AOTY 2018
Exclaim!'s Top 31 Albums of 2018 So Far

Exclaim!'s Top 31 Albums of 2018 So Far

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31. Turnstile - Time & Space

Turnstile - Time & Space
February 23, 2018
Critic Score
67
9 reviews

Time & Space is Turnstile taking what worked from their prior material and seasoning it with a modern, diverse zest. While this body of work has some blunders, the band are well on their way to what might soon be their pinnacle release.

30. Skyzoo - In Celebration of Us

Skyzoo - In Celebration of Us
February 2, 2018
Critic Score
89
2 reviews

From top to bottom, In Celebration Of Us is every bit as impressive as Skyzoo himself alluded to. Stellar production, songs that require multiple listens to fully grasp all the gems, and a conceptual vision that hits the mark — this is upper echelon hip-hop.

29. illuminati hotties - Kiss Yr Frenemies

illuminati hotties - Kiss Yr Frenemies
May 11, 2018
Critic Score
79
3 reviews

Unburdened by expectations, Tudzin pieced together a fun, emotionally satisfying record that should become the sound of this and many summers to come.

27. Mount Eerie - Now Only

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

There are only six tracks here, but they cover massive lyrical ground ... Combined with spare arrangements that highlight hypnotic acoustic strums, moody keys and even a some fuzz-drenched rock-outs, the result is an emotionally nuanced meditation on death that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

26. DJ Koze - Knock Knock

DJ Koze - Knock Knock
May 4, 2018
Critic Score
83
20 reviews

It's perhaps a tad long and unwieldy, but there's no denying Kozalla's skills as a master collagist here.

25. Frankie Cosmos - Vessel

Frankie Cosmos - Vessel
March 30, 2018
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

Marking another chapter of triumphs, trials and tribulations in Kline's life, Vessel's sound is amplified and cohesive. It's a record to remind us that "being alive / matters quite a bit / even when you feel like shit."

24. JPEGMAFIA - Veteran

JPEGMAFIA - Veteran
January 19, 2018
Critic Score
82
3 reviews

23. MGMT - Little Dark Age

MGMT - Little Dark Age
February 9, 2018
Critic Score
75
24 reviews

It is, in some ways, an auditory microcosm of the band's career up until this point. Its first half features some of the group's sweetest pop confections since those massive singles, while its second delves into the muggy Barrett-isms of their more recent work.

22. Amen Dunes - Freedom

Amen Dunes - Freedom
March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
With a powerful list of collaborators ... Amen Dunes refine their eerie psych-pop gaze with sprawling atmospheric production and crystalline guitar riffs sweeping through the most polished tracks he's ever created.

21. Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

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

Hop Along are the kind of band whose records inspire fierce loyalty and foster deep personal connection, which makes Bark Your Head Off seem like a gamble, given its broader palette. It only takes a few listens to realize that it is really the fulfillment of the band's potential, though. You could have said it after pretty much any of their previous releases, but once again, Hop Along are truly a band at the top of their game.

20. Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa

Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
90
1 review

On Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Dutcher focuses mainly on what is still relevant today; the songs that have been rediscovered, recovered and revived here are beautiful, celebratory and very much alive.

19. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
80
30 reviews

Courtney Barnett's (solo) followup to Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit finds an artist who has grown more introspective as a writer, more outspoken as a singer and more imaginative (and a lot louder) as a guitarist.

18. Nils Frahm - All Melody

Nils Frahm - All Melody
January 26, 2018
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

It's an impressive compilation of provocatively disparate ideas, but taken in in its intended order, there's a mesmerizing continuity to it all.

17. Kali Uchis - Isolation

Kali Uchis - Isolation
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

Lush, sensual and eclectic, Isolation is a sure-footed declaration of independence, and each track presents one of Uchis's different facets.

16. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
May 11, 2018
Critic Score
69
31 reviews

Before you write this off as exhausting or pretentious self-indulgence, give it a listen or two. Peruse the lyrics, dissect them and have a laugh. Commitment isn't as scary as you think.

15. Shame - Songs of Praise

Shame - Songs of Praise
January 12, 2018
Critic Score
82
20 reviews

13. Sleep - The Sciences

Sleep - The Sciences
April 20, 2018
Critic Score
85
10 reviews

To the sober ear, the drawn-out chugging riffs, which are the foundation of the band's sound, come off as stretched and border dangerously on the verge of repetition. But stoned, those riffs are ploughing the fields of your mind, pulling you into a deep hypnotic state washing everything away with rich distortion.

12. Royce da 5'9'' - Book of Ryan

Royce da 5'9'' - Book of Ryan
May 4, 2018
Critic Score
83
4 reviews

For anyone who has been following his career since Rock City — and even those who have been following him since the Game Records days — Book of Ryan is a welcome origin story, an issue zero that leaves no stone unturned.

11. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy

Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
February 16, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

The age-old saying goes if something isn't broken, don't fix it, but the re-release of Twin Fantasy shows that, seven years later, Car Seat Headrest are capable of re-contextualizing their work in ways that cement the faith that we have in them as revolutionary musicians.

10. Soccer Mommy - Clean

Soccer Mommy - Clean
March 2, 2018
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Clean explores feelings of infatuation, insecurity, and acceptance as Allison wearily enters adulthood ... Allison is promptly hitting her stride and clearly gaining confidence and showing it with strands of snarkiness and angst mixed within her delicate, vulnerable songs.

9. Beach House - 7

Beach House - 7
May 11, 2018
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

Beach House continue to explore new crannies of their familiar dream pop sound, occasionally highlighting a new aspect of their style without ever changing it completely.

8. Jennifer Castle - Angels of Death

Jennifer Castle - Angels of Death
May 18, 2018
Critic Score
74
5 reviews
In the end, Rose Waterfalls' chameleonic two names are just another example of all the change, metamorphosis, turning and movement of the record.

7. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
March 30, 2018
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

5. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
April 27, 2018
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

With Dirty Computer, Monáe isn't afraid to get political, encourage empathy, explore her sexuality and have goofy fun, often doing all that and more in the same song.

4. Pusha T - Daytona

Pusha T - Daytona
May 25, 2018
Critic Score
84
21 reviews

DAYTONA, the long-awaited new LP by Pusha T, boasts a mostly sinewy and understated sound that'll leave hip-hop heads in revelry.

3. J. Cole - KOD

J. Cole - KOD
April 20, 2018
Critic Score
69
14 reviews

2. Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

While Cardi B's own relationship with Migos's Offset has been thrown into the spotlight, Invasion of Privacy feels like her Lemonade moment, one that magnifies her insecurities for public consumption.

1. U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited

U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited
February 16, 2018
Critic Score
84
23 reviews

Groovy and scintillating, but with depth and meaning to spare, In a Poem Unlimited is U.S. Girls — and pop music — at its very best.

Original Source: https://exclaim.ca/music/article/exclaim_s_top_31_albums_of_2018_so_far
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