Best 10 Albums of 2018

best 10 albums of 2018 review

Best 10 Albums of 2018

It’s been a fantastic year for new music, with captivating releases from veteran household names and upcoming superstars, across genres spanning glam rock to world music. On: Magazine music writer David Schuster picks ten of his favourites from 2018…

The Struts, Young & Dangerous
With this, their second album, the neo-glam rockers have produced the perfect New Year’s Eve dance floor filling, shout at the top of your lungs, party CD that manages to sound both new, and instantly familiar, at the same time. A frontman with attitude and charisma, outrageous costumes and anthemic tunes: There’s nothing not to like here!
Taster tracks: ‘Freak Like You’, ‘In Love With A Camara’, ‘Tatler Magazine’

Mumford and Sons, Delta
Marking something of a departure sound-wise, the title track encapsulates the record as a whole; starting comfortingly familiar, developing into something different and experimental and finishing with sweeping symphonic grandeur. The Mumfords have been through some difficult personal experiences, and the result is a collection of multi-layered complex soundscapes.
Taster tracks: ‘Guiding Light’, ‘The Wild’, ‘Darkness Visible’

Sunflower Bean, Twenty Two in Blue
Infectious and clever pop-rock covering a rich diversity of styles from glam to Cocteau Twins style bass and drums, via The Jesus and Mary Chain. Julia Cumming and the guys are worthy successors to their fellow New Yorkers, Blondie. Perfect for your office Christmas party; crank up the volume and watch your work-mates play air guitar to this.
Taster tracks: ‘Crisis Fest’, ‘Any Way You Like’, ‘Sinking Sands’

Joan Armatrading, Not Too Far Away
With her twenty first studio album Armatrading proves that she is still at the top of her game. This a record of devotion, lust and yearning, perfect because she manages to convey the joy and heartbreak that love brings.
Taster tracks: ‘Any Place’, ‘No More Pain’, ‘This Is Not That’

Sons of Bill, O God Ma’am
Beautifully understated Americana, reminiscent of Tom Petty and Neil Young. Best experienced from end to end, this is a poignant sonic road trip to immerse yourself in late at night with a small Jack Daniels.
Taster tracks: ‘Easier’, ‘Old and Grey’, ‘Sweeter, Sadder, Farther Away’

Mark Knopfler, Down The Road Wherever
Songs that draw you into stories of lives past and present, mixed with just-for-fun ditties. Mark Knopfler has produced a great record, both quirky and personal. Down The Road Wherever feels like the guitarist doing what he does best, and loving it.
Taster tracks: ‘Matchstick Man’, ‘Heavy Up’, ‘One Song At A Time’

Dream Wife, Dream Wife
The all-girl British neo-punk three-piece succinctly prove why a media focus on the role of women in performing arts is long overdue. Clever but fun indie guitar music, with great riffs and infectious hooks. Fast, feisty and fun.
Taster tracks: ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, ‘Spend The Night’, ‘Fire’

Fatoumata Diawara, Fenfo
Diawara fuses traditional African and contemporary instruments, jaunty guitar and beautiful vocals to produce exquisite songs which are uniquely hers. Having made a name for herself with her debut, this second album cements her reputation as one of the current leading figures in world music.
Taster tracks: ‘Ou Y’ An Ye’, ‘Dibi Bo’, ‘Fenfo’

Henge, Attention Earth!
Mad as a sprout sandwich, this CD proves that the space-electro rockers are also accomplished instrumentalists producing a collection of tunes that surprise and delight. It’s also worth seeing them live, if you get the chance, as Henge’s ongoing mission is to show us earthlings how to have a good time.
Taster tracks: ‘Monolith’, ‘In Praise of Water’, ‘Mushroom One’

Kyle Falconer, No Thank You
Excellent debut solo recording from the frontman of The View (who haven’t split, this is a parallel project). Both thoughtful and catchy, the ironic humour and wordplay of the songs is a joy.
Taster tracks: ‘Kelly’, ‘The Therapist’, ‘Last Bus Home’


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