Camiele’s 100 Favorite Albums of 2018
Well, here we are, lads and ladies. Another year, another list of my 100 favorite albums. It’s starting to become a tradition, yes? This year I listened to a grand total of 139 albums. So you can imagine it was really a chore to narrow my list down to a respectable 100. There were a few artists who released more than one album or EP. There were artists who were originally on the list who got bumped off thanks to some last-minute discoveries.
This list was at times seriously painful! Having to cut artists who really did deserve to be on the list in some capacity was heartbreaking. But that’s how it goes sometimes.
While 100 is certainly plenty, I’d feel like trash if i didn’t at least give some very deserved Honorable Mentions this year. Though I didn’t do so last year, I just couldn’t bear to not give some of these albums a little shine because they came so damn close to making the top 100!
*Edit: Jannabi’s “Monkey Hotel” was actually released in 2016. As a result, I removed it from this list and one of my honorable mentions made the main list!
SALV – The Monsters
There’s a level of sincerity here that’s surprising for a debut album. SALV could’ve very well gone the typical route: talk hard, easy (read sleazy) love songs. I don’t quite buy the bits of Korean interspersed in the songs; however, save that, this is a very decent first effort.
LATE – Shoes EP
For a debut, it’s incredibly solid. LATE’s style does show just how green he is in terms of how long he’s been making hip-hop, but he also shows that he has a great ear for music and musicality. He also works well with other artists. The features don’t just add their own flavor. They complement Joe and his rugged delivery. A very solid first effort.
RM – mono.
RM will always show himself for the talented MC and lyricist that he is. Musically, his tastes are very similar to what he does with BTS, though he allows himself to be more introspective than cerebral when working on his own music. He’s erred on the side of very melodic, to the point that it’s more in line with some of the features he has on here (including the likes of NELL and the lead vocalist for HONNE). No one will ever accuse him of being lackadaisical in his craft. I’m not 100 percent sure this is anything different than what we’ve been given from him in the past. That being said, it’s a lovely piece of music that stands apart from much of the “idol rap” that’s come out of South Korea.
BTS – Love Yourself: TEAR
The opening certainly grabs your attention. It’s completely unexpected to open the album with a bona fide Slow Jam, but here we are. Singularity, one of the most sensual songs I’ve heard from any K-pop artist. At this point the group is more known for its complex and, at times, convoluted storylines and deeply introspective lyrics than the actual musical composition. At first the album seemed like it was going in that same direction: sacrificing the actual musical integrity for the sake of the narrative and vocals.
However, once one gets past the first couple songs, there’s definitely signs the group is taking liberties with their sound, experimenting with composition, tempo, transition, and beats to add more variety to their overall aural aesthetic. With rare moments where music, voice, and lyric are truly brilliant (as in Steve Aoki composed The Truth Untold and Samba-inspired 13430), TEAR is a step forward for the group musically. Not since HYYH pt. 1 have I felt so impressed with the group’s musicality. Even unfortunate compositional choices such as the unnecessary autotune in Anpanman don’t diminish their musical progression. Bravo.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten through that, on to the main list!
I give you my 100 Favorite Albums of 2018!