Friday Favs: Albums of 2018
It’s been a minute since we did a Friday Favs post, and with the end of the year approaching, we’re feeling nostalgic! 2018 was an awesome year for us as a company, and also brought the world lots of great new media, so over the next few weeks, we’re going to count down the year with some of our favorite things. First up: music and albums.
Sweetener by Ariana Grande. I fell in love with Ariana Grande circa 2014 when she was a big radio hit for her collabs with Iggy Azalea, Zedd, Childish Gambino, and The Weeknd. It has been really fun to evolve with her over the last few years, and her Sweetener album is a natural next step. The music is compelling and a little funky, and her voice is flawless as usual. But beyond that, she has become a person who represents strength and empowerment, and that makes the experience of enjoying her music so much better.
Bloom by Troye Sivan. After Troye Sivan dropped Dance To This with Ariana Grande, it was inevitable that this would become one of my most loved albums of 2018. Sonically, Sivan pushes the dance-pop sound of his previous music to incorporate unexpected instrumental and vocal decisions that result in a wonderful variety of songs that make Bloom incredibly dynamic as a full album. From the synth-heavy nostalgia of Seventeen to the tender acoustic elements of The Good Side to the danceability of Dance to This and Plum, Sivan takes listeners on a highly re-listenable journey through one 2018’s best albums.
Before You Go by Exes. I don’t have a cool-girl story for how I fell in love with this band – the truth is, Taylor Swift added one of their songs to a Spotify playlist of her favorite music, and while I loved everything on that list, this band really caught my attention. So I looked them up on Spotify, and I think I’m one of their top listeners now, probably only after parents and blood relatives. But regardless of how I discovered Exes, I seriously love their music. Since I’m new to their fan base, all of their songs are new to me, but serendipitously, they did release an album this year. That album, Before You Go, includes my personal favorites Over and Bones Break. Check it out.
Love Yourself 結 'Answer' by BTS
After dipping a toe into the world of k-pop for a couple years, BTS was the catalyst that had me diving fully into the genre of Korean pop music. The album Love Yourself 結 'Answer' is the culmination of the band’s Love Yourself era and contains their best songs from the past two years. Like many of their k-pop cohorts, BTS pull inspiration from western music and mash-up genres like rap, pop, R&B, and electronic dance to produce super catchy songs, breaking through the language barrier with their earnestness, infectious energy, and commitment to their craft.
In between renditions of Santa Baby and Jingle Bell Rock, we hope you find a second to check out these albums and let us know what you think! And don’t forget to check out our favorite television and moments to round out our 2018 summary.