Friday, January 04, 2019

Top 50 Albums of 2018

Happy New Year to all! We begin 2019, our 11th year on Blogger, with the list of our favorite albums of the past year, a well-established tradition of this blog.

Looking back to 2018, it's easy to find plenty of very good albums, but rather difficult to single out a few that stood out above all else to become the obvious choices for Albums of the Year. As a result, perhaps more than in any other year in recent memory,  we've seen a wide variety of albums claiming this distinction in the numerous year-end lists out there, and quite a few surprises. I mean who would bet a year ago that albums by relatively low profile new artists like Mitski, Idles or Shame would be topping year-end lists or that Low's experimental twelfth album would earn such a wide acclaim?

Inevitably, even our choice for Album of the Year is one that upsets the odds, as I would never have guessed back in February, even as I was selecting U.S. Girls' sixth album "In a Poem Unlimited" as the top new release of the month, that by the end of 2018 it would be our choice for the Number One of the Year.

Meg Remy's experimental pop project has come a long way since the lo-fi solo recordings she was presenting us about a decade ago. With her previous record, U.S. Girls' 4AD debut "Half Free" in 2015, we were presented with her most accomplished collection of songs up to that point. Three years later, Remy widens the musical borders of her project even further by collaborating with members of the funk and jazz instrumental collective The Cosmic Range and the end result, the hauntingly beautiful "In a Poem Unlimited", is an undoubtedly impressive accomplishment: a strong, soulful, forward thinking record where personal politics and fluid dance-pop music combine to create the perfect protest record for our current turbulent times.

Elsewhere near the top of our list, you will also find other strong female voices with Anna Calvi's third and perhaps best album to date, the magnificent "Hunter", and Courtney Barnett's sophomore full-length "Tell Me How You Really Feel", while the jangly guitars of Rolling Blackouts C.F. earn the Australian band the title of Debut Album of the Year with the majestic "Hope Downs".

Without any further ado, check out below Cool Music Central's Top 50 Albums of 2018, based, of course, on what we were able to lend a careful ear to so far. As always, a more complete version of this list will appear here, sometime in 2019.

Top 50 Albums of 2018

1.   In A Poem Unlimited - U.S. GIRLS

2.   Hunter - ANNA CALVI 


4.   Tell Me How You Really Feel  - COURTNEY BARNETT 

5.   7 - BEACH HOUSE 

6.   Wide Awaaaaake! - PARQUET COURTS 

7.   Freedom's Goblin - TY SEGALL 

8.   All Nerve - THE BREEDERS 

9.   Goat Girl - GOAT GIRL 

10. Songs Of Praise - SHAME 

11. Joy As An Act Of Resistance - IDLES 
12. Endless Scroll - BODEGA 
13. Beyondless - ICEAGE 
14. Snow Bound - THE CHILLS 
15. Wanderer - CAT POWER 
16. Possible Dust Clouds - KRISTIN HERSH 
17. Aviary - JULIA HOLTER 
18. Marauder - INTERPOL 
19. Bottle It In - KURT VILE 
20. Microshift - HOOKWORMS 
21. Snares Like A Haircut - NO AGE 
22. We're Not Talking - THE GOON SAX 
23. Lush - SNAIL MAIL 
24. Vessel - FRANKIE COSMOS 
25. Be The Cowboy - MITSKI 
26. What A Time To Be Alive - SUPERCHUNK 
27. Digital Garbage - MUDHONEY 
28. Jericho Sirens - HOT SNAKES 
29. Kazuashita - GANG GANG DANCE 
30. I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life - TUNE-YARDS 
31. Double Negative - LOW 
32. And Nothing Hurt - SPIRITUALIZED
33. Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino - ARCTIC MONKEYS 
34. Dove - BELLY 
36. The Church Of Simultaneous Existence - THE AINTS! 
37. Hell-on - NEKO CASE 
38. Clean - SOCCER MOMMY 
40. Twin Fantasy - CAR SEAT HEADREST 
42. Twerp Verse - SPEEDY ORTIZ 
43. Twentytwo In Blue - SUNFLOWER BEAN 
44. Little Dark Age - MGMT 
45. Always Ascending - FRANZ FERDINAND 
46. Marble Skies - DJANGO DJANGO 
47. The Official Body - SHOPPING 
48. Felt - SUUNS 
49. There's A Riot Going On - YO LA TENGO 
50. I'll Be Your Girl - THE DECEMBERISTS

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