AOTY 2018
The Line of Best Fit's Best Albums of 2018

The Line of Best Fit's Best Albums of 2018

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50. David Byrne - American Utopia

March 9, 2018
Critic Score
70
29 reviews

As recently as his last record – Love This Giant with St. Vincent – he produced a glorious, real masterpiece. So, strangely, this is just business as usual for a man who, at this stage, would find it impossible to make anything less than amazing. Long may he continue.

49. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

April 27, 2018
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
Given the switch in tone, it feels like Monae is more comfortable in her skin and her sound, but is this a good thing for the music?

48. Lucy Dacus - Historian

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

As impressive as No Burden was on its own merits, independent of and regardless of its creator’s youth, inexperience, and slapdash conception, Historian is a monolith of American songwriting. Lucy Dacus strikes peerlessly at the core of our emotions at once with wit and gravity, loftiness and plain-spokenness.

47. Gaika - Basic Volume

July 27, 2018
Critic Score
76
10 reviews
Gaika is not just the artist we want, but the artist society desperately needs.

46. Tove Styrke - Sway

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
85
3 reviews

45. Kurt Vile - Bottle It In

October 12, 2018
Critic Score
74
28 reviews

Depending on your taste, and depending on how you like your Vile, this could be his best record in ages, or you could be a tad put off by the spaced-out, long-winded nature of it.

44. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

May 18, 2018
Critic Score
80
30 reviews
There are no easy answers, not for the listener to unwrap, and not even for Barnett herself - but that's never what was on offer. What Barnett does offer with her second record is a deep breath of fresh air, a pause for thought wrapped up in distortion and fuzzed up refrains.

43. John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

June 29, 2018
Critic Score
88
7 reviews

It’s a most welcome and inevitably stunning missing chapter from one of jazz’s finest quartet.

42. How to Dress Well - The Anteroom

How to Dress Well - The Anteroom
October 19, 2018
Critic Score
72
11 reviews

The Anteroom is often a challenging listen. Its constantly adapting sonic landscapes are fitting for an urgent political and ecological moment.

41. AURORA - Infections Of A Different Kind - Step I

AURORA - Infections Of A Different Kind - Step I
September 28, 2018
Critic Score
90
1 review

In Infections..., AURORA has crafted a uniquely textured and markedly positive response to troubling times.

40. Noname - Room 25

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

39. Neko Case - Hell-On

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

As Neko Case gets older, her songwriting and overall musicianship have no intention of plateauing. Instead, they grow with her, and the end result is always something organic and strangely beautiful.

38. Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
OPN’s latest long-play is just as much a satisfying experience as it is at times unsettling and disorienting, by the end you do actually feel like you’ve been told a story.

37. Ólafur Arnalds - re:member

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
75
7 reviews

Ultimately, Re:member succeeds through the brilliance of its composer’s craftsmanship. The technological advances incorporated are, if not incidental, then very much secondary to an outstandingly humane creativity so consistently in evidence here.

36. Dream Wife - Dream Wife

January 26, 2018
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
Here to prove that guitar music isn’t quite bereft of life, Icelandic-Brightonian trio Dream Wife deliver their debut full-length, a punk-punched festival of empowerment ablaze with brash bangers fit for the indie disco.

35. boygenius - boygenius EP

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

34. Years & Years - Palo Santo

July 6, 2018
Critic Score
85
14 reviews

An album that sees Years & Years revisit the musical, lyrical and aesthetic concerns of their debut and refresh them with unprecedented confidence and self-knowledge.

33. Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
67
13 reviews

These young Mancunians have perfected what makes pop such an addictive, essential genre, and My Mind Makes Noises is both immediate and idiosyncratic. Pale Waves’ presence may be gloomy, but their songwriting and ambition could not be brighter.

32. 6LACK - East Atlanta Love Letter

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
70
6 reviews

With East Atlanta Love Letter, the artist has trumped his opponents and influences with a fragile grace and solid talent for songwriting, echoing that of our most decorated balladeers.

30. Soccer Mommy - Clean

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Clean showcases what it is to be stuck in a quicksand of self-loathing, and have it stop you from seeing your own accomplishments and more importantly, being proud of them. If Allison isn’t already chuffed with this debut, she should be.

29. Amen Dunes - Freedom

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Songs of innocence and experience make Amen Dunes’ Freedom a devastating listen.

28. Hinds - I Don't Run

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

I Don’t Run is cut from precisely the same musical cloth as Leave Me Alone, all languid vocal takes, chirpy lo-fi guitars and scratchy production. The overall feel of it, though, is different, and sounds every inch the work of a band who came off the road not worn out and ready for a break, but itching to dive back into writing whilst the engine was still running.

27. Kids See Ghosts - KIDS SEE GHOSTS

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews
With a great collaborator at his side and an audibly more measured compositional approach, the third in Kanye West’s seven-track album trilogy is the finest yet.

26. Troye Sivan - Bloom

August 31, 2018
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

Bloom is an exceptional pop album, but maybe more importantly it’s a beacon for queer people who struggle to reconcile our neuroses – societal and personal – with our potential for joy and love.

25. The Internet - Hive Mind

July 20, 2018
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
It all results in a moreish stew of hazy, swooning R&B that’s practically impossible to resist.

24. Tomberlin - At Weddings

August 10, 2018
Critic Score
81
14 reviews

On her resoundingly beautiful debut At Weddings, Tomberlin charts an adolescence and young adulthood spent casting off the confinements of youth.

23. Nao - Saturn

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
80
12 reviews

A powerful documentation of letting relationships, jobs and regrets go, Saturn is an emotional journey through struggle and empowerment, through loss and rebirth.

22. Snail Mail - Lush

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

At its core, Lush is partly a remarkable debut, for the solid shape it's delivered in, mostly cohesive, conceptually speaking, but it's true that the cohesiveness of Lush lacks any true dichotomy to "spice" up the album.

21. Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

June 22, 2018
Critic Score
83
25 reviews
This is a record that throbs and vibrates with an infectious pulse even when the instrumentalists aim for the outer reaches of lightning-speed look-at-me flurries of virtuoso showing-off.

20. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

May 11, 2018
Critic Score
69
31 reviews

Despite the huge burden of expectation, Turner and co. sound cocksure on TBH&C. Sadly, this doesn’t equate to anything resembling brilliance.

19. Jorja Smith - Lost & Found

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
Her debut is skilfully arranged so that most music fans will be able to unearth some element that they can relate to. Smith’s debut may cast the net wide, but she is an artist with ambition, who doesn’t want to be limited to one specific market. A multifaceted performer, her music reflects her personality.

18. Low - Double Negative

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
21 reviews
The album marks an extraordinary point in the trio’s career – an album rich in darkness and in texture, finding Low in experimental sublimity, further reminding us that their range has only gotten exceptionally larger and better over time.

17. Robyn - Honey

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

On first listen, the absence of a nihilistic mantra to grasp onto may disappoint fans, but the deceptively simple pleasures of Honey open up with each listen.

16. Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

The richness of the source material and the deftness of interplay of each member of the band ensures that Your Queen is a Reptile leaves you with a sense of having been a part of something truly special.

15. Blood Orange - Negro Swan

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

The past few years have seen Dev Hynes become one of the most prominent, important voices in pop. Negro Swan builds upon this legacy.

14. Christine and the Queens - Chris

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
86
27 reviews

Chris is the sound of an already accomplished artist pushing things even further, exploring new territories rather than resting on their laurels.

13. Ariana Grande - Sweetener

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

It does exactly what it says on the tin. Fifteen tracks that put a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.

12. Brockhampton - iridescence

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
82
15 reviews

Kevin Abstract is so often the mastermind, but on Iridescence, there’s no reliance on one member to take centre stage and in turn, some who were prone to lingering in the shadows have burst into the limelight.

11. Shame - Songs of Praise

January 12, 2018
Critic Score
82
20 reviews

Whip smart, furious and, most importantly, fun, Songs of Praise is the first essential album of 2018. And what an album it is.

9. Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears

June 29, 2018
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

Reflecting Walton and Hollingworth’s growth and maturation over a period of approximately two years, it is a creative and infectious record, which after repeat listens, moves from being intriguing to simply irresistible.

8. The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

November 30, 2018
Critic Score
82
28 reviews

Comparisons will be made to Radiohead’s OK Computer, another era-defining third album that examines the internet’s effects on our interpersonal lives. But A Brief Inquiry… actually resembles Kid A’s best two tracks, “How to Disappear Completely” and “Motion Picture Soundtrack” – music that wrenches magnificence from the barest bones of humanity. By interrogating the strategies we employ to keep on living in an impossible world, this astonishing album has become one.

7. Rosalía - El Mal Querer

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
86
5 reviews

6. Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

With the success that “Bodak Yellow” brought her, this album could have been filled with 13 carbon copies. But it isn’t; instead, Invasion of Privacy is filled with carefully crafted tracks which ably show her many sides. Cardi B knows who she is and where she came from and she isn’t trying to hide it from anyone.

5. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar

March 9, 2018
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

Although on initial listen, Cocoa Sugar appears a somewhat sparse and restrained affair, there is in fact little restraint to be found in the record’s emotional depth; and its ability to explore and convey a plethora of intangible human experiences.

4. Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance

August 31, 2018
Critic Score
88
23 reviews

Joy… delivers on the momentum that they have been building, and seizes a piece of the zeitgeist in the process.

3. SOPHIE - OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES

June 15, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

We wind up with an album much like its title; Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides is difficult to comprehend, and even knowing the meaning doesn’t make “I love every person’s insides” any less weird. But there always is a meaning, and that’s what makes SOPHIE vital as an artist.

2. Tirzah - Devotion

August 10, 2018
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Tirzah has made 11 raw, honest, and beautifully unusual pop songs that will remain with you whether you like it or not, bringing you back time and time again, motivated by your devotion to this record.

1. Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews
“Be the cowboy you wish to see in the world”. You may not see it emblazoned on a plane come election time, but it is the slogan that inspired Mitski’s fifth and most rewarding record yet.
Original Source: https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/features/listomania/best-albums-of-2018
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