AOTY 2018
Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2018

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2018

Original Source →

50. Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On

March 16, 2018
Critic Score
74
25 reviews
The undulating tones anchor it all, giving it a unified purpose even though few of the melodies are of the hummable variety. A riot? Hardly. But by combining these trance-like textures in such an incessant way, they’ve created music of a mostly memorable variety regardless.

49. Blood Orange - Negro Swan

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

With myriad collaborators from A$AP Rocky and Puff Daddy, to rising talents TeiShi and Ian Isiah, Negro Swan looks unflinchingly at black and queer life—its traumas, its tensions, its passions. And tucked somewhere within it all, is hope.

48. Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
81
4 reviews

The needle may keep moving for female country artists, but that’s of little concern to McBryde. She’s on a journey toward career longevity and Nowhere is her confident and solid first step.

47. Flasher - Constant Image

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

46. Phosphorescent - C'est La Vie

October 5, 2018
Critic Score
75
19 reviews

His fine-grit tenor is still perfectly raspy, and his songs still hang effortlessly near the border between barstool country and warm-glow pop, with Houck’s experimental streak interloping into both territories. This is still Phosphorescent. It’s just that the man behind the wheel is older and a little bit wiser these days.

43. Caroline Rose - Loner

February 23, 2018
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

She remains unafraid of singing about serious subjects (capitalism, sexism, death, etc.) but on LONER, she delivers it through a bold, candy-colored filter that’s always intriguing and often irresistible.

42. Bettye LaVette - Things Have Changed

Bettye LaVette - Things Have Changed
March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
6 reviews

41. Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss

October 5, 2018
Critic Score
79
16 reviews

Fans of Big Thief should latch on to this record as Lenker’s evocative storytelling, oneness with nature, unique vocal tones and her ability to arouse grandeur from the mundane are all apparent on this record.

38. Richard Swift - The Hex

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

37. Preoccupations - New Material

March 23, 2018
Critic Score
71
20 reviews

Examinations of creation, destruction and the ways that we often practice the two in vain have regularly been tethered to the Canadian post-punk band’s work—even going back to their days as Viet Cong. And while that’s quite a downcast undertaking, it’s one that goes hand-in-hand with Preoccupations’ dystopian-future-sounding music. With their third LP, New Material, they dive into it headlong, getting closer to Munro’s stated goal than ever before.

36. Lonnie Holley - MITH

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

35. I'm With Her - See You Around

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
75
5 reviews

34. DJ Koze - Knock Knock

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
83
20 reviews

33. Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything

Rosanne Cash - She Remembers Everything
November 2, 2018
Critic Score
78
3 reviews

32. Noname - Room 25

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

31. Neko Case - Hell-On

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

She’s like no one else, with an artistic vision that’s deeply rooted and clearly focused, and an adventurous compositional spirit that runs laps around most of her contemporaries. As a result, her catalog overflows with interesting and unconventional songs that nonetheless feel comforting and familiar. That’s a catalog worth celebrating, and Hell-On is a wonderful new chapter of Case’s career.

27. Ought - Room Inside the World

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

24. Iceage - Beyondless

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Iceage are plenty capable as musicians, and Rønnenfelt clearly has a lot to say as the frontman. But his diatribes would be more palatable with a little sweetener—after all, a refrain that sticks in your head seems more effective than lyrics that just hammer at your skull.

22. Big Red Machine - Big Red Machine

Big Red Machine - Big Red Machine
August 31, 2018
Critic Score
70
9 reviews

The themes running through Big Red Machine are rarely uplifting, but there’s unmistakable joy in the music here, a deep care and love for what they were creating and how they got to create it.

21. Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain

March 23, 2018
Critic Score
76
8 reviews

The Seattle singer spends much of May Your Kindness Remain exploring ideas of home and what it means to have roots, on 10 new tunes that are lusher and more expansive while leaving plenty of room to showcase her astonishing voice.

19. Robyn - Honey

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

Honey is a near-flawless dance pop album. It doesn’t need political or cultural commentary to assert relevancy; in Robyn’s deep understanding of human emotion and what moves us, Honey feels dire all the same.

18. Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
80
30 reviews

Tillman’s gift for melody and his penchant for droll, evocative lyrics pull these 10 songs back from the brink of morbidity.

17. MGMT - Little Dark Age

February 9, 2018
Critic Score
75
24 reviews

Working again with Dave Fridmann and with some key assists from likeminded popster Ariel Pink and MGMT touring member James Robinson, the album feels like it’s alternately melting and lifting, warming and woozy.

16. Sunflower Bean - Twentytwo in Blue

March 23, 2018
Critic Score
75
23 reviews

All in all, Twentytwo in Blue spills over with well-crafted songs and sumptuous performances.

15. The Decemberists - I'll Be Your Girl

March 16, 2018
Critic Score
67
21 reviews
The results are mostly successful; occasionally a strange sound seems shoehorned into a perfectly good Decemberists song.

13. U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
Rem is as mercurial as ever, shapeshifting her voice and the music surrounding it as easily as she switches characters.

12. Shame - Songs of Praise

January 12, 2018
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
What sets these lads apart is their beyond-their-years songwriting, riotous live shows (they were once fined for ripping a chandelier from the ceiling) and frontman Charlie Steen’s arresting vocals.

11. Amen Dunes - Freedom

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Even when he was obscured by the hiss and echo of his lo-fi beginnings, McMahon had the look of a fascinating songwriter. Freedom bears that out.

9. Low - Double Negative

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
21 reviews

8. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs

June 15, 2018
Critic Score
80
22 reviews
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have more tricks up their sleeves, it seems. For a debut, though, a couple tricks are enough, especially when you’ve already mastered them.

7. Pusha T - Daytona

May 25, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

6. Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews

Whether she’s singing about herself or creating stand-ins that feel just like real people, Be the Cowboy shows why she is fast making herself into one of the most interesting songwriters of her generation.

5. Snail Mail - Lush

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

Though the highs and lows of the album are subtle, Lush confirms what the Habit EP first introduced. Jordan is a definite talent. The songs illustrate a wise-beyond-years songwriting style, with none of the self-importance and indulgence that can come with more experience. Nothing feels trite or contrived.

4. Soccer Mommy - Clean

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

With Clean, she may have again left her bedroom for the studio, but her introspective and comfortably confessional lyrics maintain their intimacy and diary-scrawl relatability.

1. Lucy Dacus - Historian

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

It’s a rare artist who has a voice so compelling, and rarer still are the ones who learn so early on how to use it. At 23, Dacus has already made a career album with Historian, and she’s really only just getting started.

Original Source: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/11/the-50-best-albums-of-2018.html
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