AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

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notbrianeno
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AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:45 am

We continue our roundup of 2018 with the 100 favorite albums of the year. Thanks to all who participated in this poll!

Same format as before, with album artwork, and some extras thrown in at the top 50:

Album Artwork

Rank. Artist | Title
(Total points | Total votes)
Critics' list: Placement in Critics' EOY
Biggest Fans: Any Top 10 votes or the next highest vote outside that.

And as a special bonus from the host, I will list any songs from the Top 100 songs where applicable.


As a special honorable mention: the albums with a #1 vote that did not make our top 100.




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*TIE* #134. Alice in Chains | Rainier Fog
(50.000 Points | 1 Votes)
Critics' list: #158
Biggest Fans: whuntva (#1)


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*TIE* #134. Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet | Landfall
(50.000 Points | 1 Votes)
Critics' list: #217
Biggest Fans: antonius (#1)


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#113. The Orielles | Silver Dollar Moment
(59.184 Points | 2 Votes)
Critics' list: #355
Biggest Fans: rumpdoll (#1)


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#110. Superorganism | Superorganism
(60.714 Points | 2 Votes)
Critics' list: #87
Biggest Fans: Romain (#1)
Songs in the Top 100: "Everybody Wants To Be Famous" (#53)
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:58 am

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#100. Clau Aniz | Filha de mil mulheres
(70.635 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: Unranked
Biggest Fans: DaveC (#3)


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#99. Ben Lamar Gay | Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun
(73.052 Points | 2 Votes)
Critics' list: #288
Biggest Fans: SonofSamIAm (#3), jamieW (#6)


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#98. Camp Cope | How to Socialise and Make Friends
(73.125 Points | 2 Votes)
Critics' list: #196
Biggest Fans: M24 (#2), Acroamor (#8)


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#97. Rolo Tomassi | Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
(73.788 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #212
Biggest Fans: Spiritualized (Excellent)


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#96. Post Malone | beerbongs & bentleys
(74.150 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #123
Biggest Fans: GucciLittlePIggy (#2)


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#95. The Internet | Hive Mind
(76.234 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #39
Biggest Fans: N/A


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#94. Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists | Black Panther: The Album
(76.351 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #63
Biggest Fans: Whuntva (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "All the Stars" (feat. SZA) (#26)


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#93. The Limñanas | Shadow People
(76.695 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #560
Biggest Fans: Gillingham (#3)


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#92. Avantdale Bowling Club | Avantdale Bowling Club
(77.210 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #1242
Biggest Fans: Matski (#7)

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#91. Adrianne Lenker | Abysskiss
(77.368 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #165
Biggest Fans: Nicholas (#7)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:45 pm

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#90. Denzel Curry | TA13OO
(78.101 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #106
Biggest Fans: N/A


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#89. Interpol | Marauder
(78.912 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #132
Biggest Fans: Chambord (#4)


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#88. Tracyanne & Danny | Tracyanne & Danny
(79.375 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #326
Biggest Fans: Carlos74 (#2), Miguel (#10)


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#87. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks | Sparkle Hard
(80.039 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #74
Biggest Fans: Brad (#8)


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#86. Caroline Rose | Loner
(81.250 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #137
Biggest Fans: Acroamor (#2), rumpdoll (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Jeannie Becomes a Mom" (#44)


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#85. Hot Snakes | Jericho Sirens
(834.230 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #194
Biggest Fans: Spiritualized (Excellent), Chambord (#7)


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#84. Dream Wife | Dream Wife
(84.730 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #136
Biggest Fans: Chambord (#10), Rob (#10)


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#83. Gang Gang Dance | Kazuashita
(84.779 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #65
Biggest Fans: N/A


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#82. Mac Miller | Swimming
(88.273 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #165
Biggest Fans: GucciLittlePiggy (#3), panam (#9)


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#81. Melody's Echo Chamber | Bon Voyage
(88.586 Points | 7 Votes)
Critics' list: #147
Biggest Fans: N/A
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jirin » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:10 pm

Shouldn't I have appeared as biggest fans for Kazuashita, or did I not end up putting it top ten?

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:12 pm

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#80. The Jayhawks | Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
(90.909 Points | 2 Votes)
Critics' list: #567
Biggest Fans: Miguel (#1), Antonius (#3)


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#79. Tierra Whack | Whack World
(92.146 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #51
Biggest Fans: RockyRaccoon (#8)


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#78. Kelly Moran | Ultraviolet
(94.061 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #182
Biggest Fans: SonofSamIAm (#5)


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#77. LUMP | LUMP
(95.476 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #249
Biggest Fans: N/A


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#76. Kero Kero Bonito | Time 'n' Place
(95.604 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: Unranked
Biggest Fans: ProsecutorGodot (#5), Greg (#6)
Songs in the Top 100: "Only Acting" (#72)


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#75. Screaming Females | All at Once
(96.746 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #269
Biggest Fans: Acroamor (#10)


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#74. CHVRCHES | Love Is Dead
(98.782 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #226
Biggest Fans: PlasticRam (#5), JohnnyBGoode (#10)


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#73. Jeff Tweedy | WARM
(100.064 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #145
Biggest Fans: Craig (#4), DocBrown (#7)


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#72. Gryff Rhys | Babelsberg
(101.690 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #150
Biggest Fans: Miguel (#2), Jirin (#8)


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#71. Travis Scott | ASTROWORLD
(105.480 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #30
Biggest Fans: GucciLittlePiggy (#1), notbrianeno (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "SICKO MODE" (feat. Drake) (#39)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Rob » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:31 pm

Great to see the albums by Screaming Females, LUMP and Dream Wife appear. I was afraid I was the only one who cared about them. That last one is the most fun you'll even have with lesbians who probably hate you.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by prosecutorgodot » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:14 am

Great to see KKB crack the top 100 (even higher than their 2016 placement!).

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:47 am

Seeing Kero Kero Bonito as totally unranked on the critics’ list is a stark reminder of the differences between the realm of the critics and the realm of the insular internet communities that I’m a part of.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:06 am

Jirin wrote:Shouldn't I have appeared as biggest fans for Kazuashita, or did I not end up putting it top ten?
Hi, I have you as ranking it at 11th place on your list.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Moonbeam » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:21 am

I'm surprised Kadhja Bonet didn't do better here after she won the Moderately Acclaimed Albums of 2018. No songs in the top 100, either! Interesting to see other albums from the Moderately Acclaimed game placing here.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:23 am

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#70. Ezra Furman | Transangelic Exodus
(105.702 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #76
Biggest Fans: Dan (#1)


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#69. Brandi Carlile | By the Way, I Forgive You
(106.534 Points | 3 Votes)
Critics' list: #93
Biggest Fans: Dan (#3), Nicholas (#4), Rob (#8)
Songs in the Top 100: "The Joke" (#48)


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#68. Tropical Fuck Storm | A Laughing Death in Meatspace
(106.886 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #121
Biggest Fans: DaveC (#1)
Songs in the Top 100: "You Let My Tyre's Down" (#71)


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#67. Kadhja Bonet | The Childqueen
(109.139 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #197
Biggest Fans: DaveC (#7), Moonbeam (#10)


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#66. Troye Sivan | Bloom
(112.035 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #86
Biggest Fans: FutureCritic (#4), Mullholland (#7)
Songs in the Top 100: "My My My!" (#35)


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#65. Tirzah | Devotion
(114.817 Points | 7 Votes)
Critics' list: #25
Biggest Fans: notbrianeno (#7)


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#64. Rival Consoles | Persona
(119.690 Points | 8 Votes)
Critics' list: #354
Biggest Fans: Gillingham (#9), Phil (#10)


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#63. Yves Tumor | Safe in the Hands of Love
(120.785 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #24
Biggest Fans: Jackson (#5), jamieW (#7)


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#62. Eels | The Deconstruction
(122.411 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #271
Biggest Fans: Jirin (#6), Nicholas (#6), Miguel (#7), Romain (#8)
Songs in the Top 100: "The Deconstruction" (#79)


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#61. Fucked Up | Dose Your Dreams
(124.834 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #92
Biggest Fans: Jackson (#1)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:31 am

Anyone else think the, uh, creature from the Yves Tumor cover is a spitting image of Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh? Pretty good album too!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Rob » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:56 am

Moonbeam wrote:I'm surprised Kadhja Bonet didn't do better here after she won the Moderately Acclaimed Albums of 2018. No songs in the top 100, either! Interesting to see other albums from the Moderately Acclaimed game placing here.
It's the difference in voting system. In this game, an album places based on love only, whereas on Moderately Acclaimed albums get down-voted in a way, by low placements on individual lists. Still, it's interesting to see how big the difference is.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jirin » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:12 pm

Rob wrote:
Moonbeam wrote:I'm surprised Kadhja Bonet didn't do better here after she won the Moderately Acclaimed Albums of 2018. No songs in the top 100, either! Interesting to see other albums from the Moderately Acclaimed game placing here.
It's the difference in voting system. In this game, an album places based on love only, whereas on Moderately Acclaimed albums get down-voted in a way, by low placements on individual lists. Still, it's interesting to see how big the difference is.
Also in that game, not having listened to an album isn’t equal to disliking it. It’d be interesting to see what happened if we took a wins/losses formula to the overall list.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:19 am

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#60. Tim Hecker | Konoyo
(127.921 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #53
Biggest Fans: jamieW (#2)


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#59. GoGo Penguin | A Humdrum Star
(128.346 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #911
Biggest Fans: DaveC (#2), bonnieLaurel (#6), JohnnyBGoode (#7)


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#58. Gurrumul | Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)
(128.929 Points | 4 Votes)
Critics' list: #482
Biggest Fans: SonofSamIAm (#1), rumpdoll (#2), Phil (#2)


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#57. Khruangbin | Con Todo El Mundo
(129.814 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #50
Biggest Fans: Jirin (#2), Chambord (#5)


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#56. Jenny Wilson | EXORCISM
(130.487 Points | 6 Votes)
Critics' list: #632
Biggest Fans: Moonbeam (#1), jamieW (#5)
Songs in the Top 100: "FOREVER IS A LONG TIME" (#57)


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#55. Earl Sweatshirt | Some Rap Songs
(137.980 Points | 9 Votes)
Critics' list: #41
Biggest Fans: PlasticRam (#9)


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#54. Blood Orange | Negro Swan
(143.225 Points | 8 Votes)
Critics' list: #15
Biggest Fans: Matski (#6), Toni (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Charcoal Baby" (#84)


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#53. Jeff Rosenstock | POST-
(148.853 Points | 8 Votes)
Critics' list: #142
Biggest Fans: Mullholland (#3), Panam (#7)


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#52. Ariana Grande | Sweetener
(149.208 Points | 7 Votes)
Critics' list: #33
Biggest Fans: Steviefan13 (#8), Andyd1010 (#8), Bruno (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "no tears left to cry" (#11)


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#51. Natalia Lafourcade | Musas Vol. 2
(157.702 Points | 5 Votes)
Critics' list: #545
Biggest Fans: panam (#1), bonnielaurel (#2)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:51 am

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On Invasion of Privacy, Cardi emerges as a first-rate song-maker, crafting mousy indictments and cautionary tales as easily as club gyrators and flex anthems. She effortlessly covers quite a bit of ground, dressing down no-good boyfriends, considering her come-up from pissy elevators to walking red carpets in tailored gowns, or rallying twerkers everywhere to spontaneously pussy pop for guap. She raps with the transparency of someone who has shared the ugliest aspects of her life with strangers online, but her songs now have the curatorial instincts of a specialized Instagram feed. The Chance the Rapper-assisted “Best Life” rehashes early career controversies and remixes an iconic Tupac poem into an origin story. “Be Careful” fires warning shots for a cheating boyfriend. Amid the larger-than-life showboating on “Money Bag”—where she, among many other things, parks a Bentley truck in a Versace driveway—Cardi lets slip the lingering effects of poverty: “I been broke my whole life, I have no clue what to do with these racks.” Everyone dreams of a life on top, but there’s no guidebook for how to handle it when you get there.--Sheldon Pearce, Pitchfork
#50. Cardi B | Invasion of Privacy
(158.485 Points | 7 Votes)
Critics' list: #13
Biggest Fans: RockyRaccoon (#3), FrankLotion (#8)
Songs in the Top 100: "I Like It" (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin) (#17)


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The end result is fascinating and forbidding in equal measure, and there’s clearly an argument that it’s also very timely: twisted and broken-sounding pop music for a twisted and broken era, replete with villains (the protagonist of In My View, a “greedy bugger”, actively enjoying not just the taste of his foie gras, but the cruelty of its manufacture) and lyrics that appear to swipe at nationalism and toxic masculinity, albeit obliquely. But equally, its strangeness feels less reactionary than internal: not so much the outcome of looking on, horrified, at the world in 2018 and trying to find a soundtrack, than the product of a band who inhabit a world of their own.
--Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
#49. Young Fathers | Cocoa Sugar
(160.238 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #27
Biggest Fans: Jirin (#3)
Songs in the Top 100: "In My View" (#69


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Now Only isn’t as easily categorized as its predecessor. These songs arrive with such urgency, such purpose, that it feels all-encompassing: part-memoir, part magnum opus. His songs play like they’re being conjured in real time, surging with a driving intensity that feels more like post-rock than folk and puts his work at odds with similarly diaristic epics from peers like Mark Kozelek or Sufjan Stevens. In “Distortion,” Elverum finds a foil in late-in-life Jack Kerouac. Accompanying himself with persistent, low harmonies, he sings about the aging writer “taking cowardly refuge in his self-mythology” as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities as a parent and an artist. Elverum allows himself no such escape, even if he’s increasingly aware of the limitations of his project.
--Sam Sodomsky, Pitchfork
#48. Mount Eerie | Now Only
(164.687 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #67
Biggest Fans: Brad (#4), Gillingham (#6)


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Billowing with artistry and a relentless eye for production, Freedom’s Goblin acts as both a Ty Segall greatest hits, as well as a compilation of the bloody madness Segall has surrounded himself with for the better portion of the past decade. Whether it’s the bombastic — if not anthemic — opening riffs of “Fanny Dog” (a track dedicated to his dog, Fanny) or that classic, worn-down tone of Segall’s guitar on “Every 1’s a Winner,” Segall’s presence erupts at once, appropriately placing himself all over the genre-map.
--Timmy Michalik, The Line of Best Fit
#47. Ty Segall | Freedom's Goblin
(170.859 Points | 7 Votes)
Critics' list: #84
Biggest Fans: Rob (#1), Brad (#3), Romain (#9)


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Things happen on Clean that you wouldn’t expect. In the sad opener, “Still Clean,” Allison likens a greedy lover to a wild animal who literally eats her. It’s a twisted image, like a Grimm’s fairytale: “Left me drowning once you picked me out of your bloody teeth.” The pairing of lilting strums with such a savage lyric makes a statement: This soft music is not precious. It’s gnarly and intense, like the heart itself. When Allison sings that she “checked the window just to see if you’d come back to me,” it’s a crushing depiction of how easily obsession can lead to self-destruction. (Perhaps all this complication accounts for Allison’s simple desire, on “Skin,” to just “be the one you’re kissing when you’re stoned.”)
--Jenn Pelly, Pitchfork
#46. Soccer Mommy | Clean
(180.576 Points | 9 Votes)
Critics' list: #69
Biggest Fans: StevieFan13 (#1), Acroamor (#7)
Songs in the Top 100: "Your Dog" (#98)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:09 am

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There might be people who try to tell you what this album is about, who try to categorize it, or explain it, or analyze it—but the only person who really knows what's happening on Boarding House Reach is Jack White. This experience is an invitation into the chaotic internal world of a musical savant.

Is this what's happening inside Jack White's brain at all times? Is his mind a cacophony of musical phrases, bits of songs, and chopped up hooks? If that's the case—that he's walking around with all of this tumbling around in his brain—then it makes sense that the only time he seems to be at peace is when he's making the music in his head.
--Matt Miller, Esquire
#45. Jack White | Boarding House Reach
(180.897 Points | 9 Votes)
Critics' list: #125
Biggest Fans: Romain (#2), ProsecutorGodot (#2), Jirin (#9)


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If his previous full-length was a shade too blue to be a “true” techno album, Knock Knock is Koze’s beating heart of a record with the vitality of a child refusing to sit still. Wondrous and touching, the album bears little resemblance to Koze’s techno and house peers. Rather, it sits in a bold corner of its own, drawing inspiration from the disparate galaxies of dream pop, crackling funk, angular trip-hop, and ASMR-inducing ambience. And while much of the album finds Koze re-adopting some of the tried-and-tested methodologies of blissed-out electronica, he doesn’t compromise on keeping things constantly engaging, thanks to a relentlessly imaginative approach to genre blending.
--Rounak Maiti, TinyMixTapes
#44. DJ Koze | knock knock
(186.781 Points | 12 Votes)
Critics' list: #28
Biggest Fans: N/A
Songs in the Top 100: "Pick Up" (#27)


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With Freedom, a record several years in the works, including a Portuguese sojourn and a scrapped recording session, the statement could not be clearer: to have it all, you’ve got to let it all go. Instead of turning solely inward, McMahon turns back, grappling with a cast of spiritual antagonists from decades gone by, abbreviated into 48 minutes of 11 tracks. His departed father, German soldiers, sometimes tawdry lost loves, beleaguered surfers, glue-sniffing stalemates, saints and sinners of all stripe, bloodsuckers, believers, and a boo—it’s a boundless cast of characters populating these otherworldly, guitar-driven, synth-laden songs. There’s something for the hero and villain within all of us, here, given fresh inflections of pop and dance throughout.
--Dale Eisinger, Spin
#43. Amen Dunes | Freedom
(188.118 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #34
Biggest Fans: ChrisK (#2), Brad (#7), Gillingham (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Believe" (#70)


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Songs Of Praise is a record that revels in revulsion, in delivering dirty, nasty rotten little thrills. ‘Donk’ is a 100 second guitar ejaculation, while ‘Lampoon’ is a Ramones-esque chugger that delights in double entendres.
It would be wrong to paint Shame as class clowns, though; lyrically and musically this cuts deeper than most, with the band’s political beliefs worn firmly on their sleeves. There’s a sense throughout of upending the norm, a group of young people shunted to the sidelines who yearn – if only briefly – to seize control of the stage, to rip down the curtains and show things as they really are.
--Robin Murray, Clash
#42. Shame | Songs of Praise
(204.173 Points | 11 Votes)
Critics' list: #21
Biggest Fans: whuntva (#2), spiritualized (excellent)


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Full of psychedelic slouch and swagger, like Spiritualized playing a Madchester rave, the album is almost suspiciously accessible, but dozens of listens later, Beyondless hasn’t worn out its welcome. Part of this because of Iceage’s oft-overlooked drummer. Even as Iceage’s pallette expands to, well, The Gun Club for a while, and now a weird Velvet Underground/Happy MondaysWaterboys combo, Dan Kjær Nielsen, still plays like Bill Stevenson looking for a dishonorable discharge from My War, or whatever war you got. The rest of the band is in full command of their instruments and, for once, I don’t mean that as a slur. I’m ready for Iceage album to make sense the first time around.
--Zachary Lipez, Noisey
#41. Iceage | Beyondless
(279604. Points | 14 Votes)
Critics' list: #44
Biggest Fans: spiritualized (excellent)
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Moonbeam » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:15 am

Excellent place for EXORCISM! Thrilled that both it and "FOREVER IS A LONG TIME" made our top 100.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jirin » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:32 pm

Boarding House Reach is like if you throw all Jack White’s personal eccentricities in a pot and boil off all the rest.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:35 pm

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before it became known as the official shade of prescribed femininity, hot pink meant provocation. “Shocking pink” was introduced to the fashion world in the 1930s as the signature color of surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who collaborated with Salvador Dalí and, as a child, buried flower seeds in her nose and ears in an attempt to grow a garden on her face. Her designs were as weird as they were womanly, and shocking pink was no exception: “Bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving,” she once lovingly described it. You could say the same thing of Let’s Eat Grandma, whose bold, tender music at once captures teenage girlhood and transcends it entirely. I can’t imagine what they’ll do next.--Meaghan Garvey, Pitchfork
#40. Let's Eat Grandma | I'm All Ears
(207.047 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #38
Biggest Fans: Nassim (#2), Jackson (#3)
Songs in the Top 100: "Falling Into Me" (#40)


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Jason Pierce, he who is Spiritualized, didn't really make it in the same way that he used to. Not in terms of the recording process, that is. Pierce -- a man with a musical mind steeped in rock's classics, who has made the spaciousness of a big recording studio an integral element of his band's sound, and who has a tendency of playing sizeable venues with a full band and a few gospel vocalists surrounding him -- recorded much of his latest album alone. In his home. On a computer.

And Nothing Hurt is a very unlikely kind of bedroom laptop album. How do the wide-eyed vision and open-armed stretch of Spiritualized survive crammed into a small room? Quite well, it turns out. Pierce did have to head into a real studio to record less portable instruments such as the timpani drums, but otherwise, he was left to his own devices; devices that were foreign to a former adherent of analogue.
--Ian King, Popmatters
#39. Spiritualized | And Nothing Hurt
(214.046 Points | 11 Votes)
Critics' list: #22
Biggest Fans: Brad (#5), Carlos74 (#10), Spiritualized (excellent)


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Heynderickx proudly sings, “There’s a light at the end of a dock Sending green little postcards to a city I love so much/And the water makes sense of her laugh./And wrinkles the backs of my hands.” She’s sounds happy about the woman she’s turned out to be by the finale. It’s an adventure that many folk artists rarely take listeners on.

For those who want something fresh within this genre, Haley Heynderickx is the person to look out for. She has a certain level of creativity and readiness that puts her in tier all by herself. As bold as that sounds, i Need to Start a Garden balances subtle lyrics with compelling production for a thrilling ride about love and loss, and finding the meaning of life.
--Ryan Feiri, The Young Folks
#39. Haley Heyderickx | I Need to Start a Garden
(222.935 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #151
Biggest Fans: DocBrown (#1), Acroamor (#3), Toni (#6)


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If women are nature, and nature is chaos, as the noxious pesudo-intellectuals of our era claim, Case pointedly replies: Watch out, because nature is one bitch you don’t want to fuck with. And she should know—her house burned to the ground last summer, while she was away in Sweden recording this very album. Asked about the fire by Pitchfork, she says, “Honestly, it’s just stuff. My house burned while Puerto Rico was underwater, right after Houston, right before all the fires in California. So many people lost so much more than I did.”

That’s typical of Case’s road-tested maturity on Hell-On, miles marked by the tire tracks and ashtrays full of cigarette butts that pop up throughout.
--Katie Rife, AVClub
#37. Neko Case | Hell-On
(227.619 Points | 14 Votes)
Critics' list: #55
Biggest Fans: StevieFan13 (#3), Rob (#6), Mullholland (#8)
Songs in the Top 100: "Hell-On" (#56)


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The tone is set from the opening cut, as a heartbeat rhythm and ominous melody fills the ether with the energy of a coming storm, all building to a coda where they slap you right in the face with it. “Nothing matters/All is futile,” they sing; a far cry from the optimistic wanderlust at the center of much of Stay Gold. That optimism pokes through musically on the next cut, “It’s A Shame,” the warm acoustic guitar and galloping rhythm adding a positive spin to lyrics like “No point in wasting sorrow/On things that won’t be here tomorrow.” What mostly remains from Stay Gold are their siren’s-call voices, intertwining with intuitive, close harmonies that can only come from being related.

The crux of what they’ve learned becomes apparent quickly: Nothing is permanent. All there really is, is the present moment.
--Madison Desler, Paste
#36. First Aid Kit | Ruins
(228.854 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #184
Biggest Fans: bonnielaurel (#1), Carlos74 (#3), Andyd1010 (#4)
Songs in the Top 100: "Fireworks" (#8)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Rob » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:12 pm

Great to see Jeff Rosenstock, First Aid Kit, Neko Case and Haley Heynderickx do so well, all outranking the critics place, usually by quite some margin. And then there is Ty Segall, my #1 of the year, also higher than I expected. These albums are all examples of what made 2018 work for me in music: not much innovation, but very good execution.

There are still a couple of albums from the Moderately Acclaimed poll that I expect to show up. Most of these would have made it without that poll I think, but there is also that one album that nobody had heard of that did very well in the poll (people who followed the poll know what I mean; I don't want to spoil it for others). It seems hard to believe that it got this high, yet at the same time it would be weird to see it not make it after scoring so well.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:46 am

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All Melody never feels imposing or overwrought. Despite its ambitious scope and somber mood, it is infused with the same exploratory spirit that made Tag Eins Tag Zwei such a delight. True, it’s not a wildly varied record: The tempos are generally slow, the moods contemplative, the melancholy almost all-pervasive. But within that framework, he explores as much ground as he can, from grand, sweeping choral passages reminiscent of Arvo Pärt to understated piano études. “Human Range,” where a silvery trumpet melody tangles with a mossy ambient backing, is reminiscent of Bill Laswell’s extended remix of the Miles Davis catalog; the more electronic, rhythmically oriented cuts, particularly the twin centerpieces “All Melody” and “#2,” find common cause with the British producer Floating Points’ way of balancing programmed and improvised music.--Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork
#35. Nils Frahm | IAll Melody
(235.634 Points | 13 Votes)
Critics' list: #48
Biggest Fans: bonnie laurel (#3), jamiew (#10), spiritualized (excellent)


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It’s easy to see ‘The Man Who Married A Robot’ as the album’s ‘Fitter, Happier’, and it’s not the only moment in which ‘A Brief Inquiry’ begs comparison to Radiohead’s 1997 masterpiece ‘OK Computer’. That record, also the band’s third, took a gloomy view of modern life when the internet was a luxury few had access to. Two decades later, The 1975’s album, written from the perspective of four digital natives, doesn’t so much condemn the march of technology, information and social media so much as accept it and debate it. It’s a nuanced record for a time when life’s shades of grey are darker and closer in contrast than they may have previously been, and it’s no less powerful as a result.
--Dan Stubbs, NME
#34. The 1975 | A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
(247.972 Points | 10 Votes)
Critics' list: #45
Biggest Fans: Bruno (#3), FutureCritic (#3), PlasticRam (#6), BleuPanda (#9), GucciLittlePiggy (#9), notbrianeno (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Love It If We Made It" (#9)

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And so, here we are, a decade on from Oracular Spectacular, with MGMT somehow still in possession of a deal with a major record company, proffering a fourth album in an amateurish-looking sleeve that resembles something a tiny, cash-strapped indie label might have put out 35 years ago. But first appearances are deceptive. Inside lurks music suggesting a dramatic rethink. Little Dark Age is audibly more rooted in mainstream mid-80s electronic pop than anything MGMT have recorded before: the title track is an uneasy take on the kind of super-smooth synth music that might once have cropped up on the soundtrack to Miami Vice, and One Thing Left To Try and TSLAMP reanimate a dreamily romantic Euro-pop sound. But that isn’t what’s different. It’s that, unlike with its two predecessors, you’re almost never struck by the sensation of a band deliberately trying to suppress the urge to write tunes.
--Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
#33. MGMT | Little Dark Age
(269.265 Points | 16 Votes)
Critics' list: #42
Biggest Fans: PlasticRam (#2), Toni (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Me and Michael" (#73)


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Female artists have attempted to subvert this gaze in a number of ways throughout their music and videos—infantilizing themselves to mirror the way men patronize women, changing their appearance to appear more traditionally masculine, appearing scary, gross or violent to ward off suitors, to use a female gaze to objectify males’ bodies, etc.

But the approach she takes on Chris feels fresh, especially powerful and provocative. She reclaims female sexuality by adopting the physical movements and overtly sexual lyrics typically attributed to a dominant, horny male. On “Girlfriend,” she points out men’s selfishness to only satisfy their own needs during intercourse, highlights the tired real-life question she gets about her own gender and sexual identities, and even “manspreads” in the track’s video. The track, which features Dam-Funk, pairs her glossy pop vocals with a funky Nile Rodgers-like guitar riff and hi-fi ‘80s synths, making for a slick ultra-modern yet classic pop sound.

The persona that she takes on with Chris isn’t a costume she puts on and later discards and it’s not a vehicle for escape or hiding. This adopted persona is a more fully realized version of herself—confident, sensual, unruffled and not conforming to anyone else’s ideas of gender or sexuality. Timeliness of her lyrics aside, these are compelling, danceable pop songs with flickers of R&B and bass lines that any pop group would be jealous of.
--Lizzie Mano, Paste
#32. Christine and the Queens | Chris
(289.472 Points | 14 Votes)
Critics' list: #16
Biggest Fans: StevieFan13 (#5), FrankLotion (#6), Bruno (#7), Moonbeam (#9), Greg (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Girlfriend" (feat. Dâm-Funk) (#34), "La marcheuse" (#62)


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KIDS SEE GHOSTS brings out the best in its chief collaborators. Over his last three full-length releases (away from the G.O.O.D. Music umbrella), Cudi has delivered muddled and over-inflated results. To date, brevity hasn’t been Cudi’s strong point, with previous projects like the mammoth double album Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven incorporating 26 tracks and spanning an hour and a half. In contrast, the restrained seven tracks on KIDS SEE GHOSTS clock in at under 25 minutes, giving Cudi little room to misstep and fueling the album’s immaculate feel. On KIDS SEE GHOSTS, Cudi is reborn. It’s as if the streamlined foundation Kanye’s provided him here has given him fresh confidence and a platform to shine. The result is Cudi sounding the most empowered you’ve ever heard him.

The most satisfying moment on the record arrives on “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)”; there’s an unadulterated euphoria in hearing Cudi and Kanye shed their demons and address their mental health struggles. It’s genuinely uplifting to hear Kanye yell, “I don’t feel pain anymore / Guess what babe? I feel freeee,” and Cudi chant, “I’m so reborn I’m moving forward,” on the equally-liberating “Reborn”. There’s a reason that “Reborn” is the album’s longest track; it’s an anthemic standout about healing and coming through dark times, the times where you’re entirely without hope that end with stepping into the light and taking a deep motherfucking breath..
--Russell Dean Stone, High Snobriety
#31. Kids See Ghosts | Kids See Ghosts
(296.092 Points | 12 Votes)
Critics' list: #40
Biggest Fans: ProsecutorGodot (#1), Bruno (#1), Panam (#6), GucciLittlePiggy (#6), Nick (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Reborn" (#58)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:09 am

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Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus unite as boygenius, and their debut EP fits them so well that its existence almost feels inevitable. They each share a specialism in searing melancholia. The tight, painful kind that’s best accompanied by crunching leaves and relentless October drizzle, with tension that builds and builds until your heart bursts with the fullness of it all.

Climbing thrillingly to an inevitable emotional stalemate, the EP sees the artists’ three distinctive voices intertwining, powerful in acapella. The togetherness feels like being let in on a secret. Me & My Dog knots lyrics of fever dreams and devastation around a deceptively warm folk-rock riff. Souvenir doubles down on this duality, driving from introspective claustrophobia to huge, sweeping harmonies. Stay Down and Salt in the Wound kick harder still, with piercing reverb punctuating the hush. As friends first and collaborators second, boygenius’ debut makes space for each musician to shine, but it’s their caring approach to sharing the spotlight that makes this supergroup special.
--Katie Hawthorne, Crack
#30. boygenius | boygenius EP
(296.459 Points | 14 Votes)
Critics' list: #71
Biggest Fans: Schaefer.tk (#2), Craig (#5), DocBrown (#6), Acroamor (#9), FutureCritic (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Me and My Dog" (#20)


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Present within these songs are grace and generosity—two words I could not imagine summoning to describe Father John Misty’s music a year ago. It knocks you off balance. He has the ear of Jeff Lynne and the vowels of Elton John as he casts his words into the sky and lets them hang there to be marveled at, plainspoken and myth-free. There are no Misty prerequisites required in order to be shot through the heart with the ballads of “Please Don’t Die” and closer “We’re Only People (And There’s Not Much Anyone Can Do About That).” They are lonesome songs, honest because of their nature not because of their pretext.

Tillman used to write what he knew; now it’s as though he’s writing what he’s just learned, racing to capture a newborn emotion before it curdles into self-conscious drek. And while God’s Favorite Customer tips slightly into self-pity at times, it’s a passing feeling on an album that peeks behind the many cynical shields of Josh Tillman. Through the wringer and reborn on the other side, the world he sketches seems brighter now, bigger, and more sensitive to the touch. It brings his songs forward out of the warrens of his head and into the sacred space between listener and writer. He’s still writing about himself, but now his songs are interrogations, apologies, and discoveries
--Jeremy D. Larson, Pitchfork
#29. Father John Misty | God's Favorite Customer
(312.608 Points | 15 Votes)
Critics' list: #31
Biggest Fans: Andyd1010 (#3), ChrisK. (#7), Nick (#8), M24 (#8), Brad (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Mr. Tillman" (#38)

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Underwriting a critique of power via the exacting lens, experience and names of black women adds a searing edge to the record. As Jamaica Kincaid once mic-dropped, “Do you know why people like me are shy about being capitalists? Well, it’s because we, for as long as we have known you, were capital.” In the same vein, in Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe, Hortense Spillers observed, “I am a marked woman, but not everybody knows my name.” She lists the derogatory “mythical prepossessions” that trap black women: ‘Aunty’, ‘Earth Mother’, ‘Sapphire’, to name a few, all markers of other people’s “investments and privation”. She adds: “My country needs me, and if I were not here, I would have to be invented.” Mythmaking. Liberation for Spillers meant stripping off these layers of meaning “assigned by a particular historical order” in order to meet the “marvels of [her] own inventiveness”.

The crowning of black women on the album is an act of usurpation, a social reordering, a reclamation of souls buried under racist constructs - and for a band of men to produce this shows the expansive potential of feminism. Likewise, it would be remiss to presume that this change of the guard is an offering for black communities alone. The legacy of racism is our collective problem. To heed the words of Combahee River Collective: “If black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.”
--Teju Adeleye, The Quietus
#28. Sons of Kemet | Your Queen is a Reptile
(316.969 Points | 15 Votes)
Critics' list: #35
Biggest Fans: Jackson (#2), BleuPanda (#4), jamieW (#4), Schaefer.tk (#4), SonofSamIAm (#6)
Songs in the Top 100: "My Queen is Harriet Tubman" (#83)


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With our time increasingly dominated by our digital relationships, there is always a danger that we are neglecting ourselves. We are are finding it more and more difficult to effectively reflect on our conscious and unconscious selves. To that end, there has been a steady rise in methods that promote gaining a valuable, broader understanding of what makes us tick such as meditation, transcendental yoga and the use of organic psychedelics.

On new album Singularity, acclaimed British producer Jon Hopkins has purposely set out to, as he puts it, "follow the build, peak and release of a psychedelic experience." As a result, Singularity is an intense, wholly immersive record that invites the listener to temporarily escape from the mundane and the repetitious and take a peek into their own subconscious.
--Paul Carr, PopMatters
#27. Jon Hopkins | Singularity
(340.266 Points | 19 Votes)
Critics' list: #18
Biggest Fans: Gillingham (#2), Nassim (#3), Phil (#5), RumpDoll (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Emerald Rush" (#49), "Singularity" (#86)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:18 am

While I was hoping for a top 20 placement for AAL, I’ll definitely take #27!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jackson » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:43 pm

Wow, I thought Chris would have been an automatic top 20!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by FrankLotion » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:54 pm

Jackson wrote:Wow, I thought Chris would have been an automatic top 20!
Same! Glad to see there were quite a few people who loved it though!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:38 am

Nick wrote:While I was hoping for a top 20 placement for AAL, I’ll definitely take #27!
Apparently I forgot to add one of Phil's list updates to the final calculations...some minor swaps have occurred and have been corrected above
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:02 am

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Anna von Hausswolff has, in my eyes at least, made a stonkingly good rock record; full of rock’s conceits (invoking ancient, or dead, magic) and invigorating bluster turned up to 11 on the amp. For all its invocation of the Greek Tragedies, The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra has the spirit of Scott Walker moping around in the arrangement (listen in and you can hear those Old Man’s Back Again groans and growls underpinning the atmosphere). But if she’s taking a cue from him, it’s fair to say Anna von Hausswolff outdoes Walker in the vocal stakes here, producing a high-powered impassioned address that veers between raw-larynxed, scathing declamations, beautiful high trills and a battery of scary whoops. It’s a majestic piece and utterly theatrical. (And, uh, oh yeah… Talking of rock’s canon we should maybe mention that (in our humble opinion M’Lud), the last track, Kallans a teruppstandelse, a beautiful slow lament, that could be from a late ABBA LP.)
--Richard James Foster, All Things Loud
#26. Anna von Hausswolff | Dead Magic
(340.663 Points | 15 Votes)
Critics' list: #61
Biggest Fans: JamieW (#1), Jackson (#6), Mitski (#8), SonofSamIAm (#8), spiritualized (excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra" (#41), "The Truth, the Glow, the Fall" (#78), "Ugly and Vengeful" (#99)


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Ordinary Corrupt Human Love begins in the city, first on the streets of Oakland, where a passing flock of geese fit into the teeming cityscape, and then rushing through a tunnel in search of a "sphere of ever-growing light." The album ends an hour later in the woods, surrounded by the stillness of nature, where a passing fawn makes for a moment that changes at least two lives. That tension—between immersion and escape, between past and present, between life and death—is the thread connecting these seven songs, tightened by a band that always seems to be searching for a more resonant way to underscore Clarke's lyrics, no matter the musical shape they take. This, then, is Deafheaven's most confounding record and necessarily its most emotionally impressionistic, free to be interpreted in whatever way the listener needs. Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is an album for falling in love or for coping with its loss, for moving ahead or falling behind, for feeling inspired and energized or for coping via commiseration. It is, true to Deafheaven form, not a record for passive reactions.
--Grayson Haver Currin, NPR
#25. Deafheaven | Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
(341.746 Points | 13 Votes)
Critics' list: #37
Biggest Fans: Brad (#1), Nicholas (#1), Acroamor (#5), Nick (#7), Nassim (#8), FrankLotion (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Honeycomb" (#47)


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Back in 2013, Courtney Barnett covered Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ on Australian radio as a guitar-charged glam-grunge stomp, reframing its outrage in her bedhead Melbourne white-girl flow. It was a questionable yet telling move for a fellow verbose storyteller, delivered just as her single “Avant Gardener” – a deceptively offhand first-person account of an asthma attack – announced the arrival of a rare talent.
Now a bona fide indie-rock heroine, Barnett has made a second LP that occasionally recalls her early come-to-Yeezus session. Tell Me How You Really Feel is noisy and way more pissed off than her 2015 debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, unsheathing sharp new earnestness alongside her trademark sabers of sarcasm and penetrating observation. She opens by paraphrasing Nelson Mandela. “Y’know what they say/No one’s born to hate/We learn it somewhere along the way,” she whispers at the outset of “Hopefulessness,” a slithering post-punk inspirational that builds from ambivalent incantation to near-snarl, twin guitars cresting into a glorious noise burst before receding comically behind the earthbound wail of a teakettle – a perfectly Barnett-ish touch.
--Will Hermes, Rolling Stone
#24. Courtney Barnett | Tell Me How You Really Feel
(353.368 Points | 17 Votes)
Critics' list: #12
Biggest Fans: RockyRaccoon (#4), Nassim (#6), StevieFan13 (#7), FutureCritic (#8), Craig (#10), spiritualized (Excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "Nameless, Faceless" (#53), "Charity" (#91)


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Jaar albums usually have a cold, almost surgical motion, but his latest is loose and strutting. The most entertaining part of 2012-2017 is hearing Jaar pull at his own sound like silly putty, remolding it. Like a precocious kid trying on adult clothes, Jaar fashions sounds out of his peers and idols’ best themes, but matches them in sterling quality. The opening drum clatter of “I Never Dream” is straight out of the Four Tet playbook, a few Aphex Twin style synth wobbles pop up like friendly ghosts. Considering the so fresh, so clean style of “Now U Got Me Hooked,” Jaar ain’t over his Daft Punk affair yet and the later half of the album even has smart nods to American techno gods Frankie Knuckles and Drexciya. Hearing Jaar play with these sounds in real time is an absolute treat. The core giddiness of 2012-2017 comes directly from this imitation and experimentation. But Jaar also knows that he’s ascended to a certain sort of stardom over the ‘10s, and dives further into the warm, fuzzy glide of Outsider House that he helped create. The placid goofballs of the Mood Hut record label wouldn’t be around without Jaar’s influence, and he pays tribute to the rapidly growing genre throughout.
--Nathan Stevens, Spectrum Culture
#23. Against All Logic (A.A.L.) | 2012-2017
(355.821 Points | 18 Votes)
Critics' list: #54
Biggest Fans: Nick (#1), Schaefer.tk (#6), Phil (#7), JohnnyBGoode (#8), JamieW (#8)
Songs in the Top 100: "Some Kind of Game" (#63), "I Never Dream" (#85)


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The mellow guitar of the verses on the album’s first single, “Pristine,” suits Jordan’s placid singing—and brings to mind the unmistakable guitar rhythms of Sonic Youth—which contrasts with the emphatic yearning of the chorus. “I’ll never love anyone else,” Jordan cries, matching the intensity of the track’s fierce guitar stabs and cymbal crashes. In spite of the singer’s contemplations on unrequited love, “Pristine” isn’t entirely melancholic. As she puts it: “Is there any better feeling than coming clean?”

Jordan, who recently came out as gay, conveys this purgative sentiment across the album’s 10 songs. On “Heat Wave,” a quicksilver guitar lick pierces through the track’s sleepy guitar rhythm as she renounces escapism, allowing herself to feel the pain of rejection. Jordan is sanguine on the searing chorus, wishing her green-eyed crush the best, albeit bitingly so. Again, her contemplations, however painful, provide cathartic release, leading her to the realization that on-again, off-again love may not be enough. “I’m not into sometimes,” she sings quietly, before confidently repeating it at the song’s end.
--Sophia Ordaz, Slant
#22. Snail Mail | Lush
(364.714 Points | 19 Votes)
Critics' list: #26
Biggest Fans: Carlos74 (#4), JohnnyBGoode (#6), Chambord (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Pristine" (#29)


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Rolling Blackouts virtually weaponise brevity on Hope Downs. Only three of the tracks are longer than four minutes, and most clock in at three or less. They pack so much into each of them, however, that it’s akin to finding the full text of Infinite Jest engraved on the back of a fridge magnet. There’s a pent-up hysteria to some of them, barely contained, that finds release in rhapsodic guitars, an often ecstatic sound. Rolling Blackouts, though, rarely merely jam. These songs are meticulously arranged, well practised, a lot of hard work put into their precise perfections, even as they sound entirely intuitive, as if all these incredible ideas have been released to them on a whim. The songs themselves, for the most part, seem to be about discordant love, the terminal twitches of dying relationships, breakups, betrayal and heartbreak, the usual boy-girl shit. But on other levels, they speak of larger crises of separation, estrangement, the cruel nostalgia of things remembered you’d rather forget. They could be about lovers, refugees, her, me, you there with the glasses.

Let’s be clear. Hope Downs doesn’t invent anything “new”. 
It’s the kind of record I could have been listening to when I was 15 and still be playing now, timeless in its past and future reach.
--Allan Jones, Uncut
#21. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Hope Downs
(365.173 Points | 17 Votes)
Critics' list: #32
Biggest Fans: Chambord (#1), Carlos74 (#1), GucciLittlePiggY (#8), Nassim (#9), Spiritualized (excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "Talking Straight" (#45)
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:24 am

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Jazz-inflected hip-hop is saddled with the unfortunate burden of implied social responsibility. It seemingly demands intellect and deliberation; it requires that its subjects become a kind of preacher, waxing socially astute and morally superior while acknowledging their humble place at the grand intersection of two of Black America’s most enduring art forms. And as the legacies of Golden Age artists like Tribe and Digable Planets grow manifold with each passing year, the bar raises for contemporary artists to reach that same level of social consciousness.

But 25 doesn’t seem all that concerned with meeting or surpassing its forebears; it’s a decidedly more personal album than political. Most of the social grousing is short-lived and serves to play into Noname’s own personal narrative. There’s the rapid-fire contemplation of immature mumble rap, globalization, and Morgan Freeman’s impervious career on “Ace” that quickly turns its focus back toward Warner not two lines later. On “Regal,” Twitter sensationalism and gun control policy are sandwiched between choruses supplicating for her spiritual exaltation and atonement. And on the album opener “Self,” she teases political furor, referencing Reagan and the 80s crack epidemic only to shrug it off: “Nah, actually this [album] is for me.” In this line is Room’s thesis; no matter the political climate, this is an album about the interiority of its artist above all else.
--Sean Hannah, TinyMixTapes
#20. noname | Room 25
(367.289 Points | 15 Votes)
Critics' list: #23
Biggest Fans: FrankLotion (#2), JohnnyBGoode (#5), RockyRaccoon (#5), BleuPanda (#6), FutureCritic (#7), Schaefer.tk (#7), Jirin (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Blaxploitation" (#80)


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Uchis has always been interested in speaking truth to power, and she mines her personal narrative—binational upbringing, immigrant parents, living out of her car—for a slyly political backdrop that feels neither too obvious nor preachy. That wisdom and storytelling acumen in her music feels strongest here on “Miami,” in which she and boricua rapper BIA narrate an immigrant perspective against a gossamer backdrop of the city that basically invented bisexual lighting. With languorous swing, Uchis parallels immigrant hustle with the rudely empty promise of the American dream, as in the line, “Why would I be Kim, I could be Kanye/In the land of opportunity and palm trees.” It’s a type of cinematic storytelling that feels almost vintage in this era of diaristic confessionals. Plus, it’s always nice to hear this kind of devotion to the concept of making a song about Miami that would sound great driving around Miami.

“Miami” features production from TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Frank Ocean collaborator Om’Mas Keith, Drake hitmaker DJ Dahi, and it’s a gleaming example of the veritable brain trust of musical talent assembled here, all serving the same purpose of showcasing Uchis’ fascinating confidence as a singer. Even as the album traverses genres, it’s united by a slinky desert vibe, a document of the way young Angelenos have opened up the way for sounds and genre to gloop in on each other like a lava lamp. In the early 2000s, this often manifested in navel-gazing and weeded beat experiments whose prime objective was headiness. But this generation—here, including Isolation guests like Tyler, the Creator, the Internet’s Steve Lacy, and BROCKHAMPTON’s Romil Hemnani—has found a way to make that style of experimentation inviting and friendly through an openness that is intellectual, but doesn’t depend on intellectualism as its prime objective. As a uniting force, Kali Uchis could not be stronger, nor as nimble with her ability to match lush beats with an even lusher voice. Isolation is a star turn from an artist who has proven she’s ready for it.
--Julianne Escobedo Shephard, Pitchfork
#19. Kali Uchis | Isolation
(368.178 Points | 18 Votes)
Critics' list: #19
Biggest Fans: FrankLotion (#3), Panam (#4), Schaefer.tk (#5), Mullholland (#6), Moonbeam (#7), ColdButterfly (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "After the Storm" (feat. Tyler, the Creator and Bootsy Collins) (#42)


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Twin Fantasy: Face to Face is no longer an album about a break-up…well, no longer just an album about a break-up. Instead, it’s a hall of mirrors. There were already recurring motifs on the old record–lines and melodies which recur sporadically. However, as part of a seven-year-old diary, every lyric (the old and the new ones) become reflections on how Will has grown up, the rapid ascent of his band’s career, and even the original album itself. Like any writer worth his salt, Toledo has found a way to make Twin Fantasy an album about more than just one subject, despite keeping the majority of the words in tact; unsurprisingly, he knows this too, claiming on the album's final line "These are only lyrics now."

Even the smirking spoken aside in “Bodys” – “Is it the chorus yet? No! It’s just a building of the verse, so when the chorus does come, it’ll be more rewarding” – has the self-assurance of someone who has written enough songs to know that trick really does make the chorus more rewarding. Just like anyone looking back on a doomed relationship, time has taught the narrator a few things, and the further away Toledo got from the breakup, the closer he got to the heart of the album.

That is to say, after seven years, Will Toledo gets what he wants, and Twin Fantasy gets what it deserves.
--Alex Wisgard, The Line of Best Fit
#18. Car Seat Headrest | Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
(370.277 Points | 15 Votes)
Critics' list: #47
Biggest Fans: Craig (#1), Nassim (#1), JohnnyBGoode (#2), Nick (#5), Rob (#7), Brad (#9), FrankLotion (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Bodys" (#24), "Beach Life-in-Death" (#51)


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So, yes, this is what happens. You listen once and feel detached, a little disappointed even, not dissimilar to the feeling people felt when they watched The Matrix Reloaded. Second time, however, despite not really having any hooks or choruses, what sounds like a mess becomes anything but. It is a deeply strange album - there is no point pretending this is commercial - but given production that glues everything together, it unveils itself as arguably the band's most cohesive to date; certainly their most fascinating.

Because this is, make no doubt, as bold a leap as Blur on 13 or Radiohead on Kid A. Those albums carried elements of what made their bands famous, while also rejigging the formula to the extent that they were never able to find the original mix again. But this is fine. It should be celebrated. Excellent albums should be awful on first listen.

It's what talented musicians do to challenge their listeners, and in this quiet album, with its observations made from within Turner's head, or at a stretch, the other side of the room, Arctic Monkeys deliberately and determinedly leave behind everything that was on their first album. That was 12 years ago, which leaves you with the feeling the monkeys have grown up, evolved, become more complex and - in the process - become more human.
--Jonathan Dean, GQ
#17. Arctic Monkeys | Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
(384.579 Points | 18 Votes)
Critics' list: #11
Biggest Fans: Toni (#1), Romain (#4), Nicholas (#5), Nick (#6), Andyd1010 (#6), StevieFan13 (#9), GucciLittlePiggy (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Four Out of Five" (#19)


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Dacus, in short, exposes the insecurities we tend to hide from each other, and gives form to the intangible, like any proper classic novelist.

Once you see Dacus for what she is, you begin to trust her – and then the slow burners really scorch. There are no throwaways, you realize by the sixth go-round. Every song feels vital, like how every paragraph in a short story has to progress the plot and pack a punch at the same time; even the patient parlor ballad of ‘Body to Flame’ self-combusts at the climax. And while secular hymnal ‘Pillar of Dust’ hits the seven-minute mark, you don’t feel the tick of time at all – there’s too much loveliness, too much subtle wit, like when she flips the famous verse of ‘Amazing Grace’ - I once had sight, now I am blind.

Mmm. You know you have a classic on your hands when, after the umpteenth spin, you start looking for the tour dates, and try to reason your way to a gig. Like the fabled plane of songs, Historian feels like a universe that exists before time, somewhere to reach up to when you need to express something greater than yourself. And Dacus shows us the way, with grace and patience and the quiet confidence of writers twice her age.
--Lee Adcock, Drowned In Sound
#16. Lucy Dacus | Historian
(385.013 Points | 16 Votes)
Critics' list: #52
Biggest Fans: Andyd1010 (#2), StevieFan13 (#6), Chambord (#8), Miguel (#8), DaveC (#8), Phil (#9), Schaefer.tk (#10), spiritualized (excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "Nigh Shift" (#12)
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:31 am

notbrianeno wrote:
Nick wrote:While I was hoping for a top 20 placement for AAL, I’ll definitely take #27!
Apparently I forgot to add one of Phil's list updates to the final calculations...some minor swaps have occurred and have been corrected above
Well if I’ll take #27 then I’ll definitely take #23! Woo-hoo!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Moonbeam » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:45 am

Pumped for Chris and Isolation! Fans of Chris should definitely check out Christine and the Queens' earlier single "Saint Claude" - it is up there with her very best.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jackson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:06 am

Rock is doing well in this poll with Rolling Blackouts, Car Seat Headrest, and Deafheaven well above the critics and Parquet Courts and Idles obviously still to come. I still do not understand the appeal of TBH&C. I thought critics that listed it high were making some sort of statement, but I'm not quite sure what that is...

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:43 am

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Oil Of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, SOPHIE's first proper album, presents her artistic vision in a purer form than anything she's done before. It is at times unapologetically poppy, beginning with the opening power ballad, "It's Okay To Cry." But it's also utterly, defiantly weird, flouting conventions of rhythm, composition and, perhaps most of all, taste.

Like her Rochdale heroes, SOPHIE creates sounds with uncanny tactile qualities, as if imagining physical materials from some alternate reality—wet and sticky one moment, metallic and electrified the next, often gleaming and ultra-clear. Her rhythms, too, are varied and unique. "Ponyboy," "Faceshopping" and the epic "Whole New World:Pretend World" writhe and thrash to staccato grooves. Other tracks go for more of a weightless quality. "Infatuation" and "Is It Cold In The Water?" make soaring ballads out of wailing synths and melodramatic vocals. "Not Okay" uses a similar arrangement to more hectic effect, all evil bass groans and violent drum fills, untethered to any steady beat. As if to further show off SOPHIE's range, there is also "Pretending," a nightmarish drone cut that, if not for the demented vocal wails near the end, could be mistaken for something by Lustmord.

Tying all this together is SOPHIE herself. With "It's Okay To Cry," her first vocal credit and, with the video, her first time revealing herself on camera, she did something very pop: she made her identity, or some version of it, an essential part of her art. Now her songs and their lyrics are connected to a real person, which reframes them in a startling way. Until now so playfully artificial, SOPHIE's music is, all of a sudden, movingly authentic. Or, even better, it's both.
--Will Lynch, Resident Advisor
#15. SOPHIE | OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES
(394.735 Points | 19 Votes)
Critics' list: #8
Biggest Fans: PlasticRam (#1), Schaefer.tk (#1), BleuPanda (#1), M24 (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Immaterial" (#15), "Is It Cold in the Water?" (#77), "Faceshopping" (#95)


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You Won't Get What You Want is a truly infernal release, and that is the main point that Daughters drive across its duration. With the opening track "City Song", the band leave behind the frenetic energy of their past practices and instead creates an intense, sludge-oid structure filled with noise rock allusions. Coupled with its minimalistic progression the track produces a fantastical dystopian scenery, an ambiance that Daughters further explore throughout the record. "Less Sex" finds them building a neo-western atmosphere, which could accompany very well any of Cormac McCarthy's works, with a mysterious bass line and an almost spoken word delivery that produce a devilish result. The repetitive progressions also aid in that respect as they drive the message more potently. It is an element they take full advantage of as they explore different trajectories, from the tribalesque moments of "Long Road No Turns" or the no-wave influences in "Daughter".

The more direct and urgent side of the band is still present in You Won't Get What You Want, and it rears its ugly head in a number of different occasions. "The Flammable Man" sees them produce a horrific experience in a condensed form, as the frenetic rhythms meet with the bizarrely processed guitars. The addition of synths and audio effects further build this nightmare ambiance, as is the case with "The Lord Songs", where the background horror theme elevates the track. In the end, it is a case of the intensity that the band add to their tracks, and that doesn't require faster pace and cutthroat vocals. "The Reason They Hate Me" and "Guest House" both dial down the schizoid progression without losing any of their asphyxiating sense. Other times, the weight of the track will compensate for the slower pace, as is the case with "Long Road No Turns", with the heavy guitars producing a relentless beating at each passing moment.

Considering the band's output so far, You Won't Get What You Want is the perfect return for Daughters. While aspects of the band's creative vision have been altered and their sound has further evolved, the core elements remain intact. The asphyxiating sound has been augmented with the inclusion of longer, heavier sludge influenced moments. The tension the band build is further explored through different means. And that devilish, almost tongue in cheek presence is still prominent. "Satan in the Wait" is an excellent example of that mentality, as the band pushes the dissonant edge to the extreme and builds an inharmonious construct, only to make a surprising turn and unleash an unbelievable melodic hook. It all speaks to the quality of Daughters, and with their return, they truly deliver.
--Spyros Statis, Popmatters
#14. Daughters | You Won't Get What You Want
(418.434 Points | 19 Votes)
Critics' list: #46
Biggest Fans: Notbrianeno (#1), Matski (#3), Nassim (#4), ProsecutorGodot (#6), Gillingham (#8), Bruno (#8), Rob (#9), Jackson (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "The Reason They Hate Me" (#67)


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As the internet homogenizes individual music cultures into a big studio-quantized mish-mash, how do musicians retain the singularity of the hyper-local, often dissipating histories of their cultures? And alternately, is it preferable to take a rigid approach to that hyperlocality—or at least a defensive stance towards cultural specificity—if it stifles the kind of musical creativity that fosters a genre’s evolution.

One approach—a very successful one—lies in El Mal Querer, the relentlessly gorgeous album from Rosalía Vila Tobella, a 25-year-old Spanish singer with one foot steeped in her Catalan history and the other hypebae-sneakered foot sidling into the future. Rooted in flamenco—the Arabic-influenced Andalusian music which she has studied since a young age—El Mal Querer is a dramatic, romantic document that seamlessly links that tradition’s characteristic melodrama to the heart-wrenching storytelling of modern, woman-flexing R&B. Flamenco music carries the sound of Spanish history within it—you can practically hear the migration patterns—and Rosalía uses it to tell the story of a doomed relationship across 11 songs, each one serving as a new chapter. It is one of the most exciting and passionately composed albums to appear not only in the global bass tradition but in the pop and experimental spheres this year....

A studious sense of tradition pervades Rosalía’s approach on El Mal Querer. The narrative of the album is based on The Romance of Flamenca, a manuscript from the 13th century about a woman whose lover keeps her locked up in a tower—“el mal querer” can be translated to something like “the bad desire.” Perhaps this is a defiant rejoinder to those who might be resistant to a new take on a timeworn style. In “Reniego,” based on a classic flamenco melody, the production is pared down, and her soprano bursts like fireworks, electric and elastic, the agony and pull of destructive romance coursing through it. The melismas sound easy for her, as if to prove she can do it, before going down more experimental roads again, playing around with pop ballad-style synths, vocoder, and a cheeky allusion to reggaetón’s dembow pulse by way of flamenco handclaps. It’s an adventurous foray and deceptively pretty: None of this, from the way her voice sprints across her angular harmonies to the complex rhythm patterns that weave through them, is easy. With Rosalía’s sense of grace, though, it sounds like it could be
--Julianne Escobedo Shephard, Pitchfork
#13. Rosalía | El mal querer
(457.450 Points | 20 Votes)
Critics' list: #17
Biggest Fans: Dan (#2), Panam (#2), Schaefer.tk (#3), Mullholland (#4), DocBrown (#5), SonofSamIAm (#7), ProsecutorGodot (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Malamente" (#10), "Pienso en tu Mirá" (#52)


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Aviary gets its name from a line in Etel Adnan's short story collection Master Of The Eclipse: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." On her fifth album, Holter embraces that chaos while also trying desperately to find an escape from it. In the middle of the seemingly sweet and exuberant "Chaitius," everything starts to break down. A text-to-speech-like voice appears: "Joi, joi / I feel so alove." (Some of the words are taken from a 12th-century Occitanian poem.) Holter comes back, whispering, "Wait, wait." The two voices talk over each other until Holter's defeated voice plainly speaks, "Joi, ah, joi / So joi / I feel so joi."

After years of work often inspired by myths, plays and musicals (Holter turned Tragedy into a full-length opera in New York last year), it's fitting that Aviary feels like a film. Over 90 minutes, Holter guides you through euphoric, dramatic highs and anxious lows, dream-like montages and unbearably tense sequences. It's as cinematic as music can get. ...

Holter has always taken pop and presented her own masterful version of it. But her desire to break through the distressing clatter of the present is what makes Aviary her most captivating album yet. You feel the force of her willpower when you reach the determined "I Shall Love 2" and the cathartic release of the penultimate track, "I Shall Love 1," in which she invites you to join her in euphoria: "I am waiting for you / Come on over." Instead of reimagining and refocusing on moments come and gone, Holter's shift in focus reveals the meditative power her music can have in coping with and conquering the overwhelming noise of the present.
--Melissa Cetin, Resident Advisor
#12. Julia Holter | Aviary
(459.335 Points | 20 Votes)
Critics' list: #29
Biggest Fans: Rob (#2), ChrisK. (#4), DaveC (#5), Mitski (#5), Acroamor (#6), Jirin (#7), PlasticRam (#8), Phil (#8), Panam (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "I Shall Love 2" (#22)


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The general complaint lodged against Pusha over his handful of solo releases has been that his style hasn’t changed; he’s still talking coke and clearing his throat. But this diamond-tight seven-track record produced entirely by West argues that the real problem was one of production—or rather, of setting. We don’t roll our eyes at Clint Eastwood’s filmography of gruff-voiced hardasses or Elmore Leonard’s library of terse, funny potboilers, and on Daytona Pusha doubles down on his biography and his obsessions, a stylist digging in his heels. It’s all dope-boy come-up stories, subliminal shit-talk, and luxury at a level only possible to convey via fine-art name-dropping and whatever the fuck a “caviar facial” is. For the first time since going solo, it all feels of a piece. On “If You Know You Know” he rolls in on ticking hi-hats, watch glinting, envisioning a “fraternity of drug dealers” who’ve gone straight. “Rapped on classics, I been brilliant,” he says on “Come Back Baby,” adding, “Now we blend in, we chameleons,” drawing a line between the force-of-nature self-consciousness of Hell Hath No Fury and the smooth CEO figure he cuts in 2018, stumping for candidates and goofing off with Aaron Rodgers for Adidas. He paints himself casually into the pantheon, claiming, “I am your Ghost and your Rae,” and shouting out Makaveli on “What Would Meek Do?”

By the time the album’s over, he sounds like the last rapper on earth. He’s voracious, barely stopping to breathe from the moment the record begins. Most beats barely roll for a measure before he dives; most hooks barely exist. For all the talk of Kanye’s narcissism, he’s always been a remarkably giving producer, frequently handing his records over for star-making guest spots, and the sonic setting he places this performance from Pusha in is an absolute masterpiece of minimalism. The core is thudding bass pulses, spare snare cracks, and uneasy drones, a light-swallowing, cavernous space that he interrupts with avant-garde horn blasts and echoing, fractious soul samples. West can’t resist dropping a verse over the wheezing menace of “What Would Meek Do?,” winking at his own recent controversies, but Pusha’s political progressivism remains foregrounded, weaving Weinstein and Trump into his vision as the sort of real-world villains he can’t abide. (This isn’t exactly new—Clipse’s “We Got It For Cheap” contains a Maya Angelou shout-out—but it’s nice to hear him be explicit.) But he saves his greatest vitriol for some unnamed other rapper that it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to figure out is Drake, eventually turning the heat up to skin-melting temperatures on “Infrared.” He goes in, hook-free, for two minutes here, an almost gothic dismissal of one of the most popular rappers alive. When it’s over, Kanye drops a shuddering, spectral beat, and, for the first time in 20 minutes, Pusha stops rapping. He’s earned a breath.
--Clayton Purdom, AVClub
#11. Pusha T | DAYTONA
(461.152 Points | 23 Votes)
Critics' list: #4
Biggest Fans: NotBrianEno (#5), ColdButterfly (#6), Bruno (#6), PlasticRam (#7), GucciLittlePiggy (#7), Toni (#8), Nick (#10), RockyRaccoon (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "If You Know You Know" (#30)
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:05 am

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You are never quite sure about the size of the sounds on a Beach House song; intimate moments are massive, and vice versa. Most of the record feels recorded and mixed from a low spot gazing up, with sounds looming above, but then grass-blade details resolve themselves in the foreground. Legrand’s voice doubles on the chorus of “Pay No Mind,” transforming her from wisp to leviathan in an instant. On “Dive,” she sounds as imposing as the thumping drums, but a humming synth the size of a music box runs alongside her, confusing your sense of scale. On “L’Inconnue,” her vocal lines pan from left to right and pool in on themselves. Her breath fills every corner of space. When the track fills out—some guitars, resonant drums, a choral patch—they appear as if from inside her rib cage. She’s never sounded bigger, or less mortal, than she does here.

These perspective tricks are the tools of film-making as much as of music, and Beach House’s music is full of cuts, dissolves, fades, super-imposures. You enter their records the way you settle into a movie seat, asking to be subsumed and bathed in light. Even Legrand’s lyrics function like rapturous, lingering takes. “Rolling clouds over cement,” she sings on “Drunk in LA” Like Stevie Nicks, to whom she is often compared, or Orson Welles, to whom she is never compared, she grasps how readily we latch onto rich, intoning voices, how we can’t help but find ourselves believing in what they say. A voice like hers is its own kind of authority, and she luxuriates in the sound of words leaving her mouth.

Measuring Beach House albums against one another is tricky—how do you compare daydreams? But on a sensory level, you feel whether the spell is working, and how potent it remains. On 7, all the contrasts that mark their music are dialed up to blinding; you are plunged into darkness and then showered in light. The experience is so enveloping that you find yourself contending, once again, with that familiar itch to locate meaning. The secret at the heart of Beach House’s evocative music remains the same—there is no specific place Legrand wants to take you. But there will always be… someplace you’d rather be. Beach House will always help you dream of it.
--Jayson Greene, Pitchfork
#10. Beach House | 7
(503.668 Points | 24 Votes)
Critics' list: #9
Biggest Fans: Phil (#1), Nick (#3), Gillingham (#4), Panam (#5), ChrisK. (#5), Notbrianeno (#6), Brad (#6), Craig (#8), JohnnyBGoode (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Lemon Glow" (#28), "Dark Spring" (#88), "Drunk in LA" (#94)


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The feeling you get when you listen to Robyn—the instant sense of obliteration in the surge of synth and strings—is almost too powerful. I’ve always understood the music of the thirty-nine-year-old Swedish pop star to be something like a club drug: a substance that drastically increases your likelihood of dancing and crying simultaneously. The spell it casts can be habit-forming; you submit to it at your own risk. When “Honey,” the title track from Robyn’s long-awaited new album, was released, at the end of September, I found myself taking hour-long walks around Brooklyn at midnight just so that I could listen to it over and over. On weeknights, I’d come home exhausted and put “Honey” on in the shower, and then the inside of my body would flood with confetti and warmth and electricity, and I’d stay up until three in the morning.

On the new album, “Honey” appears just after the halfway point. The album’s nine tracks appear in the order in which they were written, tracing a personal evolution that starts in grief. Robyn entered intensive psychoanalysis after the hyper-productive “Body Talk” era—submitting to several sessions a week for six years, she told the Times. During this period, she broke up with Max Vitali, her longtime partner, who had directed the “Call Your Girlfriend” video. Christian Falk, her close collaborator and mentor, died of pancreatic cancer. “Missing U,” the new album’s opener, is sadder than any of Robyn’s previous songs about heartbreak. In those earlier tracks, it always seemed that she was inhabiting a space of lovelorn glory in part because of what it allowed her to do for her listeners. On “Missing U,” she sings, more than ever, as herself. “This part of you,” she wails. “This clock that stopped. This residue, it’s all I got.” The song’s propulsive glitter is rooted in personal desperation. “I’ve turned all my sorrow to glass,” she sings.

There are only three big wallops of the Robyn feeling on this album: “Missing U,” “Honey,” and the closing track, “Ever Again.” Between these focal points—and a few characteristically funny flashes, particularly on the song “Beach 2K20”—are new textures, a new softness. On “Human Being,” the beat is crisp, nearly sci-fi, but as the chords descend into the song they feel big and sad and humble, like ramps being lowered from an unknown ship. On “Baby Forgive Me,” which seems to start mid-thought, Robyn sounds lost and pensive, letting ephemeral waves of feeling crash around her—until, halfway through, the fog breaks and her vocal melody brightens. Listening to it, I suddenly understood that the Robyn feeling is changing. The sweetness on this album is, as ever, hard-won and transporting, but it comes in the midst of palpable uncertainty, even hopelessness. It’s no longer delivered in a purely heroic, adrenaline-spiking blitz. Instead, “Honey” is loose and free and physical. It captures and concretizes the wordless, ephemeral moments of bliss and sorrow that come when you’re in a crush of strangers, unsure of the future. It marks a new phase in Robyn’s ongoing project, in which the force of her conviction continues to hold together what often seems impossible, musically or otherwise: maximum sadness, felt as the bedrock of absolute joy.
--Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
#9. Robyn | Honey
(538.655 Points | 21 Votes)
Critics' list: #6
Biggest Fans: Toni (#2), Greg (#2), NotBrianEno (#3), GucciLittlePiggy (#5), FutureCritic (#5), M24 (#6), ColdButterfly (#7), Nassim (#7), Craig (#9), BleuPanda (#10), BonnieLaurel (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Honey" (#6), "Missing U" (#14)


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Wide Awake! sees Parquet Courts explore the farthest reaches of their sound, embracing art-punk minimalism with even more vigour whilst indulging in their most dense and progressive experiments. 'NYC Observation' and 'Extinction' count amongst their briefest, angriest moments (those pesky Wire comparisons won’t be put to bed any time soon) whilst 'Normalization' is the archetypal Parquet Courts song - a curt but captivating burst of razor-sharp guitars and brazen angst.

Vocalist Andrew Savage also captures his most insurgent lyrical form here. 'Violence' pairs squawking keyboards and with one of his most intense diatribes as he seemingly takes aim at police brutality and the stifling of political expression. I say seemingly because his statements come cocooned in metaphors and allusions (including “the pink tube of paint called flesh” and “the pornographic spectacle of black death”) that require some decoding. His post-modern frustration morphs into straight-up misanthropy at times - “sometimes on life itself, I’m neither here nor there” he says on 'In and Out of Patience', whilst on 'Normalization', he ruminates on whether he himself would pass the Turing test of artificial intelligence. “I’m not sure I wanna know,” he concludes nonchalantly.

Truly, Wide Awake! is a success all round - the joyous sound of a band taking everything that makes them great and amplifying it, toying with it and producing something even greater. Whilst Parquet Courts’ lineage of influences clear as always, Wide Awake! is still crammed full of original ideas - there’s no band on the planet doing what they’re doing, and that’s might be the highest compliment you can pay a rock band these days.
--Andrew Harrison, Drowned In Sound
#8. Parquet Courts | Wide Awake!
(558.314 Points | 20 Votes)
Critics' list: #14
Biggest Fans: Acroamor (#1), RockyRaccoon (#2), Craig (#2), ProsecutorGodot (#4), M24 (#4), Jackson (#4), Matski (#4), FutureCritic (#6), ChrisK. (#8), Nicholas (#8), ColdButterfly (#10), Spiritualized (excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "Wide Awake" (#31)


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The title of Kamasi Washington’s new album encapsulates its sweep. Heaven and Earth ranges from the planet we call home to the mythical realm where gods and angels are enthroned. Can art transcend these two plains of existence? Kamasi Washington’s stellar compositions, worldly philosophy and personal brand of cosmology are about as close as anyone in the 21st century seems likely to get.
The album is a statement of faith. Washington’s work has always been marked by his spiritualism, but Heaven and Earth also displays unwavering belief in us earthlings. It finds joy in the potential limitlessness of our species’ experience and endeavour. From its first spin Heaven and Earth feels like the opus of a man operating outside the restrictions of flesh and bone.

Take the opener, Fists of Fury: the title echoes the old Bruce Lee flick, which depicts early-20th-century tensions between China and Japan, and advocates violence when it comes to pride and retribution. Its vocalists, Dwight Trible and Patrice Quinn, lay out the argument for a modern world: “And when I’m faced with unjust injury / Then I change my hands to fists of fury.” In a society debating the merits of punching Nazis, Washington sounds ready to throw down. Beneath the message, the track deploys his use of choirs in the way once blazed on spaghetti-western soundtracks by Ennio Morricone, aided by some Latin-style rhythms and peppy horn play. For sure Washington will never make the same record twice.
An old soul eternally thoughtful when it comes to the history of black American music, Washington echoes the breeziness of Stevie Wonder’s golden period on Testify and Tiffakonkae – until the piano crescendoes halfway through the latter, notes spiralling in every direction. Connections has a classic basement-jazz-club feel. You can almost see the smoke hitting the brass before the strings swoon and choir croons like in an old romantic movie. Heaven and Earth is an exercise in subverting expectations that’s intoxicating on every play.
--Dean Van Nguyen, The Irish Times
#7. Kamasi Washington | Heaven and Earth
(564.326 Points | 22 Votes)
Critics' list: #10
Biggest Fans: Nick (#2), Brad (#2), jamieW (#3), Nicholas (#3), JohnnyBGoode (#4), SonofSamIAm (#4), Jirin (#5), Whuntva (#6), Craig (#6), Jackson (#8), RockyRaccoon (#8), Cold Butterfly (#8), ChrisK. (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Fists of Fury" (#7)


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Instead, this record is – for the most part – serious business delivered with a smirk, heavy subjects handled with lightness of touch. ‘Danny Nedelko’ is joyous, bubblegum punk named after a friend of the band, a Ukranian immigrant, of whom frontman Joe Talbot bellows: “He’s made of flesh, he’s made of love / He’s made of you, he’s made of me /Unity!” Talbot recently dedicated the track to all immigrants, saying: “We wanted to celebrate their bravery for coming over here to start a new life… Long live the open-minded.” Anti-Brexit anthem ‘Great’, meanwhile, concludes with the frontman sneering: “You can have it all / I don’t mind / Just get ready / To work overtime”.
You could blow your entire word-count on quoting Idles’ amazing lyrics. ‘Samaritans’ attempts to annihilate toxic masculinity as Talbot screams, “This is why you never see your father cry,” before roughly 1000 guitars pile in on the defiant line: “I KISSED A BOY AND I LIKED IT.” On the towering ‘Colossus’, an ode to addiction, he rages: “I’m like Stone Cold Steve Austin / I put homophobes in coffins.” The nuance – the attention to detail – in the compositions, though, may be what makes ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ so rewarding to return to.

Everything about ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ is just so perfectly realised. The band began to write the album immediately after they finished work on ‘Brutalism’ – and it shows. The songs feel lived in, the record’s overarching message – that of the necessity of unity, positivity and loving yourself – so empowering that it almost amounts to an entire worldview. It’s even more powerful for the fact that Talbot worked on the album in the midst of massive personal trauma. This is a proper classic punk album, one that people will turn to in times of need, one whose authors are unembarrassed about still believing that art can manifest positive change. As Talbot roars on ‘I’m Scum’: “This snowflake’s an avalanche.”
--Jordan Bassett, NME
#6. IDLES | Joy as an Act of Resistance
(570.130 Points | 21 Votes)
Critics' list: #3
Biggest Fans: Matski (#1), BleuPanda (#2), Chambord (#2), ColdButterfly (#2), M24 (#3), FrankLotion (#7), Jackson (#7), ProsecutorGodot (#8), FutureCritic (#9), Romain (#10), Bruno (#10), Spiritualized (excellent)
Songs in the Top 100: "Danny Nedelko" (#5)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:18 am

Four of our top five are albums by women. Whoa. And just a few days after International Women's Day! Fitting!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by prosecutorgodot » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:29 am

Would have been nice to see Rosalia in the top ten, but still good.

prediction: UKcMJ

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:34 am

Prediction: USG, KM, M, KC, JM

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by luvulongTIM » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:02 am

Wow it’s like everyone went out of their wait to NOT put 7 at number 7 on their list. Two at number 6, one at number 8. I liked the album enough I would have purposely rearranged it to be my number 7 on the nose. Was also rooting for Pearl Jam’s 10 at number 10 for the 90s poll instead of Sigur Ros but I do love the fact that Smashing Pumpkin’s Mellon Collie hit the 35 trifecta. 35 for three in a row? Sounds like my last 3 birthdays
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Jackson » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:54 am

This is probably the first year of the decade where I like every single album in our top ten. There's just something very agreeable about the albums at the top this year.

The top 5 albums are very deserving, with one nice surprise. I think it's JM's to lose, but wouldn't be surprised by M or KM.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:26 am

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One theme that runs throughout Double Negative is dancing, such as the titles “Dancing and Fire” and “Dancing and Blood,” and the club scene of the promo. In drawing on the dance/club side of music, a connection can be made with the cozy compartmentalization of today’s music, in which dance, the music of the body, gives people a way of being seen and finding others within the perplexing hive of genres and bands. These scenes seem to exist now more as a way of being physical and being together than revering one artist over another.

Music has always been a way of being both alone together and together alone. The bedroom ceiling peels away to reveal the lights of a club. This loneliness and presence is like life — it’s not so much that we don’t get out of it alive, we don’t get out of it at all. Everyone is here, so we’re just going to have to learn to live with each other. Because the fact it can be so big and dark doesn’t diminish the fact that it is, and that we can always feel each other’s presence in it all the time. That presence, that physical presence is approximated by music, a true mechanical not electrical disturbance of the air, like arms holding us in the dark….

Double Negative may be a rebellion against the hangups of the past — not as a change of outfit or even attitude, but as a way to feel out the world again, via method, not madness — without bright lights or guarantees, with the frugal companionship of the practices that keep us whole, be they music or work or taking care of other people. Because the physics of sound informs the dynamic of this searching, Double Negative, while glowering and sinister AF at times, reads as a deconstruction rather than a destruction: a dark, gritty band of interference that’s fallen across the path. In a more subtle way, it appears to be Low’s first political album since Drums and Guns. “You put away the book, what are you waiting for?” “Quorum’s” lyrics intone. What happens when we put away the book, relieve the unnerving and isolating Word from its duties, and start thinking (and feeling) for ourselves? It’s not clear, but these days, it’s not merely wistful — it’s urgent. As the lyric that I think I hear on “Rome” suggests: “Let’s turn this thing up before they take us out.”
--J. Monk, TinyMixTapes
#5. Low | Double Negative
(589.653 Points | 24 Votes)
Critics' list: #2
Biggest Fans: Gillingham (#1), Notbrianeno (#2), ChrisK. (#3), Rob (#3), BleuPanda (#3), JohnnyBGoode (#3), ColdButterfly (#4), Whuntva (#7), Craig (#7), DaveC (#9), Andyd1010 (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: N/A


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A decade ago, Meghan Remy used just a 4-track recorder and a microphone to self-produce a collection of caustic musical ruminations. These eerie, seemingly off-the-cuff pieces felt impossible to grasp in the static surrounding them, but the tension in her voice couldn’t be clearer. Six albums later, Remy is still grappling with that same tension. Now, she uses sparkling pop, detailed compositions and a varied cast of collaborators to suck us in, before the darker side of her work looms over.

In a Poem Unlimited is a stunning look at abuses of power, especially those directed at women from men they trust. On M.A.H., Remy delivers the line: 'We can never know the hands we’re in / Until we feel them grip / Choking off our air supply' as if it’s a lullaby. Her theatrical vocal tumbles over an ABBA-channeling disco instrumental. The buoyant basslines, conga drum-breaks and unabashedly classy melody are irresistible. Your stomach drops as soon as the sinister lyrics flicker through.

It’s a clever stylistic choice that carries through the album – by far the brightest sounding Remy has ever released. Velvet 4 Sale opens it all with a weary sigh, before blossoming with sunny horns and a blistering guitar solo. The bombastic Incidental Boogie makes the loud/quiet dynamic sound fresh, while the enveloping disco of Rosebud could pass for a Kylie instrumental if it wasn’t so damn elegant.

Remy’s vocal control commands it all, with its restraint, with its wild, expressive high-end, and with its mysterious coldness. 'Let’s face it! Admit that it’s all related!' she shouts on Rosebud, beckoning the listener to look inward at their own part in injustice. With a few notes, the album clicks into place. On Pearly Gates, she winds a disturbing satire about a woman who is forced into sex by St Peter to get into heaven, supported by slinky backing vocals that feel plucked from Aquemini. That doesn’t sound like it should work, but Remy’s poise and attention to craft sell the twisted parable completely.

While her previous 4AD release, Half Free, used dreamlike samples to evoke its classic American pop atmosphere, In a Poem Unlimited emulates the real thing. Its instrumentals are timeless, genreless and genderless. This is no mistake. On Time, she repeats 'When there is nothing there is still time / There is still time, mountains of time' while her band race forward. Bleating saxophones, dusty guitars and thrashing symbols gallop on, fusing all the Western glitz of her work into an urgent seven-minute freakout. In a Poem Unlimited lives up to its aim and its name. It’s a reflection of abuse that feels all-encompassing, and of this era. It’s a timeless gem of an album that is about as powerful as pop music can be.
--Stephen Butchard, The Skinny
#4. U.S. Girls | In a Poem Unlimited
(664.630 Points | 28 Votes)
Critics' list: #20
Biggest Fans: Mullholland (#1), Matski (#2), Moonbeam (#3), RumpDoll (#3), StevieFan13 (#4), Rob (#5), ChrisK. (#6), Toni (#7), Schaefer.tk (#8), Jackson (#9), Nassim (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Pearly Gates" (#23), "Rosebud" (#100)


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There's a line in "Slow Burn," the opening track of Kacey Musgraves' new album Golden Hour, that has been recycled, word for word, from her unreleased crowd-pleaser "John Prine" (better known to her fans as "Burn One With John Prine"). The song was an early introduction to her performing persona, an occasion for her to wear her irreverent outlook as a badge of honor and slyly boast: "Grandma cried when I pierced my nose / Never liked doing what I was told."

To those who have been eager to apply a rebel narrative to an artist testing country music's boundaries, the 29-year-old singer-songwriter's cheekiness and the campy, Instagram-friendly way she has interpreted the cowgirl costuming of her musical Texas youth held quite the appeal. For two consecutive major-label albums she applied her millennial detachment, withering wit and high standards for cleverness and craft to an understanding of how small-town life, a central theme in country music, can be both sustaining and stifling, how genuine caring and self-righteous meddling are both delivered with sugar-coated pleasantries. In her artfully biting way, she played with tone of voice, perspective and inflection, intent on showcasing the intellect behind her country-pop approach.

When Musgraves echoes the line from "John Prine" now, it lands very differently. "I can be cold," she acknowledges, before recalling her grandmother's tearful reaction to her facial piercing once again. This time, her self-awareness has taken on a pensive, lamenting quality, like she's weighing the relational impact of asserting her individuality.

More than in the past, Musgraves is encouraging listeners to hear the autobiography woven through her songs, situating them as the fruit of her finding love and getting married. But there's still a tentative side to her tenderness; she's a reflective songwriter and a reedy, temperate singer, often examining her feelings from a bit of a remove. Besides, she sees no need to separate sentimentality from third-person-perspective psychedelia, weaving easygoing eccentricities into thosegreat, affecting country and pop themes of missing mom and home and getting swept off your feet by a lover. After several years of making space for herself in her genre and the broader musical landscape, Musgraves is nervy enough to let her guard down and embrace her complexity, and that's given her listeners more to grab a hold of than ever.
--Jewly Hight, NPR
#3. Kacey Musgraves | Golden Hour
(742.935 Points | 25 Votes)
Critics' list: #7
Biggest Fans: JohnnyBGoode (#1), FrankLotion (#1), Andyd1010 (#1), Greg (#1), StevieFan13 (#2), Bruno (#2), FutureCritic (#2), Mullholland (#2), M24 (#5), ColdButterfly (#5), Carlos74 (#6), RockyRaccoon (#7), BleuPanda (#8), Dan (#9), ChrisK. (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Slow Burn" (#13), "Space Cowboy" (#25), "High Horse" (#61), "Oh, What a World" (#66), "Butterflies" (#74)


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John C. Reilly’s Dr. Steve Brule is a pillar of loneliness. He seeks out companionship through his crudely made public access TV show Check It Out!, a program in which he loutishly explores a tapestry of broad topics in episodes like “Food,” Pleasure,” and the source of the above quote, “Horse.” As he sets out to learn about an episode’s given subject, interviews are conducted with local personalities, during which time the doctor’s desperation for friendship becomes painfully apparent. He inveterately mispronounces people’s names and simple words, commits easily avoidable faux pas, and is quick to overshare information about his horrifying interior life. Brule’s entreaties for human connection are routinely denied, naturally, as his inept social graces and childlike (mis)understanding of the world inhibit any meaningful personal interaction with his respondents. So when Brule makes a comment like the one above about lonesome cowboys taking solace in each other in the absence of their wives, he’s really just projecting, hoping his interviewee (the stolidly even-keeled ranch hand Rolando Wolovich) will admit to feeling the same caliber of loneliness.

Dr. Steve Brule spends much of his life in solitude, unbearably alone and equally self-unaware. And this is the kind of feeling Mitski Miyawaki taps into for Be the Cowboy. The characters in her songs don’t lack the basic savoir faire of Dr. Brule (even if they feel just as socially stunted), but they mostly suffer from a similarly indignant loneliness. There’s the narrator of “Nobody,” whose opening plaint goes, “My God, I’m so lonely,” and soon after compares her debilitating solitariness to the destruction of Venus: “Venus, planet of love, was destroyed by global warming/ Did its people want too much, too?” On the succeeding track “Pink in the Night,” Mitski assumes the role of the spurned girlfriend, tracking the despair of a woman dying to redeem her overzealous affection: “I know I’ve kissed you before,/ But I didn’t do it right. Can I try again?” In these songs, there’s an urgent need for self-flagellation and course correction, but unfortunately the moment for rectification has passed.

Elsewhere, however, Cowboy is a work of unalloyed confidence. “Me and my husband, we’re doing better/[…] We’re sticking together,” Mitski proclaims on the triumphant “Me and My Husband.” On the opener “Geyser,” she uses that eponymous metaphor as an analog for power, verve, and passion, crying “I’m a geyser/ Feel it bubbling from below.” The characters in these songs range from craven and nebbish to empowered and vivacious, but it’s through the lens of Mitski’s songwriting that not one of these perspectives ever feels contrived or underdeveloped.

Miyawaki began her music career with 2012’s Lush, which somehow adeptly melded elements of jazz, chamber pop, and rock together, so Cowboy’s grab bag of genres isn’t necessarily unexpected. Nor is the way she reassembles the multitude of disparate styles. Instead, what’s interesting about this album is the way she goes about vivisecting hallmarks of other genres in indie rock’s periphery. The sickly, domineering synth lines in “Washing Machine Heart,” wrested from the songs of Lady Gaga’s early albums and other mid-00s pop hits, feel unexpected and fresh when removed from the sleek dance floor bombast with which they’re so often associated. Likewise, the staid piano on “Come into the Water” sounds much less dramatic and more atmospheric than the power ballads of The Fray and Train that it’s been cribbed from. The album is a bricolage of small musical samples, but centering Cowboy’s varied sounds is the through line of Mitski’s singular voice.

The title Be the Cowboy seems, at first glance, like a strange, highly specific way of saying, “man up.” After all, the American cowboy has been mythologized into a paragon of honor, individualism, and old school masculinity, with men like John Wayne cast as its figurehead. But this image of the cowboy is complicated by the fact that Wayne’s real name is Marion and that he spent his time wearing makeup and costumes onscreen and propagating white supremacist ideology offscreen. The cowboy, then, is a symbol of duality, at once virtuous and perverse. So Mitski explores a bifurcation of her own here: the vulnerability of self-proclaimed loneliness and the innate empowerment of autonomy and solitude.

Cowboy’s cover art features Mitski sporting bright red lipstick and a neutral-colored swim cap, while the hand of an individual out of the shot looms over to titivate her eyelashes. She looks away, defiantly, fixing her gaze instead on us, intimidatingly, almost accusatorily. Be the Cowboy is about capriciousness, denying the contrivances of beauty in some ways while bending to its standards in others. She’s walking the divide between love and heartache, between dejection and fury. But Miyawaki has the talent to straddle that line with poise and aplomb; she’s the geyser and also the slow dancer. She’s singing for herself, but also for her audience. There’s a little Mitski in us all, pilgrim.
--Jordan Bassett, NME
#2. Mitski | Be the Cowboy
(755.790 Points | 29 Votes)
Critics' list: #5
Biggest Fans: ChrisK. (#1), Chambord (#3), Craig (#3), Schaefer.tk (#3), ColdButterfly (#3), Acroamor (#4), FrankLotion (#5), Andyd1010 (#5), RockyRaccoon (#6), Moonbeam (#6), BleuPanda (#7), DocBrown (#8), Matski (#9), StevieFan13 (#10), M24 (#10), DaveC (#10)
Songs in the Top 100: "Nobody" (#3), "Washing Machine Heart" (#32), "Geyser" (#33)


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Janelle Monáe has devoted years to developing the saga of Cindi Mayweather, a renegade android hunted for having the gall to fall in love with a human. The meticulously crafted character is at the center of much of the Grammy nominee’s work, including the funk-opera Metropolis, and her subsequent full-length releases, The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady. But Cindi has always been more than just the narrative through-line of the artist’s earlier work. In addition to representing the “other,” i.e., any oppressed group, she’s also been a stand-in for Monáe, who took on the persona in real life, assuming the role of a messianic figure branded malfunctioning machine.

Monáe’s preternatural beauty and poise helped her look the part of an idealized life-form created in a lab, while her uncanny ability to fuse seemingly disparate genres and turn out sultry slow jams, affecting ballads, and exuberant bangers across multiple, interconnected albums pointed to a higher intelligence. But Cindi was never intended to represent perfection: Like a human, she is flawed; like Monáe, she is marginalized. The title of Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, suggests it’s a new chapter in Cindi’s story, and in the vein of the singer-songwriter-actor’s previous Afrofuturist-inspired masterpieces. But the cybernetic fugitive can rest easy, because her life isn’t under the microscope anymore. There is a concept here, but it is Janelle Monáe; there is a story here, but it is Janelle Monáe’s. And she’s outdone herself in both the execution of this vision and its resonance.

The Kansas City native has always had a knack for finding complementary collaborators, including Erykah Badu, Solange, and Miguel, as well as a desire to establish a creative arena in which to play with them (to wit: her label, Wondaland Records). For Dirty Computer, an eclectic and titillating collection of future-pop, trap-driven, and R&B-infused songs, Monáe’s tapped prodigious producers like Pharrell Williams, fellow feminist performers like Grimes and Zoë Kravitz, and music legends like Brian Wilson and Stevie Wonder to help broadcast her story. But the album’s most prominent influence—aside from black girl magic—is the late Prince, who was a mentor and collaborator to Monáe. His death in 2016 obviously prevented him from making extensive contributions, but the Purple One did provide the synth line that gets under your skin in “Make Me Feel.” And the joy he took from sex, creation, and flouting conventions can be found in nearly a third of Dirty Computer’s tracks, including “Crazy, Classic, Life,” “Americans,” and the “1999”-inspired “Screwed.”

Monáe knows how to compose a panty/brief peeler (2013’s “PrimeTime” is most definitely grown-folks music), but she’s never displayed this kind of abandon before—and it’s utterly thrilling. Her newfound openness is necessary to tell a tale both timely and timeless; Dirty Computer is as much about falling in love as it is having your rule-breaking relationship denigrated or even outlawed. Or rather, “her” relationship—on tracks like “Pynk” and “Make Me Feel,” each heart-racing in its own way, Monáe makes it clear that she’s no longer dealing in abstracts. The desire she expresses on “I Got The Juice” is her own, as is the anxiety on “So Afraid.” The latter song’s church organ-like synths point to her small-town Baptist roots, alluding to her fear of being rejected by family and friends over Dirty Computer’s secret, which is symbolized by the “bugs” being flushed out of Jane 57821 (a callback to a Metropolis track) in the accompanying emotion picture.

Although Monáe sings that she won’t “spell it out for ya,” the multi-hyphenate artist came out as pansexual in a recent Rolling Stone interview—or, as she put it, “a free-ass motherfucker.” That revelation signifies the next step in her evolution, as an artist and an individual. Technically speaking, Dirty Computer is a wonder, deft and cohesive in its blending of genres, but Monáe’s declaration—really, a call to action—lends the album a sense of urgency. On Dirty Computer, the erstwhile Electric Lady loses the metal and circuitry, but none of her power or artistry, cementing her status alongside Prince in the hall of hyper-talented, gender-fluid icons who love and promote blackness.
--Danette Chavez, AVClub
#1. Janelle Monáe | Dirty Computer
(914.751 Points | 31 Votes)
Critics' list: #1
Biggest Fans: M24 (#1), Jirin (#1), ColdButterfly (#1), RockyRaccoon (#1), FutureCritic (#1), Moonbeam (#2), Toni (#3), ProsecutorGodot (#3), Whuntva (#3), Nick (#4), FrankLotion (#4), Bruno (#4), BleuPanda (#5), BonnieLaurel (#5), Dan (#5), Carlos74 (#7), Andyd1010 (#7), Mullholland (#9)
Songs in the Top 100: "Make Me Feel" (#1), "Pynk" (feat. Grimes) (#21), "Americans' (#37), "Screwed" (feat. Zoë Kravitz) (#55), "So Afraid" (#89)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:41 am

Congratulations Janelle, and thank you notbrianeno for running this poll!

Just a quick note though, you have the Kamasi Washington album listed with less points than the Low and Idles albums. Should the Washington album be moved back to #7?

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by notbrianeno » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:01 pm

Nick wrote:Congratulations Janelle, and thank you notbrianeno for running this poll!

Just a quick note though, you have the Kamasi Washington album listed with less points than the Low and Idles albums. Should the Washington album be moved back to #7?
You're right -- a weird glitch in the calculation was making the score appear higher than it was. Fixed now, along with the placement:

Kamasi Washington | Heaven and Earth 5 ->7
Low | Double Negative 6 ->5
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks for the work, notbrianeno!
I feel like that

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Nick » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:16 pm

Here are our prior EOY albums winners...

2005 | Sufjan Stevens | Illinois
2006 | Belle & Sebastian | The Life Pursuit
2007 | LCD Soundsystem | Sound of Silver
2008 | Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes
2009 | Animal Collective | Merriweather Post Pavilion
2010 | Kanye West | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2011 | PJ Harvey | Let England Shake
2012 | Frank Ocean | Channel Orange
2013 | Vampire Weekend | Modern Vampires of the City
2014 | The War on Drugs | Lost in the Dream
2015 | Kendrick Lamar | To Pimp a Butterfly
2016 | David Bowie | ★
2017 | LCD Soundsystem | American Dream

And now...

2018 | Janelle Monáe | Dirty Computer

Welcome to the club, Janelle!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Cold Butterfly » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:24 pm

Great presentation! However, i don't think my vote for Heaven And Earth was counted. I placed it at #8 on my albums list, but i'm not listed as one of it's "biggest fans". It would also bump the album up to #6, i believe. Just trying to check, otherwise loved the rollout :music-guitarred:
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Rob
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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Rob » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Thanks again for troll-out Notbrianeno. A very slick job.

I wish I could love Dirty Computer more. I did on first listen, but by after the third time I had to stop before I started to dislike it. Musically it is pretty great, but these lyrics are on the nose in almost a next-level kind of way. It really is someone beating you on the head with a message over and over, without ever deepening or varying it. Of course, that was the point for Monáe and she is allowed to follow her muse. At least I agree with the message, or else it would have been insufferable. For me lyrics can't help but play a part and I like them with a bit of edge or mystery and Dirty Computer has none of either. Also, I have noticed something in me that rejects completely self-confident music after a while. Fun for one or two songs, but being on top of the world for a complete album apparently makes me wary. I guess I relate more to humble people or the broken souls of the world. And it is not the time for that first group of people in music, as mainstream music reminds me every day.
So Dirty Computer is not bad and I can see why people love it, but in the end it is not really for me.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Rocky Raccoon » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:06 pm

Nice roll out as usual, it was fun to watch the results unfold. As Jackson said above, a worthy top 10, well, except for that Low album IMO. I guess my ears just can't enjoy that one, I had it ranked at 839 for the year, and I didn't even hear nearly that many albums in 2018. It just fell to 842 as I was writing this.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by bonnielaurel » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:02 pm

Thanks, notbrianeno. I like this list better than most of the 2018 lists I've seen. Janelle M has the advantage of appealing to different listeners for different reasons.

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Moonbeam » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:34 pm

Thank you so much for hosting and the excellent rollout, notbrianeno!

Very happy that Janelle topped both lists!

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Re: AMF EOY Best Albums of 2018 -- RESULTS THREAD

Post by Moonbeam » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:46 pm

Rob wrote:Thanks again for troll-out Notbrianeno. A very slick job.

I wish I could love Dirty Computer more. I did on first listen, but by after the third time I had to stop before I started to dislike it. Musically it is pretty great, but these lyrics are on the nose in almost a next-level kind of way. It really is someone beating you on the head with a message over and over, without ever deepening or varying it. Of course, that was the point for Monáe and she is allowed to follow her muse. At least I agree with the message, or else it would have been insufferable. For me lyrics can't help but play a part and I like them with a bit of edge or mystery and Dirty Computer has none of either. Also, I have noticed something in me that rejects completely self-confident music after a while. Fun for one or two songs, but being on top of the world for a complete album apparently makes me wary. I guess I relate more to humble people or the broken souls of the world. And it is not the time for that first group of people in music, as mainstream music reminds me every day.
So Dirty Computer is not bad and I can see why people love it, but in the end it is not really for me.
I think the empowerment of Dirty Computer is a very important and needed message. For someone who is a queer black woman to put out an album of such strength, unapologetic frankness and joy surely is an inspiration to those who struggle in their daily lives due to prejudice and bigotry. Celebrating what makes someone a "dirty computer" is a very empowering thing - and while I'm not part of any of those groups, the realisation that I am likely autistic and feeling empowered to celebrate it by an album like this inspires me! "Love me baby, love me for who I am" is what everyone should be able to say, but many, many people still could only muster "Love me DESPITE who I am" if they even feel worthy of love at all.

The album also does have vulnerability - that 1-2 punch of "Don't Judge Me" and "So Afraid" certainly fits the bill. Those high-pitched synths that glow on and off in vibrant, neon 1s and 0s toward the end of "So Afraid" in particular showcase that vulnerability to me.

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