Best Albums of 2018 (First Half)

I posted my 26th Annual Albums of the Year Report just after Thanksgiving 2017, as is my usual practice. This means that late May of 2018 should be the regular time for my annual six-month report on the subsequent year. But it’s a dreary Saturday in Chicago today (again), I’m getting back into a more regular travel mode in a couple of weeks, and there’s a wealth of goodness to cite for the five-plus months behind us . . . so today seems a good day to get the list out, even if it’s a couple of weeks early.

So behold! The 18 albums that have moved me most in 2018 (thus far) are listed below, alphabetically by artist. No full reviews for now, but each link will take you where you need to go to explore the artists and albums in question. I see a few in here that have the scent and gravitas of “Album of the Year” material about them, but we shall see what the next six months bring. One thing I’ve learned over the years in doing and documenting these sorts of things is how much my opinions can change in a six month period, as early faves wear out their welcomes, or things rise up the ladder due to repeated listening. Happy listening to each of these discs now, in any case!

Beach House, 7

The Body, I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer.

Che Guevara T-Shirt, Seven Out, Pay the Don’ts

The Damned, Evil Spirits

Jonathan Davis, Black Labyrinth

Drinks, Hippo Lite

Ezra Furman, Transangelic Exodus

First Aid Kit, Ruins

Goat Girl, Goat Girl

Anna von Hausswolff, Dead Magic

HOGG, SELF-EXTINGUISHING EMISSION

Hailu Mergia, Lala Belu

Ministry, AmeriKKKant

Napalm Death, Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs

No Age, Snares Like a Haircut

Shriekback, Why Anything? Why This?

Sons of Kemet, Your Queen Is a Reptile

Xylouris White, Mother

3 thoughts on “Best Albums of 2018 (First Half)

  1. Looks like I’ve got some listening to do over the upcoming long weekend — thanks for the suggestions!

    Agreed on First Aid Kit, Napalm Death and Ministry (Al surprises once again!). Additional standouts to my ears:

    Screaming Females – “All At Once” — The songs are tighter (dare I say, even poppy in places), the riffs fuzzier, the vocals still full of power and vibrato. A band that keeps getting better more than a decade into their existence.

    Franz Ferdinand – “Always Ascending” — Nice return to form for the boys. Post-punk dance rock done well.

    The Sword – “Used Future” — They continue to indulge their more Thin Lizzy-esque tendencies and I am digging it.

    And, I don’t know if it is standout, but I still keep listening to it and thinking about it . . . the new Jack White – “Boarding House Reach.” I can’t say it will ever be a favorite, but it’s the closest he’s come to embracing his inner Captain Beefheart to date, so it’s definitely interesting.

    • I went back and forth on the Jack White album . . . I have it, I listen to it, and sometimes I like it, and sometime I hate it . . . we will see which pile it ends up on by year’s end!! Will investigate the other three, thanks for reminders/shares!

  2. Pingback: 7 and 7 on Saturday, May 26, 2018 – Chuck The Writer

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