“Fragility”. For some reason, this is the word that keeps popping up in my mind when I think back through 2018. While certain people seem stronger than ever due to the amount of chaos being thrown into the world on a daily basis, it feels like the hairline cracks are visible on the surface. Like it only takes one bad day to ruin your whole month. One provocation to shatter the outer sheen we meticulously construct. But what else are we supposed to do?
This past year, I have found that art is the pool we can dip into as a way to restore our spirits, construct the shield and charge forward in time.
My relationship to art changes every year, no question, but I noticed a shift in how I view art and its purpose within 2018. It’s always been a vital part for me – I mean, my whole life revolves around it – but I didn’t realize how much I depended on it. I noticed a shift in my mood when I would go days without listening to music. I could feel an invisible gash in my psyche that refused to heal, which frustrated me when I couldn’t figure out what was happening. And when I threw on a great album? The answer snapped into place; I felt so much better. It was as if I had forgotten to eat several meals in a row.
I constantly ask myself “What is the purpose of art?”. I think it’s important but maybe I’m biased because I create it for a living. But, like I mentioned above, I’ve come to view it more like food. It’s the protein you need to keep moving through life. It’s a fuel source. Could you live a life without it? Sure, but it would have to be miserable. It’s a constant reminder that humans can create AMAZING things. Isn’t that something worth celebrating and partaking in?
There are moments when I feel down and wonder if the best bits of life are in the rear view mirror. Deep down, I know the answer is “no”, but it’s trapped in a bunker I can’t gain access to. And when I listen to a new album that shocks me with it’s glory, an album that makes my brain spin and opens up new possibilities, it reminds me that no, there are many great, amazing new things to come about. It literally shifts my worldview and gives me hope for the present and the future.
That’s pretty damn important, isn’t it?
So in looking back on the albums I loved in 2018, I’m also reflecting on the power of a song, of an album to change my life. It still happens! There are SEVERAL albums on this list that I can say have truly changed my life. These things matter and although they may not matter to everyone equally, they do in fact change the world, in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
With all that said, here are my favorite albums of 2018.
50.) MGMT – Little Dark Age
49.) Wild Nothing – Indigo
48.) Of Montreal – White is Relic-Irrealis Mood
47.) Vince Staples – FM!
46.) The Gorillaz – The Now Now
45.) Albert Hammond Jr. – Francis Trouble
44.) Johnny Jewel – Digital Rain
43.) Jean Grae & Quelle Chris – Everything’s Fine
42.) Rosalía – El Mal Querer
41.) Oneohtrix Point Never – Love In The Time Of Lexapro
40.) Curren$y & Harry Fraud – The Marina
39.) Nothing – Dance on the Blacktop
38.) Lykke Li – so sad so sexy
37.) Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
36.) Various Artists – Black Panther (The Album)
35.) Metric – Art of Doubt
34.) Yves Tumor – Safe In The Hands of Love
33.) Snail Mail – Lush
32.) Iceage – Beyondless
31.) Beach House – 7
30.) Beck – Colors
29.) Screaming Females – All at Once
28.) Brazilian Girls – Let’s Make Love
27.) Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
26.) Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
25.) Blood Orange – Negro Swan
24.) Tim Hecker – Konoyo
23.) Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
22.) Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams
21.) Noname – Room 25
20.) Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth
18.) Mitski – Be the Cowboy
17.) Low – Double Negative
16.) Lucy Dacus – Historian
15.) The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
14.) Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty
13.) Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
12.) The Carters (Beyonce and JAY-Z) – EVERYTHING IS LOVE
11.) SOPHIE – Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
10.) Pusha-T – Daytona
9.) Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
8.) KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS
7.) Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage
6.) Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy
5.) Royce da 5’9” – Book of Ryan
4.) Wye Oak – The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs
3.) Against All Logic – 2012-2017
2.) U.S Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
1.) Robyn – Honey
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