The Top Albums of 2018

The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year.  I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read).   This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums.  Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.

Note:  These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers.  There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list.  These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way.  So, we might as well get started…

The #1 Album of 2018

91OE1mUg7jL._SL1500_-2Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart:  Man, what can I say about this guy.  He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime.  Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs.  And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it.  Yes, I was and I am still singing.  The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song.  Perfect!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #17 – The Thanksgiving Collection

For Thanksgiving, we always travel to Atlanta to visit family and celebrate what we are ‘thankful’ for and just enjoy being around people we love.  And two things happened this year that involved vinyl.  The first was Black Friday Record Store Day and the second was that a family member brought up they have a collection of vinyl they have sitting around.  Anything that involves music or vinyl is a good time for me.

First off, let’s talk about the Black Friday Record Store Day.  Friday morning came and everyone was a little tired from eating too much the night before and it was a slow start to the day.  My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to make us breakfast and I couldn’t refuse.  Now this started at about 8 or so in the morning.  The one record store that was fairly close to my sister (20-25 minute drive) was going to open at 10am so I felt I was still good on time.

Breakfast didn’t actually get ready until closer to 9am and now I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be rude and skip out on breakfast, so I decided that it was more important to sit with the family and enjoy what was a very yummy breakfast rather than get some exclusive limited edition vinyl’s that would bring me hours and hours of enjoyment.  And I was right.

My daughter and I eventually got on the road and made it to the record store, Sweet Melissa’s Records at about 9:50 which was 10 minutes prior to opening.  And there was no line!!!  That is right…NO LINE!!!  I was so excited.  We got a parking space right in front of the store and couldn’t be happier.  We get out of the car and there was a lady at the door coming out and we asked if they were open and she said Yes, come on in.  Then she added, we got bored and opened early!  Early????  Red Alert….Early?? Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!

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Friday New Releases – December 7th

Happy Friday.  Welcome to December and we are ever closer to Christmas so the choices get more limited and I have to stop buying so my family has something to get me for Christmas (and my Birthday).  This week there are a handful of releases and a lot of them live. I have highlighted in Blue those I might give a listen, but no promises.  Let me know if there is anything for you or anything I missed.  Have a great music Weekend!!

  • 51wAcQGL3OL._AC_US436_QL65_  Coldplay – Live in Buenos Aires – (Parlophone):  I haven’t listened to Coldplay much at all lately, so not sure why I am interested in hearing this, but it it is calling me.  I will give it a spin.

  • 41ffk6lfXtL._SS500  Gotthard – Defrosted 2: Live – (Nuclear Blast):  When Steve Lee was alive and the lead singer of Gotthard, I was a huge fan.  I haven’t been since and it is no fault of the band, I just found Steve to be AMAZING! and it is hard to get back into the band now.  The original Defrosted was great and I am willing to give this one a try out of respect for the band.

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Friday New Releases – November 30th

The last Friday of November and Christmas is just around the corner which means one thing.  Album releases start to become relatively scarce. You want to drop your album early enough that it makes it on people’s Christmas list, but not too late where no one will grab it as they have spent all their money already on Christmas presents.  Now, there isn’t a whole lot I care about this week and in fact, there is only one.  Some of the other might get a listen sooner or later.  Have a great day and let me know what you are interested in hearing.  Mine is in Blue.

  • 61WAzq7sdaL._AC_US320_QL65_.jpg   Def Leppard – The Story So Far – (Virgin EMI/Mercury):  Def Leppard is bringing yet another greatest hits release.  Just what we needed, right?  Well….not really.  However, that doesn’t stop me from buying it.  I have it on pre-order for the vinyl so I can’t get the 7″ Single of their Depeche Mode cover of “Personal Jesus”.  Yes, I am becoming a completist with Def Leppard.  Anyway, this is a pretty complete greatest hits package and not a bad one to get if you don’t have on yet.  Enjoy!!

  • 31Ncg-T41kL._SS500  The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – (Dirty Hit / Polydor / Interscope)
  • 91CRBGCU3QL._AC_UL115_  Neil Young – Songs for Judy – (Shakey Pictures Records)

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A Star is Born – Soundtrack – Album Review

I bought this on a 2LP Deluxe Edition vinyl for my daughter the week before it was actually released.  Not sure how we were able to do that, but there it was so we bought it.  I have to say it is one sensational package as you get a lot for your money which isn’t always the case. There are 34 tracks, but only 19 actual songs (which is still a lot).  The other tracks are little snippets from the movie.  So without seeing the movie myself, I know the movie pretty well now as the soundtrack follows the storyline.

The movie stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and follows the story of an aging country singer (Bradley) and he meets this young woman (Gaga) and loves her singing voice and her as it turns out.  Her star goes up while his falls and the movie tells the story of how that impacts their relationship.  I won’t spoil it for you.  The movie is also Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut.  Oh yeah, he sings and writes some of the songs too.  Impressive.

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The songs were written by both Bradley and Lady Gaga as well as contributions from many other artists include DJ White Shadow, Lukas Nelson, Mark Ronson, Jason Isbell, Diane Warren and Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow) to just name a few.  I have to say, musically the album sounded great with some stellar session musicians taking the rein.

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My Sunday Song – “Not Ready To Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks

For My Sunday Song #119, I am going with “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks. The song was off their 2006 album ‘Taking the Long Way’.  The single was a Platinum selling song and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 which is pretty great for a country song.

Back in 2003, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks made some comments during a show in London about then President George W. Bush and about the impending invasion of Iraq.  When word got back to the States, people were not happy with her or the band.  The band’s music was banned from Country radio and the band received death threats and all sorts of abuse.  So much for Free Speech!!

And I think things are worse with Free Speech now then they have ever been. You can’t say anything that someone else might disagree with or find offensive without being racked over the coals.  It is a scary time.  But that is for another conversation.

This single was released and the band let it be known their thoughts on the whole situation.  And let me tell you this was quite a Statement!!  What a great song.  It lays bare their thoughts and the troubles they faced during that time.  Natalie sings with such conviction and people loved it.  I guess time heals all wounds.  I was never a Dixie Chick fan until this song.  It made me respect them and their music.

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Friday New Releases – November 16th

Wow! Another HUGE week of releases. There are a ton I am interested in and some I have bought already or will be very, very soon.  There is a wide range of artists covering Rock, Metal, Country, R&B, Pop, Showtunes, Christian, Alternative, Hip Hop and many more.  There has to be something you will be digging.  If not, let me know and let me if there is.  I love to know what people are in to and whether or not I am missing out on anything good.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 516Ip89wAfL._SS500  Needtobreathe – Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 – (Atlantic Records):  If you read my site, you know this is one of my favorite bands so it is no wonder this tops the list.  The vinyl is on order and I hope I get it on release day, but doubt it since it is from the NTB webstore and not Amazon.  Oh well!  The album is a collection of acoustic tracks from their acoustic tour last year.  All classic NTB tracks and these guys are fantastic live, so high expectations.

  • 51Gk2XlnhfL._AC_US436_QL65_  Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell (Deluxe) – (Universal Music):  This set looks S.W.E.E.T.!!  An extensive greatest hits compilation of his  Soundgarden, Audioslave and Solo work among some rare treats as well.  This is another must have in the physical form.  It is on the Christmas list and if I don’t get it, I will immediately buy on Amazon Christmas Day.

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Friday New Releases – November 9th

Wow!! The new releases are coming in droves. Another extensive list of releases this week just like last.  There has to be something for everyone as the artist here cover the gamut of genres.  There are a handful I am interested in streaming at least, not sure about buying…yet.  I will test the waters first.  Those are highlighted in Blue.  What do you see that you like?  Let me know and let me know what releases are missing from the list.  I hope you find something.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 71z5r6SxinL._SL1200_.jpg  Stephen Pearcy – View to a Thrill – (Frontiers Records):  The lead singer of Ratt (or some version of it) is back with another solo effort.  I am becoming very skeptical of this release with all the antics going on with him from the latest Ratt tour…not a pretty picture. The tracks I have heard so far are so, so…but after his last one was pretty decent, I will give this one a try.  We will see.

  • 51WFlCQ79xL._AC_US436_QL65_  Red Dragon Cartel – Patina – (Frontiers Record):  Jake E. Lee isback with Red Dragon Cartel’s 2nd album.  I get the impression this is a real band now and so the songs should be solid and consistent.  I am digging what I have heard and have higher expectations for this one over the last.  I can’t wait to crank this one up.

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Friday New Releases – November 2nd

Can you believe it is November already??  I find the years are flying by now and before this one is over, I will hit a major life milestone and I don’t know if I am ready for it.  But before that happens, we have new music to get through.  There is a lot here, but there isn’t at the same time.  Hopefully you will find something. Me, there is nothing I am really running out to get.  I will listen to some, but buying is a maybe to a No for most of this.  The things I might listen to sooner than later are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are interested in hearing or what I might have missed this week.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  • 51B1qRfpwJL._AC_US436_QL65_  The Afters – The Beginning & Everything After – (Fair Trade Services):  The Afters are a Christian pop/rock band.  I enjoy them a lot and this is just a greatest hits album so I thought I would feature it for those that don’t know anything about them, this would be a good place to start.  Here is the one new track on the album.

  • 81r3FVfNG3L._SX522_  Metallica – And Justice for All (Remastered) – (Blackened Recordings):  Do I really need to add anything to this release. If you have $180 laying around you can the complete deluxe box set of 6LPs, 11CDs and 4 DVDs as who doesn’t need the same songs repeated over and over and over in different mixes, live versions, etc…

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Friday New Releases – October 26th

Happy Friday and welcome to the last Friday of October.  Halloween is just around the corner, but sadly not much to scare up in the releases this week.  There a couple I might check out and if I get in the early Christmas spirit, maybe the William Shatner Christmas album will get a spin…but seriously doubt it.  My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what interests you, if anything, and let me know what I am missing out on this week.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 51cDoAXQKKL._AC_US436_QL65_  The Struts – Young&Dangerous – (Interscope):  It has been a couple years since the Struts debut and they felt like they might the next big thing.  But for me, the Jury is still out as they seem to be more of a novelty act than anything.  The lead singer is a little over the top now and seems to be trying too hard to be something he really isn’t.  I haven’t been overly excited of what I have heard so far, but I will give it a listen as they did interest me at one time.  Man, I am really selling this one aren’t I!!!

  • 41t8Gq4R4-L._AC_US436_QL65_  Boy George & Culture Club – Life – (BMG):  Boy George is back and with Culture Club.  That alone is enough to sell this one.  I don’t know why, but this one interests me. I haven’t heard anything on it yet (not even the video posted below), but I want to hear it.  It will get a spin mainly out of curiosity.

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