AT, 2018 was the year it all went pear-shaped for Misty – thematically, at least. Mind. With a title that’s Spanish for ‘Holy Wood’, the twin themes are religion (tracks include ‘Preacher’ and ‘Hallelujah’) and sex. I don’t think it’s even a contest in those two areas.” We don’t disagree, King Push. Modernity may have failed us, but The 1975 have upped their game. Genres. TS, Not an artist known for her subtlety, the millennial Kate Bush stripped back the wall of sound with wistful collection, looking back at lost youth with fondness, pushing forward in the process. JB, A band who always struggled with the mainstream, often preferring to deliver their experimental sound from the edges, ‘Cocoa Sugar’ marked a bold change in direction for the Edinburgh three piece. As she quips on ‘Get Up 10’, referencing the U.S. Women, Infants, and Children federal aid program, she “went from WIC to lit”. Best Albums ... Year End Lists. Watch videos, view photos more at GRAMMY.com ... (2018) Top; 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards (2017) Facebook … 2018 Music Year End Lists. AT, Janelle Monae has been a bit of a pop outsider in the past, the theme of her complex and accomplished career to date being shapeshifting, finding new modes and ways to address what it is to be the other. JB, Troye Sivan grew from singing YouTuber to bona fide pop behemoth with this second album, and its tender unpacking of the queer coming of age experience. RD, A murky, sometimes surreal meander through post-punk, roughed-up country twangs, doomy, dark miserabilia, Goat Girl’s debut album pegged them as far more than one-trick ponies, heralding the arrival of a truly unique and whip-smart new bunch. He does mention he’s planning to get a pet named Jeff, though, so it’s not all bad. From the opening coos of ‘Let’s Make Out’ to the hammered-out closing chords and screams of the excellently sweary ‘FUU’, ‘Dream Wife‘ is a record that revels in spontaneity and the sheer magic of three best friends getting together in a studio and having the time of their lives. Critic Ratings. It’s got a magpie approach to the music of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘Random Access Memories’ by their robot friends, but feels fresh, vital, and completely human. On fire. Despite the pain Pierce sings of, ‘And Nothing Hurt’ is also an album that finds hope in the very darkest of places, capturing the resilience of humans and how they can embrace the fear to work through it, despite the uncertainly of the times we face. JB, Eminem returned to the headlines with surprise album ‘Kamikaze’, on which he took aim at seemingly everyone he’s ever encountered. ... 2018. The 405. The record’s 16 tracks include some prominent guests (Puff Daddy, A$AP Rocky, Steve Lacy), autobiographical musing (“16-year-old boy / Confused and knowing that he’s different he wants to give in / After school, sucker-punched down / Down and out,” he devastatingly recalls on opener ‘Orlando’) and what NME’s five-star review called a “piecemeal approach [to] music making: [Hynes] cherry-picks jazz piano, unstructured guitar and collaborators… to create nourishing layers of melancholy R&B pop.” A stunning and revealing work. Best-produced album and best lyrically rapped album. From rap-rock to power pop and a whole load in between, the duo moved in all directions but always disrupted the norm. RD, Soaking up the sounds of Calfifornia, the OG sad-pop millennial’s fourth album sees her distance herself from any previous ‘indie’ inhibitions and usher in collaborations with hotshot producers Skrillex, Rostam, T-Minus and DJ Dahi. RD, Jay Rock’s suffered a lot of setbacks in his career and none of them have stopped him so far. Safe ballads were out, and fidgety art-pop and daring songwriting hinted that Rae Morris’ future is looking remarkably rosy. From clattering industrial sonics, to expansive, soaring soundscapes, via free jazz and mutating electronica, it’s the sound of a band in constant revolution. RD, “And y’all still thought a bitch couldn’t rap huh?” runs Chicago’s Noname over slinky piano chords on the opening track of her debut album ‘Room 25’. GR, When J. Cole released ‘KOD’ he revealed that the acronym could stand for one of three things, Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed or Kill Our Demons. It took me a couple of listens, as every great album should, to fully appreciate ‘A Brief Inquiry…’, but it soon became apparent that Healy and drummer George Daniel have encapsulated the millennial condition through a record that is as diverse as it is a single, unified body of work. Throughout, pop evangelist frontman Olly Alexander purges his soul on the likes of ‘Sanctify’ (a heart-on-sleeves, tent-in-pants banger about the emotional minefield of an affair with a straight-identifying man) and aims a lyrical burn book over bad exes. So second album ‘Twentytwo In Blue’ laced dreamy folk rock swoons like ‘I Was A Fool’, ‘Twentytwo’ and ‘Memoria’ between glam stomps like ‘Crisis Fest’ and ‘Puppet Strings’, plus the odd psych rock freak-out (‘Human For’) and track that sounded like someone’s spiked the punch with MDMA at a goths-only prom (‘Only A Moment’). RD, The international troupe’s debut album – recorded in the seven-piece’s house in East London – is a smorgasbord of cartoon noises, wobbly pop melodies and youthful vibrancy. Healy was undoubtedly a impeccable frontman, someone with the big mouth and swagger people had been craving, but I was yet to be a fully-fledged member of the cult of ’75. Shame: sweaty, gnarled and chronically allergic to shirts. ‘You Will Never Die’ presented a queering of Christianity that was theatrical, soulful, intense, and very, very danceable. If anybody doubted her vocal prowess, the volcanic 35 minutes of soul-laced rap that follows more than proves them wrong. It’s a record which thrives on that same delicacy – a slow-building, slow-burning cut of atmospheric, dusty indie-rock, all carried by Damon McMahon’s honeyed vocal. Modernity may have failed us, but The 1975 have upped their game. Yet ‘No Tourists’, the Essex ravers’ bracingly brilliant seventh album, is a wild ride indeed, an absurdly inspired collection that uses touchstones from their stellar output – there’s a reference to the guitar riff from classic track ‘Breathe’, for instance – as though assembling an army to carry out their sonic onslaught. ‘Be My Mistake’ moves me to tears. It’s worth a listen to hear Muse taking the piss to nth degree on ‘Propaganda’ alone. Now one of the biggest rappers in the world, ‘Invasion of Privacy’ tells the story of Cardi’s rise to the top. And of those albums, Kanye’s own solo record is representative of the majority – it’s a patchy album, hastily put together, short (seven tracks) and contains some troubling lyrics (not least those on ‘I Thought About Killing You’). – the Blur man hit the studio again in the downtime amid heavy touring to quickly turn around sixth album ‘The Now Now’ just 14 months later. EH, With their fourth studio album, Californian metallers Deafheaven embraced melody like never before. Unafraid to shy away from the darker side of his psyche on tracks such as ‘Room 27’ and ‘Mon Amour’, the production on ‘Dear Annie’ lifts this out of the realms of misery-rap Soundclouders, instead creating a buoyant, ever-changing and fun world to immerse yourself in. Bring on the Blackouts. Tracks like ‘Catch It’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nick Cave record, while the Sky Ferreira-featuring ‘Pain Killer’ shows hidden depths. TS, After years of touring, the British dance duo used field recordings from their travels on a soothing record that ought to make you feel more at one with the world. (Experimental & Modern Composition), Consequence of Sound's Top 100 Albums Ever, NPR Music's 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women, Paste's 100 Best Indie Folk Albums of All Time, Paste's 50 Best Alt-Country Albums of All Time, Paste's 50 Best Post-Punk Albums of All Time, Pitchfork's 33 Best Industrial Albums of All Time, Pitchfork's 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time, Pitchfork's 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time, Pitchfork's 50 Best Rap Mixtapes of the Millennium, Pitchfork's 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time, Pitchfork: The People's List - Top Albums 1996-2011, Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of the 1980s, Rolling Stone's 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone's 40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Grunge Albums, Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums, Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time [2020], Slant Magazine's 100 Best Albums of the 1980s, Slant Magazine's 100 Best Albums of the Aughts, Spin's 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years (1985-2009), SPIN's 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014), The 100 Best Albums of The Complex Decade, The Guardian's 100 Best Albums of the 21st Century, Pitchfork's 16 Best Ambient Albums of 2020, Yahoo Entertainment's Best Albums of 2020, PopMatters' 20 Best Electronic Albums of 2020. SC, ‘And Nothing Hurt’ rivalled some of Jason Pierce’s most emotive and touching writing of his career to date. TS, Although framed in the tragedy of the death of primary songwriter and guitarist Tom Searle, the devastatingly raw ‘Holy Hell’ stood up as Architects’ best work yet, flirting with distress and defiance, and sounding more powerful than ever. Lists. RD, There were few albums released this year as colourful and dreamy as Vinyl Williams’ fourth effort, a psychedelic fantasy of a record that weaved its way through a kaleidoscope of lush melodies, plush synth textures, and hazy sighs. Jay-Z is really, really sorry for his bad behaviour! SM, Contradictory, defiant, vulnerable and over-awed – Baltimore teenager Lindsay Jordan captured the universal experience of growing with this debut album of gusty indie rock. JB, Although her music is commonly referred to as ‘slacker rock’, there’s little chill to the Australian singer-songwriter’s lyrics, which revel in neuroses and anxiety, the juxtaposition forever compelling. A heartbreaking reminder of how much more Mac Miller had to give. User Lists. JB, The Estonian rapper proved there’s more to him than outlandish visuals (his ‘Little Molly’ video sees his face creepily super-imposed onto a little girl’s body) with this maximalist record. Best “Album” of the year 2018. Such contrasts were frequent on an album that very much felt like a band caught between their two selves of old and new. EH, Scribbling out majority of her moniker, and transforming into the strutting character of Chris, Christine and The Queens’ second record takes a sheet of sandpaper to the evocative softness of debut album ‘Chaleur Humaine’. Travis Scott’s rollercoaster set-up is currently wowing audiences across North America as the rapper continues his annus mirabilis, which has also seen him co-headline Reading & Leeds and welcome his first daughter Stormi Webster with Kylie Jenner. Pushing melody to the front like never before, frontman and drummer Isaac Holman even (gasp!) EH, Strangely Mitski’s moment in the spotlight arrived four whole albums into her career, largely thanks to the success of the preceding ‘Puberty 2’. The Colombian-American musician’s debut album dances between R&B, disco, retro-soul and even a little bossa nova, sounding like the party playlist you’d knock together if you were, like, the greatest party host ever. More please. User Ratings. SM, The War On Drugs finally reached Australia… or so it sounded from Rolling Blackouts Coastal fever’s debut album. ABC News. Surely the first black metal-adjacent record that wouldn’t sound out of place at the Proms, the likes of ‘Canary Yellow’ and ‘Honeycomb’ are all the evidence you’d ever need to prove metal’s worth in the critical arena. A throwing-down-of-the gauntlet of a record, it was a reminder of his greatness – an honest, pissed-off return to form. Best Albums. Yet the album centres on the positives (its understandably-ditched working title was ‘The Best Year Of Our Lives’), encompassing global success, the long road travelled to achieve it and the group’s determination to retain hold of the quality that made them massive in the first place – their honesty. These are amongst the hardest tracks they’ve ever produced, a journey exemplified by the uncompromising ‘Champions of London’, proving longevity doesn’t always mean mellowing out. The Brummie lads’ goal was noble: to change the world with optimism and catchy indie songs. Over rich instrumentals and bubbling beats Miller candidly addresses his life in the public eye and his personal pain. Lists. Here was White at his most experimental, embracing space-rock, wonky-ass funk (‘Ice Station Zebra), Velvet Underground-style tone poems (‘Abulia And Akrasia’) and gigantic, Queen-size rock anthems (‘Connected By Love’). Truly heavenly. MC5, Pavement, Talking Heads, Squeeze, Neutral Milk Hotel – the record came across like a quick-change act of impeccable alt-rock references, yet was unmistakably Parquet, for its erratic/inspired melodic quirks alone. From the brutalism of ‘Colossus’ and ‘Samaritans’ to the emotional hardcore of ‘Cry To Me’ and pop pogo ‘Danny Nedelko’, ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ proved that, in a world of sonic artifice and stylish disguise, a record this raw, righteous and honest could still hit home as hard as a bloke with a perm. It’s all coated in pounding house beats and the kind of early-noughties R&B bells and whistles The Neptunes reserved for Britney. The Ye-produced record saw Pusha T utilise nearly every second of its 21-minute run time to fire off captivating and belligerent bars about drugs, guns and his dislike of Drake (to put it mildly). The Aussie dance pranksters turned in a ‘90s-influenced big beat bonanza with this perfectly crafted collection of bubblegum bangers. Song of the year. Critic Lists. TC, The Californian rapper evoked the bleaker side of his native land on this crisp collection. Year-End Roundups and Other Useful Resources: Halfway into 2018 - top albums , Top ten lists , More lists , Albums you may have missed this year , MadTheMad , … Continuing a recent Welsh tradition of … Critic Ratings. There are cameos from established artists – Jorja Smith and Tyler, the Creator – but Uchis always emerges as head honcho; when her falsetto croon glides over rippling sound effects on ‘Dead To Me’, it’s clear we’re in the presence of tomorrow’s pop royalty. When Cardi B claims she’s set to take over the world, only a fool would doubt it. As the retro title and ‘Dookie’-like sleeve suggests, it’s like whacking up the car stereo as you cruise around Los Angeles, coolly assessing the fall-out of the American dream. Not one listen, not skipping tracks but two or three runs, in full. The White Stripes. TS, If, in the past, it had been possible to say that Jack White’s solo albums were a little too close to White Stripes albums for comfort, the opinion-splitting ‘Boarding House Reach’ was the one that disproved that theory for good. Releasing the positive break-up single ‘ Thank U, Next ’ your …:. 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