Welcome to the new year! As many of you probably noticed, we did not post any ‘best of’ lists in December 2017. This was an intentional decision made by our entire contributing staff, and we made it for good reason. All too often the rush to be among the first to declare something the best makes us act irrationally. Sometimes we hop on the bandwagon for something we don’t fully believe in because it’s what is trending at the moment, or perhaps we forget something small we loved because so many bigger, more commercial projects took up our daily lives.

In an attempt to avoid these errors we allowed everyone the full month of December to consider their favorite records of the year. This week we are sharing their picks with you daily, one staffer at a time. Enjoy.

Logan White (Staff writer)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Maine – Lovely Little Lonely

I debated a lot between this and my number two album about which I wanted to place at number one. Both albums have this ‘it’ factor to them that makes them really special upon first listen. But, Lovely Little Lonely wins out with it’s 90’s sensibilities from start-to-finish. I have been saying for years that a Third Eye Blind/The Maine tour would be incredible; songs like “Don’t Come Down,” “Bad Behavior,” and “The Sound of Reverie” only re-affirm that. Ever since a short-lived stint on Warner Bros Records for Black & White, the Maine have independently released their music and that creative freedom has given us some great music. Aside from the aforementioned 90’s vibes, the band showcases their ability to write straight-up rock songs with “How Do You Feel?” and “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu.” The mid-tempo tracks “I Only Wanna Talk to You” and “Taxi” standout in their own right, and show that The Maine can do just about anything they set their minds to. Up until this year, I thought the Maine would never top 2011’s Pioneer, but Lovely Little Lonely continues their musical growth with their most well-rounded and cohesive album to-date.

#2 The Menzingers – After the Party

#3 Anti-Flag – American Fall

#4 Heavy Things – Goner

#5 Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

#6 All Time Low – Last Young Renegade

#7 Andrew McMahon – Zombies on Broadway

#8 Can’t Swim – Fail You Again

#9 Seaway – Vacation

#10 Movements – Feel Something

Honorable mentions: Liberty Deep Down – Electric, A Will Away – Here Again, Chapel – Sunday Brunch, Have Mercy – Make the Best of It, Harry Styles – Harry Styles