So This Was 2018….

I have to admit that with each passing year I find less and less albums that I truly love enough to listen to straight through on multiple occasions. I’m not sure if that is a reflection of the current state of the music industry or just my own personal listening habits. I still think there are tons and tons of fantastic tracks being made on a yearly basis. I’m just not finding a lot of them strung together on the same album release it seems. There are still rays of hope out there for the future of the album format. Rookie bands like Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, Soccer Mommy and Foxwarren delivered the goods and have my complete attention moving forward.

Anyways, without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite albums of 2018 followed by 25 of my favorite songs from this calendar year. It is a pretty eclectic list that leans hard on indie rock but with a handful of hip hop jams sprinkled in. Also thank you to anyone who has read this site over the last few months. It is very much appreciated.

 

My Favorite 10 Albums

Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Soccer Mommy – Clean

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn

Low – Double Negative

 

My Favorite 25 Songs

Kurt Vile – “Loading Zones”

Spiritualized – “A Perfect Miracle”

Arctic Monkeys – “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”

Bill Ryder-Jones – “Don’t Be Scared, I Love You”

Bradley Cooper – “Maybe It’s Time”

Young Fathers – “In My View”

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

Soccer Mommy – “Your Dog”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Kite”

J Mascis – “See You At The Movies”

Interpol – “If You Really Love Nothing” (Reimagined by Petr Aleksander)

Thom Yorke – “Unmade”

Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever – “Talking Straight”

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – “Reborn”

Low – “Disarray”

Kanye West – “Ghost Town”

Conor Oberst – “No One Changes”

Foxwarren – “Lost On You”

The Coral – “Reaching Out For A Friend”

The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It”

Rostam – “In A River”

Parquet Courts – “Tenderness”

Iceage – “Pain Killer” featuring Sky Ferreira

Jonny Greenwood – Tree Synthesisers

Jeff Tweedy – “From Far Away”

 

 

 

I’d Love It If The 1975 Made It

I walked into A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships having never listened to a note of music from The 1975 prior. Sure I’ve seen the name over the years on various music sites and concert posters in New York City but I never engaged the music until now. I only really took notice when comparisons with Radiohead’s Ok Computer started popping up online. Led by lead singer Matty Healy making the very first allusion to it over a year before its release. Those are big time claims and being a massive Radiohead fan, I decided to jump in and investigate those bold proclamations. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Will The 1975 answer it’s call?

To be honest, the album sounds nothing like Ok Computer sonically. The production is way too pristine and upbeat for Radiohead despite some really dark lyrical content from Healy. The only true hallmarks of Radiohead’s musical footprint can be found on “How to Draw / Petrichor” which sounds like Kid A noodling meets Aphex Twins’ “Girl/Boy Song”, “Be My Mistake” and “Surrounded by Heads and Bodies” that share different elements of “True Love Waits”. The former borrows ideas from the “True Love Tape Loop” and the latter from the acclaimed acoustic rendition found on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. The homage gathering the most attention is “The Man Who Married a Robot / Love Theme” with its robot/Siri/Alexa like voice over narration. I’m not too keen on the robot’s commentary but the background music is beautiful and again harks back to the “True Love Tape Loop” as mentioned previous. 

What A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships does contain in its 58 minutes is harsh critiquing of today’s modern society and the way millennials behave within it. The album is short on solutions to these life headaches but has no problem declaring a list of grievances in grand fashion. Another underlying theme on this record is Healy’s heroin addiction and recovery. Every song you think is about love is actually an ode to heroin. It’s just cleverly disguised. The LP contains three huge bangers, “Love It If We Made It”, “Give Yourself a Try” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You)” which serve as the tent poles for this release. I find great merit in a guitar based band that can still crank out a catchy tune that can currently be heard on what is left of modern radio and rack up huge Spotify streams. I’m curious to see where The 1975 take this newly found universal acclaim and hype. Matty Healy seems like the type of guy who wants to be a huge star, in a huge band and has no problem letting you know that. What makes that even more impactful is he has the music to back up those claims. The band promises their next album will be out by next summer’s festival season that is currently titled Notes on a Conditional Form. We shall see if Matty Healy can find any real emotional connection in society he so desperately is searching for on A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.

Grade: B+