We're continuing the biggest countdown of 2018!
In the Rock Sound Awards issue (available now from AWARDS.ROCKSOUND.TV) we counted down the Top 50 albums of the year.
As another incredible year for music draws to a close, here are the most groundbreaking, unforgettable and flat-out brilliant albums of 2018. Check out 50-41 here, 40-31 here and 30-21 here as we continue our countdown with 20-11 below.
20. GOOD CHARLOTTE - 'GENERATION RX'
Arguably their most open-hearted and vulnerable album to date, ‘Generation Rx’ saw Good Charlotte grappling with the American opioid crisis, self-esteem and trauma in a way that felt compassionate and insightful. Embracing a bold, streamlined new sound, they cemented their status as modern rock music’s conscience, and a band with plenty still to say.
19. BASEMENT - 'BESIDE MYSELF'
Digging deep and cranking out some more heartfelt alt.rock jams for us all to get lost in, Basement continued their remarkable winning streak here. Running from deep yearning (‘Disconnect’) right through to gnawing pain (‘Nothing Left’), ‘Beside Myself’ represented sincerity, years of craft and hard-won hope in its purest form.
18. LIKE PACIFIC - 'IN SPITE OF ME'
Taking the framework of their debut and adding some vital finishing touches, Like Pacific’s second full-length was filled to the brim with energy and brutally honest lyrics. Polishing off their boisterous sound with tighter harmonies and passionate vocals, the quintet cemented their place at the forefront of the pop-punk scene.
17. STATE CHAMPS - 'LIVING PROOF'
Few things screamed ‘summer’ like the new State Champs album, but ‘Living Proof’ delivered more than just the warm glow of a great pop-punk record. Combining their explosive hooks with ever-more-refined songwriting, the Albany crew hit that sweet spot and channelled personal turmoil into arguably their most immediate material yet.
16. UNDERØATH - 'ERASE ME'
Arriving after an eight-year wait, Underøath’s comeback record was bound to be carefully scrutinised - but even surrounded by fierce debate over their choice of direction, they were dead on target. Breaking free from all the shackles the legacy of their first era may have imposed upon them, ‘Erase Me’ was candid, visceral and liberating in all the right ways.
15. THE STORY SO FAR - 'PROPER DOSE'
Redefining your whole legacy never sounded as refreshing as it did on The Story So Far’s diverse and brilliantly mellow fourth full-length. Taking everything that made them wonderful already and adding a lick of Britpop-leaning breeziness, ‘Proper Dose’ was easily one of the year’s most surprising, but also triumphant and moving listens.
14. WSTR - IDENTITY CRISIS
Finally silencing their naysayers while also taking a headfirst plunge into unfamiliar . territory, WSTR’s second album in as many years took in a bit of everything. Putting a totally fearless and, at times, snotty sheen on their already buoyant pop-punk sound, ‘Identity Crisis’ turned out to be nothing of the sort.
13. AGAINST THE CURRENT - 'PAST LIVES'
This was the album where Chrissy, Dan and Will truly came alive. Paring back the peppy rock that came before for something all the more introspective, catchy and real, ‘Past Lives’ represented a strong progression - as well as a great platform to build upon and show the world who Against The Current truly are.
12. MIKE SHINODA - 'POST TRAUMATIC'
A beautiful and vulnerable, if incredibly tough listen, Mike Shinoda’s remarkable solo album saw him grappling with grief, loss and uncertainty in full view of the world. Made out of love and necessity, it was one of the rawest collections of songs you’ll hear any year - but with a light looming at the end of the tunnel.
11. ARCHITECTS - 'HOLY HELL'
A devastating and deeply profound exploration of grief, ‘Holy Hell’ left a deep impression on all who heard it. It represented a perfect distillation of the progressive metalcore sound that late guitarist Tom Searle and his bandmates spent over a decade perfecting, featuring some of their most audacious and compelling songwriting to date.