Album Review

Favourite Albums of 2018 | So Far!

Bloody hell, we’re halfway through the year already! It really shows how time is something we can never really control, as the second (pun) you feel in control, suddenly six months have flown by and you’re left wondering what the hell you’ve been doing. Fortunately, there’s been an absolute plethora of great music to help drown out the feels.

So what better way to blur the lines between forgetting to review great albums than with a great big list? I did a similar post earlier this year so there might be some noticeable omissions but hey, it’s just a list! Enjoy.

A.A.L – 2012 -2017 / MGMT – Little Dark Age / The Voidz – Virtue

A.A.L’s 2012-2017 was one of the first records I heard this year that made me immediately want to hear it all over again. It’s rich collection of sounds dive deep into the genres of old school House and Dance music, providing a wonderful spectrum of noise that aims for the dancefloor or the night sky. All of it is performed so well that it makes either direction worth exploring.

MGMT returned to form with their fourth album. Little Dark Age sees the collective return to their roots as it delivers a sound that rubs shoulders with Oracular Spectacular while ensuring to do it’s own thing. The likes of ‘She Works Out Too Much’ and the title track are arguably the best MGMT singles in a long time and fortunately the rest of the record ain’t too bad either.

The Voidz also delivered with their second album Virtue. Having dropped some stellar singles, the band led by Julian Casablancas did not disappoint with this record. With a seemingly endless space to explore, Virtue offers some of the most original instrumentals in recent memory and manages to keep it somewhat accessible throughout. It’s awesome.

Soccer Mommy – Clean / Shopping – The Official Body / Tom Misch – Geography / Beach House – 7

Soccer Mommy’s Clean is a haunting collection of sounds that range from an intimate vocal + guitar setup to one of heavily layered instrumentals built up of passion and emotion. I am very tempted to say this is my favourite singer-songwriter record of 2018. I love everything about it.

Shopping burst into my ears without much context regarding who they were but I’m so glad to have shoved The Official Body into them. This record is a masterclass of how to make solid Post-Punk music filled with grooves upon grooves as well as hard hitting lyricism throughout. Excellent stuff.

Geography is the record I return to the most these days. Tom Misch’s ability to blend Pop and RnB with Jazzy undertones is astounding, and it makes for a pretty original listening experience that gets better with each play. There are some serious hits throughout the record (‘Lost In Paris’ never fails to make me dance) but there’s also some slower cuts that really help embed it into your heart.

I’ve always appreciated Beach House for what they’ve done but have never really listed them as one of my favourite bands. Teen Dream was all the rage when I started music blogging but it wasn’t until 7 that I truly properly got into them. 7 is textbook Beach House – songs with mammoth atmospheres and featuring walls upon walls of various sounds and instrumentals that seem to blend into one another with ease. It’s a wonderful record, and one that I really enjoy getting lost in.

Marmozets – Knowing What You Know Now / Jack White – Boarding House Reach / Iceage – Beyondless

Marmozets quickly became one of my favourite discoveries. Their second album Knowing What You Know Now injected some fire and passion into my belly, and it still burns bright to this day. And I don’t mean indigestion. The likes of ‘Play’ and especially ‘Lost In Translation’ remain some of my favourite tracks of the year and I can play them forever without getting bored.

Jack White hadn’t dazzled me with his solo stuff and I think like a lot of people it made me yearn for a White Stripes reunion BUT, Boarding House Reach changed my mind. The main thing I love about it is that it’s so…weird. Seriously, anything that has ‘Why Walk a Dog?’ involved is going to be a bit odd. It’s brilliant though. Jack White has essentially reinvigorated the Rock genre with this excellent blend of heavy guitars, soulful pianos and a seemingly endless pool of creativity to create a record that is simply incredible.

Iceage also dropped another solid record in Beyondless. Having detailed a reasonably steady progression from their haymaker-heavy dose of Industrial Punk into this crooning, 50’s-tinged rock and roll, Beyondless showcases a band who are fully capable of making anything sound great. ‘Painkiller’ is one of my favourite singles of the year and the rest of the record is a frantic collision of Pop-dusted tunes that seem on the brink of collapsing.

What have been your favourite records of 2018? Let me know below, and if you reckon I’ve missed out any records, please shout at my face.

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