2018 was filled to the brim with amazing album releases. Although it's difficult to narrow it down to our favorite, we did. Here's our top 20 album releases of 2018. (Some blurbs were featured on Cleveland State University's The Vindicator blog earlier this year.)
1.) Panic! At The Disco- Pray For The Wicked
This record was dropped back on June 22 and it's still an anthem for any time of the year. Pop-rock band Panic! At The Disco never fails to amaze listeners with upbeat melodies while simultaneously sticking to their rock roots. Singles such as “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” exude a celebratory atmosphere. Meanwhile, “High Hopes” reminds you to keep going to reach your goals, even when it’s more appealing to stray away from the hard work you're putting in to whatever you're trying to achieve.
2.) Hot Mulligan- Pilot
This record was released back on March 23. The record is full of catchy songs that showcases the band's incredible talent. Each song draws out the best of the bands capability to keep their tracks diverse. Tracks such as "How Do You Know It's Not Armadillo Shells?" shows that while playing out like a rap with an edge. This album is not one you should sleep on.
3.) Trophy Eyes- The American Dream
This album released on Aug. 3, pushed boundaries. While the band’s music usually consists of continuous screaming vocals and hard music with underlying melodies, The American Dream brings something unique to the table. The record shocked fans while showcasing a poppier sound and cleaner vocals in single “Friday Forever,” meanwhile, “ You Can Count On Me” is honest with a trace of their recent sound. “The American Dream” is a groundbreaking album, flirting with the idea of being different and embodying it without caring what another person has to say about it.
4.) WSTR- Identity Crisis
Dropped on Aug. 31, pop-punk band WSTR hit home with an incredibly catchy, hook-filled record. Singles include “Bad To The Bone,” “Crisis,” and “Silly Me.” Each track glides into the next, exploring themes of rebellion and passion. Songs including “See You In Hell” transition the up-beat album into an acoustic moment, giving the record a well-rounded feel. “Identity Crisis” will have you searching more from WSTR.
5.) Fall Out Boy- M A N I A
This album dropped way back on Jan. 19, capturing all the brilliance that is Fall Out Boy. This record plays out with a cinematic feel, each song is different from the last while seeming to have an underlying sense of familiarity making the album feel whole. Tracks like "Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" are catchy enough to keep this song on repeat, while other songs such as "Heaven's Gates" spark goose bumps throughout your body as lead vocalist, Patrick Stump, pushes his vocals to it's limits. FOB keeps themselves relevant, while staying true to themselves but also adapting to the continuously growing alternative music scene.
6.) Real Friends- Composure
On July 13, pop-punk band Real Friends dropped Composure. The record is raw and honest, tackling issues of mental health and self-worth, just to name a few. Singles “From The Outside” and “Smiling On The Surface” have a gritty sense of putting on a fake front to acquaintances while really feeling like a mess on the inside. These tracks are just a hint into the rare quality that Composure manifests.
7.) Trash Boat - Crown Shyness
Crown Shyness dropped on July 20. Trash Boat produces records with a strong pop-punk presence, and with this new album the band seemed to lean more on their punk influences to create a harder sound. The vocals are distressed throughout the record while the music contains callow melodies. Singles like “Old Soul” carry out as solemn yet abrasively passionate. Trash Boat delivers an inspiring new sound, keeping listeners on their toes.
8.) Welcome To The Neighbourhood - Boston Manor
On Sept 7, Boston Manor launched us into fall with their newest record, Welcome To The Neighbourhood. The record is complete with singles such as “Halo,” “Bad Machine,” and “England’s Dreaming.” Despite the darker nature of the singles, the record still embodies some of the band’s former pop-punk undertones. This new record is a definite wildcard and will end up on your replay list in no time.
9.) Senses Fail - If There Is Light, It Will Find You
Released on Feb. 16 Senses Fail released this high-powered record. The albums kick off with "Double Cross," which really sets the energy for the record. Songs like "First Breath, Last Breath," is enough to bring tears to your eyes as you feel the passion behind the, lyrics. The album is complete with guitar solos, clean vocals and screams alike, this album resonates well with listeners old and new of Senses Fail.
10.) Love And Loathing- With Confidence
Pop-punk band, With Confidence, released Love And Loathing on Aug 3. The band did nothing but release pop-punk powerhouse singles such as “That Something,” “Jaded,” and “Moving Boxes” leading up to the album’s release. Each single creates the same ear-catching elements as the last, and all tracks are accompanied by relatable lyrics. The album has a feel-good aura to it, even if the lyrics don’t always match the hook. “Love And Loathing” has something for every listener—no matter their mood.
11.) State Champs- Living Proof
On June 15, pop-punk band State Champs released their follow-up record to “Around The World And Back,” and fans were dying to hear it. Leading up to the record’s debut, the guys in State Champs did not disappoint with singles “Dead And Gone,” “Crystal Ball,” and “Our Time To Go.” “Living Proof” showcases maturity while staying consistent to their previous records. The lyrics throughout the album have a dimmer aspect compared to the optimism fans are used to hearing from the band. While State Champs has a way of adapting to the changing times within pop-punk, they keep their own sense of familiarity, which leaves their fan base on their toes as they stay loyal to their development.
12.) Point North- A Light In A Dark Place
Released on July 6, pop-punk band Point North dropped “A Light In A Dark Place” which is a electrifying, catchy record. Singles such as “Dearly Departed” and “Empathy” were vigorous and addictive, making listeners want more. This record features a number of new songs and as you reach the end of the album, your ears are refreshed with acoustic renditions of four of the full-band tracks included on the album. If you’re interested in hearing more from the band, be sure to check out their cover of rapper, Nothing, Nowhere’s track “Hammer.” The band stays true to their sound while making sure not to contrast from the original version of the track. If you’re a fan of pop-punk, Point North is going to be one of your new favorite bands.
13.) Dance Gavin Dance- Artificial Selection
Released on June 8, Artificial Selection really brought their new music to life. Complete with a clean vocal and screamo duo, the music plays out gracefully, like Dance Gavin Dance does. The songs are effortlessly good making this album a top 20 favorite.
14.) Waterparks- Entertainment
Entertainment, released on Jan. 26. This album is catchy and fun. Songs like "Rare" add a bit of edge to the bands poppy vibe. Other songs such as "Lucky People," have a feel-better element to it, meaning if you just had the worst week of your life this song pats you on the back making you feel like things will be okay again.
15.) Belmont- Belmont
This self-titled album was dropped on Aug. 17. This album is swift in transitions and highlights their capability to show the differences in between songs. They keep their sound consistent but not repetitive.
16.) Blessthefall- Hard Feelings
Hard Feelings dropped on March 23 and it did not disappoint. The bands keeps their music heavy and clear. Vocals are clean while being accompanied by screams. Songs like "Melodramatic," is fast paced followed by melodies. The album is he perfect contrast between being slightly-heavy while still catering to the ears of listeners that enjoy a subtle melody.
17.) The Wonder Years- Sister Cities
Sister Cities was released on April 6. The band kicks off the record with "Raining In Kyoto," the song rolls in with soft vocals then transitions into the powerful voice all TWY fans love from lead vocalist, Dan "Soupy" Campbell. Other tracks such as "We Look Like Lighting," shows how much the band has grown as artists creating a sound that is incredibly rare, giving you chills as you listen to each song on this record.
18.) The Story So Far- Proper Dose
The Story So Far finally released their highly anticipated album, Proper Dose on Sept. 21. The record surely shows the maturity between their last records and a more serene sound that they embody in this new record. That's not to say they didn't include their familiar sound of hype, their sound has just grown in the best way possible.
19.) Stand Atlantic - Skinny Dipping
Released on Oct 26, Skinny Dipping is full of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and unforgettable melodies. Songs such as "Skinny Dipping" includes words strung together such as "It's like skinny dipping in my jeans/you get wet/but you don't get clean." They're lyrics are left up to you decide how to relate to which make this band unique and this album one to put on repeat.
20.) Underoath - Erase Me
The album dropped on April 6, and it brought to life a record that fans have been waiting for since they went on hiatus and they delivered more than what was expected. The record lyrics feel honest and raw. Leaving you wondering what you can expect next from this band.
What album was your favorite for 2018? Be sure to let us know!