Identifying the year's standout albums is tough for a singles guy. It's easy to recognize the punch and immediacy of a song, but it's harder to feel the genius of an album. While I'll always call out albums that I love listening to (even if they're merely executing an established blueprint), I also want to recognize the albums that felt important. So, here's my list. Thirty great albums. Ordered, but otherwise presented without commentary.

30. Swearin' Fall into the Sun (Merge Records)
29. Fred Thomas Aftering (Polyvinyl Record Co.)
28. Peach Kelli Pop Gentle Leader (Mint Records)
27. The Spook School Could It Be Different? (Slumberland)
26. Superchunk What a Time to Be Alive (Merge)
25. The Molochs Flowers in the Spring (Innovative Leisure)
24. Lucy and the Rats Lucy and the Rats (Dirty Water Records)
23. Damien Jurado The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian)
22. The Smittens City Rock Dove (Fika Recordings)
21. Parquet Courts Wide Awake! (Rough Trade)
20. The Connection Wish You Success (2Win Disc Records)
19. Lucy Dacus Historian (Matador)
18. Death By Unga Bunga So Far So Good So Cool (Jansen Records)
17. Anna Burch Quit The Curse (Polyvinyl)
16. Happy Accidents Everything But The Here And Now (Alcopop!)
15. Illuminati Hotties Kiss Yr Frenemies (Tiny Engines)
14. Alpaca Sports From Paris With Love (Elefant Records)
13. Hot Snakes Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)
12. The Longshot Love Is for Losers (Crush Music Media)
11. The Sidekicks Happiness Hours (Epitaph)
10. Camp Cope How to Socialise & Make Friends (Run for Cover)
9. The Peawees Moving Target (Rum Bar Records / Wild Honey Records)
8. The Speedways Just Another Regular Summer (Gods Candy Records)
7. Weakened Friends Common Blah (Don Giovanni Records)
6. Paul Collins Out of My Head (Alive Naturalsound Records)
5. The Prettybads Meet The Prettybads (Indie Vision Music)
4. Darren Hayman Thankful Villages, Vol. 3 (Belka)
3. The Beths Future Me Hates Me (Carpark)
2. Art Brut Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock out! (Alcopop! Records)
1. Turnspit Desire Paths (Dodgeball Records)

And that's it. If you're curious about my criteria, I got 335 releases this year, of which 155 of those were new 2018 full length albums eligable to appear in this list. For a run down of my favorite songs of 2018 visit Top Songs of 2018.