AOTY 2018
The A.V. Club's Best Albums of 2018 So Far

The A.V. Club's Best Albums of 2018 So Far

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Beach House - 7

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

7 is the band’s darkest, messiest, and most varied album to date.

DJ Koze - Knock Knock

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

The result is compulsively listenable stuff, and Knock Knock may be his best work yet, a sonic snapshot of a day spent in a permanent magic-hour paradise.

Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

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

On Dirty Computer, the erstwhile Electric Lady loses the metal and circuitry, but none of her power or artistry, cementing her status alongside Prince in the hall of hyper-talented, gender-fluid icons who love and promote blackness.

Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

Jeff Rosenstock - POST-
January 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

POST- is an album about finding hope in the future. Not in a passive, pacifying way, but by challenging yourself to step up and take action, day in and day out. While that sounds incredibly daunting—and like a really tiring listen—the album’s most impressive trait is that it makes all that vital work feel joyous and communal.

Jon Hopkins - Singularity

Jon Hopkins - Singularity
May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

There’s no prescribed narrative, but Singularity still tells a grand story—a synesthetic evocation of how it feels to be alive.

Kali Uchis - Isolation

Kali Uchis - Isolation
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
84
19 reviews
As she breaks down the triumphs and heartbreaks of real life, she deftly invokes her every musical whim—from 1970s soul to hip-hop beats that wouldn’t be out of place on a ’90s dance floor—to stunning effect.

Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth

Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth
June 22, 2018
Critic Score
83
25 reviews

Heaven And Earth is shorter than his powerful, three-hour debut, but it might be even more ambitious, splitting its 16 tracks into a two-part concept album: the first reflecting the world as it is, the second depicting Washington’s optimistic vision of the world as it should be.

Maxo Kream - Punken

Maxo Kream - Punken
January 12, 2018
Critic Score
75
3 reviews

Mount Eerie - Now Only

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

Now Only is just as devastatingly direct, but there are glimmers of catharsis—of light gleaming in tears, as Elverum puts it. Where Crow occupied a numb, purgatorial present tense, the new record leaps around like a wandering mind, to vivid anecdotes from the singer-songwriter’s past.

Neko Case - Hell-On

Neko Case - Hell-On
June 1, 2018
Critic Score
82
22 reviews
Fire may have robbed Neko Case of her home, but she’s emerged from the ashes even better than before.

Nils Frahm - All Melody

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

All constraints are off for All Melody, a vibrant, exploratory album born from Frahm’s newly constructed Berlin studio and the freedom to experiment it allowed.

Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap

Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap
February 16, 2018
Critic Score
76
6 reviews

No Age - Snares Like a Haircut

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

Rather than retreading the duo’s winning formula of ruthless hooks, primitive drums, and guitars looped into endless strata, Snares makes it bigger, brighter, and more polished than ever.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of

Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of
June 1, 2018
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

Uncomfortable as Age Of often is, it’s far from unlistenable. Lopatin deftly balances the scathing and the soothing, couching these pessimistic critiques in collages that feint at commercial appeal, without ever tipping into rote, art-school irony. And you can even sing along to some of them!

Pusha T - Daytona

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

It’s all dope-boy come-up stories, subliminal shit-talk, and luxury at a level only possible to convey via fine-art name-dropping and whatever the fuck a “caviar facial” is. For the first time since going solo, it all feels of a piece.

Rhye - Blood

Rhye - Blood
February 2, 2018
Critic Score
73
16 reviews
Half a decade later, here comes… another 30 minutes of absolutely immaculate music, with minimalistic arrangements that nevertheless sketch out Daft Punk-worthy grooves, keening midnight yearnings, and heart-wrenching climaxes.

Rival Consoles - Persona

Rival Consoles - Persona
April 13, 2018
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

Persona is uneasy listening, with heavier rhythms and more fragmented melodies than West deployed on previous works like Howl and Night Melody, yet it’s equally engrossing. It leaves a deep psychic impression—a truly “arthouse” album that begs repeated revisiting, to explore its many conflicting faces.

Saba - Care for Me

Saba - Care for Me
April 5, 2018
Critic Score
85
9 reviews

There’s an introspective urgency to Saba’s songs, like they’re the only thing keeping the 23-year-old from succumbing to the systemic and social madness that surrounds him on Chicago’s West Side, and that rawness has only expanded on sophomore effort Care For Me.

Screaming Females - All at Once

Screaming Females - All at Once
February 23, 2018
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

Although not every song is essential in its own right, as a whole, All At Once congeals beautifully; in the era of the single, this is a real album, touching on themes of autonomy and control both in a personal and a wider political context.

SiR - November

SiR - November
January 19, 2018
Critic Score
70
4 reviews

Snail Mail - Lush

Snail Mail - Lush
June 8, 2018
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

The crushing sameness of the existence described in Snail Mail’s music means that not every song on Lush is essential, but when Jordan hits, she hits a bullseye, with mini-indie masterpieces like “Pristine” and “Heat Wave” set to inspire another generation of songwriters.

Soccer Mommy - Clean

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

The Carters - Everything Is Love

The Carters - Everything Is Love
June 16, 2018
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

As with The Avengers, your previous investment in the Carters will dictate your current enjoyment. But it’s hard not to feel something when the duo ... ends its impossibly luxurious extravaganza by simply repeating that the two are “happy in love.” It’s a pop fairy tale just real enough to believe in.

Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit

Zeal and Ardor - Stranger Fruit
June 8, 2018
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

On the thrilling Stranger Fruit, elements of gospel and the blues coil like twisted roots around the album’s tallest pillars of fury, resulting in anthems at once heavier and more soulful than the “Satanic spirituals” on last year’s Devil Is Fine.

Original Source: https://music.avclub.com/the-best-albums-of-2018-so-far-1827117616
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