OK; At last I am done sorting out my Top 20 albums for 2018. Here's the Top 20, and also why another 20 or so albums didn't make it to that bunch of winners.
The Hits: There are two R&B albums, with both promising to be top ten material on the early days I started listening to them. However, "Midnight hour" started to feel a tad monotonous upon repeated listens, despite the quality of the music, hence it just makes it inside the top 20.
Meshelle Ndegeocello's stellar album with some lovely covers of Prince, Sade, Tina Turner and TLC among others managed to impress me on repeated listens and hence is near the top.
The Misses: The only other R&B highlight that I listened to was Janelle Monae's "Dirty Computer". It just missed the top 20, despite the strong similarities of Prince that its sound has. There is even a track which starts like "kiss".
Alternate/ Adult-Alternate / Rock
(typically my favourite genre)
a.The alternate and adult alternative artistes that I have loved over the years make appearances, but not in the top ten. Alice in Chains and the Smashing Pumpkins have good records to show up in the top 20, while "A Perfect Circle" , although different from their previous efforts, has its charm to show up just below the top 10 ( and if only 2019 will see a new Tool album).
Further it was refreshing to listen a strong consistent album by The Breeders after a long while. Loved "walking with a killer" and "Blues in Acropolis". And the ideal running length for an album is 30 minutes and a bit, I feel, in the present times.
In previous years, Paul Weller has featured at the tail end of the top 20, if that. But his largely acoustic effort of 2018, is a charming album, and is featured high in top ten.
b. The Brit-Rock Band Snow Patrol effort impressed me a lot on repeated listens, although on initial listens I didn't think it'll last through the year. It did well to feature higher than my typical favourites such as Alice in Chains.
c. Their dead pan style being an attraction with me, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett continues to do well as in the previous years. Love the Kurt Vile album in particular with its extended tracks.
a. Dave Matthews Band's album "Come Tomorrow", although a good listen doesn't impress to the level of "Big Whiskey...", "Busted Stuff" or "Under the table and dreaming" - and hence misses the top 20. Dave may just be running out of ideas too, I suspect. They had a similar dilemma at the time of Everyday and Stand up; they came out out all winners with the Grammy nominated Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King. Let's see if they can repeat that feat.
The new Stone Temple Pilots with its new vocalist and the hard rock veterans Judas Priest have slipped out of the Top 20. The former has a few elegant tracks, and the new vocalist matches Weiland's style, but it isn't enough to push it higher, The rather impressive stoner rock album "The Sciences" by Sleep too slips out of the top 20.
Mark Knopfler was another drop out, although traditionally I've liked his records - goes to show that too much of a thing is not good; besides he seems to have run out of ideas.
b. Suede missed out, as did the Eels, although both albums have several strong tracks. The Eels album has its moment, but certain tracks sounds like a rehash of others at times, and hence finds itself out of reckoning.
The new Manic Street Preachers album, "Resistance is futile" sounds good initially but the arena rock just becomes a little monotonous and hence misses the top 20.
c. Other stalwarts who didn't make enough impression to hang on in the the top 20 are Paul McCartney, Simple Minds and Lenny Kravitz ( the latter has failed to impress me repeatedly).
d. A big disappointment was Jack White's "Boarding House Reach". Yet, it is hoped that the self indulgent meandering album is a temporary getaway for the artiste, for he is one of Rocks' future hopes too. Besides there maybe those who actually enjoy this self-indulgent album.
a. Lots of Indie-rock artistes this time, more than ever before, and thanks a lot to the Face Book music Group "Music Buffs" for introducing a lot of them with their respective albums ( Parquet Courts, Stephen Malkmus, Beach House, The Voidz and Amen Dunes ). If you look at the Top Ten, it is quite obvious that they have been the winners this year. In my part of the world, the chances of us discovering these indie artistes are remote, and as such, the role this group plays in introducing us to these albums cannot be stressed enough.
b. Stumbled upon the Ty Segall album, through the high praise it received from most year end charts and that was one hell of a record.
c. The Arctic Monkeys album was a slow builder, and by the year end made enough impression to be in top 15.
a.) The Good, the Bad and the Queen as well the Gorillaz didn't make it to the top 20. A double failure for a musician I truly admire - Damon Albarn.
Hits: Nine Inch Nails haven't been one of my favourites over the years. For all the nihilistic charm that the industrial rock sound carries, I've found the drums too predictable and the vocal delivery not to my taste. But this year, Mr. Trent Reznor's David Bowie inspiration tweaked the equation to such a degree, that I love their effort. So much so, "God Break Down the Door", must be my favourite track of 2018.
The Misses: There are zero Rap albums in the top 20, although I did listen to one album - The Cypress Hill album.
Hits: I honestly felt Moby hit a kind come back with his album of 2018. But then I realise that the rest of the world has hardly taken notice of his album, although AMG recognized it as one of the most important Electronic albums of 2018.