50 Favorite Albums & EPs of 2018

Carl Wilson began this year’s entry of Slate’s Music Club (a fun music roundtable, always a treat) by saying “2018 was the year everything had already changed.” The sprawling and insightful panel discussion covers a lot of ground, and they hit on the phenomenon that has most affected my own listening habits: playlists. 

I’ve become of a bit of a playlist fiend, and I don’t know if I mean this critically or not. I start with a huge playlist, boil that down to weekly playlists, favorites playlists, need-to-explore playlists, etc. etc. Playlists within playlists within playlists. The obvious downside, of course, is that making them means listening to them, which means NOT listening to An Album in full, at one time, as god intended. This is especially true if the record is a grower and takes time to settle into.

And yet, despite this new reality, I fell in love with a lot of Albums in 2018. Here’s a mix of 50 that were all enjoyed in full, usually with a smile on my face, often while air drumming in the car or rollerblading around the city. I was pulled in a lot of different directions, but most of what you’ll find is poppy, or at least high-energy. There’s addictive pop earworms that haunted me for weeks. A handful of old friends returned in force, transformed a bit by their time away, ready to share new emotional insights. And if you’re a fan of mid-tempo emo-rock, our menu features a wide variety of angst, accents, irony levels, soloing abilities, floor tom intensity, and so much more!

Here’s the list, ranked in descending order. Hope you find something new to play LOUD!!!

(Um, as a final bit of playlist blasphemy, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist that contains my favorite songs from these albums. If it’s ranked #50 – #25 it gets two songs, #25 – #1 gets three. Is nothing sacred.)

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