AOTY 2018
Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2018

Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2018

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50. Cat Power - Wanderer

October 5, 2018
Critic Score
76
30 reviews

Wanderer is neither as harrowing as Moon Pix nor as kaleidoscopic as Sun, but it shows a mature artist who rides the waves of tumultuous experience — no less excellent for containing her multitudes.

49. Superorganism - Superorganism

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
73
21 reviews
This LP is loud, clanging, and communal, but also, in its own way, dreamlike. There’s something warped at the core of these songs, as if they’ve been yanked through some kind of wormhole and have reemerged into our world as aliens. And, for the most part, that makes for some fascinating listening.

48. Lykke Li - so sad so sexy

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
69
28 reviews

Although the trap-influenced style wears thin at times, so sad so sexy is a superb reinvention of Lykke Li.

46. Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin

January 26, 2018
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
On his latest (and longest) record, indefatigable rock-god-in-waiting Ty Segall beefs up his sound with a brass section while giving himself over to a bout of anything-goes creativity that hits way more than it misses.

45. Denzel Curry - TA13OO

July 27, 2018
Critic Score
82
7 reviews

44. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Sparkle Hard

May 18, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

After 17 years as a solo artist, Stephen Malkmus still has the ability to delight, if perhaps not outright surprise, his audience. Sparkle Hard is at once his most sonically adventurous and structurally tight set of music in over a decade and easily stands among his most rewarding work with the Jicks.

43. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now

October 12, 2018
Critic Score
75
10 reviews

His ability to shape-shift in and out of genres wide and far still gives his new material a bit of intrigue. Look Now is another solid entry into an already healthy and vital body of work.

42. Beach House - 7

May 11, 2018
Critic Score
81
31 reviews
By retooling their sound and shaking off any complacency that may have settled in, Beach House make their claim as one of the preeminent indie rock bands of the decade.

41. Joey Purp - QUARTERTHING

September 7, 2018
Critic Score
81
4 reviews

40. Jeff Tweedy - WARM

November 30, 2018
Critic Score
81
21 reviews

Jeff Tweedy has long grown into his standing as one of rock music’s most innovative songwriters, which might make WARM’s more stripped-down and folksier approach somewhat surprising. But this isn’t the sound of regression. Instead, it’s the work of a seasoned songwriter proving that he’s as good at penning powerful, personal songs in a traditional vein as he is layering records with bells and whistles.

39. Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

Age Of is easily Lopatin’s most ambitious album. The composer has always combined highbrow and lowbrow art in a way that utilizes the former to validate the latter, and Age Of continues showing that true art shouldn’t have either boundary.

38. Lily Allen - No Shame

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
72
22 reviews

With No Shame, Allen has eschewed making an Irish exit from her days as a party girl and instead delivered a eulogy that gracefully buries the past while continuing to seek the sunshine of the future.

37. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar

March 9, 2018
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

36. Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
11 reviews

Fans hoping for a repeat of the accessibility and groove of the self-titled album or the spasticity and rawness of earlier albums might be disappointed, but You Won’t Get What You Want is a brave and excellent addition to Daughters’ discography.

35. Colin Stetson - Hereditary

Colin Stetson - Hereditary
June 8, 2018
Critic Score
77
6 reviews

34. Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

January 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

33. Tash Sultana - Flow State

Tash Sultana - Flow State
August 31, 2018
Critic Score
73
4 reviews

This is great pop music with an edge, a record full of good vibes and bad attitude that somehow manages to work everything out splendidly.

32. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

Rock music has a bad habit of looking backwards, and the same can be said of Car Seat Headrest’s Twin Fantasy. But this album flips that rearview gaze on its head, suggesting that the past may well contain new and exciting paths forward. It’s a neat inversion that yields some of the most thrillingly ambitious indie rock compositions of this decade, though one that occasionally exhausts the listener into submission.

31. Aphex Twin - Collapse EP

Aphex Twin - Collapse EP
September 14, 2018
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

It may feel like he is on cruise control a bit, but James’ coasting is any other artist’s magnum opus.

30. Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

July 13, 2018
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love has moving, emotional pieces and sharp performances bolstered by a band clearly stretching out of its comfort zone successfully. The album is a refreshing new shade of their sound without abandoning the band’s core mechanics.

29. Dave East - P2

Dave East - P2
January 16, 2018
Critic Score
80
4 reviews

Decidedly less commercial than its immediate predecessor, Paranoia 2 returns to the Kairi Chanel mixtape vibe that initially endeared him to lyrically minded hip-hop heads.

28. Behemoth - I Loved You at Your Darkest

October 5, 2018
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

I Loved You At Your Darkest is another strong addition to Behemoth’s remarkable run, which has now lasted more than a quarter century. It reveals some welcome growth within a subgenre of heavy music that has often been resistant to evolution.

27. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

May 18, 2018
Critic Score
80
30 reviews

As expected, Tell Me How You Really Feel still finds Barnett writing “Courtney Barnett” songs, but there’s an unmistakable growth in the Aussie’s compositions.

26. The Internet - Hive Mind

July 20, 2018
Critic Score
81
29 reviews

They best the previous effort with full-bodied production and cleaner, more-focused writing.

25. Julia Holter - Aviary

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

Aviary benefits from its overlong sprawl, a testament to the art of slowing down and getting lost in a challenging album that has been forgotten in the age of streaming where new releases inundate with their frequency.

24. A$AP Rocky - Testing

A$AP Rocky - Testing
May 25, 2018
Critic Score
66
12 reviews

Testing is loud, frenetic, spastic, and about as vibrant as rap can be. The songs are busy, crowded with radiant instrumentation and stacked vocals, and rarely take time to breathe. It’s a welcome addition to a genre that has become so occupied with spacey, bare-bones operations and overly simplistic results.

23. Troye Sivan - Bloom

August 31, 2018
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

Bloom is a fun record, dreamy and vulnerable and urgently horny.

22. Snail Mail - Lush

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

Lush is one of the most engaging and relatable indie rock debuts in quite some time.

21. Vince Staples - FM!

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

FM! features the rapper in his raw form and representing his love for the west coast.

19. The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

November 30, 2018
Critic Score
82
28 reviews
The 1975 don’t presume to have all the answers, but their sincerity and vulnerability make for a tremendous record that speaks to the state we live in. It’s their best work yet.

18. Noname - Room 25

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

The pleasure of Room 25 is in hearing a master wordsmith turn words into feelings so that the feelings linger long after the words have stopped.

16. Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album

February 9, 2018
Critic Score
77
15 reviews

Though informed by the blaxploitation soundtracks of the ‘70s and the label-driven hip-hop soundtracks of the ‘90s, Black Panther: The Album is very much of its time: a well-produced and incredibly cohesive album with the loose swagger of a curated playlist.

15. Brockhampton - iridescence

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
82
15 reviews

Iridescence is full-to-bursting; it’s like almost eating too much food, almost drinking too much booze; it’s getting close to too much, and still asking for more.

14. Blood Orange - Negro Swan

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

Though nothing from the album may ever get played in a ballroom, Negro Swan is a grand work that gives credit to the pioneers of the culture while building a path forward within that framework, placing Hynes firmly in the canon as one of the most insightful musicians of his generation.

13. YOB - Our Raw Heart

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
83
9 reviews

12. Robyn - Honey

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
No, it’s not a driving album, but it sure as hell is an album for walking around your city alone with headphones on or for cooking dinner and suddenly realizing you’ve got goosebumps and your fingers are trembling.

11. Kali Uchis - Isolation

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
85
20 reviews

Uchis builds off a classic foundation of soul, R&B, funk, and blues, bursting outward in dozens of innovative contemporary directions. On Isolation, she never sounds trapped in another era; she sounds free and inventive.

10. Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt

September 7, 2018
Critic Score
80
24 reviews
Spiritualized has added yet another chapter to its wild, dreamlike musical legacy, proving that rock isn’t dead and that maybe everyone else just isn’t trying enough.

9. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Musgraves hits one high note after another on Golden Hour; her talent as a songwriter and melody-maker is second to none, and each song is thoughtful, well-formed, and a delightful experience on its own.

8. Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

On Invasion of Privacy, she breezes past the challenge of a highly anticipated debut by making one of the most exciting rap albums in years.

7. boygenius - boygenius EP

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

Within such a short span of time, boygenius manages to cover universal experiences of insecurity and perpetual, sometimes funny sadness, along with more individual situations like the instability of touring, all with the same specificity, cleverness, and dreamlike melodies that could not have come from anyone else, nor could it have come from these musicians individually.

6. Christine and the Queens - Chris

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
86
27 reviews

It’s groovy and funky and sultry, and it takes things seriously while still being joyful. It encourages freedom of form, in the sense of both body and art.

5. Pusha T - Daytona

May 25, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews
Only seven tracks long, coke rap’s poet laureate continues to amaze with age as he pontificates on the hustle and grind.

4. Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

June 22, 2018
Critic Score
83
25 reviews

After claiming his place in the spotlight by overwhelming force with The Epic, Kamasi Washington capitalizes on both his newfound fame and his journeyman work ethic to produce a follow-up that’s more intimate and just as daring at the same time.

3. Saba - Care for Me

April 5, 2018
Critic Score
85
9 reviews

At 10 breezy tracks, Care for Me isn’t just a collection of songs; it’s an honest-to-god album that develops ideas at its own pace.

2. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

April 27, 2018
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Monáe is, as always, a true master of melding genres, influences, and styles. Her central themes of identity and internal conflict are as tangible on Dirty Computer as they ever have been.

1. Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews

On a songwriting level, Mitski — already established as a top-tier songwriter — has outdone herself on Be the Cowboy. The album is full of constructions that are simple, bold, sharp, and generous. She wastes not a single second, every moment is intentional, every instrument employed for a purpose.

Original Source: https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/12/top-50-albums-of-2018/
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