This Week in Music

J. Cole’s KOD won’t be included in this roundup because I’ve got more to say about it than would be appropriate for these brief snippets.

It joins Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther as the only two albums I’ve listened to this year that I haven’t gotten around to writing about. One day soon, dear reader, I swear!

Oh, and lest you think I’m saving the best for last, that sentiment only applies to one of the albums. You’ll have to wait to read whose!

(Spoiler alert: It’s not J. Cole’s).

To make up for this crushing disappointment, here’s a MONUMENTAL announcement: I shall now include my updated rankings of 2018 albums at the bottom of each of these music-themed pieces. That’s right; I indeed keep a running order of every album that’s passed through my ear canals. One caveat: I’m free to change where an album appears on the list upon further re-listens and reconsiderations.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to find which of 2018’s 72 albums I enjoyed the most!

But first, an R&B-dominant week’s worth of releases, ranked — as always — in order of personal preference:


The Color of You — Alina Baraz

Seductively sung and produced R&B, an early contender for the best of the genre this year. She’s basically a less funky Syd. Given his two features here, I just want to note that Khalid’s album would’ve been one of last year’s best if it was this perfectly brief (only 9 songs, all equally gorgeous).


Vacation in Hell — Flatbush Zombies

Unclassifiably-diverse hip-hop.


44/876 — Sting & Shaggy

Have you ever wondered what a collaboration between Shaggy and Sting would sound like? Yeah, me neither. But for all you outside-the-box thinkers, or for those just curious what such an unlikely duo could produce, look no further than this album. Spoiler alert: it sounds exactly like a merging of their signature styles…and it somehow works?


Isolation — Kali Uchs

I’m running out of glowing adjectives to describe every new entry in the current, electro-infused R&B renaissance. For a point of comparison, the album is poppier than Alina’s slow jams.


Fate — Tammy Rivera

There’s so much fire R&B released every week, in fact, that the onslaught makes perfectly fine but derivative examples like this look that much worse in comparison.

My Favorite Albums of 2018

  1. Black Panther — Kendrick Lamar
  2. Man of the Woods — Justin Timberlake
  3. Culture 2 — Migos
  4. The Color of You — Alina Baraz
  5. Bobby Tarantino II — Logic
  6. My Dear Melancholy, — The Weeknd
  8. DAY69 — 6ix9ine
  9. Vacation in Hell — Flatbush Zombies
  11. Sex & Cigarettes — Toni Braxton
  12. Isolation — Kali Uchs
  13. D6: Reloaded — Lil Wayne
  14. KOD — J. Cole
  15. Little Dark Age — MGMT
  16. Blue Madonna — BØRNS
  17. 44/876 — Sting & Shaggy
  18. Common Ground — Above & Beyond
  19. Amen — Rich Brian
  20. Five Five — Pouya
  21. For My Fans — Fetty Wap
  22. It’s Complicated — Wale
  23. California — Diplo
  24. Punken — Maxo Kream
  25. When We (Remix) — Tank
  26. 2.23 — Blac Youngsta
  27. Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B
  28. Cosmic — Bazzi
  29. As She Pleases — Madison Beer
  30. By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile
  31. The Big Pescado — Berner
  32. P2 — Dave East
  33. Life of a Dark Rose — Lil Skies
  34. Camila — Camila Cabello
  35. I Like It Loud — Tiesto
  36. M A N I A — Fall Out Boy
  37. Victory Lap — Nipsey Hussle
  38. MEMORIES DON’T DIE — Tory Lanez
  39. Bless Yo Trap — Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz
  40. The Longshot — The Longshot
  41. Fate — Tammy Rivera
  42. The World is Yours — Rich the Kid
  43. Kolorblind — DJ ESCO
  44. Edgewood — Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It
  45. Hurtin’ Me — Stefflon Don
  46. Rearview Town — Jason Aldean
  47. Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Lena Hall
  48. Lil Boat 2 — Lil Yachty
  49. November — SiR
  50. The Chocolate Box — Jeremih
  51. Heart Break Kodak — Kodak Black
  52. Glock Bond — Key Glock
  53. Drip Season 3 — Gunna
  54. Spiritual Conversations — Mozzy
  55. The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It — 2 Chainz
  56. Humble Beast (Deluxe) — G Herbo
  57. Rich As In Spirit — Rich Homie Quan
  58. Pain and Pleasure — Tink
  59. Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves
  60. Dex Meets Dexter — Famous Dex
  61. Ray Ray from Summerhill — YFN Lucci
  62. Fredas Son — YFN Lucci 
  63. We Beefin? — at Wendys
  64. Just Cause Y’all Waited — Lil Durk
  65. Sick Boy…Everybody Hates Me — The Chainsmokers 
  66. Hear No Evil — Young Thug
  67. 2 Heartless — Moneybagg Yo
  68. Grow God — Money Man
  69. Don Talk — Don Q
  70. N****S Get Shot — Young Dolph
  71. Rich Hood — HoodRich Pablo Juan
  72. The Leek 4 — Chief Keef


Scary Hours — Drake (not long enough to be considered an album)

Revamp & Restoration — Elton John & Co. (I disqualify all cover-albums)

One thought on “This Week in Music

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