With the final month of 2020 mercifully here, I wanted to write a different blog that has little to do with racing as the core subject.

In fact, music which my other passion. No, I’m far from a musician or an instrument player since I stopped taking band courses in 2007, but I love listening, critiquing and reflecting.

Last New Year’s Eve, I posted the 100 songs I resonated the most. However, what I didn’t told you was before I launched this website last June, I made a playlist of 100 songs I felt “the vibe” in 2018.

What was a simple Spotify playlist became a self-tradition I look forward to every year. So why not share the songs I enjoyed listening when my motorsports media career began?

Yes, you’ll get a 2020 playlist which is almost sorted out, but will see if any more songs stands out first. In the meantime and through the best of my abilities, here’s why these songs from two years ago are special in their own weird and wicked way.

100) i hate u, i love u by gnash and Olivia O’Brien (2016)

gnash is whack AF and his lyrics weighs it down, but Olivia’s lyrical delivery and song instrumental makes it passable. In early 2018, I was recovering from a nasty acquaintanceship that lasted from 2016-17. Now, I could care less who that person’s doing as I’ve blocked every social media page the individual has. Certainly for the best!

99) I Was Wrong by The Sisters of Mercy (1990)

I’ve honestly forgotten about this Sisters of Mercy record. Then I realized why I enjoyed this song in 2018. It has that adventurous vibe, like most of their songs are to me.

98) Stroker’s Theme by The Charlie Daniels Band (1983)

I may do a video review on the 1983 film Stroker Ace someday, but getting out of that mundane job and listening to this song on the way back home or even the bus ride to Sonoma just hits different when it’s a hot summer afternoon!

97) Starin’ Through My Rear View by 2Pac (2003)

As you’ll find out, several songs were a direct result from that mundane job where songs just hit unlike any other life phase I’ve been a part of. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” works to perfection as a sample. It honestly can’t do no wrong!

96) Start A Riot by Duckwrth and Shaboozey (2018)

As the youngins say, this one slapped hard and at the time, it would’ve made for such a bad ass wrestling entrance theme. For the record, I only care for independent wrestling like Without A Cause (WAC) these days.

95) Genie by Busy P and Mayer Hawthorne (2017)

If I made a list of songs I would’ve totally played at KUOI-FM, this would be right up there. From start to finish, I can escape reality and visualize myself being in Southern California on a nice summer night, just not giving a damn. Did I got that when I visited the area in 2019 and 2020? Nope! Why? My dancing days were over and the pandemic respectively. #LuisLuck

94) Pretend We’re Dead by L7 (1992)

I wasn’t into the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas memory lane in 2018, but how can I not enjoy this record without thinking a group of bad ass people walking down the street? Has nothing to do with the context of the song, but that’s what my concussed mind thought at the time.

93) Soothsayer by Zack Hemsey (2016)

I’d suggest listening to the instrumental version because it has more of an impact than the one with vocals. However, what I like about Hemsey’s records is how there’s at least a personal connection per song.

92) Souvenir by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (1981)

As I’ve said in the past, one of the only redeeming qualities of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is the music. Season 2 was its peak with their song selections, especially when it involved Hannah and Zach’s sexual fling. If you’re asking yourself, what do I think of the songs on the fourth and final season? Spoiler alert! Not one song will make the list because it was just WEAK!

91) Sunflower by Post Malone and Swae Lee (2018)

The moment I heard this song at the theaters (god, I miss those days), I instantly thought to myself: ‘Is that the dude who did Black Beatles?’ Lo and behold, I was right and no doubt Post Malone’s best song. Far from a fan of both Postie (music wise) and Swae Lee, but for once it wasn’t a such a snoozer.

90) El Duelo by La Ley (1995)

The first of multiple songs that made my 2019 list focuses on a band I used to listen as a kid in the early 2000s. Now, I resonate towards the Unplugged version because of it’s emotional roller coaster performance, but this version feels like a whole different song. I dig both versions, but in 2018, it’s the album version I played frequently.

89) Numb by Linkin Park (2003)

Let me tell you this, the old saying “I ain’t seen nothing yet” rings true with this one. Then, now and probably forever, “Numb” will be that song where the phrase fits the bill.

88) Bored by Billie Eilish (2017)

This one slipped from my mind until the second season of 13RW because I didn’t knew who Billie was until I heard “lovely.” How I remember it was this record was the second record I’ve heard after “lovely.” Come to find out, it appeared on the first season in that episode Netflix has since edited out. You’ll need a great ear to hear “Bored” because that’s why I didn’t remember it. Good grief, was I a depressing SOB with my music tastes!

87) Tried By 12 by The East Flatbush Project (1996)

Everyone remembers the beat thanks to Eminem’s freestyle. Naturally, I wanted to know where it came from and this is the one. Don’t ask why I keep wanting to say ‘oh yeah, the song that sounds like its saying 666″ because I still ponder what the hell was I thinking in 2018. Instrumental > vocals for this one today!

86) Seasons Run by The xx (2017)

Like most xx songs, it’s a vibe unlike any band up to that point. Kind of wished this one was on the album itself rather than a bonus track because it’s such an amazing song people should give a listen. Hell, I used this as segway music on a couple major red flag videos no one cares because it’s not recent times.

85) Never Tear Us Apart by INXS (1987)

The song that wasn’t meant to happen is an all-time 80s classic. My personal impact occurred during odd time where I still had feelings for other people I haven’t for years. When you live in a tight apartment, you’ll have nothing to do but reflect on vices like old and non-existent romances.

84) Highway Tune by Great Van Fleet (2017)

Ah yes, remember when Great Van Fleet got the Led Zeppelin comparisons? You can thank NASCAR Heat 3 for this song and why I’ve heard of GVF in the first place. It’s a damn good record, but like Colter Wall and Royal Blood, I remember the initial hits when it came out, but not the subsequent ones after. Kind of sad way my mind processes music if you asked me.

83) Tres Leches by Big Pun feat. Prodigy and Inspektah Deck (1998)

I don’t miss living at the apartment I lived from 2014-19, but this was on the heavy because of the surroundings I tried to get away from. I so wanted to get out of the area and I’m glad we did. I didn’t hear this song after 2018 up until a few months ago. Still reminds me of those times.

82) Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes (1983)

Like a-ha’s “Take On Me,” the music video version of the song is way better. Except, this Naked Eyes standout was at the opening compared to a-ha’s hit being towards the end. Also, this song is a prime example why I think 1983 is one of my all-time favorite years in music.

81) Children of the Damned by Iron Maiden (1982)

What’s there to be said about Iron Maiden that hasn’t been said? All throughout 2018, the goal was to see them live in Tacoma which didn’t pan out. I was a tad bummed, but it was totally for the best considering what I found out months later. Nevertheless, a beast record from such a beast AF album I proudly own on vinyl.

80) Stutter by Joe and Mystikal (2000)

Straight from a Pharcyde jam (better at that honestly), this number-one single holds up alright. We all know a person who are straight liars or act different for the worse. 2018 was the pinnacle of realizing many folks being fake until 2020.

79) Get Away by Mobb Deep (2001)

Let’s see why I enjoyed this song – oh yeah! Wanting to leave Washington at all costs! The mundane job and apartment life drove me insane that it became an anthem throughout 2018. Do I still want to leave the state? Sometimes and any chance I get away, I make most of it.

78) Mother (Remix) by ERA (2000)

Driven. That’s why. One of the only true best parts of that cockamamie flick. I don’t hate it, but most would agree the 2001 CART film is cockamamie. Checkered Flag was way worse by the way and sadly Paul Page was in that one too!

77) Simply by Mooryc (2013)

You guys have no idea how much I marked out when I finally figured out the name of the song! It was a search that began in 2014 thanks to Jamie xx’s Night + Day Festival session being up on YouTube. I was thinking it was Lana Del Rey or Florence Welch, but it was neither! I still love this record when the mood is absolutely right because it brings back memories to a much simpler time period in my life. A period when I thought I was heroic!

76) It’ll Be OK by Limp Bizkit (2000)

Fight me! I know this band is hated, but my music tastes are questionable. I thought we’ve established this by now, folks! Another record that hit deep in early 2018 because of that acquaintanceship. I even included this song in the 30 Day Music Challenge on Instagram. Again, that person is out of my life, but not much at the time.

75) The Call of Ktulu by Metallica (1984)

My 4:30 AM jam! Brings back memories listening to this as I was heading to a flight or bus. In fact, I totally advise you to put this around that time period, especially if there’s foggy conditions or the sun is about to rise. This is one of several records where Cliff Burton shines brightest and why I consider him one of my all-time favorite bass players.

74) Pressure (Live) by Billy Joel (1987)

The word everyone deals with all the time. Sure, Joel’s way of business isn’t great as indicated on the 2016 documentary Hired Gun, that aside I can’t deny his musical brilliance. This and “Just A Fantasy” embodies why live 80s songs are bad ass!

73) Love Theme from Flashdance by Helen St. John (1983)

Giorgio Moroder is a musical genius of his time. His influence is present in Helen St. John’s record. People remember “Maniac” and “Flashdance… What A Feeling,” but I’d put the “Love Theme” over both records. Another W for the year 1983!

72) Seek & Destroy (Live) by Metallica (1989)

Seattle ’89. That’s the vibe!

71) Hysteria by Def Leppard (1987)

One of those summer vibes where I thought I liked someone until realizing we’re not compatible. This song made me think of such woman and what’s funny looking back is that I realized we couldn’t be it until last August. Not keen to tell the story right now.

70) The Struggle Within by Metallica (1991)

Mostly for the introduction more than anything else. There was a struggle where the lyrics sums up much of my life in 2018.

69) Country Girl (Shake It For Me) by Luke Bryan (2011)

Coming from a guy that just can’t stand country music (especially since 2010), it’s a nice and guilty pleasure record. I was in that, “I’ll visit Moscow, Idaho” hype train real hard in 2018. Then I realized, I should just let that chapter end before I start losing my mind.

68) Elevation by U2 (2000)

Just another song I can’t put a finger on why I loved hearing it in 2018 besides summertime fantasies.

67) Fire Dancing by Holy Oysters (2017)

Indie music that has a little 80s in it is the perfect ingredient of a song I’d totally listen on the road. Not so much these days, but at the time, you bet!

66) Masterpiece by NONONO (2017)

During the golden age of Instagram modeling videos, I thought to myself ‘If I ever had a shot of doing such thing, I’d put this song with the scenic location being downtown LA!’ Then I realize I’m a motorsports writer and don’t have anyone to make such silly concept.

65) Starboy by The Weeknd and Daft Punk (2016)

Refer to my comments on “Masterpiece.” Except the location being Seattle, Moscow and Spain! That being said, this song is what grew me to be a guy that enjoys The Weeknd. Wasn’t crazy about him up until I heard “Starboy” for the first time, realizing this guy ain’t bad at all. I would listen to this song a lot when I arrived at the hockey arena to do camera work.

64) Dreams by NF (2017)

I mentioned this on my 2019 playlist that certain friendships fell apart at the end of 2018. Certain chapters had to be close and to this day, I must remind myself to be just Luis. Nobody else!

63) Der Kommissar by After the Fire (1982)

Great cookout song once you see The Wedding Singer! Okay, this song is the reason why there’s a debate for Falco from “Rock Me Amadeus” fame is deemed a “half-hit wonder.” Both versions are great, but ATF doesn’t make me think its saying “fucking” like Falco’s does. It says “FUNKY” by the way which I had to triple check back in the KUOI days.

62) Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love by Van Halen (1978)

One dream I had was me blasting through Indianapolis Motor Speedway at speeds over 248 mph during the closing minutes of Pole Day. Then I remember, we’re so not seeing that speed anytime soon and I should just enjoy the song for what it’s worth. Nevertheless, it would make for a beast racing FMV with clips of cars in slow motion during golden hour.

61) Africa by Toto (1982)

To the girl I’ve loved before…how is that not a book? We need a male’s perspective on their past loves just so I can either relate or tear them apart. I know this gem is a meme in recent years and associate it with past love, but I still love this song.

60) Alive by Pearl Jam (1991)

This song alone is why I was able to erase the dark year that was 2017 and assure myself 2018 will be a positive turnaround. It worked out to say the least. Such a real powerful song I’ll forever be grateful hearing it during the lowest of lows and now highest of highs.

59) Walk On by U2 (2000)

The song that closed out the Winston Cup Era during NBC’s telecast of the 2003 Ford 400 made my playlist due to the 2000 ESPN Images of the Year video I watched frequently, trying to avoid tears when they show Charlie Brown. Powerful song is an understatement.

58) The Night We Met by Lord Huron (2015)

Another song that totally benefitted from appearing in 13RW makes my list. If I made a playlist in 2017, it would’ve been No. 1 by a mile. Even in 2018, it held up real well due to its soothing guitar playing and haunting lyrics. A song that’ll go down as timeless in my personal opinion.

57) Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana (1994)

The night before the 2018 Portland Grand Prix, this song hit different unlike anything I heard up to that point in my life. Yeah, I’ve heard this song as far back as 2013 when I was crazy into wrestling, but how I view the song has since changed. For better or worse.

56) My Love by Justin Timberlake and T.I. (2006)

The interlude of “My Love” really sets the tone and I’m glad the music video includes “Let Me Talk To You.” I still look back and wonder if 2006 was the last great year for number-one singles. Some days, I agree. Other days, I don’t. Just really depends on the mood, but “My Love” is probably one of my top-10 favorite number-one hits of the 2000s. More so when it was on repeat two years ago.

55) The Reflex by Duran Duran (1983)

Not going to lie, I don’t know why this made it deep into the rankings. Maybe it’s because I’ve always enjoyed this Duran Duran hit dating back to high school. I think that’s the reason.

54A) COPYCAT (Acoustic) by Billie Eilish & FINNEAS (2017)

Much like “El Duelo” by La Ley on my 2019 playlist, both the studio and acoustic version of “COPYCAT” makes my list for the same reason. The acoustic version is criminally underrated in the same way I view The xx’s “Finally” where there’s no official recording besides its live video counterparts.

54B) COPYCAT by Billie Eilish (2017)

Extremely catchy tune I can sort of relate with myself and others. Like who hasn’t acted as copycats or felt like, ‘Nope! You’re off the list?’

53) Monochrome Dreams by The Blue Hours (2017)

How about I introduce to you a gem from the indie bucket with a song I listened throughout the Summer of ’18. Especially, when I went to Sonoma for my first race as a credentialed media member. How I found this song? Dinner With Racers of course after the Janet Guthrie episode!

52) The Unforgiven (Live) by Metallica (1992)

My post college life anthem! I put the live version for this one because it rules ass! Powerful and relatable song that resulted into my favorite track from “The Black Album.” Without Metallica being such a frequent on my playlist, my life would’ve been so different. I can’t imagine it! Same way I can’t imagine life without Cispus!

51) Rock The Casbah by The Clash (1982)

Probably not the best song to blast on the road these days, but I miss songs like this where it’s somewhat okay to hear with ease.

50) Scuttle Buttin’ by Stevie Ray Vaughan (1984)

Short and simple, yet effective AF! Although NASCAR 99 is broken AF no the N64, this song on the game menu makes it worthwhile.

49) Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica (1986)

This was my go-to mail song during the final full year living at the dreaded apartment. Now, it was my go-to pandemic song until the era of that mundane job finally ended. Just the tone screams a land of unknown unlike any other record I’ve heard. Songs like this is why I often ponder if Master of Puppets is my all-time favorite Metallica album. I still don’t have a definitive No. 1 by the way.

48) Power by Little Mix feat. Stormzy (2017)

How can I properly explain this without stating the obvious? The energetic beat accompanied with such boss of a flow? 2018 Royal Rumble? Let’s go with that as my main reasons why it was on repeat.

47) Stir Fry by Migos (2018)

Far from a Migos guy because the whole mumble rap scene is 98% putrid, but I can’t lie when I say this record is lit as soon as it blew up. Also, this music video always make me hungry.

46) Demolition Man by The Police (1981)

At the tail end of 2017 and all throughout 2018, The Police was my second go-to group (behind Metallica). I do feel like this is a forgotten Police gem as people don’t talk much of the record. When you have many bangers, it’s easy for that to happen. Way better than “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic!” Sorry, not sorry. Blame whatever movie trailer I saw in the late 2000s for the reason why that song is ruined for me.

45) Disposable Heroes by Metallica (1986)

While it wouldn’t be until 2019 where it really set the vibe, putting this song on my last true sports video package was the reason it made a mark on the year that was 2018. This track is meant to be on high school football highlights!

44) SICKO MODE by Travis Scott (2018)

The Travis Scott deal from McDonald’s didn’t make my stomach ill. Anyways, I don’t know why I enjoy this unorthodox song besides its random nature. Three different tracks under one roof shouldn’t work, but it did here! Says a lot in a time period where mainstream hits are 91% dumpster fire.

43) The Day That Never Comes by Metallica (2008)

The last song to really leave a mark in 2018 was a result of feeling very sorry for a person who was dealing through heartaches (refer back to Toto’s “Africa”). Like the person didn’t deserve it and for some strange reason, this song came rushing through my head. I even wrote my daily journals and a latter to this late 2000s hit. All because of a woman? No wonder my luck is piss poor. Anyhow, love this record!

42) The Sleep by Pantera (1990)

The track and title is why I had no business of being in that mundane job. It’s cost me a lot of sleeping hours and energy. This Pantera record is the opposite where energy is restored. Visually, I see crash montages of the Busch Clash for some reason. Don’t ask why, just let me have some positive dreams dammit!

41) Wings by HAERTS (2013)

Another song that caught my attention due to a trip at the movie theaters with my brother and sister. That film being Love, Simon. I don’t remember much of the film, but I still vividly recall this song. After hearing the whole thing, its raw and powerful nature set the tone going forward.

40) K.Y.S.A. by Phantogram (2015)

“Keep Yourself Alive” (not Kill Yourself Alive as I thought at first) or “K.Y.S.A.” is a mix bag of lust, edge and adventurous vibes. Ironically, it embodies the soundtrack it came from – Grand Theft Auto V. While I’m still waiting for GTA 6, at least GTA 5 brought us a few indie gems.

39) Am I Evil? by Metallica (1984)

Metallica took inspiration from Diamond Head, but if we’re comparing both versions of “Am I Evil?” The former took it to another level and sounds so much better. From 4:05 onwards, Kenny Smith said it best after Vince Carter’s opening dunk from the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest, “LET’S GO HOME!”

38) Right Now by Van Halen (1991)

Right now, I’m writing about why this song is an evergreen back in 2018. Right now, this song still kicks ass in 2020. Right now, I don’t get the hate for the “Van Hager” Era? Right now, I should stop repeating what the music video did.

37) Forever by HAIM (2013)

If it wasn’t for a random discovery of The Aces, HAIM would still be my go-to present day all chick group. A fun, witty record is one of the main reasons I tend to lean towards the indie pop route for a real long time.

36) Controlla by Drake (2016)

The opening line sums it all up. “My life was changing” and although it has some “Work” elements, what this song has over that great ball of ass is a bearable tone and lyrics. One exception, obnoxious horns is always a musical sin! Like “Country Girl,” my thoughts were a trip to Moscow. Of course, that never happened.

35) Fantasy by The xx (2009)

Talk about a trip. Not that kind of trip, I meant the song! Hours after covering my first NASCAR race at Sonoma, I went back to that expensive hotel my friends give me crap for and this song just hit so hard. Like, I was in a dream or something but in reality, it actually happened. I was starting to fully live the dream of being involved in the sport. Time has flown fast that I’m now entering my fourth year in 2021 and hungrier than ever.

34) Learning To Fly by Pink Floyd (1987)

This late 80s Pink Floyd classic has multiple reasons as to why I enjoyed the song in 2018. That woman I once liked (go back to “Hysteria”), swimming pools, late night flights and so on. Definitely a raw song with intense guitar riffs throughout the record.

33) In The Evening by Led Zeppelin (1979)

Nocturnal vibes on a cold, Friday January night began these odd dreams and visuals. I blame this record by the way because I came to the realization that music can be a high. This song is meant to be played late at night to get the most out of Zeppelin’s last gems.

32) Damage, Inc. by Metallica (1986)

What’s funny is that I associate this record with 2019. Yet, it’s just outside the top-30 on my 2018 playlist. Other than it’s a helluva closing track to legendary album, I can’t remember my reasons as to why I felt the 2018 vibe on personal note.

31) bellyache by Billie Eilish (2017)

I’m realizing that I have so many 2017 songs on a playlist that focuses on 2018. It might express a lot on what I liked in that time period. Out of the songs Billie had, this one was and quite frankly, still is my favorite of her catalog. Kind of a sucker for minimalism on songs.

30) …And Justice For All by Metallica (1988)

AJFA is criminally underrated! Not just the track, but the whole album. Yes, it’s baseless, but considering the circumstances that happened between Master of Puppets and AJFA, it still had some of that Metallica energy everyone knew and loved. Aggression and playing this on the 4th of July highlight why it’s top-30 material.

29) Destiny by NF (2017)

This song was played throughout NBC’s promotion of the NASCAR playoffs and since it’s NF, I was going to like this song. It’s not often a modern day rapper can be relatable to what I’m going through. That’s why I view him positively compared to most rappers.

28) Ric Flair Drip by Offset and Metro Boomin (2017)

At least the song was good when I first heard it! Sole reason I even care for the record in the first place was because of the Nature Boy. Beat is lit too.

27) God’s Plan by Drake (2018)

Song was good at the time, especially when I wasn’t in the mood to talk with anyone after my mundane job. Again, another one where I prefer the beat over the vocals. Compared to some Drake songs, it’s passable. “Nonstop” is my top song from the album Scorpion.

26) Afterhours by The Sisters of Mercy (1984)

Dark and gloomy AF which I totally dig the crap of! For whatever reason, I put this on repeat all throughout August. However, after Robert Wickens had his crash at Pocono, I had to stop for a short period of time. Fortunately, I associate this as a song that fits perfectly after the theme from Stranger Things. Shit should happen too!

25) Atomic Punk by Van Halen (1978)

A couple of Costco trips later, I realized how boss Van Halen were in their 1978 album. It’s when I began fully appreciating the band a lot more than just “Panama,” “Right Now,” “Humans Being” and “Runnin’ with the Devil.” They’re more than that. Now with Eddie Van Halen passed away, it’s become apparent why I gravitated towards the band in the first place.

24) Battery (Live) by Metallica (1989)

FUK EM UP! You have no idea why I love this live performance so damn much! All about speed and rage, especially when I channel out garbage ass songs!

23) Man On The Corner by Genesis (1981)

When you watch old MTV clips from its first year, you’d be surprised how much music you’ll discover. This record was played predominately in promos throughout 1981-82. Great choice because it’s great one to listen while writing on a journal.

22) In This Place by Julia Michaels (2018)

Come to think of it, this is one of the more better songs from a top artist that’s based off a Disney movie track. I don’t care for many of those adaptations, but Julia Michaels was awesome with the song about “Slaughter Race.” Here’s another hot take, it might be better than the one from Ralph Breaks the Internet.

21) Red Red Wine by UB40 (1983)

The full version is way better than the single (or as I like to say, watered down). While this song has put me to sleep throughout 2018 without fail (that mundane job life and #LuisLuck), it’s a classic 80s tune which is always a plus!

20) Dragon Attack by Queen (1980)

Spoiler Alert! This will make my 2020 playlist because now more than ever, I fucks with this song heavy! Thanks to Wrestling With Wregret, it became a dominant one on my playlist. From start to finish, it screams beast AF!

19) Madiba Riddim by Drake (2017)

The ONLY good song from this dumpster fire album More Life boils down to what I had to put up with throughout 2018. Greater vibe when it’s during the summer when love is in the air when you realize who’s real or fake.

18) Planet Earth by Duran Duran (1981)

The Extended Night Version was the first one I heard, so it has more of an impact as to why I like “Planet Earth.” For whatever reason, fist pumping to this isn’t a bad idea because it has such incredible energy ranging from the bass to saxophone. Duran Duran are about that energy if you know what I mean.

17) To Live Is To Die by Metallica (1988)

After my grandma (father’s side) passed away that month of May, I couldn’t stop laying this song at the mundane job because it’s a song I heavily associate with death. Coincidentally, it’s a song in memory of Cliff Burton, who died two years prior to the album’s release.

16) Stuck by The Aces (2018)

It was a two-way option when it comes to The Aces. “Fake Nice” or “Stuck?” I went with “Stuck” because it just resonated to me in 2018. Ultimately, I went with both and “Volcanic Love” the next year because it’s a guilty pleasure liking the Utah quartet.

Fun fact: There’s two versions of “Stuck” with the music video being the original from 2016.

15) Swept Away by The xx (2012)

Throughout the song (and album), you get an emotional rush. More so, when the sun sets and surrounded by waves, pondering about life and its vices. That’s my main takeaway when it comes to “Swept Away.”

14) I Just Wanna Know by NF (2016)

One more time, please refer to “Africa” by Toto. This deep record summarizes everything that went wrong and why ghosting sucks, but that’s part of life sometimes. Hard to deal with, but been better about it since. Reflection to my past is what I felt then, not what I think today.

13) Amante Bandido by Miguel Bose (1984)

Hey look! It’s Latino David Bowie! The highest ranked Spanish song went from random AF when I heard it in Edmonds to a song I played all throughout the second half of 2018. It’s 80s AF, so I knew I’d grew into liking this jam.

12) The Bed’s Too Big Without You by The Police (1979)

When I first heard this in December 2017, I knew I had to keep track on the songs I hear throughout 2018 and make a playlist at year’s end. The Police’s musical inspirations are loud and clear from this 1979 record. Simply love that shit and it’s when I slowly began to appreciate these musical geniuses.

11) Reconsider (Jamie xx Edit) by The xx (2012)

Don’t you love hearing songs that makes you think about amazing places you’ve yet to explore? For whatever reason, I slept on this record until the final weeks of 2018. Staying at some friend’s house following the high school basketball reunion and I left this on repeat. All I was thinking is a Phoenix sunset on November evening. Fast forward to November 2019, it became a reality.

10) Formula 1 Theme by Brian Tyler (2018)

When you hear a song that’s so damn special, it’ll forever change you. This is one of those records, especially that it came from 2018. Makes every Sunday morning worthwhile listening to that epic record from Brian Tyler.

9) Nice ‘n’ Slow by Jesse Green (1976)

If I ever come out of dancing retirement, you’ll bet your ass this song will be one that I’ll give it a go. Under one condition, a dancing partner. Yep, no desire of hitting the dance floor anytime soon. More so, with the current pandemic. Even when that ends, I’ll wait a year minimum. Overall, the song is self explanatory why I dig it.

8) Nice For What by Drake (2018)

This song isn’t by any means perfect, but what’s intriguing about this song is its song structure. Accompanied by a catchy hook, it was enjoyable listening to it as the year wind down.

7) lovely by Billie Eilish with Khalid (2018)

The song that introduced me to Billie Eilish. Early 2018 wasn’t too kind and a song like that arrived at a perfect time because certain shit I had to let go in order to survive. It’s simple, this song hits deep other songs haven’t done at the time.

6) All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar with SZA (2018)

Far from a Kendrick guy by any means, I honestly find him overrated. However, this and one other song embodies The Black Panther. It’s such an inspiring song where both artists showed zero weaknesses and sometimes I look for that with mainstream music.

5) Outro by M83 (2011)

Thanks to Balto Racing, I associate this song with Chase Elliott following his video on the now Cup Series champion’s maiden win at Watkins Glen in 2018. Yeah, this was played after Kyle Busch won his second Cup title a year later, but no traces of that will surface on YouTube. Ugh! What an inspiring track that screams “Outro!”

4) Under by Sampha (2016)

One of those tracks I heard once (at an xx concert in Seattle in 2017) that sounded damn awesome, but forgotten about it. Fast forward to late June, it became an irresistible jam that sounded better the more I listened. That’s why it’s ranked so high on my playlist.

3) Ready To Go by Republica (1996)

I see why the SPEED Channel used this more than once, it’s 90s AF, but awesome nonetheless! Still one of the few songs I frequently listen on a weekly basis.

2) Welcome To The Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1984)

Whether it’s the single, music video or the full 13+ minute record, “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” is such a damn adventure. What helped was listening to this on my way to California that June and you bet I listened to the remixes as well. Fits more with the Florida scene, but I haven’t been to that state until February 2019. However, there’s a reason why it didn’t hit number-one on my 2018 playlist and you’ll find out right now!

1) Pray For Me by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar (2018)

Fitting how my favorite song of 2018 actually came from 2018 because it’s never that way when I consider all songs from different eras. Everything about this song hits all kinds of emotions from the past, present and unknown future. This hit right here is a key reason The Black Panther will go down as a timeless flick. Damn great flick for sure, but this song is an enigma.

I did the best I could to looking back on 2018. Some songs I vividly remember why I enjoyed it due to personal experiences while others was simply the song being incredible.

Hope you enjoyed hearing, learning and reading this playlist. It’s fun thinking about music for a few hours and I’m looking forward ranking my favorite songs of 2020.

Published by Luis Torres

University of Idaho graduate that's currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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