The last day of the year and I am sharing my top albums that I listened to in 2018.
As with each previous year, a good amount of albums from bands that I consider my favorites came out this year. And while I still have a preference to purchase those albums – either on CD or digital – I know I can easily listen to them via streaming [which for me is Google Play Music].
Here is what made my top 10 albums for 2018.
The Wombats “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life”
– “Maybe It’s The Bullshit I Miss” is one of the more memorable lyrics from the song “Turn” which got a decent amount of airplay on SiriusXM AltNation and on my digital playlists. I’ve seen this band live back some years ago and I’ve always liked them, but this new album grabbed me pretty good.
Wild Nothing “Indigo”
– The closest any Wild Nothing album has made it to my Top Albums year-end list was in 2012, where I had an addendum post that mentioned “Nocturne” the bands’ second album. I have yet to listen to their debut album “Gemini” [I know, even with Google Play Music, you’d think I would have played it by now]. “Wheel Of Misfortune” is my favorite song on this album.
Judas Priest “Firepower”
– As a long time Judas Priest fan, I really wasn’t expecting them to do a new album. But then I get an email they were coming in concert to Utah. And each ticket purchased came with a CD of their new album. Now I really liked that their last album “Redeemer Of Souls” A LOT. How could they top that album from 4 years previous? Well, they didn’t but they got close. “Evil Never Dies” got played the most.
Stone Temple Pilots “Stone Temple Pilots (2018)”
– Ok. Anyone that knows me well knows what a big fan of STP I am. I mean, starting with their debut “Core” and including the EP they did with Chester Bennington, I liked all of the albums. And then there was that gutting day in December 2015 when Scott Weiland died. They did a search for a new vocalist and found Jeff Gutt and they made this new album, which by my judgement, turned out really good. Some great tracks here, but I fell madly in love with the ballad “Thought She’d Be Mine” I saw them live twice this year, which further proved to me and many others that Jeff has the vocal chops to take on the STP catalog, as well as belt out his the new songs from this album.
Janelle Monáe “Dirty Computer”
– My daughter and Kevin IL of Kapgar.com fame both praised Janelle’s music. I put off listening to this new album until later in the summer when I was looking for some upbeat pop music. What I found was a well put together album that made me dance, move and bop my head. For me, the song “Take A Byte” had that groove and beat for my tastes.
CHVRCHES “Love Is Dead”
– Who doesn’t like CHVRCHES? C’mon, be honest here? If you don’t, then maybe their third album will finally draw you in. I admit I heard the song “Miracle” A LOT with Lauren Mayberry screaming “if you feel it, could you let me know” at the top of the chorus. I decided I needed to hear other songs and found “Deliverance” more to my liking.
Metric “Art Of Doubt”
– Thanks to Kevin AZ, I became a fan of this Canadian band, who originally reminded me of the 80’s band Berlin. But after the last few albums, I really found the vocals of Emily Haynes stood on their own. With this years’ new album, the sound of the band remains that similar hook and sound. For that one song that I keep going back to, it would be “Dressed To Suppress”
Tom Bailey “Science Fiction”
– I loved Thompson Twins. I saw them live several times. I loved all of their albums, even the ones they released towards the end… including Babble. Then Tom disappeared from the music scene for many years. Then in 2014, he did a solo tour and played all of the hits. Then in 2018 he toured again, on the release of the new album. I admit I didn’t get around to listening to the new album until a week before I saw him live again. But this album really took me on quick. And that title track has the sound and vocals that remind me of their many hits from decades previous. Then comes “What Kind Of World” which blends modern sounds into Tom’s familiar vocal range.
Slash “Living The Dream”
– The thing with Slash and his solo band, The Conspirators, which is fronted by Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy, is that it’s not a Guns N’ Roses cover band. Nor is it expected to be compared to anything Guns N’ Roses does. Slash’s guitar work and Myles strong vocal range are married together by some rather well written songs. This is the bands’ third album release and each and every one gets stronger and more creative. Of the 12 songs, it was hard to pick one that I liked the best. In the end, “My Antidote” won the top spot from this album. I can tell you it’s the insane guitar solo that starts at 2:58 into the song and just gets absolute crazy good! If it’s a ballad you are after, then you can’t go wrong with “Lost Inside The Girl” which is heavier compared to other ballads, but still maintains that flow. And if you ever get a chance to see Slash and his band live, you will hear all of these songs with just a single Guns N’ Roses cover.
And now, for my top choice of album that came out in 2018….
Alice In Chains “Rainer Fog”
– In a career of 28 years, Alice In Chains have released just 6 studio albums. It took five years with original lead singer Layne Staley to release the first three. And once the reformed band with William DuVall on vocals happened in 2006, it took nine years from 2009 till this year to release their last three albums. When Layne died in 2002, the band had already been in a form of hiatus for six years, standing by and watching their lead singer die from drug addiction. William DuVall breathed new life into the band, even as critics wanted them to regroup under a new name.
– That brings us to the new album “Rainer Fog” Jerry Cantrell and his band members, including the other original member of the band Sean Kinney, let five years pass between releases, for what I have deemed as my favorite album of 2018. The incredible push towards using their classic sound and modern lyrics to create ten songs of grunge, rock, harmonized vocals and many other musical talents. The album is strong, track by track, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. But there is a standout song – “Maybe” The content is original, new and inventive. It’s got that harmonizing that really resonates with this long time fan.
My musical tastes don’t always match what my readers like, so if you were expecting an album on this best of list, speak up below in the comments below. Or give me a shout out on anything you like on my list. I always look forward to others choices so I can go see what I missed for the year in music.