Let’s be honest, narrowing down your top albums of the year can get a little tricky. 2018 brought us a lot of talent in a wide array of genres. Artists used their voices to take a stand against society’s wrongdoings, to share their feelings with us hoping that we would relate, and to bring listeners together.
In no particular order, here are my top albums of 2018.
After delaying the release of their seventh album, Fall Out Boy created high anticipation for the release of MANIA The band had gradually been changing their sound towards a more alt-pop sound following the release of Save Rock and Roll. MANIA was a leap of faith in a new direction, with heavier synth elements (think “Young and Menace”) While there are definitely some flops on the album, songs like “Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea” and “The Last of the Real Ones” prove that the band is still kicking.
Don Broco has been taking the scene by storm this year, with a strong run on the final Vans Warped Tour. Technology shows the band’s growth since their sophomore album Automatic. The band has a way of going from a gritty, intense sound like “Pretty” to a lighter, upbeat vibe like “Come Out to LA” that still retains notes of the later.
Five years since their previous album, Thirty Seconds to Mars released America and took off running. The band released the first single “Walk on Water” late 2017. The album carries a very cinematic sound, something that isn’t unknown to the band. “Dangerous Night” peaked at number 8 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs. The features on the album complement Jared Leto’s sound perfectly; A$AP Rocky on “One Track Mind” and Halsey on “Love is Madness.”
This blues duo is made up of sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell. Venom and Faith highlights the girls’ immense talent, both instrumentally and vocally. Rebecca’s powerhouse vocals capture your attention immediately with the opening track “Sometimes.” Their blues sound invokes raw emotion that makes you want to sing along and clap your hands.
Silent Planet is well known for their intricate, meaningful lyrics. Garrett Russel’s lyricism provides a thought invoking narrative that pokes at political and emotional themes. “The New Eternity” highlights his powerful vocals while tracks like “Northern Fire” showcase Thomas Freckleton’s falsetto vocals.
Holy Hell is the first album released post-mortem of songwriter, guitarist, and brother Tom Searle. The album is an embodiment of the band’s grief and emotions following the loss of a loved one. Songs like “Dying to Heal” explore themes of mortality, and how important time is. Aggression and anger are accompanied by moments of sadness and doom, providing a deeply emotional body of work.
Disease is definitely my top album of the year. Caleb Shomo is brutally open about mental health and struggles with oneself. The albums title track exemplifies this. The discussion about mental health that the album brings is something that we should be looking more towards in 2019. The closing track, “Clever” is a slower track compared to the in-your-face, fast pace of the prior tracks. It closes the album with an honest, personable note.
Post Traumatic – Mike Shinoda
In the Wake of Our Discord – Capstan
Made in America – Fever 333
Kamikaze – Eminem
Dispose – The Plot in You
The Pains of Growing – Alessia Cara
Pray for the Wicked – Panic! at the Disco
Being Human in Public – Jessie Reyez