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|BUTT'S 2018 AOTY|
Listened to about 70 albums that came out this year, and while probably unimpressive to a lot of you, it's certainly a record for me. Please only use the comments for fighting me - no civility or manners allowed.
Multisensory Aesthetic Experience
Listened to this band a lot in high school, and didn't know until a couple weeks ago that they had an album coming out this year. It's definitely uneven and there are a couple questionable choices here and there, but overall, way better than it had any right to be. Some real beautiful indie tunes in the back half, and just enough experimentation to sound fresh.
Imagine listening semi trucks driving full speed into a steel factory and exploding, repeatedly, for 56 minutes. That's kind of what this album is, but not in a bad way. Is it way too long for what it is? Absolutely. But I'll be damned if it isn't fun as hell and super gratifying. The band dabbled with some sweet electronic effects in a few songs, and this is easily my go-to "stupid heavy" album of the year.
|18||Kids See Ghosts|
Kids See Ghosts
So much Kanye hype this summer, yet so little replay value (in my opinion). I actually liked Ye more than most of you, and I thought Pusha and Nas were both pretty solid too. KSG was one notch above the rest and definitely more fun. This album is worth it for the opening track "Feel the Love" alone. And at just 23 minutes....what most would consider an EP....it certainly does not overstay its welcome.
Little Dark Age
This is one I wish I had spent more time with. It wasn't even going to make this list until I spun it again yesterday, and remembered how great some of these songs are. I'd consider it a rainy day indie-pop album. If you've kept up with MGMT at all in the past decade, you'd know that bangers like Electric Feel and Kids are a thing of the past. Which is totally fine, because this record has identity and cohesiveness in a much more intimate style. Give this a chance if you haven't yet.
The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness
Black metal + bluegrass? What the fuck? Okay sign me up. Hadn't heard of Panopticon (Austin Lunn) until this album dropped, and I can now gladly call myself a fan. Instead of fusing these two genres together, as Lunn had done in the past, this is a double LP containing some black metal tracks and some bluegrass tracks that focus on the theme of environmental conservation. Naturally, one song takes a not-so-subtle jab at Donald Trump. Excited to see what else this guy does in the future.
BH had the challenging task of following up a fantastic three-album run after the face of the group, Ameer Vann, was forced to leave after allegations in the wake of #MeToo. While the album definitely feels different, it's still good ol' Brockhampton. Haven't revisited this quite as much as I thought I would, but it's still a successful follow-up by most measures. New Orleans doinks hard.
|14||The Wonder Years|
Very conflicted on this. The initial hype was unreal during the first week this thing dropped. There are some undeniably strong tunes here, but something is surely missing. I have not figured out what exactly that is. Could be the lack of truly memorable choruses the previous albums offered. Could be some forced and awkward songwriting, or Soupy's annoyingly melodramatic singing style (which has gotten progressively more jarring since it first started budding in 2015). Nonetheless, Sister Cities is still very raw and emotional. I rarely feel the urge to come back to it, but there are plenty of songs that make it worth it.
Bark Your Head Off, Dog
Here's another one I wish I dug deeper into. In my last-minute 2018 recap, I was reminded of how impressive the songwriting is here. The performances are great all the way around, and the melodies are top tier. Hop Along deserved all the praise they got for this, and I would not be surprised to see it in lots of Top 10s out there.
After allegations against Evan came out last year (which, if we're being honest, were quite tame), we almost didn't get this record at all. Thankfully, he did what others in his situation fail to do and actually spent significant time in therapy and sort of "finding himself" again. It's hard to say where he was mentally when Skylight was written, since it was all but ready to drop before the band even started their brief hiatus, but it comes off as genuine as anything else they've written. Rings, Easy Enough, and the title track are all so good that I can't even identify a favorite here.
You've probably never heard of this extremely talented individual. Sen is a multi-instrumentalist who is becoming known for his work with 88rising and Sooper Records, and this debut is probably one of the best things you haven't listened to this year. A wonderful blend of jazz, funk, and rap, this takes the cake for Most Underrated.
Offerings was one of the first albums I heard this year, and after hearing just the opening track, I suspected it would make this list in December. This is a monster of a concept album; not the type of thing you can truly digest in just one or two spins. The band dropped their brass section in search of a darker sound for this venture, and the payoff was immense. You could easily kill a couple of hours reading into the themes and images that laid the blueprints for this beast.
Nearer My God
Foxing didn't just step outside the box with Nearer My God - they jumped. And it's exactly what I believe they needed to do. There are instances where it doesn't work, but when it does, it works damn well. The most experimental track here is the first one, "Grand Paradise." This song starts off with a disparate Radiohead type of weirdness, and transitions into an emotional Brand New-esque medley to create what I'd probably consider a top 25 song for 2018. Nothing else quite on the roster quite lived up to that track for me, but this album really has it all. Pop, emo, a guitar solo, short songs, long songs, good melodies, and a bad melody or two. Gotta balance it out I suppose.
|8||Pianos Become the Teeth|
Wait For Love
Yeah yeah, set me on fire for this. I'm ready. Pianos tends to field quite a bit of anger, still, because of all the people who wanted them to forever be a Touche Amore clone. Instead, they stripped back the voice-cracking/screaming and took a more mellow approach starting with 2014's "Keep You." To be fair, Wait for Love is kind of a Keep-You-Lite. The sound is the same, but at times lacks the urgency and emotional gut punches. But comparisons aside, this is still great in my book.
Elder Brother is relatively unknown here despite having an impressive, albeit short, catalog. Their debut "Heavy Head" is probably in my top 5 most-played albums ever. It's the feeling of being young and carefree in the summer, transposed into audio. Stay Inside is the slightly more melancholic, grown up version of that. Sway, Weak Days, and I Don't Think It Stops are some of the best indie-rock tracks released this year.
I don't think anyone expected Jeff to top WORRY, especially only 15 months later, but this is solid effort nonetheless. The album opens with USA - both anthemic and ambient, it's the type of track you'd expect to close out an album. Jeff has a true knack for catchy punk, and its evident on many of these songs. The writing process was a bit rushed this time around, and the record mostly focuses on one theme. It doesn't touch his magnum opus, but it's still an easy 4/5 for me.
Of my Top 5 albums this year, 3 of them were from artists I had never listened to prior to 2018. That's what I really look forward to each year. Not the sequels, but the albums that I should NOT like, in theory, but end up obsessing over. This was the first one, and for a while I was worried nothing else this year would top it. "7" is the ideal choice in my cathartic arsenal to help defuse a stressful week. It's just....pretty. The whole thing.
Here's another one I can't believe made my top 5. I was under the impression all Denzel wrote was annoying trap songs. I guess I was wrong. There are a few generic boppers in here, but for reasons unknown, I love them. No, the real reason this album took the #4 spot is because of the tracks where Denzel lays everything out like an open book and makes himself vulnerable. The darker and more somber tracks littered throughout TA13OO blew me away. Not to mention the last two tracks, which are easily the heaviest and wildest rap songs I've heard this year. I just can't stop listening to this.
Before the year began, I assumed mwY would take the #1 spot. While it didn't quite do that, it got close. Aaron & Co. surprised us by giving us the absolute heaviest and weirdest mewithoutYou songs written to date. His screams annihilate anything we've considered a "scream" from him in the past, but the softer, moodier tracks in the middle provide for a much-needed break from the chaos. This is a band that just never disappoints.
You Won't Get What You Want
These guys came out of nowhere. After eight years of silence, Daughters dropped this atom bomb of schizophrenia and gloom on everybody. This album feels like an exploration of the mind of someone who is completely and utterly hopeless. It's unnerving and intriguing. It's well-paced. It's something a horror-fan like myself craves. It's the album I had no idea I needed.
|1||The Story So Far|
So after you've listened to Daughters' album and you feel like killing yourself, turn things around with TSSF's kickass 4th album, Proper Dose. Everybody on this site was ready to hate this album. Parker only sings about one girl, Parker is a douche, every song sounds the same, wah wah wah. Well your criticisms were heard and handled accordingly. The lyrics here offer a refreshing change of pace as they primarily deal with opiate addiction from a first-hand account. This album is as catchy as ever, and every song has its own unique identity...something that couldn't always be said in the past. Parker stretches himself and plays around some singing styles he hasn't touched in the past. There are fast upbeat songs, and there are laid-back reflective songs. This is arguably their most cohesive, confident, and diverse record as of yet. The future will be bright for these lads, and I'm happy to say that the endless wait and hype paid off more than I could have expected. Peace.
|Thanks 2018, very cool!|
|Boooooo Sen's not in your top 10|
|however...everything in the top 10 is stuff I've listened to a ton. So the fact that an album I've listened to 3 times made #11 should still be an honor in its own regard.|
|that's how I felt with mwY, admittedly I need to listen to [untitled] more|
|yeh you should|
|I should give 1 another listen. I've been seeing it on lots of lists but it didn't do a lot for me.|
|Listening to 3 for the first time now|
|@lucman - listen to Satan in the Wait, Less Sex, and The Reason They Hate Me. it's a great 3 song sampler that will show you the array of sounds and moods on the album, if you don't care for those 3 then I'd say just move on probably.|
@lucca - have you ever listened to them before? Curious what you'll think of it
|Awesome list. 1 really is excellent |
|Thanks! I survive solely via validation|
|And yeah 1 was better than it had any right to be. I was ready to be let down, but nope. Still jamming at least once a week.|