Best Albums of 2018

Jon and Stephen close out the year with our top five albums of 2018, with special guest Courtney E. Smith. Courtney is the author of Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time and reviews music for Refinery29. Before that, Courtney worked for MTV, CBS, and iHeart Radio.

We’ve created a Spotify playlist for all 15 of our picks, which you can listen to here:

What were your top five? List them in the comments below!

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There are 5 comments.

  1. DJ EJ Inactive

    I reviewed electronica, jazz, hip-hop, and local music for a college radio station for four years while in grad school. Once I left the station I felt free to longer keep up with new music, only checking in periodically to see what a few of my favorite artists were up to. Otherwise, I’ve been digging for all the ’70s and ’80s funk, disco, rock, and soul from around the world that I missed (i.e. was too young to notice or know about). My only criterion, whether reviewing new music or discovering a “lost” album from the past, has always been do I like the songs. I’ve listened to The Conservatarians yearly Best Albums podcast for the last few years to hear what I’ve missed (or to gauge whether I’ve missed anything at all).

    This year’s edition was certainly interesting, in that the artist’s sex, sexual orientation, and political views played such central roles in whether or not (s)he made the top five. That’s the most I’ve heard the word “(em)power” used to judge the worthiness of an artist, but I shouldn’t be surprised when cultural Marxism is the driving force behind the reviews – the class/political struggle must go on! Ultimately, I found myself drawn to the music of the one woman mentioned who didn’t want to engage in this feminist struggle, or to be pigeonholed or categorized as the best woman artist. She just wants to be the best artist period. I’d still have to listen to her music though before deciding, because the ultimate question still remains, “do I like the songs?”

    To each his or her own, I suppose.

    • #1
    • December 30, 2018, at 3:27 PM PDT
  2. kylez Member

    She was nice…and insufferable.

    I have no idea how accurate the statistics she rattled off were, but at any given time it seems to me women are dominating on the pop charts.

    Here is the top 40 right now:

    The number 2 is by Halsey (a woman, since people not in the know couldn’t tell by her name). Hers is one of 6 songs just in the top 10 performed by a woman or with a woman, since corroborations are so popular these days. Looking through the rest of the chart we have a grand total of 22 songs out of 40 performed by or with women. 

    I also learned some new names. There is a girl named Madison Beer, and that is her real name!

    • #2
    • January 8, 2019, at 12:19 PM PDT
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  3. kylez Member

    “Brandi Carlisle is queer” is a statement that would get me disqualified to host the Grammys. But who knows.

    • #3
    • January 8, 2019, at 12:21 PM PDT
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  4. kylez Member

    Had to edit that to say Brandi, as I had written Belinda Carlisle, who was in the Go-Gos.

    • #4
    • January 8, 2019, at 12:33 PM PDT
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  5. kylez Member

    I looked up Snail Mail and she looks so young. Turns out she was born the day before I graduated high school. 

    • #5
    • January 8, 2019, at 12:40 PM PDT
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