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2018 in Review: Top Ten Albums

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2018 in Review: Top Ten Albums

Ezekiel Navarro

Ezekiel Navarro

Ezekiel Navarro

Luka Berman, Contributing Writer

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2018 was another peculiar year for music. Kanye West officially fell off his rocker, the once-underground Travis Scott outsold a very angry Nicki Minaj by a significant margin, and, well, “You are hiding a child!” happened, and that was just in hip-hop. We got a lot of really good music this year, and here are the best albums of 2018, in my humble opinion.

 

  1. Scorpion – Drake
  2. Black Panther: The Album – Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists
  3. Whack World – Tierra Whack
  4. Room 25 – Noname
  5. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – The 1975

 

  1. Isolation – Kali Uchis

Isolation is all over the place, in the best way possible. Exploring soul, funk, and indie pop in equal measure, Kali Uchis’ debut album explores themes of new and old love on “In My Dreams” and connections to places and people in “Miami,” as well as finding strength in new situations. Isolation is more than a major-label debut for this new artist, but it’s a statement of purpose, and an assertion of Kali Uchis’ dominance in the pop/R&B world for years to come.

 

  1. DAYTONA – Pusha T

While Pusha T’s DAYTONA may   have been overshadowed by his highly-publicized beef and child-revealing takedown of Drake, his third studio album is one of rap’s best in 2018. The seven-song project is a luxurious-sounding collection of drug-rap memoirs and includes some of Kanye West’s best producing North of 2010. Check out the commanding opener, “If You Know You Know,” the haunting “Hard Piano,” and the explosive “What Would Meek Do?”

 

  1. Kids See Ghosts – Kanye West & Kid Cudi

Kids See Ghosts almost makes Kanye’s horrendous year worth it. As the third release of G.O.O.D. Music’s ill-advised Wyoming project, the album is short and relatively low-key for a Kanye release. But ‘Ye and Kid Cudi make the most of their 23 minutes together—see the colorful and creeping title track “Feel the Love” and the gorgeous closer “Cudi Montage.”

 

  1. Sweetener – Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has been one of the biggest acts in pop music for the last several years. But for anyone who thought all she did was churn out top-40 hits, think again.

Executive producer Pharrell Williams found a gem, because Sweetener is thoughtful, lush, and unorthodox. The production is stellar, the performances impeccable, and the songs honest and deeply felt, whether you are listening to the bouncy romance of “R.E.M.” or the meditative melancholy of “breathin.”

 

  1. ASTROWORLD – Travis Scott

Ambitious but self-aware, cohesive, ad expansive, Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD is perhaps the most essential album of 2018. The psychedelic trap of “STARGAZING” and “NO BYSTANDERS,” the melodious genre-hopping in “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” and “ASTROTHUNDER,” and the gorgeous honesty of “COFFEE BEAN” are just a few of the thrilling rides on Scott’s third album. It’s experimental and feature-heavy, from Frank Ocean to Tame Impala, but it remains grounded by the palpable pursuit of euphoria amidst a world of chaos.

 

A shortened version of this piece appears in our December 2018 print edition.

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2018 in Review: Top Ten Albums