Special Menu: Critics’ Picks Playlist


Our “Special Menu Playlist” is a chance to have specially themed curated songs at special times throughout the year. Recently, our UTR Panel of Critics not only helped us honor the Top 11 Gourmet Albums of 2018, but we also listed every album that was cited by our panel…. all 65 albums.  This playlist features a song from each of these 65 cited releases.


Do you have those special moments on your work calendar where you tend to “come alive” at your job?  Maybe it’s excitement about your quarterly bonus. Maybe it’s going on a business trip to a place you love to travel.  Or maybe it’s a special project that is rewarding in itself.  This is true for me each year when we gather our UTR Panel of Critics to vote on the best music released each year.  This is the 10th consecutive year we have had this panel and have released a Top 11 Gourmet Albums of the Year list.  And since voting on these types of things has an element of subjectivity, there are always a lot of albums that get cited by one or more of our critics, but don’t get any “special recognition” – but still might be a fantastic project (one that at least one critic put on their own personal Top 11 list).  So for the last 3 years, we decided to give some props and list out ALL the albums cited.  In this year’s voting, there were 65 albums mentioned, and we are featuring them all here (at least the 98% of music that is available on Spotify).  We begin with our Top 11 albums, then our honorable mention, and then the rest in no particular order. Enjoy some of THE BEST music released in 2018!


  1. Welcome from Dave – UTR
  2. Marjorie – Andrew Osenga
  3. Remember Me – Andrew Peterson
  4. Three Birds in Babylon – The Gray Havens
  5. Butterfly – Christa Wells
  6. The Brave One – Andy Gullahorn
  7. Sanctuary – Remedy Drive (ft. Propaganda)
  8. Wounded Healer – Audrey Assad
  9. Last Time – Joy Ike
  10. Maybe – Drakeford
  11. Reciprocate – Sandra McCracken
  12. Save Me – Liz Vice
  13. Illuminate My Unknowing – John van Deusen
  14. We Ain’t Going Nowhere – The New Respects
  15. Breaking of the Bridge – Jonathan Gabriel Masters
  16. Satisfy – Rivers & Robots
  17. I Want to Make You Proud – Katie Herzig
  18. BSM: Gratitude Over Fear – UTR (ft. Andrew Greer)
  19. Inconvenient – Nick Flora
  20. Wide Eyed Dream – Phil Madeira
  21. Bread of the World – Alex Mejias
  22. Not Yet – Chris Renzema
  23. “Birds, Bewildered” – The Choir
  24. Fortress – Mat Kearney
  25. I Shall Not Be Shaken – Eufaula
  26. Two Lights – Adam Whipple
  27. Everything I’ve Accumulated – Mitchell McVicker
  28. Anything Goes – Matthew Perryman Jones
  29. Prodigal Son – We Are The Monks
  30. R U a Spirit? – Kevin Max
  31. Wild and Free – Jason Upton
  32. Go – Vocal Few
  33. BSM: Becoming Indie – UTR (ft. Cindy Morgan)
  34. Regret – Moda Spira
  35. Love I Am – Jenny & Tyler
  36. Turn The Page – Mr. & Mrs. Something
  37. Run – Von Strantz
  38. Look out from Your Window – The Innocence Mission
  39. We Were Not Ready – Brooke Annibale
  40. Promise is a Promise – Ian Zumback (ft. Anthony Hoisington)
  41. Time – Jason Gray
  42. Look Up Child – Lauren Daigle
  43. Falling Star – Hannah Miller
  44. Still Water – Charlie Peacock
  45. Confident – Steffany Gretzinger
  46. Most Merciful God – Greg LaFollette (ft. Taylor Leonhardt)
  47. Brother – The Promise Is Hope
  48. Between Nashville and L.A. – Derri Daugherty
  49. Boxes – Ben Rector
  50. One More Song – Ashley Cleveland
  51. My Soul – Thrice
  52. Never Alone – Tori Kelly (ft. Kirk Franklin)
  53. Never Lose My Love – Dave Barnes
  54. Lead Me – Sister Sinjin
  55. History Comes Back to Haunt This World – Altar Boys
  56. Takes All Time – Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
  57. BSM: Career Surprise – UTR (ft. Matt Brouwer)
  58. Spirit Resurrect – Josh White & Josh Garrels
  59. Put Not Your Hope in the Nations – Wendell Kimbrough
  60. Human – Plumb
  61. AWOL – Kevin Max
  62. Anthem – Phil Wickham
  63. Sparrows and Lillies – Pat Barrett
  64. Psalm 13 – Alisa Turner
  65. You and Me – Chris August
  66. Great Big World – Shawn McDonald
  67. Fight Anymore – For All Seasons

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