2018 has been a very packed year, lots and lots of albums have been released every week of 2018. I think this year didn’t top 2017 with so many of my all time favourite albums being released then yet still had some impactful, creative and interesting albums within it. It has taken me so long to organise this list into a perfect 20. I will list off the albums with a simple few lines along with some added commentary on the year throughout. Please note that due to there being a large degree of releases this year I have not been able to listen to every album.
20. Playboi Carti – Die Lit
A spacey, atmospheric collection of catchy trap songs with melodic flows and charismatic delivery from Playboi Carti with some impressive features from Skepta, Lil Uzi Vert and more. It stands out from any trap album i’ve heard this year.
19. Mansur Brown – Shiroi
Moving alternative Jazz with some beautiful guitar playing and addictive beats that had me itching for more with each track, this has elements of Hip Hop with its drum beats and a wavy vibe which makes it one of the most interesting Jazz records to release this year.
18. IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
A heavy, confronting and aggressive yet important album. This album showcases the interesting and engaging way you can take Post Punk with relevant and creative lyricism with catchy choruses and mean instrumentation.
17.Novelist – Novelist Guy
The long awaited debut from young MC, Producer and genius… Novelist. This album is like UK Grime mixed with the rawest of old school Memphis sounds all with a positive message and no curses on the whole record. Raw, conscious and creative is the best way to describe it.
16. Gus Dapperton – You Think You’re A Comic
Gus Dapperton comes through to deliver a retro and exciting album. Full of bizarrely worded love tales, over beautiful production. A short album to spice up 2018 that made me feel like I was at a disco.
Music Video Of The Year
I thought about this and I think the video I have enjoyed the most out of any is King Krule’s video for Cadet Limbo made by Charlotte Patmore.
I think the video is well put together yet also has a rough and abstract aesthetic. It matches the song perfectly and brings the perfect vibe to add to it.
15. Hopalong – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
An interesting selection of beautiful, abstract and wondrous pieces of music that come together for a great album. The lead singers voice is unique and pleasing to the ear with some thought provoking lyrics adding to the creative production/instrumentation.
14. Lil Peep – Come Over When Your Sobre pt2
An album that caught me and many off guard with its amazingly produced cohesive sequencing along with some intriguing instrumentals and emotional lyrics and performances.
13. Tierra Whack – Whack World
An album 15 minutes long, a minute each track that tells the listener a wonderful insight to Tierras wacky world with impressive versatility, solid production and humorous yet deep yet hard lyrics, this album is one of the most creative to come out this year.
12. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
An experimental, clever and talent oozing piece of work. Veteran is JPEG expressing his opinions, emotions and reality in a bizarre yet amazing way. Each song has something odd, something interesting and something memorable about it.
11.Blood Orange – Negro Swan
This album has spent weeks coming on and off of the 10 spot simply because of its well put together beautiful sequencing, spectacular performances and interesting lyrics throughout, it is an album you can put on and experience without even realising you’ve heard it all already from the wonderful journey it takes you on.
A few albums that I feel aren’t the absolute best albums of the year but worth a nod and a mention. I love these albums and they would all be worthy of a spot in a top 30 if I made one.
Sophie – Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
If it was just Its Okay To Cry, Infatuation, Is It Cold In The Water?, Pretending, Immaterial then it would be top 5. I love those songs allot but the rest of the songs I can’t stand which is a shame
Kali Uchis – Isolation
This album is nice to throw on in the car or when chilling, it’s also sexy asf but it’s simply not interesting enough for me to consider as one of the best.
Kero Kero Bonito – Time n Place
I really like this album and I think Maybe if id had spent more time with it then it would be in the list but I just haven’t had a chance to hear it enough
XXXTENTACION – ?
I’m a huge fan of most the songs on here altho they could all probably be better with a little more time added and higher production value
Lil Yachty – Nothin 2 Prove
Lil Yachty is one of my favourite artists and I am going to listen to most of these songs again but it isn’t the focused and interesting efforts I felt were shown on Lil Boat and Teenage Emotions.
Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
This is one of the best Pop albums i’ve heard all year. I think it’s interesting and nicely done but I just don’t find myself returning to it all that often.
Brockhampton – Iridescence
A creative and raw album from the boyband. I do love this record but find myself only going back to the more musical parts of the album instead of the heavy rippity rappity ish.
Pusha T – Daytona
This album is probably the best straight bars albums of all year with some amazing production from YE. The reason it isn’t on the list is due to its replay value to me, not typically the kind of rap I often listen to.
Travis Scott – Astroworld
Allot of this album is great yet I realised I had deleted multiple songs from my saved album on spotify which makes it have way too many down moments for it to be considered for a top 20 overall.
Black Panther Soundtrack
The album curated by TDE surprised listeners with its high production value and impressive contributions from its features, unfortunately it is of course a compilation album and does feel like one which takes away from it as an album on this list.
Now back to the list.
10. Dem Atlas – Bad Actress
Dem Atlas delivers a tightly pieced together record with soulful, rap and jazz elements throughout it. He makes a different sounding LP than the standard Hip Hop artist as well as making it a beautiful experience. I get Prince feels one minute, Fat Freddy’s Drop the next all mixed with that of a backpack rapper.
9.Death Grips – Year Of The Snitch
Death Grips bring together a bizarre and grabbing piece of art with this album. It is still the abstract sounds of Death Grips that we have become familiar with over the years but this one almost seems easier to digest (in a good way) it delivers feelings of disgust, excitement and overall weirdness.
8. Kanye West – Ye
A raw, honest and a manic mess of an album. Its messiness makes it intriguing, creative and a divine experience. There is truly beauty to the madness of this album.
7. Bakar – Badkid
An Indie/Punk/Hip-Hop inspired record bring Bakar telling the tales of his life and feelings over some melodic, catchy and interesting music and choruses.
6. Ghetts – Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament
Ghetts gives you a mind of someone who is out of the rough lifestyle he once thrived in and into a new lifestyle of family and god. This album explores the struggles and strifes of his lifestyle even on the other side.
Hot Picks That I Didn’t Include
Here’s a few albums that have been popular as donkeys this year but aren’t in my list and why they aren’t.
Denzel Curry – TABOO | TA13OO
This album was terrible to me when I first heard it, I was so confused by the love it had until literally a week ago I threw it on and was amazed by how much it clicked and I loved it. Unfortunately it is still settling with me so I can see this being one that I play often in 19.
MGMT – Little Dark Age
I really love what I’ve heard from this album so far but have only sat through it once and need some more listens to justify it being great to me. I will listen more and more over next year.
Wiley – Godfather 2
I loved Godfather 1, one of my favourite albums of all time so when this dropped I was beyond excited… until I heard it. This is basically half an album of good songs and half trendy songs that Wiley doesn’t sound anywhere near as charismatic or special on.
Anderson Paak. – Oxnard
Honestly can see myself loving this album in the future but right now I am indifferent, I put it on some days and love it and other days just don’t feel it.
Eminem – Kamikaze
A project of moaning about criticism and doing fast flows with a robotic constipated delivery was most of this project and the rest did not make up for it.
Drake – Scorpion
This album was half boring Rap and half boring RnB with a few Kanye disses. Not worth the list baby.
J.I.D – Dicaprio 2
Honestly not much to criticize about this album, just isn’t for me, can’t seem to get into it altho can recognize its huge amounts of talent.
5. Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
This album had a space in the top 5 from the day it released. It is a beautiful yet dark collection of progressive and alternative tracks from the interesting versatile group that is Young Fathers
4. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
This album could have easily been higher on the list. Maybe even number 1 but since it came so late I had such little time to sit with it that its number 4. This album is a mixture of thoughts and expressions from Earl on pleasant and creative loops with the subject shifting multiple times within the same song. Its abstract and wonderful. This is the perfect album to show that less is more.
3.Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
The iconic duo of Kid Cudi and Kanye come through for an official collaboration album which delivers everything you could hope for, beautifully crafted music with honest and raw lyrics from the pair addressing current situations, there mental health and more.
2. A$AP Rocky – Testing
Testing is a collection of experiments by Rocky which deliver a really enjoyable project. You have abstract songs to get your brain working, turnt songs to bump at the gym and introspective and beautiful songs to listen with your headphones on all with the A$AP twist.
Song Of The Year
I felt it was only right to point out one special song that made my year amongst this year.
Kanye West – Ghost Town
This song is the most beautiful, raw and well produced song I have heard all year. Hearing Cudi and Kanye sing so passionately, not forgetting the breathtaking outro. This song brought me to tears many times.
See the performance of this song below.
1.Busdriver – Electricity Is On Our Side
The perfect blend of Jazz and Rap for me with so much more. This album is packed full of interesting and bizzare lyrics with the most impressive production all year. Driver sings, raps and expresses throughout this album with his true character, in fact probably the most charismatic album i’ve ever heard. Abstract, wonderful and weird are the best ways to describe this album with flowing talents throughout.