Just like always, these are my favorite albums of 2018, not the best albums of 2018. There will be some overlap obviously and I believe my list is often better than many mainstream publications because they trash, haha. Also what a terrible year for albums. I mean these are still good albums but many of these couldn’t stand shoulder to shoulder with top albums of years past. Anyways the list.
50. EVERYTHING IS LOVE by The Carters
Honestly I wish there was less Jay-Z and more Beyonce. And by less Jay-Z I mean no Jay-Z. I just want another Beyonce record after that last one basically turned me, a hater, into a fan. Plus I prefer her rap flow too. Yeah I said it.
49. Golden Hour by Kasey Musgraves
I hate country. And yet I found this album rather charming. I don’t think the song writing is especially strong (strange when that is country’s biggest strength), but Kasey Musgraves voice is pretty great and the sound is a nice mix of modern pop and folksy country that it’s quite winning. How this album is toping year end list is kinda ridiculous but it’s way better than it has any right to be.
48. Head Over Heals by Chromeo
Let’s get over the fact some people find the lyrics on Chromeo albums rather problematic. They kinda are but who kinda cares, this is shitty pop. We ain’t here to be woke. And shit is damn infectious that I just don’t care. Also The Dream is crazy good on this.
47. Layers of Us by Mimicking Birds
There is always an indie band that I discover in the process of making my list. Mimicking Birds is this years entry. Like Young The Giant and Local Natives before them, they make really solid indie rock music that might not win awards but win me over.
46. Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko
Great year for pop, not so great year for everything else. Another great pop record that is also rather unexpected. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
45. Blue Madonna by Borns
Maybe the biggest surprise of the year is that Borns released an album this year and it was kinda fire and nobody cared. Such a shame, it really deserves some more spins, it’s way better than you would ever expect.
44. Songs of Praise by Shame
Is rock really dead? Someone forgot to tell Shame, who come in guns blazing.
43. Lamp Lit Prose by Dirty Projectors
Another album missing from year end list that is just a shame, because it’s great. Only discovered Dirty Projectors last year and I’m all in.
42. Thank You For Today by Death Cab For Cutie
The best Death Cab album in years. And I mean years. They have been having trouble really finding their sound in the last few years but it’s nice to see them finally beginning to settle down and discovering what works now. I can finally say that I’m looking forward to new Death Cab again.
41. Chris by Christine and the Queens
2018 really is the year of the woman. Dominating my list for the most, this is year another stellar entry. Late scratch into my list but definitely deserves it’s place. Excellent.
40. Black Panther The Album by Various Artist
Music soundtracks can be hit or miss. This is definitely hit. While the tracks that they feature in the movie maybe a little eclectic, the album itself is much more cohesive, all tied together by Kendrick who shows up a handful of times. It’s pretty dope. Best album of the year though? Grammy’s are smoking something.
39. Vessel by Frankie Cosmos
This album is so light, it is damn near floating away. Most songs clock in around 2 minutes, and everything just breezes bye. And yet don’t sleep on this, it’s fucking great.
38. Isolation by Kali Uchis
If anyone burst out of 2018 with the most swag, it gotta be Kali Uchis, who on this record really is full of the utmost confidence. It’s brash and it bangs and she got some interesting vocal range and taste, as this album is kinda everywhere. In a good way.
37. Francis Trouble by Albert Hammond Jr.
Franicis Trouble is what new Strokes albums should sound like. Which figures because well, Albert Hammond Jr. If only they were this mix of modern and old school. Oh well.
36. Hormone Lemonade by Cavern of Anti-Matter
Comparable to Todd Terje’s excellent It’s Album Time, Hormone Lemonade is just a great electronic album full of energy that the lack of vocals is not a lack, it doesn’t need it. It got enough energy on it’s own. Feels like a great drive around the block.
35. Clean by Soccer Mommy
The heart of this lo-fi album is big and beautiful. It just bowls you over. It’s small and delicate and yet I found it just amazing.
34. In A Poem Unlimited by U.S. Girls
Not gonna lie, I have no idea how to classify this album. It’s so full of an array of different sounds, and every track is a surprise. It’s also stupid good. I guess the best thing I can say is that this is why “alternative” was invented, because I’m clueless about it besides the fact I like it a lot.
33. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino by Arctic Monkeys
How the fuck did the Arctic Monkeys make a damn lounge album about a space resort and it’s incredible? It’s almost like they wanted to lose all the fans they gained from their past album. Which is a shame, because they should stick around. This is incredible stuff. The songwriting is immaculate and somehow, despite itself, it just works.
32. Caer by Twin Shadow
Did no expect to have this album even on this list, but man it’s just good music man. And dude got pipes and the music is a groove and loved it.
31. Kids See Ghost by Kids See Ghost
Imagine how fire this album could have be if Kanye just stayed in the studio rather than the booth? Would have been the best Kudi record we would have gotten in years. Instead, it’s still the best Kudi has sounded in a long time, it’s just a shame Kanye tries to sabotage it. Never the less, it’s still so great. I miss this Kudders. Just next time Kanye, shut up bruh.
30. God’s Favorite Customer by Father John Misty
Always constistent. And always consistently good. No complaints here.
29. Daytona by Pusha T
People need to chill. This is a really good rap album and maybe the best thing to come out of that Kanye stretch of production, but it’s only 7 tracks and not all bang. But dude, when it bangs, my goodness gracious.
28. Swimming by Mac Miller
Poor Mac Miller. RIP my dude. He was really beginning to find a fascinating sound and bringing some really interesting concepts and sounds to the rap game. This jazzy chill laid back album features excellent production and Mac Miller is right there to elevate. Such a shame, would have been fascinating to see where he would have gone and grown as an artist. Damn tragedy.
27. FM! by Vince Staples
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve liked each successive Vince Staples albums less and less. I think it’s great he’s growing as an artist, but I guess I’m still stuck behind. Never the less, they are all still top notch, and this one, which just whips by, is a banger for sure.
26. Negro Swan by Blood Orange
Dev Hynes is dope. And the emotion he is able to convey through that voice and the funky and retro production is just great. Every album really digs into you deep and this is no exception. Keep it up.
25. Scorpion by Drake
This is a weak album by Drake standards. Dude, for the last time, kill your darlings. We don’t need an album this long and full of this much filler. Because if you cut that shit out, this album, much like Views and More Life, is really really really really good. Also Scorpion is a dumb album title.
24. I’m All Ears by Let’s Eat Grandma
Sludge pop. I guess. Their words not mine. Hell these girls call themselves Let’s Eat Grandma. They weird as fuck, as so is the music. It’s also kinda flames.
23. Lush by Snail Mail
Channeling the girl rockers of the 90s and early 2000s, Lindsey might actually be better than most of them. This is some great indie rock.
22. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae
This is her worst album by a mile. And it’s a damn shame this is the one that finally garners some mainstream traction. And yet, it made my list despite the fact I dislike many aspects of this album. So why is it not only on the list but so high? Because it’s Janelle Monae and this girl can sing and some of the songs are fire despite themselves. Just maybe next time, less rapping and maybe less thirst.
21. Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt
We in 2018 but this dude is in 3018. This man cares nothing for the current state of rap, he’s off doing his own thing on his own planet.
20. Be The Cowboy by Mitski
I saw Mitski live back at FYF Fest and I’ve been a fan ever since. And how pleasantly surprised was I that her new album is even better than her last.
19. Room 25 by Noname
Showing some impressive growth since her last album, Noname once again proves not only can women rap but their perspective can often lead to results that transcend the gender lines. While I do miss the Rugrats appeal of her last album, I can’t complain much, since this is just too good.
18. Good Thing by Leon Bridges
I was dubious after my first listen. I prefer the more classic Leon Bridges sound. And yet after a few spins, this album not only won me over, but creeped higher and higher up this list. I’m a sucker for great R&B.
17. So Sad So Sexy by Lykke Li
Lykke Li is a stunningly fascinating artist, who never really repeats herself and always bring something different and new. This dip into the weird and electronic really works and maybe my favorite album of hers. Too bad the love hasn’t been universal, y’all missing out.
16. The Now Now by Gorillaz
I’m gonna say something kinda controversial. This album is way better than Humanz, the comeback album the Gorillaz released. It’s just tighter, sounds more like a Gorillaz album especially on the production side, and it’s just so weird it’s great. Love it.
15. Saturn by Nao
What a great year for female led albums. While the rest of us are out here sucking, at least the ladies brought it this year. And one of them is Nao, whose unique voice always struck a cord with me and her space themed album is a real delight. Not a weak link in the house.
14. YSIV by Logic
I admit it, I’m kinda a sucker for Logic. I just like the dude and when I saw him live he really won me over. And after two pretty good albums, he’s returned to the sound that got me hooked in the first place. Drowning in the throwback 90s hip-hop forum, this is my prefered wheelhouse for him. Hope he doesn’t pivot too much on the next one, because I dig this shit. His best since Under Pressure.
13. Heaven and Earth by Kamasi Washington
I love great jazz and this is as good as it gets for modern jazz. Plus it’s truly epic, with songs often clocking in at over 9 minutes and really it’s one of the few albums this year that truly take you on a journey. Not my favorite of his and it’s as long as a Michael Bay movie but god when it’s this good, can you really hate?
12. Blood by Rhye
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. This might be a better album that Woman. Rhye is a dude who sings like Sade and fills the void that she leaves behind since homegirl releases an album every million years. Also might be the sexiest album of the year, and yes I’m looking at you Dirty Computer.
11. Wide Awake! by Parquet Courts
Who would have thought that Parquet Courts would release an album that deals with modernity and politics? Go figure, it works, but the boys don’t let that stop them from getting a little funky too. Their best album yet.
10. Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett
A small little introverted ball of energy of an album. It’s fucking great.
9. Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest
Surprisingly solid year for rock, as you can see by the last three albums. And here we get an album which is kinda a reworking of previous work but who cares, it’s Car Seat Headrest and it’s damn good too
8. Hive Mind by The Internet
Funky. Fun. Free. Fucking. Fantastic.
7. 7 by Beach House
Fitting that 7 placed, well, #7 on my list. Total accident. But you know what wasn’t an accident? How good this album is. Beach House might have perfected their sound on Bloom, but on 7, they expand their sound with winning results. Ear candy for sure. Legit in competition for their best album.
6. Constant Image by Flasher
Best true rock album of the year by a mile, this album kicks all kinds of ass. It starts at 11 and never goes below that. It never slows down, never sputters, just keeps on going and going and going.
5. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975
You can have these guys all you want, you can’t hold their ambition against them. They really do reach for the stars. Diving into a kind of modern guilt, and listening to way too much Kanye, these guys definitely have some interesting ideas. But also they are just really good at making power pop for the masses while sneaking in some unexpected gems and depth.
4. Semicircle by The Go! Team
I’m probably the only person who had this as their favorite album of 2018 for the majority of the year. And that’s not hyperbole, it’s their best album and the best they’ve ever sounded. Plus sometimes sugary music is really sweet.
3. High As Hope by Florence & The Machine
I prefer the last album for sure, but this is damn close to another perfect record. Girl got pipes man. And the music is just beautiful. So so good.
2. Honey by Robyn
Ditching the dance anthems of her previous work for something a bit more lowkey and chill, this is often times much more personal. We finally get to dive deep into Robyn herself. And mixed with her usual flair, some great production and all around excellence, this album deserves to be as high as I put it.
1. Microshift by Hookworms
Figures that in maybe the weakest year of albums in my memory that a band I never heard of before tops my list. 2018 was weird man. Including this album, which has these guys exploring their synth side to fantastic results. I can’t tell you how amazing this album is, just stop reading and listen already.