This year I have decided to do things a bit differently. Due to the tremendous amount of music I have listened to this year, instead of having one main list of the top pop/rock albums that focus on J-pop and K-pop, and a separate, brief rundown of peripheral albums under a general English-language/Western category, I have expanded my year-end lists into six categories. Each category features ten of my favorite album releases of the year, followed by five honorable mentions. The complete list, posting schedule, and further information are as follows:
(12/27) Top ten remasters/reissues: Any remastered or reissued album from anywhere in the world, whether CD, vinyl, box set, etc.
(12/28) Top ten debut albums: Any artist who released an original studio album for the first time in 2018 from anywhere in the world.
(12/29) Top ten original soundtracks/original scores: Any original soundtrack or score composed exclusively for film, television, or video game from anywhere in the world.
(12/30) Top ten hard rock/metal: Any hard rock or metal album released by an English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(12/31) Top ten pop/electronic: Any pop or electronic album released by an English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(01/01) Top ten East Asian pop/rock: Any pop or rock album released in East Asia (especially Japan and South Korea).
These lists are not meant to be exhaustive, nor absolute (most likely, there are one or two overlaps I missed concerning debut albums): they are simply a reflection of the genres I listened to the most in 2018, and any accidental omissions are mentioned in each post’s introduction. Above all, these are meant to be FUN: so much music continues to be released each year and it is both a joy and a privilege to get through and share with you all even a tiny fraction of it. Unfortunately, a lot of great songs that never appeared on albums were released this year but I won’t be getting the chance to discuss them in this year’s lists (time constraints dictated I focus on one or the other). However, I hope you enjoy these albums as much as I have enjoyed listening to them all year.
Finally, a quick thank you to the readers who have stuck with me during this year’s extended absence. I appreciate you all more than you’ll ever know. I’ll see you all on December 27, when we get this party started. All the best in the New Year and happy listening!