AOTY 2018
AllMusic's Best Albums of 2018

AllMusic's Best Albums of 2018

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Alice Bag - Blueprint

March 23, 2018
Critic Score
79
4 reviews

Ariana Grande - Sweetener

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

An album that coheres in a way other Ariana Grande albums don't, which means Sweetener is something of a double triumph: she's come through a tough time stronger and better than before.

Ashley Monroe - Sparrow

Ashley Monroe - Sparrow
April 20, 2018
Critic Score
82
7 reviews

More than anything, Sparrow is sharply constructed as an album, setting a mood with its first song and then finding variations on this lush, enveloping sound. It's a record designed for late nights, whether those nights are lonely or romantic.

Autechre - NTS Sessions 1-4

April 26, 2018
Critic Score
89
4 reviews

Billy F Gibbons - The Big Bad Blues

Billy F Gibbons - The Big Bad Blues
September 21, 2018
Critic Score
75
3 reviews

Blood Orange - Negro Swan

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

Negro Swan sonically is as fluid as it is fragmented, synthesizing and bounding between bedsit post-punk, desolate dream pop, chillwave-coated quiet storm, and low-profile hip-hop soul.

Christine and the Queens - Chris

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
86
27 reviews

As she examines what masculinity, femininity, strength, and vulnerability mean to her, Christine has never sounded more exposed -- or in control. A triumph, Chris reaffirms just how masterfully she engages minds, hearts, and bodies.

Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

Profoundly authentic, nostalgic, and graceful throughout, The Horizon Just Laughed does nothing less than reaffirm that Jurado is one of the best songwriters in the business.

Draco Rosa - Monte Sagrado

Draco Rosa - Monte Sagrado
October 26, 2018
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

Field Music - Open Here

February 2, 2018
Critic Score
78
16 reviews

It's rare for a band so far into its career to make an album that can still surprise listeners as the group gleefully makes its way from beginning to end. Field Music are masters of that neat trick, and Open Here is no exception. It stands with their best work -- some songs would no doubt end up on a greatest-hits collection -- and in that regard is some of the best pop music anyone could hope to hear in 2018 or any time after.

Fred Thomas - Aftering

Fred Thomas - Aftering
September 14, 2018
Critic Score
75
4 reviews

Ghost - Prequelle

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

On Prequelle, Ghost deliver fully on the promises of earlier records. Their strengths --including one for imitation -- are fully assembled and focused in an exercise of irresistible arena rock excess without sounding like a pastiche.

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

April 27, 2018
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

While this is easily the most loaded Monáe album in terms of guests ... there's no doubt that it's a Wondaland product. It demonstrates that artful resistance and pop music are not mutually exclusive.

Jon Hopkins - Singularity

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

As striking as Immunity was, Singularity feels more developed, and it's ultimately a tough call as to which album is more exciting.

Julia Holter - Aviary

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

On Aviary, Holter answers the chaos of 21st century life by following her bliss; the results are a constellation of moments that celebrate the fullness of her music and, as always, make for fascinating listening.

Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Previously, her cleverness was her strong suit, but on Golden Hour, she benefits from being direct, especially since this frankness anchors an album that sounds sweetly blissful, turning this record the best kind of comfort: it soothes but is also a source of sustenance.

Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
81
10 reviews

Childqueen is a substantial accomplishment for Bonet, a cut above her debut, exceptional for 2018 or whatever year in which it takes place.

Kali Uchis - Isolation

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
85
20 reviews
More defined and energized than her previous mixtape and EP, the album enables her to fully exhibit her way with words and melodies, whether she's engaging in tropical gangsterism, avowing self-reliance, aching for a romantic getaway, cutting off a hanger-on, or bemoaning domestic minor sex trafficking.

Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

June 22, 2018
Critic Score
83
25 reviews

Heaven and Earth is more a refinement of the ideas expressed on The Epic than an entirely new paradigm.

Kids See Ghosts - KIDS SEE GHOSTS

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

Kids See Ghosts is everything Ye wasn't, delivering a worthwhile listen in spite of the extended PR disaster that preceded its release. With Cudi as the yang to West's yin, the pair inch closer to finding peace and a light in the darkness.

Lotic - Power

July 13, 2018
Critic Score
78
16 reviews
Ultimately, the album's message is one of fearlessness and self-empowerment, and it's the most inspiring work Lotic has crafted.

Low Cut Connie - Dirty Pictures (Part 2)

Low Cut Connie - Dirty Pictures (Part 2)
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
85
4 reviews
All the songs may be good, but they're given life by a group that has been broken in by endless dates on the road, a difference that helps turn Weiner's best set of songs into Low Cut Connie's best album.

Luluc - Sculptor

Luluc - Sculptor
July 13, 2018
Critic Score
73
9 reviews
Employing a handful of tasteful collaborators ... Randall and Hassett have made a record that boldly turns a corner while still slotting neatly into their already sterling catalog.

Melody's Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage

June 15, 2018
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

She's made giant leaps as a singer, songwriter, and musical director, and Bon Voyage shows that Melody's Echo Chamber is far from being just a Kevin Parker creation. Prochet's vision is her own, and it's strong enough here to fly free of any and all constraints.

Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews

In the end, rather than being a disappointment, Be the Cowboy's point of view provides a brilliant twist, one that channels all the unease, unpredictability, and intuitiveness of Mitski's previous work -- even for those who don't take in the lyrics.

Mount Eerie - Now Only

March 16, 2018
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

While Elverum maintains A Crow Looked at Me's stripped-down, vérité style of singing and playing, his artistry is more apparent on Now Only.

Neko Case - Hell-On

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

With Hell-On, Case has once again given herself an ideal showcase for her talents as a vocalist, songwriter, and producer; it's lush but intimate, and one of the strongest and most satisfying records she's delivered to date. Which, given her catalog, says a great deal.

Noname - Room 25

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

Even if its point is to defy easy categorization, it's not difficult to call an album as multi-layered and fascinating as Age Of a landmark work.

Ovlov - Tru

Ovlov - Tru
July 20, 2018
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

Ovlov started strong with Am; with TRU they have made good on all that promise and released the kind of breathtakingly great record most bands can only dream about making.

Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
82
6 reviews
What makes Interstate Gospel so invigorating is hearing how Lambert, Monroe, and Presley mesh as both songwriters and singers. Their time apart has only strengthened their bond, resulting in a fully realized and resonant record that is their best to date.

Robyn - Honey

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

The eight years between Body Talk and this album would be a lifetime for almost any artist, and several lifetimes for a female pop star, whose career longevity isn't usually measured in decades. However, Robyn continues to make the trends instead of following them, and with Honey, she enters her forties with some of her most emotionally satisfying and musically innovative music.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs

June 15, 2018
Critic Score
80
22 reviews
It's a small-scale triumph of hooks and guitars from a band whose members have figured it all out and delivered a debut album that comes as close to perfect as any guitar pop album can.

Rosalía - El Mal Querer

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
86
5 reviews

There is as much subtlety in both the compositions and production as there is drama, all of it imbued with restless soul via Rosalía's singular voice that marries the folk lineage of flamenco to 21st century styles and sounds, making El Mal Querer not only a provocative and original offering, but a magnificent one as well.

Shopping - The Official Body

January 19, 2018
Critic Score
72
17 reviews

In the hands of queer artists of color like Shopping, post-punk's outsider status is much more than an aesthetic choice, and The Official Body is a frequently dazzling example of how resistance can be fortifying and even fun.

Shy Layers - Midnight Marker

Shy Layers - Midnight Marker
May 25, 2018
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

Your Queen Is a Reptile is easily Sons of Kemet's most compelling outing. It offers inspired stylistic contrasts, canny improvisation, and killer charts. It's tight, furious, joyous, and inspirational.

SOPHIE - OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES

June 15, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

While SOPHIE's music has never been simple, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides' complexities and transformations make it a remarkable debut album that reveals more with each listen.

Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

What a Time to Be Alive is the work of a vital band making music that needs to be made right now. They wrap their hard-won wisdom in urgent punk anthems and deliver their pop songs with an electric punch. It is desperate, important, and powerful music and it might just be the best album they've ever made.

Superorganism - Superorganism

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
73
21 reviews

Despite the somewhat cluttered and freewheeling exterior, it's clear that Superorganism know exactly what they are doing at all times, slicing and dicing like master chefs, then reassembling the bits and bobs of pop ephemera into a concoction that has a sugary kick sweeter and fizzier than an ice-cold cola.

The Orielles - Silver Dollar Moment

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
77
12 reviews

Silver Dollar Moment is a stunning debut, and if it doesn't quite reinvent the wheel the way that The Stone Roses did, it does have a uniquely sweet spirit and lighthearted beauty all its own.

Travis Scott - ASTROWORLD

August 3, 2018
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

Astroworld undoubtedly feels more like a spectacle than did Birds in the Trap.

Vince Staples - FM!

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

Despite FM!'s brevity, Staples jams so much into every bar that it fully satiates, all while still managing to end so abruptly that it comes as a surprise. The electrifying thrill of FM! is a triumph for the rapper who remains at the top of his game.

Virginia Wing - Ecstatic Arrow

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
83
7 reviews

Equally soothing and exciting, heartfelt and innovative, Ecstatic Arrow is Virginia Wing's finest work yet.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Dirt

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Dirt
March 23, 2018
Critic Score
80
5 reviews

Dirt is a gem that defies simple genre categorization, a peak in the Yamantaka // Sonic Titan catalog that is not to be missed.

YOB - Our Raw Heart

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
83
9 reviews
These seven songs -- totaling some 73 minutes -- are some of the most trying and beautiful material to emerge from extreme music in some time. This is doom metal possessed of hope, but it's still write large with damaging guitar riffs, pummeling bass throb, and thundering drums that stretch the metal subgenre to the breaking point.
Original Source: https://www.allmusic.com/year-in-review/2018
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