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Five Favorite Albums of 2018

Five Favorite Albums of 2018
Skylar Sahakian—Unsplash

We asked our reviewers to offer their five favorite titles of 2018 in a number of categories. While a few needed more than five, our gracious reviewers offer up some wonderful lists of great books, movies, music, and more. You can follow links to either the Banner review where available or more information on the title. Here are the lists:
From Paul Delger, a freelance writer and inspirational speaker who lives in Kanawha, Iowa.

  1. The Elements by TobyMac (Forefront)
  2. One More Song by Ashley Cleveland (Kenny and Ashley Greenberg)
  3. Look Up Child by Lauren Daigle (Centricity)
  4. Beautifully Broken by Plumb (Centricity)
  5. Wide Open by Austin French (Fair Trade)

From Robert J. Keeley, who is a professor of education at Calvin College and director of distance learning at Calvin Theological Seminary; he is also a member of 14th Street CRC in Holland, Mich.

  1. Now We Have Power by Sanguine Hum (Bad Elephant Music). Part rock, part ambient, this band weaves a spell with its delicate music that keeps me coming back to listen again.
  2. Chronomonaut by Glass Hammer (Sound Resources). Reminiscent of seventies prog rock, Glass Hammer gives a fresh coat of paint to an old genre.
  3. Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood (Capitol Nashville). Underwood uses her remarkable voice to craft an album that straddles country and pop while ending on a note of hope.
  4. Merchants of Light (English Electric) by Big Big Train. The lush arrangements of these wonderful songs makes for a splendid live album.
  5. The Beatles (White Album) Deluxe Remix (Capitol) by the Beatles. The new remix sounds great and the four(!) discs of demos and out-takes gives us an opportunity to reassess one of the top albums of all time, now 50 years old.

Honorable mentions:

  1. Manifesto of an Alchemist by Roine Stolt’s The Flower King (Century)
  2. The Painted Desert by Andrew Osenga (House of Mirrors)
  3. Look Up Child by Lauren Daigle (Centricity)
  4. Come to Me by Wendell Kimbrough (Wendell Kimbrough)
  5. The Sea Within by The Sea Within (InsideOutMusic)

From Jordan Petersen Kamp, who works as an auditor for Crowe LLP in Grand Rapids, Mich., and attends Sherman Street Church.

  1. [Untitled] by mewithoutYou (Run for Cover Records)
  2. Be the Cowboy by Mitski (Dead Oceans)
  3. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves (MCA Nashville)
  4. Ordinary Corrupt Human Love by Deafheaven (Anti)
  5. Care for Me by Saba (Saba Pivot)

From Micah van Dijk, a professional speaker, writer, and band manager who endeavors to guide people towards better music. He attends The Meeting House church in Hamilton, Ont.

  1. Let the Trap Say Amen by Lecrae and Zaytoven (Reach Records). I love how Lecrae collaborates with a mainstream producer and several mainstream artists to create helpful art for wider culture.
  2. Foolish Games by Bend Sinister (Cordova Bay). The album has raw energy, crisp vocals, and fun energy. When I need to smile or feel happy, Bend Sinister delivers.    
  3. Love Is Dead by Chvrches. I love the vocals and hooks on this album, and I often walk away from listening to it feeling more hopeful (Glassnote).
  4. A Short Story about a War by Shad. A thoughtful exploration of our current culture of fear with a Christ character appearing in the middle of the battlefield (Secret City).
  5. Phases by Dear Rouge. I love the instrumental spaces they leave for contemplation on this high-energy album. I can easily get lost in their music, so it’s great to listen to while working (Universal Canada).

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