Pitchfork's Best Rock Albums of 2018

Pitchfork's Best Rock Albums of 2018

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Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss
October 5, 2018
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

The latest album from the Big Thief singer evokes a singular, solitary chill. With a great imagination for melody, Lenker conjures a world of mingled trauma and love.

Amen Dunes - Freedom
March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
The widened scope of the music is matched by an increased vulnerability in McMahon’s voice, a tenderness that can imbue even his vaguest incantations with a cosmic tenderness.

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
May 11, 2018
Critic Score
72
38 reviews
Arctic Monkeys’ daring sixth album is a left-turn if ever there was one, but the way Alex Turner swaps witty sleaze for absurdist suave makes it a totally bemusing and fascinating listen.

Beach House - 7
May 11, 2018
Critic Score
81
33 reviews
Beach House remain masters of the indefinable and their seventh album is their heaviest and most immersive-sounding of their career.

boygenius - boygenius EP
October 26, 2018
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

For anyone still struggling to tell any woman with a guitar apart, the deft collaboration and complex collective songwriting on the boygenius EP is a great place to learn.

Camp Cope - How to Socialise & Make Friends
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
79
13 reviews
Camp Cope’s windswept punk feels both retro and right now, like Courtney Barnett covering Tigers Jaw covering Ani DiFranco.

Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
February 16, 2018
Critic Score
82
28 reviews
Will Toledo’s re-recorded version of an album originally released in 2011 speaks to his greatest gifts as a songwriter: wit, cynicism, and an eye for detail that captures teenaged desire and heartache.

Cat Power - Wanderer
October 5, 2018
Critic Score
77
33 reviews

On her first album in six years, Chan Marshall roams the many moods of her songwriting with a careful, soft-spoken power.

CHAI - Pink
October 25, 2017
Critic Score
76
5 reviews

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
81
40 reviews

Courtney Barnett’s second album is smaller, more introverted than her debut. It’s tentative but with a purpose, songs about what it means to not have—or need—the right words for everything.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now
October 12, 2018
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

As a collection of tunes, Look Now is a triumph for Costello, a showcase for how he can enliven a mastery of form with a dramatist’s eye. But as an album, Look Now is a success because of the Imposters.

Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
June 1, 2018
Critic Score
80
36 reviews

Josh Tillman is still self-absorbed. But his fourth full-length as Father John Misty exhibits a new sense of empathy and vulnerability while losing none of his wit.

Flasher - Constant Image
June 8, 2018
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

What’s surprising—and thrilling—about their debut full-length, Constant Image, is that its social commentary would have felt just as timely at any point in the past 30 years.

Forth Wanderers - Forth Wanderers
April 27, 2018
Critic Score
75
13 reviews
The heroes of ’90s indie rock haunt their music, but Forth Wanderers don’t seem interested in pure emulation: Their style feels unmannered; their tales of young-adult frustration would feel cutting and relatable in any decade.

Haley Heynderickx - I Need to Start a Garden
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

I Need to Start a Garden carves paths through loneliness and confesses long-harbored uncertainty, doing both with the acuity of someone comfortable enough to be honest about her doubts.

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

The album as a whole feels warmer, more spacious. The songs on Painted Shut were doled out like 10 fist-shaped car door dents, but Bark Your Head Off, Dog moves at an agitated hum.

Iceage - Beyondless
May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Beyondless sparkles like a champagne bottle smashed in slow motion.

Jeff Tweedy - WARM
November 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

Alive and inspired, WARM is a different type of reinvention—as daring as Wilco’s early landmarks but more subtle and sustainable. He’s not trying to break your heart. He just is.

Low - Double Negative
September 14, 2018
Critic Score
85
26 reviews
The austere trio has profoundly warped their slowcore sound to create an ambitious, modern wonder of an album, an exploration of the song as an imperfect conduit of feeling.

Lucy Dacus - Historian
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
21 reviews

As Historian adds new elements to Dacus’ music—strings, horns, vocal effects, and spoken word samples appear here alongside guitars, drums, and bass—it also finds the Virginia songwriter plumbing new thematic depths and broadening her stage.

Mitski - Be the Cowboy
August 17, 2018
Critic Score
85
35 reviews
These 14 complex compositions warp the pop textbook into something more knotty and internal, creating a unique zone where the 27-year old thrives: She’s never sounded so large, even in the record’s quietest moments.

Mount Eerie - Now Only
March 16, 2018
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

Now Only isn’t as easily categorized as its predecessor. These songs arrive with such urgency, such purpose, that it feels all-encompassing: part-memoir, part magnum opus.

Neko Case - Hell-On
June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
23 reviews

Hell-On is a record that can feel equally fragile and impenetrable, its songs like complex universes connected only by proximity.

No Age - Snares Like a Haircut
January 26, 2018
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

Their first album for Drag City after three on Sub Pop, Snares Like a Haircut is also No Age’s most dynamic collection by some margin—their version of a proper rock record. If its nervous system is running on hooks and speed, then its blood is sublime, sparkling noise and emotion.

Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

On their sixth album, Parquet Courts enlist Danger Mouse to produce an album of joyfully absurd, danceable rock music. It is straightforward but alien, simple but endlessly referential.

Shopping - The Official Body
January 19, 2018
Critic Score
73
18 reviews

The Official Body creates upbeat, transformative moments that strike a balance between a call to action and the thrill of a humid mosh pit.

Snail Mail - Lush
June 8, 2018
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

With Lush, Jordan earns her place as a leader in the next generation of indie rock, the ones who are keeping the genre’s honorable ideals alight while continuing to expand its purview beyond straight white dudes.

Soccer Mommy - Clean
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Still trading in piercing vulnerability, Clean is Allison’s excellent studio debut: a compact album of clear melodies, plainspoken lyrics, and the impossibly tangled logic of infatuation.

State Champion - Send Flowers
November 9, 2018
Critic Score
80
1 review

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Sparkle Hard
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Sparkle Hard is not ostensibly different than his last couple albums, but its arrival feels better timed—there’s been a hole in the market for indie-rock albums this impervious, compact, and good-natured.

The Breeders - All Nerve
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
28 reviews

The Breeders’ new album features their iconic Last Splash lineup. It is smoothly confident with many moments of bliss, even as the lyrics evoke isolation, frustration, and scuzz.

Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin
January 26, 2018
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

On Freedom’s Goblin, the tuneful sensibility that Segall has been nurturing since 2011’s Goodbye Bread fully blossoms into sky-high hooks and rich, resonant lyricism, all while keeping his primordial spirit intact.

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On
March 16, 2018
Critic Score
74
27 reviews

On Riot, Yo La Tengo sound more brooding than ever, which is saying something coming from the band that gave the world the 77-minute tone-poem, 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out.

Original Source: https://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/the-best-rock-albums-of-2018/
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