Craig McClellan

Follow @craigmcclellan on Micro.blog.

My Favorite Albums of 2018

2018 was a great year for music, and after @robbyburns posted his favorite albums of the year, I knew I had to do the same.

I didn’t want to endure the tedium of looking back over my entire Apple Music library to find items with 2018 release dates, so I made a Shortcut to do just that for me. It creates a CSV file which can be opened as a spreadsheet in Numbers so I can select my favorites. It works well unless the album or artist name has a comma in it. I could fix the issue, but it’s easy enough to read in Numbers the spreadsheet, so I left it alone.

Before I get started on the list, in the modern music landscape, artists are often releasing singles instead of full albums. Some of my favorite music of 2018 were singles, so I have included them on the list.

Sleeping At Last - Atlas: Three (02-09-2018)

If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s a personality typing system with 9 unique types. Sleeping at Last has been releasing a song for every type (he’s finished through Seven). Three is abeautiful song in its own right, but I’m partial as I identify as a 3. The first time I heard it, I almost started crying in my classroom. It will be one of my favorite songs of all time.

Andrew Peterson - Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1 (03-30-2018)

Andrew Peterson will always be one of my favorite artists. My tattoo was inspired by his album “Light for the Lost Boy”, so his music will always be important to me. His latest release, Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1, is actually a prequel to Vol. 2 which was released in 2010 and followed by Resurrection Letters, Prologue which was released in February.

Prologue covers the death of Christ, Vol. 1 His resurrection, and Vol. 2 the new life we have in Christ through the resurrection. Vol. 1 is a fantastic record, and still on repeat in our house.

John Mayer - New Light (05-10-2018)

John Mayer is my all time favorite artist. Anything he puts out will likely make a list for the year. This single is full of pop goodness, and I’ve enjoyed it very much.

Ben Rector - Magic (06-22-2018)

This list is presented chronologically, but top honors for the year have to go to Magic. It’s the best complete work from top to bottom, and Ben Rector’s best work by a mile. If you love pop melodies, nostalgia filled lyrics, and fantastic musicianship, this record is for you.

Andrew Ripp - The Heart EP (08-24-2018)

After taking a few years off from making music, Andrew Ripp’s release from this year is everything I love about his work. While the whole EP is good, God Knows (It Must Be Love) is my favorite.

The Band CAMINO - Daphne Blue (08-03-2018)

Putting this single on here was a bit of a trick. I discovered The Band CAMINO this year, and have fallen in love with their entire catalog. This isn’t my favorite song of theirs, but it’s a great representation of their work, and is a way for me to mention them on this list even though a lot of their music was released in 2017. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, I’ve made a playlist of all of their songs I regularly place on shuffle.

Ruston Kelly - Dying Star (09-07-2018)

A solid follow-up to his 2016 release, Dying Star mixes the pop-rock melodies of Augustana with americana instrumentation. It’s right up my alley. The whole record is great, but the standout track is “Son of a Highway Daughter.”

NEEDTOBREATHE - Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 (11-16-2018)

A record of some of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands featuring new, acoustic arrangements and guest appearances? Sold.

That’s my list. Hoping for more fantastic music in 2019.