Camiele’s 100 Favorite Albums of 2018
80. All Saints – Testament
The women of All Saints are as soulful as ever. Their voices have lost none of the power. The first genuine vocal powerhouse girl group from ’90s pop groups as far as I’m concerned.
This is a welcome return for the quartet and a grand introduction for those who haven’t heard of them. Maturity has given added dimension to their vocal production as well as their songwriting and composition. I’ve missed them so much, and this was a glorious surprise for me.
79. Marilyn Monderland – LOVE
Funky, smooth. This is just a pleasant album to the ear.
While the sound is very much in tune with what’s on-trend in Korea, it’s also not overbearing. The three-member unit—JUNNY, Yelloasis, and Holynn—definitely add a refreshing dimension that allows the more old-school sound to stay grounded in the present. Really just a lovely piece of music. Simple but incredibly musical. (Also, nice touch sampling Crush in track H.E.R.)
78. Tom Misch – Geography
Tom Misch seems to make music for the carefree, if only in tone. The music is easy, soft. It’s a soothing bit of lovely that’s excellent for a day simply relaxing on the couch, reading a good book, or thinking about the ones you love.
77. DAY6 – Shoot Me : Youth Part 1
This band never disappoints. If there’s one thing that’s definitely true of the real bands of the K-pop boy bands, DAY6 is at the top of their game.
Shoot Me is as loud, as powerful, and as full of that signature vocal precision that fans of the group have come to expect. From the opening track, I was left kind of breathless with just how intense their vocal construction is. Of course, they’re A-class musicians to boot.
76. Ego Function Error – Ego Fun Show
Kook-kook is a maniac guitarist. And despite her very quiet demeanor, Seung-hyun is a BEASTLY bassist and keeps pace with KK with little effort.
This album is another facet of Ego Function Error, who admit to wanting to meld different types of music together to create their own sound. They get ever closer to truly reinventing their niche of punk into something different and remarkable. MJ’s voice is playful, but don’t let that fool you. Woman has pipes for days and she knows how to use them. Won-ji is also her own force to be reckoned with on the drums. Together this band creates music that is always unexpected yet always incredible.
75. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love
There are elements of old-school break beats and 9th Wonder-like production. Interspersed with adventurous electronica. It’s quite an interesting mix of schools of production.
I’m really impressed by how well they balance each other out. It’s very easy to get lost in some of the intricacies of the music and allow it to wash over you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. Mixing elements of funk, ’80s punk (a la The Smiths), and experimental lo-fi, this is a genuinely unique sonic experience.
74. Robyn – Honey
Sensual. Cheeky. Emotional. Robyn is back with her first album in eight years.
Her love affair with honest-to-goodness dance music hasn’t diminished, and neither has her penchant for the emotionally raw and introspective. Her voice and its power when expressing her grievances with love are just as endearing as they’ve been since her debut back in 1995. But there’s always triumph in her pain, and the brightness of the production attests to her ability to see the sunlight in all the fog.
Her work will always be special to me.
73. Sik-k – TRAPART
Sik-k works so much better with Groovyroom than Boycold just in terms of tone. His grimy delivery has so much more weight with the diversity of Groovyroom’s production—which can be nu-jazz smooth in one moment, Compton dark in another.
I feel so much of Sik-k’s passion in TRAPART more than I ever have. So heavy, so dark, so powerful. Really an astonishing piece of work from the Korean rapper.
72. Product H – Winter Ends
While it’s somewhat unfortunate that his name keeps being whispered throughout, this is a solid collection of music. The beats and melodies are actually quite beautiful.
Available on Product H’s Soundcloud.
71. Reel People – Retroflection
THEY’RE BACK! And I couldn’t be more excited if I tried! And hello Reel People interpretation of classic Don’t You Stop the Music and Incognito classic Always There. And also, keeping the Incognito connection alive, a fond hello to vocalist Tony Momrelle as he returns to work with Reel People once again (his first and only appearance on 2007’s Seven Ways to Wonder).
In fact all the covers on this album are just so well done, so respectfully repurposed, you can forgive that there are so many (including LaSharVu’s interpretation of Teena Marie classic I Need Your Lovin’ and Pleasure’s Joyous). This album is just so much fun. Classic Reel People, just as sharp as when I first heard The Rain, yet there’s so much more… chill. It’s energetic without being overly so. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I heard their first release in 10 years.