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algabor writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2018: Al Gabor

CHIRP Radio Best of 2018

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2018. Our next list is from volunteer Al Gabor.



#1   Chime by Dessa (Doomtree)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Dessa ChimeWithout compromising any of her wordcraft or passionate commitment, Dessa Wander goes for a more melodic sound--and the melodies here are earworm crazy. As always in Dessa’s work, the personal is the political, but the songs here seem more open--and more powerful because of that openness.



#2   Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest (Matador)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Car Seat Headrest Twin FantasyWill Toledo revisits his 2011 self-released album with his current band. The album examines the feelings, fears, awkwardness and occasional euphoria provoked by a messy relationship before he came out to his friends. If this sounds a little bleak, not to worry, Toledo’s self-deprecating humor and musical inventiveness make Twin Fantasy a rollicking ride.



#3   Landfall by Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet LandfallA haunting look at loss and consolation after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.



#4   Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett (Mom + Pop Music)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really FeelThe lyrics reveal an artist besieged, but the self-assurance and power of the Barnett’s music subvert even the most resigned lyrics.



#5   Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack by The Coup (UMGRI Interscope)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

The Coup Sorry to Bother You: The SoundtrackThis soundtrack matches the movie’s creativity with high energy blend of hip hop, soul, R&B and garage rock. Some of the artists who collaborate with Boots Riley’s band include Janelle Monae, Killer Mike, and Tune-Yards. (Not to be confused with The Coup’s 2012 release with the same name.)



#6   Historian by Lucy Dacus (Marador)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Lucy Dacus HistorianNo sophomore slump here. Lucy Dacus has become the master of the slow build, with all kinds of musical surprises taking her songs to unexpected places.



#7   What a Time to Be Alive by Superchunk (Merge)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Superchunk What a Time to Be AliveWe knew the Trump years were going to inspire some great punk/protest music. Superchunk addresses these turbulent times with ferocious passion and hard-earned insight.



#8   boygenius EP by boygenius (Matador)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

boygenius boygeniusLucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker formed boygenius after booking a tour together. Although the songs came together in a matter of days, they show a supple merging of talent and strengths that elude a lot of bands that have been together for years.



#9   LONER by Caroline Rose (New West)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Caroline Rose LonerTerrific, pithy, smartass pop.



#10   Whack World by Tierra Whack (Self-Released)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Tierra Whack Whack World15 songs in 15 minutes--and all have you wanting more.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever/Hope Downs/Sub Pop
  • U.S. Girls/In a Poem Unlimited/4AD
  • John Prine/The Tree of Forgiveness/Oh Boy
  • Lump/Lump/Dead Oceans
  • Janelle Monae/Dirty Computer/Wondaland
  • Eleanor Friedberger/Rebound/Frenchkiss
  • Sarah Shook & the Disarmers/Years/Bloodshot




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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2018

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