best albums

NPR’s The 50 Best Albums of 2018 - Apple Music and Spotify Playlist

Happy holidays! A tradition six years in the making has come around again.

NPR has released their list of the 50 Best Albums of 2018, and again, I have compiled it into an Apple Music playlist.

I used to do this playlist in Spotify and did not for the first time last year. By popular request, I was prepared to do it in both Apple Music and Spotify this year but found that NPR had already published the list in Spotify! I still had to make it in Apple Music (what does that say about AM?) which I wanted to do anyway because this is tradition now. So here it is. Ready to take you soaring in to the new year, I present to you a playlist of NPR’s 50 Best Albums of the Year.

From NPR:

Art is identity, scream these best albums of 2018. Even when it's pure invention. The most striking things we heard this year mined personal experiences that could feel intimate as whispers or bold and overstuffed as superhero science fiction. Even in an era where listeners have been primed for the unexpected, genuine surprises arrived steadily across the last 12 months – a cascade of introductions, breakthroughs, revelations and rebirths to reward whatever precious attention you could give. (Not a huge surprise: Most of them, after the votes from our staff and member station partners were tallied, turned out to have been made by women.) We're happy to share NPR Music's list of the 50 best albums of 2018. You can listen to them here and hear a discussion on the year in music on All Songs Considered. We'll have lots more before the year ends.

NPR’s 50 Best Albums of the Year - Spotify Playlist

NPR’s 50 Best Albums of the Year - Apple Music Playlist

I direct you now to last year’s version of this post where I highlight some of my favorites albums from these lists over the past five years.

Favorites from this year's list include:

The Other Side of Air | Myra Melford's Snowy Egret

Víkingur Ólafsson | Johann Sebastian Bach

Kamashi Washington | Heaven And Earth

Janelle Monáe | Dirty Computer

Enjoy!

NPR - The 50 Best Albums of 2017 (Apple Music Playlist)

Holiday traditions I love:

  • Grandma’s Christmas Day lunch party

  • Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve

  • Drinking black and white peppermint mochas from Starbucks

Compiling and sharing a steaming playlist based on the NPR’s Best Albums of 20—insert year here !!!

The time is here. Below you will find a link to the playlist. Its Apple Music again this year. Sorry Spotify folks. This takes way too long to do twice and all of my “convert Apple Music to Spotify” workflows are broken. 

The 50 Best Albums of 2017:

Consensus wasn't easy in 2017. Maybe that's because the news this year kept us on edge, our eyes and ears pointed in many directions. Maybe it's due to the growth of streaming as the dominant listening platform, one whose rules have not yet fully been written. Whatever the cause, with the exception of our No. 1 album, it felt like there were few pieces of music this year that captured our attention instantly and simultaneously. Instead, we spent our year tracking down new sounds that gave voice to our struggles and breakthroughs, our search for joy and our need for release. When it was time for our staff and member station partners to come together at the year's end, we found there was plenty to celebrate. Here is NPR Music's list of the best albums of 2017.

There are a few albums on this list that are some of my favorites of the year. Thundercats’s Drunk and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. made up a sizable portion of my listening while on runs and in the kitchen at evening. 

Many others on the list excite me. I am always down for an escapist pop album to carry me into the new year (Paramore). Vijay Iyer continues to be one of a few spiritual successors to Esbjörn Svensson Trio but I missed listening to the latest record this year. Same for Sylvan Esso. Everything they do is gold but I am just behind on listening.

A few reflections on the process from this year…

Only one album was not on Apple Music. And it was Marc-André Hamelin’s For Bunita Marcus (Feldman) . Which bums me out because I was really looking forward to it.

Apple Music has become considerably better at search, speed, and user interface. This was the easiest NPR best-of playlist I have built. 

Anyway, here is the playlist: NPR’s The 50 Best Albums of 2017

And here are links to all of my other playlists… (2013 and 2015 are personal favorites)

NPR Best 50 Albums of 2016 (Apple Music)

NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 (Spotify)

NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2014 (Spotify)

NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2013 (Spotify)