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Best Albums of 2018

Dec 20, 2018 at 8:32 PM
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#1
In the spirit of the close of the year, and blatantly copying X-cal at his 2018 indie game lineup, Let's share our favorite music albums that have been released this earthly cycle. List your faves, rank them, praise them, talk about that one track that REALLY shouldn't be put in there that drop the albums rank by one point, and get recommendations for more stuff.

Here's my picks!

--===S tier===--

Onumi - Childhood Friend
An album full of very dark and distorted twists from the depths of soundcloud. Ever since I've found this album I've fallen in love with it, I've never heard anything quite so harmonic, beautiful, terrifying and melodic as this album before. It's like someone took the song "Waters of Nazareth" Threw it into a pit and drugged to near death, then bashed it with all the creepypasta stories that the internet has to offer, and then refined it in the fires of hell with modern sound productions and a tracklisting that doesn't let it's guard down!

From the way this album handles beats so cleanly, to the ugly distortion all over this, to even the silent moments where it's just oozing of terrifying things; This album is a full package to say the least. It's not an easily approachable album to some, but if you even slightly lean toward this kind of music then please be sure to check it out; as well as the rest of Onumi's discography!

Gunship - Dark All Day
A super tight album full of of dark synthwave themes. From the powerful striking chords, and the hypnotizing saxophone performances to the sad sentimental messages in" When you grow up, your hear dies", and "Symmetrical", to the hope of "Time after Time", this album captures the darker side of Synthwave with near perfection. The tracklisting here is very tight and every song has something great about it. It stays very approachable as well by incorporating elements of pop music in some of it's songs, while not detracting from the core elements of them. If you're deep into synthwave or never heard of it, give it a chance! It's my favorite album released this year for sure.

Clarence Clarity - THINK:pEACE
Clarence Clarity has always been very avaunt guard from the beginning, and while this project isn't the most off the rails thing he's done and steps back toward a more "normal" and "pop like" feel IT certainly keeps Clarity's style shining very, well, with clarity. The A side of this album is straight fire; The first 3 songs and the intro are just the single best 11 minutes of music I think I've heard this year for sure. It's so hard to explain exactly what this is, It's like, pop music, but somebody twisted, and changed it so drastically, The hook of "W€ CHANG£" Has church bells, and super downshifted vocals playing out the lead of this part playing the notes staccato, if you can even imagine church bells doing that. Also I've very recently just figured out that "Next best thing" samples the discord ringtone just less than a half minute into the track and pitch shifts it.

From the super catchy hooks all throughout the album, (GGGIIIIRRRLLLLLLL; you make me feel like you've been fuckin' everyone!) to the crazy sounds of what sounds like an entire choir of small slime creatures singing in unison at the beginning of "2016"

Very funky, and "interesting" album to say the least.

Kids See Ghosts - Self Titled
I came into this album expecting just another Kanye project with Cudi, but man...

This album is sooo tight for what it is. The sonic design on this album, some of the lyrics, and the tracklisting is just REALLY good (except "fire", fuck you, you suck go home.)
I can't really believe that I would like a rap album of this style particularly ending up so high on my tier list of this year, but It's just so good I can't deny it.

Every track feels full and has purpose, from the jutting Vocals of "Feel the Love", to the slow lovely serenade of "Reborn" It really is just a good complete album.

Kikagaku Moyo - Masana Temples
A Prog rock album! I love prog rock, and this one has some really good integration to traditional Japanese instruments in it as well. The lyrics Kikagaku throws down on this album is just so clean and smooth, The whole piece flows together so well with the instrument choices over the vocals and I love it all <3
I can't really say a lot more about this album, except it's a very solid piece of Prog rock and I love Prog rock, so If you love cave story Prog rock, be sure to check this one out!

--===A Tier===--

Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want
More prog rock? Well this isn't anything like our last entry, all of a sudden our Prog rock went into a very, very dark place!

YWGWYW Is very dark, from the messages of "Satin in the wait" to "less sex" and especially "City Song" It's not often you get a jumpscare from music just STOPPING but the buildup of the track and then everything just ending, and only the sad lazy singing all that is left carrying the track, actually singing every 4 or 5 seconds is something I never thought would be even half as impactful as it was.

I always don't know what to say about Prog albums because all the tracks just kinda flow together and picking out parts is kinda hard to talk about.

Sophie - Oil Of Every Pearls Un-Insides
Well, This is another interesting Avaunt-guard pop-like album. It starts out very normal, but don't let the first track fool you, this album is like taking THINK:pEACE and Childhood Friend and mashing them together violently, and then increasing the "contrast" to make the pop songs more pop like, and the dark grungy ones even more grungy. You need look no further than the first 2 songs to understand this contrast.

With all this said, even though the tracklisting is very confusing and the flow isn't very well constructed, the album is still a solid one so hit it up if you like!

The Midnight - Kids
Synthwave, tunes once again. This time the Midnight is showing us more of his bright tunes under the sun. There's something kinda magical about this album, and while I can put my finger on it the composition of the tracks are pretty solid and there isn't a bad one in here, if you like more bright synthwave than Dark All Day check this one out!


I'd write more but ehh.

Here are some honorable mentions:
Scraton - Reel to Reel
EDM styled album, nothing too special, but the album is pretty consistently decent

Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
Decent Blues album

Mother - Makeup and Vanity Set
Dark Synthwave album

Galeon tiptop - nightbath
crazy bubbly album!!

Yoshimi - Japanese Ghosts III
atmospheric dark album I love to listen to while coding.

Swing growers - Outsidein
Electro Swing!

MGMT - Little Dark Age
SynthPop!

Judas Priest - Firepower
Metal (yes these guys STILL make music!)

This pretty much sums up this year for music, quite a few good albums I must say. This is the first year I've really paid attention to stuff as it's been coming out. It's been a fun run and I'm STILL WAITING FOR MADEON TO RELEASE HIS ALBUM HE SAID HE WOULD THIS YEAR very happy we got such a good collection!

Have you guys listened to any of these before you read this thread? Are you going to listen to any of them now that I've recommended them? What's your favorite album this year?
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 1:40 AM
gigantic immortal dog...?
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#2
Unfortunately, by the time I find music I like it's usually a year after release. So I'll contribute just a few favorite music things from 2018 that I liked and bought...

Laura Brehm - Various
Some 2018 songs:
Just recently found out about her. Most of her music seems to be collaborations? So they aren't gathered neatly in an album. And while the music might not stand out against the ocean of artists out there...
I'm hooked on her voice. <3

a shell in the pit - Wandersong's OST
This might not be *my* album of the year, but I'll mention it because I'd give it best use of sound and music in a game for 2018. And that album is huge btw. Can't speak highly enough about how well it meshes with the game.

Deniz Akbulut - CrossCode's OST
lol. I can't help myself. I get especially hooked on the music of games that I've enjoyed. And I don't have a bunch of 2018 albums to mention. So, here you go!

Clara Castro - Caostrofobia
And here's one more... I just heard it lol. It sounds so nice though. What can I say? I'm easy to get nominations from. xD

Oh, here's one more single I bought on impulse, an english vocaloid song:
https://yzyx.bandcamp.com/album/hello-world-feat-hatsune-miku

@BLink - Listened to your S-tier so far. Hadn't heard any of those before. I think I might like Onumi's album the best? To borrow another song's name it's a kind of musical sound shower (or storm?).
I'll need free time to go through everything you posted, but nice thought with the thread ;)
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 3:10 AM
Everything Else Is Irrelevant
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#3
Laura Brehm - Various
Oh man, this takes me back to my very beginning of my musical journey;
THIS was the song that made me start to listen to music 3 1/2 years ago.

a shell in the pit - Wandersong's OST
The first song is very folky sounding and very calming. It reminds me of the songs one of my co-workers would sing as he loved sea shanty songs.
The second one is also pretty good, the mix of chiptune and classical instrumentation sounds nice.

Deniz Akbulut - CrossCode's OST
Oh my god this sounds so familiar, but I don't know why? I swear I've heard something like this. It gives me nostalgia for some reason and I love it.
I've never played chrono trigger but I for some random reason know this song exists

Clara Castro - Caostrofobia
This sounds like it belongs as the BGM of some indie spy move somewhere lol

Oh, here's one more single I bought on impulse, an english vocaloid song:
https://yzyx.bandcamp.com/album/hello-world-feat-hatsune-miku
Vocaloid is one of those genres I've heard great songs out of but never have really bothered to dig deep into.
This track is pretty decent, I'll have to give it a few re-listens


I'll need free time to go through everything you posted, but nice thought with the thread ;)
Thanks, I spend a lot of time listening to music, and finding new music. Mostly off bandcamp. /mu/, and recommendations by other people. I thought I'd offer up the best goods I could find since you did so with indie games :pignon:
 
Dec 21, 2018 at 1:14 PM
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#4
General poor behaviour/treatment of other users
I often do.
You should really consider previewing these things... y'know just in case, kid.

Can't wait for the counter-arguments.




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It's a facttt
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Dec 21, 2018 at 10:00 PM
Soup Man
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#5
i liked nickelback's new album /s


to be honest the best album to come out of this year has to be my nixod pictures album seen here. (read right to left btw)
 
Last edited:
Dec 29, 2018 at 7:04 PM
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#6
Some of my favorite albums this year were:
I'll be talking about the tracks I enjoyed the most from each soundtrack.
Rude Buster has such a simple melody in the beginning and continues to build with a cool melody verse; and I simply can't get enough of it's instrument choice.

Chaos King, being the final boss theme of chapter 1 utilizes so many motifs and still works so well, Toby really knows how to craft memorable music that really gets my mind going: "Hey I know that motif! Lancer's theme incorporated that!" And I simply love that second last verse as the music does two sudden small tonal shifts with an awesome kick as it jumps right back into the melody, and the 8-bit instruments compliment the guitars really well.

Don't Forget is so simple and Laura Shigihara does amazing vocals, her voice is hopeful, and yet grim; it helps set the stage for the following chapters after the surprise conclusion to Deltarune's opening chapter.

Gallery, weird name I might add, has that awesome grim tone and it really gives the King a dreadful feeling, like all hope is lost; and I can't get enough of the King's facial expressions, truly a creature of power and pure wrath.

The World Revolving is an awesome secret theme, and is definitely the Megalovania of the Deltarune soundtrack, popular, and catchy as hell; not much else sums it up.

Yeah that's right, I'm a vocaloid nerd.
Inai Inai Reboot Trailer: The trailer alone had me pumped, I've been following Kairiki Bear for nearly 2 years, and his tracks really did help me through some tough times; in a sorta: "If these people can get fucked up way more psychologically than I am, than maybe I'm pretty well-off" and even the bonus tracks are real finger-snappers, I even love the instrumentals.

Hate Girl was one of the first tracks that really spoke to me as a writer and vocaloid enthusiast, it's rockin' and simply gets me pumped, in translation, the background visual alone gives a picture that I can paint my own story and become attached to the song in my own way, without even having to really understand the lyrics. Like looking at art, it's interpretative, I don't need to understand everything to make my own picture.

People Allergy, the first song that Juby Phonic did a cover of on her channel, the title alone reverberates feelings of anxiety, which was very much how I felt going into high-school and even through a relationship at that time. Plus the bees on the visual work, they just work.

Failure Girl, it has a non-MV version, but I'll just leave the MV up. When translated, it's about a girl who stumbles and keeps failing to do anything right and ultimately succumbs to the pressures of modern society before taking her life; when I was young, I struggled to impress people beyond being a charitable and Charismatic guy, in which I would always fail or do something wrong that would hurt my own reputation due to just being impulsive, frankly I still do that sometimes today, the song hit a nerve with me when I first heard the translated version and it's definitely a favorite of mine.

Oh my good god I love Calamity, the Terraria mod, I dare say it's simply a game all on it's own! DM Dokuro doesn't get enough credit for his work and I highly suggest checking it out.
Stained, Brutal Calamity is such a piece, it mixes motifs from previous works and it's lyrical sections are stuff I can't stop repeating at work. It's length let's it go on and on, but in a good way; I don't bored of any part of it.

Roar of the Jungle Dragon is an epic piece that mixes the guitar and Dokuro's first true lyrical piece, the lore incorporated with the Dragon and the lyrics works really well; I even made tried doing my own cover of it, with disastrous results, but hey, pobody's nerfect (sic).

Infestation (Or "1NF3S+@+!0N" if you wanna be annoying when typing it) is actually a really cool song that's grown on me with time; it's little snaps are really cool, and when put under a spectrum during it's bridge verse, it represents mushrooms; which is actually really sick.

Fly of Beelzebub is a strange theme, but definitely has it's roots and the boss-fight paired up with it, I can't get enough of, there's something about it that just really gets me into the beat and the boss-fight is just pure insanity until the end.

The Devourer of Gods (and it's non-stop mix, featuring it's sentinels theme, it's first phase and 2nd phase theme, as well as a cool hidden 4th sentinel theme that acts as a nice bridge verse), features the iconic worm boss, the DoG, it's original theme even borrows motifs from Cave Story's Last Battle :muscledoc:. Even now, the song is so bad-ass, it really gives the player the sense of power and grace as they weave and dodge around the, tanking the damage, or simply laying down the damage with nearly whatever weapon you like (I prefer the Elemental Blaster with the Tarragon ranger bonus).

Unholy Insurgency really gives me the feeling that I'm slaying a god, hence the title; it mixes many instruments and doesn't have to rely on any guitars, but regardless, kept me going no matter how many times I died.

Instant Heaven is a fun track that's got a nice up-beat attitude to it (it makes a song about Instagram fun to listen to, which is saying a lot) but still pairs well as a rock song; it's what got me to start listening to Nano Wo Akari, although it doesn't have a soundtrack to call it's own, yet.

A Fake Fake Psychotropic, one of the first vocaloid songs I ever listened to, while it wasn't something I discovered this year, it's one of the first that really got me into the genre.

A Movement for Rosa was one of the songs my band played this year for our state competition, and it's a symbolic and wondrous piece that really incorporates bits and pieces of Rosa Parks' life that give a quiet victory of ending racism, but still the solemn reminder that the idea still lingers and the fact that the tragedy of slavery and racism existed at one point, and that it still lingers in some areas of the world to this day.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World has a soft tone in the beginning, but just at a perfect key that it can be ingrained into a listener; I find it a nice song to listen to during my chores and sometimes hum to at work; a piece from an era my parents lived through, and something we like to talk about.

Black Paper Moon: I actually got around to watching all of Soul Eater this year and the anime was a blast, and this song as the 2nd opening was killer, I even listened to it years back before I even watched much of Soul Eater, and the guitars really sell the theme.

Telestroless, definitely one I don't know too much about, it was released several days ago frankly, but there's a step-up in visuals for Kairiki's iconic static visual style; it has moving clouds in the climax of each verse, and still ends on a static visual; but there's definitely more production value to it and the song has an awesome final verse that makes it unique that I wished more songs incorporated; and the girl in this one reminds me a bit of Nino from Fire Emblem, especially in her stance and the book in her left hand.

I Don't Want To Know, specifically the Juby Phonic cover, it's a catchy beat that's perfect for a jog, it's theme is ambiguous enough on the first listen but still rings true when analysed; and I simply love Juby's covers, it's definitely a highlight of the Non-Kairiki Bear covers.
 
Last edited:
Jan 10, 2019 at 11:55 AM
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#7
Well, I have some bonus albums to add here that I've found since my original post!

--===A Tier===--

George Clanton - Slide
This album take vaporwave to an entirely new production level, under his previous Alias, I've always thought that George aka ESPRIT 空想 was a standout artist, making vaporwave sounding albums such as virtua.zip and using almost no sampling whatsoever. He's taken this skill he's amassed over a few years and has constructed a genuinely amazing album out of this keeping the feeling of Vaporwave attached to his work but having a very high production value making incredibly catchy dreamy pop like tunes.

Super solid album front to back, was very happy to run into this album!

Kero Kero Bonito - Time 'n' Place
Well I didn't think I'd run into an avant-guard alternative album with Jpop and folk elements in it anytime soon but here we are.

Man, this album is good and it's hard to really explain why. There are some great straight forward track on this like swimming, and Time Today, but there's a lot of hidden content in this album, and the album takes a while (or it did for me) for everything to *click* and get what the whole album was saying.

Very Very interesting listen to say the least.

Kanye West - Ye
I don't think this album matches up to the levels of Kids See Ghosts, but this album has a lot of the same "good" elements that made KSG good but doesn't quite do it as well imo.

If you like Kanye's newer stuff, It'w worth checking out and I found the LP solidly constructed, there was only one song that I didn't really like. (All Mine) But the rest of the album sits very well and I enjoyed it enough to stuff it into A tier.

Devon Church - We Are Inextricable
A very dreamy folk album, It makes me feel very safe when I listen to this album. Like some loving authority figure is singing to you letting you know everthing is ok, as if knowing that we've found heaven and we will be going there one day soon.

The entire album melds together super well for a 37 minute piece and I love the flow, the tone, and everything about this.

--===B Tier===--

Pusha T - Daytona
More Fire beats from Kanye on this album, I think the beats are more consistent on this than on Ye, but I don't really have much more to say.

Sorry I don't really have much to say about Rap albums, the take a lot of time to digest because of the lyrical depth and My opinion on Rap can change drastically between the first and 10th listen so I'm not sure about this or Ye on how good I ACTUALLY think they are. (also I'm writing this whole post at like almost 4 in the morning right now so.....

Low - Double Negative
A very drowzy, drone like, but well put together noise album. Very calming with it's drones, and choir singing throughout.

Rozen - Children of Termina
Oh boy a Majoras Mask OST reimagination.
I didn't think this one was QUITE as good as Theophany's reimagination but if you love Majoras Mask this is def work checking out, it has some very good highs in it and it's hard to go wrong on a reimagination of such a good OST.

Meteor - White Crows
Another Synthwave Album! Meteor continues to impress with his works!
I still feel that Parallel lives is a better album than this one, but this has some absolute fire tunes in it and it's really good. I love how Meteor can tell a story without a single word through his music.

Here's a handy dandy chart of everything, and my rankings of the albums that I made using http://www.neverendingchartrendering.org/
Leftness/rightness on this list doesn't matter, only how high up from the bottom does.



Code:
10/10  = 0 (still haven't found any 10/10 albums ever)
9/10   = 4 
8/10   = 3
7/10   = 8
6/10   = 10
Man, 2018 was a good year for music. I'm so glad that I've found so many nice albums. Despite what the older generation might say, music is far from dead, and I'm looking forward to what 2019 will present to us!
 
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