PopMatters' 70 Best Albums of 2018

PopMatters' 70 Best Albums of 2018

Original Source →

69. Ghost - Prequelle

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
78
10 reviews
Underneath the catchy melodies and snazzy artwork, Forge and his band have created one of the cleverest heavy metal records in recent memory.

68. Kyle Craft - Full Circle Nightmare

Kyle Craft - Full Circle Nightmare
February 2, 2018
Critic Score
68
8 reviews
It comes across as a fitting time capsule to another era, despite having been created in this decade. Kyle Craft – one of the most interesting and talented new artists of the last several years - makes that kind of retro/analog musical journey seem natural and not the least bit contrived – a tough act to pull off in today's somewhat self-conscious musical climate.

67. Tracey Thorn - Record

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
75
15 reviews
Most of the time, the results are poignant, and sometimes they are stunning.

66. Dilly Dally - Heaven

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

64. Florence + The Machine - High as Hope

June 29, 2018
Critic Score
75
29 reviews

High as Hope dials down Florence and the Machine's trademark theatrics to forge a vulnerable and visceral musical achievement.

62. Pusha T - Daytona

May 25, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

It may not be the most uplifting album of the year. It may not be the most woke album of the year. But nothing is going to touch the "YUGH" factor of DAYTONA this year.

61. Gwenno - Le Kov

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
14 reviews

60. David Byrne - American Utopia

March 9, 2018
Critic Score
70
29 reviews

59. Natalie Prass - The Future and the Past

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
She uses strong R&B arrangements to create beats that evoke one's physicality. Prass might be singing about a higher love, but it's one whose corporeal interactions raise the body and the soul.

55. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 - Black Times

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 - Black Times
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
75
7 reviews
Seun Kuti has inherited not only the lyrical heft of his father's legacy but also – thankfully - the musical stylings. It's a breathless, topical, danceable ride, and an important chapter in the annals of art as protest.

53. Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
80
30 reviews

Forgoing the epic sweep of his previous album, Father John Misty takes things down a notch, but still delivers a beautiful, unique album.

52. Field Music - Open Here

February 2, 2018
Critic Score
78
16 reviews

51. DJ Koze - Knock Knock

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
83
20 reviews
Koze's commitment to avoiding easy four-on-the-floor dance music, his unwillingness to whack at synth pads for an hour and call it an experimental ambient album, is commendable. It aims for the head more than it does the heart, and that's fine. It's an approach that makes it an easy album to appreciate, even if it is tremendously difficult to love.

50. Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

January 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

Jeff Rosenstock's POST- is a frustrating, yet important, journey into American society to be sure, but its eventual optimism makes it worth remembering in the current soundtrack of our country trying to make a change.

49. Fatoumata Diawara - Fenfo (Something To Say)

May 18, 2018
Critic Score
83
3 reviews

Fatoumata Diawara's know-how, musicality, and sense of self all come together, and Fenfo proves her to be one of the most dynamic voices in Afropop today.

48. OKZharp & Manthe Ribane - Closer Apart

OKZharp & Manthe Ribane - Closer Apart
July 6, 2018
Critic Score
66
4 reviews

47. Jon Hopkins - Singularity

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Hopkins weaves a thematic consciousness throughout each song on Singularity and, rather astonishingly, manages to intensify the listening experience to evoke the euphoria and vivid awareness of a psychedelic experience.

46. Ariana Grande - Sweetener

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

45. CHVRCHES - Love is Dead

May 25, 2018
Critic Score
71
26 reviews

Love Is Dead is not a bad album, it's just that this felt like CHVRCHES' time for a great one. Love Is Dead is not that, either.

42. Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
81
20 reviews
Whatever it is that attracts us to blunt, vengeful gangsta rap, Cardi B has perfected it here.

41. Kelly Moran - Ultraviolet

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Ultraviolet sees Moran attempting to find the place where opposing forces converge. Starting from a minimal perspective, with a solitary piano as the main guide through this journey, she can awaken a pronounced ethereal and light characteristic, but further infuse it with a darker element.

40. Jorja Smith - Lost & Found

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
77
20 reviews

This is not a first album that sounds like a first album; it is a first album that sounds like it came from an artist who has been doing this for years and years, an artist who already has award shows and headlining tours in her rear view mirror. As such, it's hard to keep from seeing those things in Jorja Smith's future. Lost & Found is a revelation.

38. Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews

Mitski argues from the very first track "Geyser" to the end of Be the Cowboy that we are meant to be emotional people, although pent-up human emotions are never released as majestically as this electric explosion.

37. Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel

November 2, 2018
Critic Score
82
6 reviews

Pistol Annies offer hope through their heartbrokenness and comfort through community on their third album, Interstate Gospel.

36. Eartheater - IRISIRI

June 8, 2018
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
There always appears to be a certain playfulness when it comes to the progression and use of samples. That is not something that suggests this is an easy listening record, but it makes the album more personal and adventurous, and it is its most striking part.

35. Ital Tek - Bodied

September 7, 2018
Critic Score
79
5 reviews

34. Beach House - 7

May 11, 2018
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

33. I'm With Her - See You Around

February 16, 2018
Critic Score
75
5 reviews

32. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Years

April 6, 2018
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

Years is a compact, straight to the heart (and feet) record. Every song connects and no notes are wasted. It's a new country classic, plain and simple.

30. Benin City - Last Night

Benin City - Last Night
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

29. Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt

September 7, 2018
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

And Nothing Hurt is a remarkably efficient record, a concise display of Pierce's songwriting, a kind of greatest hits of the greatest merits of Spiritualized.

28. Tim Hecker - Konoyo

September 28, 2018
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

While carrying over many of the practices of his previous record, Tim Hecker shifts his perspective away from the dreamscapes of Love Streams and explores a darker spiritual realm on Konoyo.

27. boygenius - boygenius EP

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

The boygenius EP marks a stunning release from three singular artists. Hearing them integrate their particular gifts would be worth a listen alone, but the performances are so remarkable that the disc's background becomes trivial.

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

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
86
11 reviews

Considering the band's output so far, You Won't Get What You Want is the perfect return for Daughters. While aspects of the band's creative vision have been altered and their sound has further evolved, the core elements remain intact.

25. Neko Case - Hell-On

June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

If we're going to rank Neko Case albums, then Hell-On might not be at the very top of the list. But Case is always a fascinating singer and songwriter and that is still in effect here.

24. Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

June 22, 2018
Critic Score
83
25 reviews
There is a wealth of ideas on the table here. It takes a musician, composer, and arranger of Washington's caliber to take these ideas and form them into a brilliant collection of performances. Kamasi Washington is jazz music's brightest light – may he continue to burn for a long, long time.

23. Lonnie Holley - MITH

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

22. Low - Double Negative

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
21 reviews

Double Negative sees Low continue their tradition of producing highly emotional music and delivers their most powerful, direct, and moving work yet.

21. Vessel - Queen of Golden Dogs

November 9, 2018
Critic Score
79
10 reviews
While past projects painted bleak landscapes, the latest opus pours copious amounts of over-saturated colors to swatch luscious scenes.
Original Source: https://www.popmatters.com/best-albums-of-2018-2622492661.html
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