Set vs. CD

Just when I thought I was out, Steve Angello pulls me back in.

Faithful readers of Write All Nite (hi mom!) may have noticed a lack of albums/singles coverage in recent weeks. I’ve kept up my Veins list, but otherwise, I’m trying to focus more on theatre and film writing. Since I’m a hopeless completist, there’s just too much damn music to tackle, especially since there are only so many hours in the day.

BUT, Steven Angello’s new album Human — his second solo venture after staking his claim to fame with Swedish House Mafia, one of the first EDM supergroups that penetrated the mainstream, popularizing the form in the process — struck a chord (natch) that I’ve particularly wanted to pluck with my own instrument, my pen keys keyboard for quite some time.

DJs famous for their live sets often make the cardinal mistake of approaching their albums in too similar a way to how they construct one of their sets. While listening to these packages, we can almost close our eyes and envision hearing this same collection of songs booming from a club’s speakers while revelers trashily gyrate around us.

Unfortunately, what works on the dance floor often doesn’t translate to headphones.

Whereas the brights lights and big amplification allows a seamlessly flowing set to induce a sort of trance in the ragers, leading them to lose themselves in the music, the moment, they own it, they better never let it go, they only get…sorry, where was I?

See, that’s the sort of cognitive rabbit hole meticulous spinners can descend their rabid followers down. But on an album, while the songs should of course add up to a unified, cohesive whole greater than the sum of its disparate parts, most of the tracks also need to be, well, good in their own right. In a set, each individual song is only evaluated with respect to its place within the overall picture. But on an album, there need to be highlights.

Human’s problem isn’t one of insufficient diversity. From techno to Deadmau5-lite, from four-on-the-floor big room house to EDM pop, from minimalism to orchestral sweeps, from Swedish House Mafia to freaking Pusha T, Angello stuffs the album with as much eclecticism as his dynamite sets usually boast. Even though that list might look impressive, each example from these genres just isn’t up-to-snuff. If I was white-boy-moving in a nightclub, they’d sound electric together. But in the quiet of my apartment, Human proves unfortunately mortal.


Even though I haven’t been writing about music as much of late, I’ve been listening to as much as ever. As such, I thought I’d include my updated power rankings of 2018 albums, the same list that used to appear at the bottom of all my music posts. Most, but not all, of the non-hyperlinked entries are new:

2018 Albums, Ranked

  1. Black Panther — Kendrick Lamar
  2. Dirty Computer — Janelle Monáe
  3. Queen — Nicki Minaj
  4. High As Hope — Florence + The Machine
  5. NASIR — Kanye West & Nas
  6. DAYTONA — Kanye West & Pusha T
  7. KIDS SEE GHOSTS — Kanye West & Kid Cudi
  8. ye — Kanye West
  9. The Color of You — Alina Baraz
  10. Redemption — Jay Rock
  11. Light of Mine — KYLE
  12. Man of the Woods — Justin Timberlake
  13. beerbongs & bentleys — Post Malone
  14. Swimming — Mac Miller
  15. Treehouse — Sofi Tukker
  16. Scorpion — Drake
  17. Shawn Mendes — Shawn Mendes
  18. DAY69 — 6ix9ine
  19. Testing — A$AP Rocky
  20. EVERYTHING IS LOVE — The Carters
  21. ? — XXXTENTACION
  22. Culture 2 — Migos
  23. Head in the Clouds — 88rising
  24. Survive the Summer — Iggy Azalea
  25. LIFE’S A TRIP — Trippie Redd
  26. K.T.S.E. — Kanye West & Teyana Taylor
  27. SR3MM — Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee & Slim Jxmmi
  28. The Now Now — Gorillaz
  29. Hive Mind — The Internet
  30. My Dear Melancholy, — The Weeknd
  31. Bobby Tarantino II — Logic
  32. Vacation in Hell — Flatbush Zombies
  33. GANGIN — SOB X RBE
  34. Sex & Cigarettes — Toni Braxton
  35. Isolation — Kali Uchs
  36. Blindspotting: The Collin EP — Daveed Diggs
  37. D6: Reloaded — Lil Wayne
  38. KOD — J. Cole
  39. For My Fans — Fetty Wap
  40. Little Dark Age — MGMT
  41. Blue Madonna — BØRNS
  42. TA1300 — Denzel Curry
  43. How We React and How We Recover — Jason Robert Brown
  44. ASTROWORLD — Travis Scott
  45. 44/876 — Sting & Shaggy
  46. Amen — Rich Brian
  47. Five Five — Pouya
  48. It’s Complicated — Wale
  49. STAY DANGEROUS — YG
  50. I Used to Know Her: The Prelude — H.E.R.
  51. Punken — Maxo Kream
  52. Expectations — Bebe Rexha
  53. 4275 — Jacquees
  54. Common Ground — Above & Beyond
  55. California — Diplo
  56. When We (Remix) — Tank
  57. 2.23 — Blac Youngsta
  58. Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B
  59. That’s A Girl’s Name — DRAM
  60. Life of a Dark Rose — Lil Skies
  61. Love Yourself Tear — BTS
  62. Trapholizay — Zaytoven
  63. Cosmic — Bazzi
  64. As She Pleases — Madison Beer
  65. Lost & Found — Jorja Smith
  66. Legends of the Summer— Meek Mill
  67. Youngblood 5 Seconds of Summer
  68. Ready — Ella Mai
  69. BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI — Ski Mask the Slump God
  70. Activated — Tee Grizzley
  71. God’s Favorite Customer — Father John Misty
  72. Vibras — J Balvin
  73. By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile
  74. The Big Pescado — Berner
  75. Play — Dave Grohl
  76. Hoodwolf 2 — HoodRich Pablo Juan & Danny Wolf
  77. Rolling Papers 2 — Wiz Khalifa
  78. P2 — Dave East
  79. Camila — Camila Cabello
  80. I Like It Loud — Tiesto
  81. M A N I A — Fall Out Boy
  82. Victory Lap — Nipsey Hussle
  83. MEMORIES DON’T DIE — Tory Lanez
  84. Human — Steve Angello
  85. International Artist — A Boogie wit da Hoodie
  86. Bless Yo Trap — Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz
  87. Goodbye & Good Riddance — Juice WRLD
  88. Reckless — NAV
  89. The Longshot — The Longshot
  90. Fate — Tammy Rivera
  91. The World is Yours — Rich the Kid
  92. 23 — Jaydayoungan
  93. Kolorblind — DJ ESCO
  94. Edgewood — Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It
  95. Hurtin’ Me — Stefflon Don
  96. F.A.M.E. — Maluma
  97. Rearview Town — Jason Aldean
  98. This One’s For You Too — Luke Combs
  99. Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Lena Hall
  100. November — SiR
  101. The Chocolate Box — Jeremih
  102. Sweetener — Ariana Grande
  103. Voicenotes — Charlie Puth
  104. The Vault — G-Eazy
  105. Dan + Shay — Dan + Shay
  106. Heart Break Kodak — Kodak Black
  107. Die Lit — Playboi Carti
  108. Ottopsy — Chief Keef
  109. Lil Boat 2 — Lil Yachty
  110. Glock Bond — Key Glock
  111. Drip Season 3 — Gunna
  112. Spiritual Conversations — Mozzy
  113. SUPERFLY — Future & Co.
  114. Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves
  115. We Beefin? — at Wendys
  116. Until Death Call My Name Reloaded — YoungBoy Never Broke Again
  117. Harder Than Ever — Lil Baby
  118. The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It — 2 Chainz
  119. Real Hasta la Muerte — Anuel AA
  120. Bad Witch — Nine Inch Nails
  121. Mansion Musick — Chief Keef
  122. Humble Beast (Deluxe) — G Herbo
  123. Rich As In Spirit — Rich Homie Quan
  124. Pain and Pleasure — Tink
  125. Ray Ray from Summerhill — YFN Lucci
  126. Fredas Son — YFN Lucci 
  127. Dex Meets Dexter — Famous Dex
  128. Swervo — G Herbo & Southside
  129. Forever — Popcaan
  130. Age Of — Oneohtrix Point Never
  131. Queen Naija — Queen Naija
  132. Just Cause Y’all Waited — Lil Durk
  133. Apart — Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
  134. Karma 2 — Dave East
  135. Slime Language — Young Thug & Young Stoner Life Records
  136. The Marina — Curren$y & Harry Fraud
  137. BEASTMODE 2 — Future
  138. Sick Boy…Everybody Hates Me — The Chainsmokers 
  139. Hear No Evil — Young Thug
  140. Chained to the City — Kevin Gates
  141. Master the Day of Judgement — YoungBoy Never Broke Again
  142. Until Death Call My Name — YoungBoy Never Broke Again
  143. 2 Heartless — Moneybagg Yo
  144. Grow God — Money Man
  145. Don Talk — Don Q
  146. N****S Get Shot — Young Dolph
  147. Rich Hood — HoodRich Pablo Juan
  148. The Leek 4 — Chief Keef
  149. Bet On Me — Moneybagg Yo
  150. Pray For The Wicked — Panic! At the Disco

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s