AOTY 2019
Spectrum Culture's 20 Albums of 2018

Spectrum Culture's 20 Albums of 2018

Original Source →

20. Lucy Dacus - Historian

March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

This is such a strong follow-up statement that it renders even the slightest hint of the proverbial “sophomore slump” null and void. Historian is one of the first truly great albums of 2018.

20. Lonnie Holley - MITH

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

19. Yves Tumor - Safe in the Hands of Love

September 5, 2018
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

Bowie often works best through subtlety, and that strength is not particularly amplified on Safe in The Hands of Love.

18. Christine and the Queens - Chris

September 21, 2018
Critic Score
86
29 reviews

Her metaphors blur the line between dancing to records and the act of love-making as great disco songs wont to do. Letissier sounds the freest and more importantly herself as she sings and struts to her favorite beat.

17. Tierra Whack - Whack World

May 30, 2018
Critic Score
79
5 reviews

This is the rare project that’s truly unmoored from genre.

16. Beach House - 7

May 11, 2018
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

Teen Dream and Bloom will likely always remain the pair’s canonical entries, but by some margin, this is their most accomplished record to date and the latest proof that Beach House will go down as the finest, boldest and most singular dream pop act since the Cocteau Twins.

15. J Mascis - Elastic Days

J Mascis - Elastic Days
November 9, 2018
Critic Score
74
17 reviews

Elastic Days is an album of eloquent simplicity, full of quiet moments that leave a mark on the listener even at their most discreet and unobtrusive, moments that offer a great measure of solace even at their most restlessly self-doubting.

14. Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs

November 30, 2018
Critic Score
83
19 reviews

It’s impossible to say where Earl is mentally after Some Rap Songs. This was obviously a document of catharsis and exploration, diving into his own artistic and troubled genetics. But musically, he’s created the most captivating album of his career.

13. The Internet - Hive Mind

July 20, 2018
Critic Score
81
29 reviews

From the music to the singing, Hive Mind can get too comfortable for its own good.

12. Ariana Grande - Sweetener

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
75
22 reviews
This is the rare pop album where the filler is more interesting than the singles. There’s not a lot here that really feels extraneous.

10. Mitski - Be the Cowboy

August 17, 2018
Critic Score
84
32 reviews

After Puberty 2 saw her blossom into one of the indie scene’s brightest talents, the singer-songwriter pares back that album’s ambitious sweep with the compact Be the Cowboy, a half-hour record that condenses her firm grasp of youthful angst, longing and spite into bite-sized nuggets that could have soundtracked a bitter alternate universe of classic AM radio.

9. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Musgraves has always sounded like someone who simply does her own thing. Golden Hour is the latest incarnation of that, a welcoming treat mostly driven by calm reflection with different packaging for her perceptivity.

6. Blood Orange - Negro Swan

August 24, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

Hynes is personal, searing and close to the bone on Negro Swan, easily making it the most exceptional record of his career thus far.

5. Robyn - Honey

October 26, 2018
Critic Score
87
24 reviews

4. Pusha T - Daytona

May 25, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

Throughout Daytona’s seven songs, there’s a refinement to his on-wax aura, presenting himself as an older, sager throwback in a world full of Lil Yachtys.

3. Low - Double Negative

September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
22 reviews

Considering the trying times we live in, it’s inspiring that Low have managed to cope by learning how to fully – and artfully – embrace their inner austerity and hopelessness.

2. DJ Koze - Knock Knock

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
83
20 reviews

The effusive sense of joy that pervades Knock Knock wouldn’t be possible without such a deft hand at the turntables and whoopee cushions.

1. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

April 27, 2018
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Dirty Computer may be the natural climax that started with cyborgs and wolfmasters and robot-human love, and it certainly makes for a stunning moment within the context of Monáe’s previous work. It also stands as an important political-cultural document. Fortunately, it’s also a very good record.

Original Source: https://spectrumculture.com/2018/12/13/top-20-albums-of-2018/
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