Top 10 Albums of 2018

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

This year was a strong year for music.  Several of our favorite bands returned stronger than ever with new releases.  We also discovered several new artists that we cannot get enough of. It was challenging to pick a top 10, but here are my top albums of 2018, counting down to my top album of the year.

10. M A N I A - Fall Out Boy (listen here) This was definitely the most interesting release from Fall Out Boy, and it took some time to grow on me. The songs are super catchy and are fun to dance too. They were especially fun to dance to during the M A N I A Tour, with the dancing llamas joining the stage. The best way to describe this album is purple. llamas. and bass drop. Strangely enough, I dig it.

9. Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes (listen here) Canadian pop artist, Shawn Mendes, won us all over in 2018. With his smooth vocals and sweet lyrics, I can’t help but swoon over him. He’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine and I am looking forward to seeing him live in 2019.

8. Man of the Woods - Justin Timberlake (listen here) Anyone that knows me. knows my love for Justin. I’m a little biased since I work for him, but I can truly say that he puts on one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. Justin’s MOTW dives into his roots and his childhood of growing up in Memphis. The tour had a campfire on stage and everyone sitting around singing together, while Justin played guitar. That’s definitely the vibe of this album - family, friends, and Southern goodness.

7. Sunnyland - Mayday Parade (listen here) This is one of my favorite releases from Mayday Parade. This album is a nostalgic sound of pop/rock that we know and love. The lyrics range of love to politics, showing the bands growth, while being very relatable. This was also an incredible show to see. The tour had brilliant production, and Mayday Parade sounded better than ever.

6. Trench - Twenty One Pilots (listen here) This was another album that I had been anticipating for quite a while. Twenty One Pilots spent months with their coded messages, driving all of us insane (although several brilliant people cracked the codes early). The bandito tour was another show with incredible production and energy, and left us wanting more. This concept album has so many more hidden meanings to uncover. In the meantime, I’ll keep jamming along.

5. Youngblood - 5 Seconds of Summer (listen here) This is the album that officially got me into 5SOS. My friends would always play them, and I never payed any attention until now. The title track would come on the radio and it was physically impossible not to dance along. My best friend loves this album, and I’m glad she kept it on repeat. I’m officially hooked.

4. Flowerss - Halfnoise (listen here) In 2018, people finally started listening when we said Halfnoise is that band. They are so ridiculously fun to dance along with. This album is full of songs that you can groove to, or just sing along at the top of your lungs. I’ve seen Halfnoise so many times, and I can’t wait to see them again in March! They’ve easily become one of my favorite bands. There is NO party like a Halfnoise party.

3. MAE (Multisensory Aesthetic Experience) - MAE (listen here) This is the first album I can recall that I was so damn blown away on the very first listen. I had the honor of hearing these songs early, during Mae Day. To be completely honest, I only knew one Mae song prior to this event. Once I heard Mae explain the album and physically sat there listening with them, I was numb. You can feel this album; they have intertwined the best BPMs and melodies to send an electric shock through your body. They also let us try virtual reality to help enhance the songs (which you can purchase on their site). The lyrics also stuck with me. I truthfully can say that this album opened up my mind, and is so damn good.

2. Don’t Smile at Me - Billie Eilish (listen here) I completely fell in love with Billie this year. Between her “sad music,” chilling voice, and crazy style, she instantly became my favorite artist. I’m one of those people who likes to listen to sad songs when I’m sad, landing all of Billie’s music in my top listened tracks on Spotify. I think she is absolutely phenomenal; wise beyond her years, and so damn talented. Hoping to catch a show in 2019!

1.. Pray for the Wicked - Panic! at the Disco (listen here) I could literally spend hours talking about this album. Panic! is my absolute favorite band, and this album exceeded all of my expectations. There’s a 95% chance that you can find me at any given time singing (screaming) along to this album, or at least just going on and on about how much I love it. Seeing Brendon grow so much over the years (like this past summer, leading Broadway) has been incredible. He is so damn talented, I am constantly amazed by what he pulls off. I was also honored to work briefly for the first leg of the PFTW tour, and I’m excited to be joining leg 2 next month! If you see me crying/screaming at a show, feel free to say hi!


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