Kids See Ghosts should really be here. Story So Far, too.

Gyromania
12.22.18
the bookends on the daughters album are two of my favourite songs of the year, but everything in-between blends together and nothing in particular grabs me as hard

ProjectFreak
12.22.18
"Golden Hour is the most overrated album of the year."

that's Be the Cowboy, my friend

Snake.
12.22.18
>Golden Hour is the most overrated album of the year
>Story So Far should really be here

lol

cheapcrayon
12.22.18
Yeah I know “LOL pop punk sucks!” but seriously if Wonder Years new album can be on one of these lists than so can the new Story So Far. TSSF had a way better album than Wonder Years this year.

Snake.
12.22.18
saying that the new TSSF is better than sister cities is among the top 5 worst takes from this year

FearThyEvil
12.22.18
Really shocked by number 1 but I like this staff list overall a lot but I can't stand seeing 6 so high up.

cheapcrayon
12.22.18
not really. tons of people love Proper Dose. I’ve heard way more people talk about it in a positive way this year than Sister Cities. I think Wonder Years in general are pretty meh besides Greatest Generation, so eh, to each their own.

Snake.
12.22.18
saying that the new TSSF is better than sister cities is among the top 5 worst takes from this year [∞]

TheLongShot
12.22.18
oh shit I have the claim of being the first to review the 2018 Sput #1 album

Snake.
12.22.18
in all honesty i'm really glad that parker is clean again and that he's probably no longer a shitty person but i literally cannot remember the second half of proper dose no matter what

neekafat
12.22.18
Other than 10 this is really trash
Ben Howard is 1 obvs

cheapcrayon
12.22.18
I really like some stuff on second half. Light Year, If I Fall are both great. Line/Growing On You and Take Me As you Please are the only songs on it I think are just ok. Everything else is a total banger though.

Skoop
12.22.18
Sister Cities is actual trash for people who want to be able to experience emotional catharsis every time someone gives them a weird look in a fucking Kroger aisle

Snake.
12.22.18
lol the melodrama argument is kinda dumb and you should be shamed for using it bc that can literally be applied literally any album that has shown emotion ever

Snake.
12.22.18
imagine listening to bjork and being like "lmao why is this dumb bitch always crying just get over it lol"

neekafat
12.22.18
1 is way better than 2 yeah that's one of the few things I agree with here

Skoop
12.22.18
That's absolute nonsense and u know it. The interpretation of said emotion is where an album can become effective or egregious and on sister cities it is the latter.

onionbubs
12.22.18
yea but sister cities doesn’t put you to sleep the way proper dose does

Skoop
12.22.18
Definitely not going to defend that one either.

Trebor.
12.23.18
plz don't talk about garbage tier bands like wonder years and story so far in my top ten plz

MarsKid
12.23.18
Not like Tiny Moving Parts did any better

onionbubs
12.23.18
new tmp shreds so hard tho

cheapcrayon
12.23.18
new Tiny Moving Parts rules too

theacademy
12.23.18
omg the last bunch of comments are so fucking fire... i literally lol'd at the kroger aisle line +1

OldCrime
12.23.18
Lol

nightbringer
12.23.18
Really cannot see anything special in the Kacey Musgraves album. Brendi Carlile is so much better.

But anyway, always enjoy the staff lists. Even if I don't visit Doug for the whole year I check in for the list.

nightbringer
12.23.18
Uh, so somehow "the site" was auto corrected to Doug? Need to turn auto correct off on this new phone...

MarsKid
12.23.18
Petition to change this site to dougnik tbh

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
LMAO...I fuckin hate the way this top ten is made. Example: It hurts me as hell to see alkaline trio one spot ahead Thou like if someone os saying "I listened to both and alkaline trio is a litle better"

mynameischan
12.23.18
Lol it's a ranked consensus list, that is how it was made. So your scenario didn't happen

verdant
12.23.18
hy-pathetic-al

luci
12.23.18
i listened to both and alkaline trio is a little better.

Gyromania
12.23.18
yeah, thou didn't have a lot of lasting value, for me. much prefer heathen and most of their old stuff right now.

LunaticSoul
12.23.18
jesus this site is so american to put kacey musgraves on a top 50 list at the top spot

it's ok background music not the fucking pinnacle of the year, hope you got a fat pay day so you can fix this decaying 2004 styled forum

Gyromania
12.23.18
Stfu

Pangea
12.23.18
great list. i haven't heard a lot this year. i'll make sure to listen to these

excellent write-ups as well

Pangea
12.23.18
i enjoyed golden hour but wasn't in love with it. i'll give it another chance though

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Lool glad to know your 1 is consensual (buuuuh). Just downloaded it to check it out wih my giiirl (you pussies x)) I was happy with the rest of the rank. Its just when things head up to top rank somethings grind my gears. Btw alkaline is so brand meh average stuff

mynameischan
12.23.18
"it's ok background music not the fucking pinnacle of the year, hope you got a fat pay day so you can fix this decaying 2004 styled forum"

sure wish we got paid for this

MarsKid
12.23.18
It's fair to disagree with this list, but by the end of the day it's the collective opinion of the staff, not a universal law. I highly doubt sputnikmusic.com of all places (no offense) is getting paid off.

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Sure they don t but its a bit sad so much music all around the world, all people trying to be eclectic and learn with music and the #1 pick is most American commercial pop thing around. I know I'm newbie but feel I must recal of the purpose of this site: "Sputnikmusic is a premier source for music reviews and music news, covering the best albums in indie, metal, and punk."

onionbubs
12.23.18
"Btw alkaline is so brand meh average stuff"

lol

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Yap "lol" my time with blink182 shit is done 10 years ago

mynameischan
12.23.18
mx wrote that tagline like 13 years ago lol

onionbubs
12.23.18
"my time with blink182 shit is done 10 years ago"

i feel bad for you my guy

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Still noone learns

theacademy
12.23.18
sputnik has always been american-biased and most of your 10k shit ratings are american garbo lmao

theacademy
12.23.18
even when u 5 non american shit its derivative pop punk drivel like radiohead or pink floyd

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Stop with that word! Pleaaase lol

Darius the Great
12.23.18
i feel like snake was right

WatchItExplode
12.23.18
Good thread people

Btw, They only manage to keep the lights on at Sputnik by using an ultra efficient fuel made out of old ReturnToRock reviews. Be thankful we still have our tiny little corner of the internet to shitpost and feel superior fr

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
@theacademy
Pink Floyd and radiohead > kacey musgsomething

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
@theacademy
Because I m not American and I'm on this site I have to agree to an American pop artist being 1# after a broad musical quality list...being this site a prime spot for alternative music? (Indie metal and punk to be accurate)


Darius the Great
12.23.18
this site isnt necessarily a prime spot for indie metal and punk dont read the blurb lol no one listens to that

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Kacey chick it is then...

mynameischan
12.23.18
it is certainly a prime spot for MUSIC NEWS tho

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Its not Darius, and I apreciate the way this site approaches all genres...that s why this bugs me lol

theacademy
12.23.18
radiohead is a shit blink182 ripoff and anyone who 5's a radiohead album needs to spend more time with some better music. kacey vs pink floyd is at least a conversation but i think i still come down on kacey's side there bc of the diversity across her whole catalog where as floyd churned out the same recycled metalcore the whole latter half of their career.

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Is that a joke?
Everyone is just letting this guy slip just because he s staff?

Source
12.23.18
No bro he's totally serious

Storm In A Teacup
12.23.18
yeah metalcore ain't no one's fool

Demon of the Fall
12.23.18
Lol, definitely serious... especially the metalcore bit

Snake.
12.23.18
"Is that a joke?
Everyone is just letting this guy slip just because he s staff?"

this site is complete funny business because he's been doing this shit even before he was staff

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Uff...if he is serious now I m much less scared

Snake.
12.23.18
the key here is not to assume he's serious but to assume that this entire site isn't

you're doing it wrong bud

WatchItExplode
12.23.18
Look at his ratings, that should tell you all you need to know

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
I don t take myself too seriously...but kinda like to discuss somethings and that take killed it lolol
I m also recently forming an opinion on ppl that feel smarter when they use the word "derivative"

Snake.
12.23.18
then why don't you use it at all? fucking IDIOT

Trifolium
12.23.18
Yeah, that's not very nice at all, agreed. And wanted to let you know you're not the only one Deftoned, didn't like #1 at all either, way too sugary and plastic for my tastes.

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Oh my friend...its a new English word for me...It makes me feel happier not smarter

Cygnatti
12.23.18
theacademy is not a joke, how dare you.

Voivod
12.23.18
I should finally check 9 and 2

DDDeftoneDDD
12.23.18
Yes you do x) good picks

DoofDoof
12.23.18
A bog average country pop disc makes Sput number one.

Feels like a statement.

Of what I'm not 100% sure yet.

MarsKid
12.24.18
Detective Doof on the case, more at 11

tarkus
12.24.18
hahahahahahahahaha the fucking academy

plane
12.24.18
Pretty cool how some of you choose to use this site & write about merits so obtusely, thanks for your contributions

JS19
12.24.18
Why is everyone so angry about a subjective list of albums that a collective of like 25 people think are good? It's not supposed to be representative its a subjective opinion list with great write ups wtf

Trifolium
12.24.18
Not angry at all, just giving our 2 cts. It's always nicer to see the things you love here, or at least to understand why it came up as the best record of the year in the staff's collective view. With some records, like #1, I just cannot see that.

DoofDoof
12.24.18
#1 is a particularly feeble AOTY choice [2]

Gyromania
12.24.18
https://goo.gl/images/bw6NUH

butcherboy
12.24.18
crap year, as the list demonstrates..

DoofDoof
12.24.18
Daughters is the best of that top 10 but more the sort of quality you’d usually say would get an album in the top 40 best of the year. It’s worse than their previous effort which I’m guessing didn’t get in the top 10 of the sputlist of that year? So a bit eh.

Papa Universe
12.24.18
it's weird to see this line-up. this is like a textbook definition sample of top 50-40 aoty placements. y'know, those albums that were reportedly good, but you wouldn't put them very high and people reading your list will probably ignore.

DDDeftoneDDD
12.24.18
Merry musgXmas staff

hamid95
12.26.18
Guess I'll have to give Kacey Musgraves a spin

hamid95
12.26.18
Accurate high placement of Hop Along, btw

Lucman
12.26.18
What confuses me more than Musgraves is that Halo soundtrack album.

TundraL5Z
12.29.18
You forgot Rivers of Nihil

JohnnyoftheWell
12.29.18
Halo soundtrack is the Halo aoty

neekafat
12.29.18
"Accurate high placement of Hop Along, btw" [2] only good thing about this list

completely agree uni, this is just bizarre

MarsKid
12.29.18
"You forgot Rivers of Nihil"

Did we?

joshieboy
12.29.18
I thought Kacey would be top 10, but giving her no.1 was a surprise. Nice stuff.

RustCohle
12.29.18
That number #1 choice is weird to say the least, a totally generic pop album with no deeper meaning or whatsoever.
The Ocean not being in the top 50 is not excusable.
Coheed and Daughters in the top 10 is pretty cool tho!

JayEnder
12.29.18
Who the fuck is Kacey Musgraves

JayEnder
12.29.18
Also that Coheed album was the most boring thing that ever went through my one ear and out the other.

joshieboy
12.29.18
Golden Hour was the biggest surprise of the year for me. I hate country and pop but l really enjoyed the album.

SowingSeason
12.29.18
"Who the fuck is Kacey Musgraves"
Some shitty country-pop Taylor Swift wannabe

Egarran
12.29.18
"celestial strumming"

MarsKid
12.29.18
When does the User's List come out usually?

Metalstyles
12.29.18
Hey gang, just wanted to forward my congrats on another beautiful end-year feature, well done! The variety is here like each year (in comparison to more prominent Estonian outlets for example, Sput's lists are always a lot more diverse genre-wise) and the writing is also (obviously) top-notch: the older writers only get better with each year and the newer additions all hold their own. Willie's work is also all sex.

I was secretly hoping that Lupe Fiasco's newest album makes it on here somewhere. Pusha T, Earl and Denzel Curry were all cool, but Lupe's newest was on another level for me. When he brings it, Lupe really brings it, so I guess that would be my rec to check for those of you who missed it.

But yeah, good stuff gang, and I hope ya'll are doing well. My best to all of you, I definitely cherished the years I partook in these things.

PistolPete
12.29.18
Yeah I was surprised that didn’t make the list either especially after a 4.7 review from a staff writer here.

DoofDoof
12.30.18
If Kacey gets User AOTY I’ll eat my own faeces for a week

Jasdevi087
12.30.18
nah Rolo Tomassi's getting user AOTY, though in saying that I kinda figured you already did that anyway

Jasdevi087
12.30.18
"When does the User's List come out usually?"

normally 2nd week of January, think it was even later a couple of years back

SowingSeason
12.30.18
"When does the User's List come out usually?"
Last year the users 50-31 was posted on 1/9, but it is entirely dependent on how long it takes to tally the scores and then to get the blurbs done.

Shamus248
12.30.18
I am VERY pleased that Golden Hour is AoTY

neekafat
12.30.18
"That number #1 choice is weird to say the least, a totally generic pop album with no deeper meaning or whatsoever."
lmao its def not my #1 pick but these metalheads need to fuck off and go listen to some cannibal corpse

Rowan5215
12.30.18
I was really pulling for Lupe's newest to make it but I think most of the other staff were turned off by it's length or his previous album. So it goes, so it goes

BlazinBlitzer
12.30.18
Well it made my list if that gives you any consolation.

Dewinged
12.30.18
When is the user's list dropping my lords?

calmrose
12.30.18
look 5 comments up

dedex
12.30.18
Really surprised not to see Parquet Courts in the top 50

Dewinged
12.30.18
Ooops my bad

RustCohle
12.30.18
"lmao its def not my #1 pick but these metalheads need to fuck off and go listen to some cannibal corpse"

yeh, I wish I would be like you and think Coldplay or Taylor Swift is the holy grail of music....NOT!!!

MarsKid
12.30.18
It's not Sputnikmusic if we're not painting entire fanbases with the broadest brush possible

DDDeftoneDDD
12.30.18
Parquet courts is great. Maybe the hype was hidden by tropical fuck storm and idles...but parquet courts is a new pleasing discover for me

Voltimand
12.30.18
I'm a Coheed fan but I don't think they deserve top 10 with that album.

Was hoping to see the new Tides of Man on here, but looks like that album went completely under everyone's radar. Glad to see Republic of Wolves and The Wonder Years at least.

SandwichBubble
12.30.18
"lmao its def not my #1 pick but these metalheads need to fuck off and go listen to some cannibal corpse"
What do I need to listen to, oh all powerful neek?

Egarran
12.30.18
Enya. It's always Enya.

Zeiu
12.31.18
Dang, was hoping Proper Dose would be somewhere in this.

SandwichBubble
12.31.18
"Enya. It's always Enya."
I've had enough Enya for one lifetime thank you very much. Let's keep that name buried.


rafalafa
12.31.18
Popping in quick just to say I'm glad Cursive made the list. 50 is exactly the right spot, but damn it was nice to have a good Cursive album.

Mongi123
01.01.19
So, what. The users don’t get a say in the AOTY this year?

Kurai
01.02.19
No Birds In Row?

DORBUSCUS
01.03.19
Glad to see Coheed here

neekafat
01.03.19
Sandwich listen to the new Ben Howard

Faraudo
01.03.19
Best top 10 in a long time.

Jom
01.03.19
>> So, what. The users don't get a say in the AOTY this year?

You've been here long enough to know that this isn't remotely the case. You've even worked on year-end features before! The first iteration last year was posted on the 9th, so we're hoping for something similar, but to go-live on the 8th. We'll see!

Demon of the Fall
01.03.19
'lmao its def not my #1 pick but these metalheads need to fuck off and go listen to some cannibal corpse'

Kasey > The Bleeding. It's close, both are like 3/5-ish, but still.

Demon of the Fall
01.03.19
and why do I keep spelling her name wrong, but only when I think about it before-hand? Pro tip: thinking is bad for you, stop it.

Mongi123
01.03.19
Oh ok Jom sorry! It just seems like it’s been a long time, considering the staffers got theirs pretty early, seemingly.

JS19
01.03.19
Don't worry Mongi the user's list will be dreadful anyway so it's a good thing it comes out after most people have forgotten 2018 even happens (half-joking)

Jom
01.03.19
>> Oh ok Jom sorry! It just seems like it's been a long time, considering the staffers got theirs pretty early, seemingly.

It's a Metacritic thing. We have to publish by a specific deadline. The user feature is done a couple weeks later traditionally.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
01.03.19
Dont fucking front on my jom-dad mongi

SandwichBubble
01.03.19
"Sandwich listen to the new Ben Howard"
Okay.

Veldin
01.03.19
Daughters and Thou are both in my top 10, but some of these are questionable. I appreciate the blurbs about each album, though, to give context and understanding.

FadedSun
01.03.19
I check Sputnik fairly regularly and I don't remember anyone mentioning Kacey Musgraves or even seeing a review for that album. Guess I should check it?

Divaman
01.08.19
Only ones from my Top 10 to make the staff list were Beach House and Republic of Wolves, although I have Robyn as an Honorable Mention.

SowingSeason
01.09.19
FadedSun, there were a couple low key staff/emeritus reviews around that time but it was more a gradual takeoff/ascension in ratings than it was a full-blown hype machine. I'd recommend checking it out if you enjoy good pop music and/or mainstream country.

kmagnum1x
01.09.19
at first I was confused about number 1 then listened to it now I understand

kmagnum1x
01.09.19
it really gets to me because I live in rural saskatchewan and it feels like a drive back home from the city

osmark86
01.11.19
haven't heard any of the top 10 yet or most of the other top 50 ones either for that matter besides the metal picks. as always, great job on the EOTY list to the staff! thank you for your efforts. however, deep inside you guys know that Jon Hopkins was the no 1 album this year ^^.

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