DOUBLE BLOCK SCHEDULE IN FEBRUARY (Feb.19-22):
8:35 – 9:05 Tutorials
9:10 – 11:10 AM Class (Feb.19th 2-2, Feb.20th 1-2, Feb.21st 2-1, Feb. 22nd 1-1)
11:10 – 11:30 Silent Reading
11:30 – 12:23 Lunch
12:28 – 12:58 Tutorials
1:03 – 3:03 PM Class (Feb.19th 2-4, Feb.20th 1-4, Feb.21st 2-3, Feb. 22nd 1-3)
Wow! The lack of response to albums #25 - 11 was overwhelming. Maybe NOBODY looked at it at all. How humbling. Guess I'll post these last ten albums for posterity sakes, if nothing else. Surely someone out there wants to tell me how awful my list is and that I forgot the Post Malone / 6ix9ine / Fall Out Boy album. Come at me, People!
10. Low - Double Negative
This might be rated too high. I listened to it again this week and thought to myself: "Uh-oh. Not as amazing as I remembered". Still fantastic but I wish I had listed it in the mid-teens. Oh well... nobody is reading this anyway.
9. Hookworms - Microshift
Never heard of these guys before this year, but enjoyed the album immensely. It's the sort of album that requires a few listens. Even after the 6th, 7th, 8th listens I was discovering tracks as if for the first time. They just kind of grow on you... does this explain the name (Hookworms) in some way?
8. Robyn - Honey
OK, I admit it: I do not listen to a lot of pop music. I am not up-to-date on my Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Cardi B. But one pop artist I will always make time for is Robyn. She writes great songs, she's smart and strong and an independent thinker. This is her first album in around 8 years (not a smart move for a pop artists) but its like she never went away. Robyn = <3
7. Anderson .Paak - Oxnard
I love, love, LOVED Anderson .Paak's last album - Malibu. Though this effort doesn't match that masterwork, it is still tons of fun. So many different styles - R&B, rap, hip-hop, blues, soul, gospel... How can one man be this talented? Hope he releases more music soon!
6. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
Another angry album (apparently I have a lot of rage this year. Hehehe) but with killer hooks. Love the tempo changes, the funky bass lines, and the snarled vocals. Quite possibly the COOLEST album of the year.
5. Christine and the Queens - Chris
Released simultaneously in French and English! Great production, catchy, fun, and empowering. It's the sound of a strong, rebellious, determined woman... as she explores what it means to be a woman in 2018.
4. Jungle - For Ever
Most of the albums on my Top 25 list show up on at least a few critics' Best Of lists. Not this one. In fact, I believe this album was panned by quite a few critics. Well, I must have bad taste then because I listened to this album A LOT this year! Though they haven't changed much from their last album (still the same retro-soul sound), it still works... for me. Bonus: this is the only group I can think of that I am actually interested in watching their videos. Gotta love all the dancing that shows up consistently!
3. Florence + the Machine - High as Hope
What a return to form! I was not a big fan of Florence's last album but this one was incredible! The same world-beating voice, the soaring choruses, the heartbreak and the heartfelt. Thank God for Florence Welch: a rock star we can believe in!!
2. Leon Bridges - Good Thing
Another album that critics largely ignored. How? Why? If you like soul music (and how can anybody NOT like soul music) this is about as good as it gets right now (head back to the 1960's if you want to hear the best EVER). Leon Bridges is one SMOOOOOTH guy. His voice sounds like liquid honey. And his band is tight. Biggest musical shock of the year: he is pretty ho-hum in concert. Sophia and I went to see him and we both agreed: the music sounded great but there was no connection with the audience. Disappointing, Leon (and it might have cost you the #1 slot on this list).
1. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
I didn't listen to any album more than this one. Janelle Monáe is an innovator, a radical, a brave spirit. On this album, she seemingly channels the recently-departed Prince. It's not hard to hear his influence all over these songs. True collaborators on Dirty Computer include Grimes, Brian Wilson, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Thundercat. An impressive group of talent, and a most impressive album! Number ONE, in fact!
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