January 21, 2019 • Cee • Discussion

Music in 2018 was filled with Arctic Monkeys, KPOP, and superhero movie soundtracks. Nothing else really.

With every passing year, I seem to be listening less and less albums, and more KPOP singles. To be fair though, a lot of my favorite artists didn’t release new albums this year, so I replayed a bunch of things I’ve listened to in the past—the xx, KPOP, and son so on.

Here are the albums I listened to. (It is in order of when I listened to them, and the links go to Spotify.)

ARCTIC MONKEYS | Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Arctic Monkeys are an English indie rock band formed in 2002 in High Green, a suburb of Sheffield. The band consists of Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley, and Matt Helders.1 Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is their sixth studio album. 

I’ve waited five long years for a new Arctic Monkeys album. I’ve spent these past years playing AM because that album is fucking iconic. There isn’t a time I’m not replaying it because y’know it’s my favorite album of all time.

Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is so far from what you think is Arctic Monkey’s sound. It’s experimental, and takes on this loungey pop sound that works so beautifully. It’s odd—lyrics are very rambly—but it works well with this atmosphere Arctic Monkeys have conjured up with this album. The music sounds very futuristically-70s. I love it.

My Fave Songs: Four out of Five, Star Treatment, One Point Perspective, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,

RED VELVET | The Perfect Red Velvet

Red Velvet (Hangul: 레드벨벳) is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment. The Perfect Red Velvet is a repackaged version of their second studio album.

Only three new songs on this album, but wow, Red Velvet continues to win my heart. How can you not when you have these fucking femme fatales making you fall for them? Just look at them. This side of them is the best.

My Fave Songs: Bad Boy

DUA LIPA | Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa is the debut studio album by English singer Dua Lipa. 

Imagine my surprise to learn that I’ve been listening to Dua Lipa’s debut album at work, and I had no idea! My work place played it a lot, and you could find me walking around and bookselling while singing under my breathe. I’ve actually listened to this so much at work that I’m kind of sick of it.

It’s a great pop album, and it’s hard to belt the songs.

My Fave SongsGenesisBe The OneLost in Your Light, Garden,



The 2018 American superhero film Black Panther, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and produced by Marvel Studios, consists of an original score composed by Ludwig Göransson and original songs produced by Kendrick Lamar.2


One of the best superhero albums of all time. I get so hyped up when I listen to it. The only thing I wanted was more women on this album.

My Fave Songs: Pray for MeX, Opps, RedemptionBlack Panther, SeasonsKing’s Dead

VINCE STAPLES | Big Fish Theory

Big Fish Theory is the second studio album by American rapper Vince Staples. 

Thank you Black Panther for playing Vince Staples’s songs; otherwise, it would’ve been some time until I happened across his music. His album takes on electronic club music with hip hop; his beats and lyrics are nothing short of perfect.

(I just found out he released a new album in 2018. I have to get to it.)

My Fave Songs: 745, BagBak, Party PeopleBig Fish,

RED VELVET | Summer Magic

Red Velvet (Hangul: 레드벨벳) is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment. Summer Magic is their second Korean extended play (EP) released in July 2017.

These queens knock it out of the ballpark AGAIN. I love Power Up a lot because you can hear sounds that reminds me of ones you’d fine in video games. It’s a solid album; anybody who says otherwise are very wrong and need to leave my sight.

Fun fact: Red Velvet has choreography for every song on this EP. AMAZING.

My Fave Songs: Power Up, With You, Mosquito, Blue Lemonade


SUNMI | Warning

Sunmi is a South Korean singer who originally debuted in 2007 as a member of Wonder Girls. Warning is her second EP released in September 2018.

Who would’ve thought that Sunmi would flourish as a soloist? I’m so happy she has a wonderful solo career after Wonder Girls. She keeps coming out with hits after hits. The songs in Warnings are no exception. They’re so wonderful. It’s Sunmi’s sound.

My fave songs: SirenSecret Tape 비밀테이프Curve 곡선, Black Pearl,


BTS | Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’

BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. Love Yourself: Answer is their compilation album that mainly has songs from their Love Yourself: Her and Love Yourself: Tear album.


These guys—I don’t even know how to put in words how talented these dudes are. Just listen to Save Me/I’m Fine, and Ddaeng. The beats, the lyrics that RM writes (full of word play and double meanings), and the dances. Fuck. I’ve been turning everybody I know into BTS fan because BTS deserves to be in everybody’s lives.

My Fave Songs: EVERY SONG!!!!

BTS | The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever

BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever is their first Korean-language compilation album released in May 2016, and consists of all tracks from The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1 and The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2, as well as several remixes.

This is their older album, but what more can I say except: GO LISTEN TO BTS!!!

My Fave SongsSave Me, Silver SpoonRun, Butterfly


Zion.T 자이언티 is a South Korean hip hop and R&B singer signed to The Black Label, a subsidiary label of YG Entertainment managed by Teddy Park and Kush 

Everything that Zion.T releases is just so damn sultry and singable. ZZZ continues the type of music you’d expect from Zion.T—songs that are quiet but powerful in lyrics and melodies, and they all have strong R&B vibes.

My Fave Songs: Hello Tutorial, Ideal, Untold Story

RM | mono.

RM (formerly known as Rap Monster) is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, and record producer, and is the leader and main rapper of BTS. Mono is RM’s second mixtape. 

GODDAMN. mono was not something I expected to get from RM, especially knowing his work from BTS. This makes me appreciate his artistry. He knows what he’s doing, and he always comes out with beautiful music.

Mono is full of songs that you listen to and reflect. It’s quiet. You can sense the loneliness throughout the entire album, and it’s goddamn beautiful.

My Fave Songs: Tokyo, Seoul, Forever Rain, uhgood,

EXO | Don’t Mess Up My Tempo

EXO 엑소 is a South Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment in 2012. Don’t Mess Up My Tempo is their fifth studio album released in November 2018. (Love Shot is their repackaged version.) 

God, I haven’t listened to EXO on the regular in forever (since 2015 to be exact), but of course I get pulled back into their grasp.

If they keep up the sultriness to their songs, I’ll keep coming back.

My Fave Songs: Ooh La La, Tempo, Love Shot

VARIOUS ARTISTS | Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the soundtrack for the 2018 animated superhero film based on Miles Morales’s Spider-Man. This soundtrack features songs written and inspired by the film.

This is the greatest original superhero soundtrack of all time (aside from Black Panther). Every song is so inspiring. This album is all about believing in yourself. It’s about achieving your dreams, no matter how hard it is. You’re capable of doing anything like Miles Morales being the best Spider-Man for his universe. It’s a good album to fight to. ;)

My Fave Songs: Elevate, What’s Up Danger, HomeFamilia, Start A RiotWay Up


SONGS (I listened to these over and over again for months):

Have you listened to any of these albums/songs? What artist did you listen to in 2018? Any that you’d recommend to me?


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