Above is a YouTube video playlist counting down each song. I've included official videos when possible, with official audio-only "videos" as a backup. Unofficial audio streams are never used. As a result, several tracks in the countdown are unfortunately not available in this playlist. Pro tip: Click on bars in the upper left of the YouTube window to jump to a specific video.
And here's the list no one was waiting for, Too Much Rock's top 40 tracks of 2018. Are these the best? Who can tell. But these are songs that I love. Tracks that move me. And tracks that I was happy to revisit time and time again this year. Because this is a busy time of the year I've kept my thoughts short by sharing the one thing that I like best about each of the songs on my list. As a bonus, I've also included three tracks from 2017 that I just didn't hear in time to make last year's list, but they definitely would have made the cut if I had.
Top 40 Songs of 2018:
That bouncing backbeat is undeniable.
Those guitar flourishes bridge the insistent rhythm section and the full chorus brilliantly.
I was a scrubby suburban street rat in 1981 too.
The cadence of those initial lyrics, the simple drums, the muted guitar is splendid.
I would have formed a religion based on this song in 1984.
Maq's scream is the most authentic thing in this world.
Sonia Sturino ensures it's all laid open, bloody and raw.
It's punk rock distilled to its purest form.
Frank Turner mixes in just enough poetry to temper his incredulous rage.
That syncopated hook line feels so natural and right.
Emma Witmer pours layers of instrumentation here and ends up with a spot-on arrangement.
That big chorus makes me want to jump up and down.
The sheer exuberance in the chorus is frickin' magic.
The wonderfully specific lyric that gives this song its title
I'm such a sucker for a chorus. Sarah Tudzin must know this.
That fuzzed out riff speaks to my id.
The space opened by the drums for the crashing guitar is revelatory.
I wanna jump the pile at the front of the stage to sing that "Woah-woah" chorus.
The extravagance of three guitars played out perfectly.
Power pop doesn't get any purer than this.
The production on those vocals speaks to me on a cosmic level.
This basher feels completely timeless.
I thought Art Brut couldn't get any cheekier, but then there's that Greek chorus of snark.
You'll never hear a song that gets more mileage from a single down-picked chord.
Such a skillful assemblage of rock & roll's building blocks.
This one's easy, that synth is just mesmerizing.
The way the bounce lurks just under the surface of the incredibly lush production.
The effortless delivery of these vocals feels so freeing and honest.
Paul Collins' voice just melds perfectly with that jangly guitar as the chorus revs up.
The chiming chords and open space in the chorus create a party in my heart.
I feel that rhythm guitar in my soul.
The organ is the star of this show.
The vocal delivery and production that supports it is simply spellbinding.
The way Matt Julian's vocals strain leading into that anthemic chorus floors me.
The tambourine makes this song the aural representation of joy.
The tension builds to such an enveloping sweaty stomp.
The first fifteen seconds of this song has been stuck in my head all year.
This is an unadulterated explanation of my relationship with music.
Somehow simple and pure without sacrificing a bit of art.
This song envelopes me, and nothing else exists when this song plays.
Guitars. OMG those guitars.
When the fidelty drops to make room for that trumpet, I get goosebumps.
That barrehouse piano is just the icing.
Tracks #8 through #1 can be heard on Too Much Rock Podcast #473.
Are your favourite songs on my list? If not, let me know and maybe they'll make my 2019 adventure picks.