Over the last twelve months, we seem to have bought more vinyl, made more playlists, and recommended more new music to our mates than ever before. In fact, when predicted what we’d see in 2018, little did we realise how many great records we’d be unexpectedly treated to.
So, as the year comes to a close, we have collated a list that we feel reflects the wide range of records that we’ve loved this year.
Here it is- the first instalment (50-41) of Secret Meeting’s Best Albums Of 2018.
(Click album covers to read full reviews)
50 – Pusha T – Daytona
‘Kanye West’s involvement in Daytona has given Push, in reality, the perfect platform to showcase his talents both promotionally and production wise. The beats may follow a familiar construction, but they sound too fresh and exciting to simply be Yeezy-by-numbers. Being the first of several new projects West has coming out in the next few months, Push more than holds his own under the weight of his involvement. It is his finest solo album and showcases his growing talents as the focussed verses ooze style and emotional range. Though its release may be dominated by Kanye-centric stories, it is no bad thing as it will allow a much wider audience to appreciate this 21 minute thrill ride.’
49 – Christine & The Queens – Chris
‘On album number two, Chris, Letissier has adopted a more masculine guise to consume the benefits of male privilege and attempts to slay the cemented expectations of how society assumes a person should behave, the beliefs they should have and the values they should uphold. This is an out and out, mainstream pop record, but it carries with it a unique, emotive undercurrent and invention that separates it from most.’
48. Micah P. Hinson – When I Shoot At You With Arrows, I Will Shoot To Destroy You
‘Those of you that are followers of Marc Riley’s BBC 6 Music evening slot are probably already familiar with The Sleep of the Damned, which has found itself on rotation on the long-time supporter/fan’s show. But no one can accuse Riley that this is a case of ‘jobs for the boys’ because its pulsating blend of Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’ being shoved through a cheese grater makes the second single one of a number of highlights on this highly emotive record.’
47. Ezra Furman – Transangelic Exodus
‘While Ezra describes the record as ‘a combination of fiction and a half-true memoir,’ you can’t help but feel it’s more autobiographical than not. This is a deeply personal work, where he demonstrates that he is proud to be an outlaw, if the concept of being true to yourself makes you that. ‘To them we’ll always be freaks,’ he howls on Suck the Blood From My Wound. But let’s hope he doesn’t change, because this ‘freak’ has just made the best record of his career, covering issues we can all relate to, while remaining stoically true to himself.
46. Gruff Rhys – Babelsberg
‘As a fan of much of Rhys’ back catalogue, his innovation and constant desires to break from the norm have always been what fascinates so much about his work. The bold step he has taken here has once more paid off across this fantastic album of stunning orchestral melodies and soundscapes – to once more highlight Rhys’ position as one of alternative music’s most loved sons.’
45. Anna Burch – Quit The Curse
‘Quit The Curse is an album full of catchy and fresh sounding indie-pop. Yet, there is a feeling of familiarity, as though the tracks have a place deep within your consciousness. Burch’s heartfelt lyrics continue over fuzzy, 90’s alt-guitars on Tea Soaked Letter, as she tracks the communication breakdown lamented on the album’s opener – ‘Strange the ones you love could bury your body underground.’ While With You Every Day carries the same hazy imagery as the floral wallpaper and early morning sunlight that bounces against her face on the record’s sleeve.’
44. Mountain Man – Magic Ship
‘The beauty of Mountain Man and more pointedly Magic Ship lies in its simplicity. It is a record centred on the beautiful, heartwarming strength of the three vocalists. Their sound is stripped back, and their vocal talents have created an album quite unlike anything else released in this calendar year.’
43. Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
‘God’s Favorite Customer is a masterpiece. The humour that has been a fixture previously is largely absent, but it is with good reason. Tillman needed to be direct, he needed to face up to whatever was swirling round in his head. The results of which are stunning. If this is to be an end to the Father John Misty persona, then it is an end worthy of remembrance.’
42. Yves Tumor – Safe In The Hands of Love
‘Bowie’s development from 2016’s debut Serpent Music is staggering. Safe In The Hands of Love is a testament of transience, confinement and freedom, that somehow melds underground with mainstream. It is a record that is almost post-post-modern and thrillingly disorientating, as he posits in Licking an Orchid, ‘Some call it torture/Lately I enjoy it’.
41. Thom Yorke – Suspiria
‘Who better to create a haunting, melancholic, dark, washed-out landscape than Thom Yorke? The 80-minute score is painted with cinematic, minor-key passages, and dressed with strings and piano, electronic abstraction and gothic Americana – through which fully fleshed songs appear periodically. It’s no easy listen, but totally fits the genre it’s been crafted for.