I’ve been making little top 10 lists of my favorite albums every year since 2009. I was hoping ot have time to port those over from my old blog but that will have to be a next year project. Just like every other list; these are not necessarily albums that came out this year but they were new to me. This year seemed to have a lot of metal-ish melodic hard rock. No real reason, that’s just where my head was at. There was some good indie folk and Americana in there too, plus a handful of bad ass pop and R&B albums. I also made a Spodify playlist of my favorite songs. It was a good year for music and I wanted to share with anyone who’s interested in listening.
10. Elk Hound – The Static and the Hum
I backed this one through Kickstarter and found myself putting it on a lot back in the Spring. It’s a great album to write to. My particular favorite is “Living Underwater.”
9. Nonpoint – X
These guys are still alive and kicking. They have a strange mix of duds and bangers over the years, and this one falls in the upper tier of their now extensive catalog. Nonpoint’s best tend to shine though when they are at their heaviest, and X delivers on that front. “Chaos and Earthquakes” is probably their strongest cut since “Bullet with a Name.”
8. St. Vincent – Masseduction
For years I kept hearing the name St. Vincent but managed to go until 2018 before hearing any of her songs. I started with Masseduction and was not disappointed. Even thought it was a remix, I was also a big fan of the video for “Fast Slow Disco.”
7. Halestorm – Vicious
I have been a fan of Lzzy Hale’s voice for awhile, but was consistently underwhelmed with Halestorm’s songwriting. While their lyrics still need work (I’m looking at you “Heart of Novocaine”) their songwriting has improved immensely with Vicious. They do some great throwbacks to dirty 80s metal that really allow Lzzy Hale’s voice to wreak havoc. Favorite track: “Killing Ourselves to Live.”
6. Amythyst Kiah – Dig
I was hooked on Amythyst Kiah’s debut album as soon as I heard “Darlin Corey.” I was in the mood for some fresh Folk and Americana, and this one really delivers. I’m also really excited to see what she does next.
5. Vienna Teng – Inland Territory
This album came out 10 years ago, but I never really gave it a listen until after I seeing Vienna Teng back in November. She played a lot of the tracks from this album, and so I decided to give it some renewed attention. I’ve been playing a whole lot of “Stray Italian Greyhound” and “No Gringo” ever since.
4. Thrice – To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere
“Black Honey” is easily one of my favorite hard rock tracks in years. I’ve never been able to really get into a Thrice album in spite of digging Dustin Kensure’s solo outing Please Come Home. To Be Everywhere is to Be No Where is a solid offering from the first track to the last, and it contains an impressive range to boot. I might need to go back and revisit some of their older albums now.
3. Seether – Poison the Pariah
This was a year for radio friendly hard rock. Seether, free from their old label, put out the heaviest and most consistent album of their career. I’ve been a casual fan since Disclaimer, but they’ve always been more single-oriented and their albums tended to feel like a mix of singles and fillers. Poison the Pariah, at least for me, finally broke that trend.
2. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
Not only have I played this album repeatedly since it came out last Spring, but I also got to experience Janelle Monae live this Summer and was blown away by how ridiculously talented she is. This one is by far her most accessible album, but it’s also her most vulnerable. Dirty Computer is unapologetically queer, black, and beautiful. It’s an anthem of authenticity and radical self love. It’s not only catchy and fun as hell, but it’s also immensely important.
1. Tremonti – Dust
I don’t think I can articulate what it is about this album that I just couldn’t get enough of. I’ve harbored a long guilty pleasure for a handful of Creed’s heavier songs. All I had to do was stomach Scott Stapp’s grating voice and sanctimonious lyrics. Lo and behold, Mark Tremonti can fucking sing as well as he shreds. The end result is a mix of heavy hitting power metal and some beautiful hard rock ballads. While Dust was the album that clicked the most with me, I’ve also been rocking a lot of Cauterize and A Dying Machine.
Some of the albums worth mentioning that didn’t quite make the cut. The reasons vary, but mostly it’s because I loved some but not all of the songs. They also had some pretty stiff competition in the list above.
Rise Against – Wolves
Deadboy & the Elephantmen – We are Night Sky
Art of Anarchy – The Madness
Robyn – Honey
Every year there are a few albums that find their way back from my past in powerful ways, so this year I wanted to pay homage to them.
Gojira – The Way of All Flesh
AFI – Sing the Sorrow
Nelly Furtado – The Spirit Indestructible
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors