Every year of my professional life as a music critic, I’ve made year end lists. Sometimes it was because I simply had to do it, but more often (especially when I was younger) I did it because I thought it was fun. Making a year-end list was like saying, “Here I am, this is what I think, and here’s why I believe you should actually care.” But now that I’m a little older and wiser, list-making feels more like work. In 2018, it was practically a job.
I don’t know if that has to do with my age or the fact that, to me, 2018 felt like a “good, not great” year for music. As always, there were scores of albums that I really enjoyed. But in terms of records that felt like instant classics, or at least inspired me to get obsessed for a good week or two, 2018 seemed a little fallow.
Nevertheless, the 10 albums on my year end list did manage to strike a chord with me, and I was excited to talk about them with my friend Ian Cohen, who shared his own top 10 list. Surprisingly, there’s not a ton of overlap on our lists –- listen to us debate the merits of the 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Boygenius, Father John Misty, and Kacey Musgraves in this special “best of 2018” episode.