TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2018
We had some amazing albums in 2018 with returning groups that had been on a hiatus, to new works from some of our favourite artists. Here is the Explosion Network’s Top 10 Albums of 2018.
The following Top 10 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Cherie Henriques, Ashley Hobley, Ciaran Marchant and Nicholas Prior.
10.) Year of the Tiger - Myles Kennedy
After a storied and accomplished career to date, Myles has released his first solo album and it's nothing short of a tour de force. Year Of The Tiger is a departure from his usual style, instead opting for a more experimental Southern Bluesy Rock. The album explores the death of his father and how it has affected him and is a true Southern Rock journey.
9.) MTV Unplugged Live in Melbourne: Gang of Youths
Who couldn’t enjoy a stripped back acoustic version Gang of Youth’s ARIA-winning album Go Father into Darkness? The more intimate and personal arrangements of this live performance allow you to appreciate David Le’aupepe’s lyrics even more and make songs like “Preserve” even more powerful.
8.) Book of Bad Decisions - Clutch
Clutch returned in 2018 with their first album since 2015, bringing back their unique brand of Blues/Funk/Psychedelic Rock and in high-form. Their collaboration with Grammy award-winning Nashville producer Vance Powell is a match made in heaven. And really, what other bands could make a killer song from a cooking recipe?
7.) Wildness - Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol has finally returned with their first album in 7 years after lead singer and songwriter Gary Lightbody dealt writer’s block, depression and addiction. A sense of triumph and healing can be felt throughout the album and has a more hopeful vibe than their previous works. Two of there slower tracks are highlights, “What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?” and “Soon”, a track for Lightbody’s father who suffers from dementia.
6.) Delta - Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons return home in Delta bring back the folk sound of their earlier albums and mixing it with the electric sound of Wilder Mind, the group’s third album. Seeing the lessons they learned from their previous album, the band finds much of its heart and soul from their initial success in the industry. It's hard not to feel warm inside and resist the urge to smile as the soulful folk music rings out throughout the album.
5.) Bloom - Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan has created hit after hit with his second studio album. Not only does it have addictive tracks like “My! My! My!”, “Bloom” and “Dance With Me” but it's also a vulnerable, passionate, delicate and strong album with Troye’s passion and soul embodied in tracks covering life and love. This album tells an incredible story and embodies all that is Troye and the beautiful music he creates.
4.) Love is Dead - CHVRCHES
The third album from the Scottish synth-pop band is worthy of repeat listens, which isn’t hard to do because their music is so easy to keep on repeat. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry has an incredibly unique voice which is shown off strongly on several songs, but prominently on “Heaven/Hell” and a lot of the lyrics are much deeper on second listen, particularly “Graves” which addresses a number of issues that people are happy to ignore.
3.) Beer Bongs and Bentleys - Post Malone
When we first started listening to Post Malone in late 2016 we were a bit confused by his style and image as most were, but the more we listened, the more we loved his indescribable sound and style. Beerbongs & Bentleys is jam-packed with songs and a ride to listen to that kicks off with a more pop sound, but soon switches into the tones of the hit “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage with the grimier hip-hop sound. This is another album Post Malone has poured his heart into, much like 2016's Stoney, with songs like “Better Now” once again diving into a sad love story.
2.) Pray For The Wicked - Panic! At The Disco
Iconic pop-punk band of the late 2000s to the anthem producing icon that is Brendon Urie, Panic! At The Disco continue to grow as a band, fulfilling their sound but continuing to increase their already impressive catalogue of music. Panic! know their sound by now and that sound produces hits. And this album is nothing but hit after hit.
1.) Black Panther - Kendrick Lamar, Various
Kendrick Lamar's Black Panther album is a collaborative production that shows and highlights the voices of many known and lesser-known voices in hip-hop, all tied up nicely with thematic and production value from the Marvel film of the same name. Although the album opens with the track “Black Panther” that sounds like the conscience of T'challa sprinting through Wakanda, the album then traverses through all different sorts of sounds as it goes directly into the soothing and amazingly chorus lead “All The Stars” with SZA through to the frantic “Opps” with Vince Staples, which was used in the movie’s car chase scene. When you reach “Pray For Me”, the final song with Lamar and The Weekend, you're ready to journey through the album again.
TOP 5: THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2018
It’s been a great year for music and we’ve put together a great Top 10 albums list here at the Explosion Network. But let’s dive in a bit further and discuss the Top 5 of that albums list and what we like so much about them that they fall into our Top 5 Albums of 2018 list.