2018 Favorites: Albums

There were 45 GREAT albums released in 2018.

“Great” can obviously be defined in an endless number of ways, and I hope the list below reflects that diversity. I ranked the 45 in order of personal preference, yet another subjective barometer that can change on a whim at any moment’s notice. But, for now, these are the albums I feel best represent 2018 in music.

A few caveats:

  • obviously didn’t listen to every album released in 2018; no one with only two ears could’ve possibly done that. But, I did my best, and I think I hit most of the heavy-hitters. Below my top 45 ranked albums you’ll find a list of every album I listened to in 2018, listed in no particular order.
  • I disqualify cover albums and any sort of musical score for appearing on my best-of-the-best list. A vast majority of cover albums depend too heavily on music not made in that given year, and thus should be evaluated differently (you’ll see that I wrote about some of them; they’re just listed separately).  As for scores, I’ll discuss film scores when I get around to my favorite movies of 2018, and musical theater scores will be touched upon in my theatre season roundup. You just can’t equate a totally self-contained regular album with a collection of songs that benefit from being connected to another, larger story. But, as always, exceptions needed to be made for work that for some reason transcends these rules; I’ll go into a bit more detail on each below. Oh, and as for 2018’s trend of artist-compilation soundtracks, I consider all of them new albums because so few of their tracks were used in the actual movies.
  • Speaking of hyperlinks, click on all the blue titles below for more thoughts on each:

And now, for the 2018 albums that everyone should hear, ranked:

Top 2018 Albums
  1. Black Panther — Kendrick Lamar
  2. Dirty Computer — Janelle Monáe
  3. Honey — Robyn
  4. Kamikaze — Eminem
  5. Glory Sound Prep — Jon Bellion
  6. NASIR — Kanye West & Nas
  7. DAYTONA — Kanye West & Pusha T
  8. FM! — Vince Staples
  9. Oxnard — Anderson .Paak
  10. High As Hope — Florence + The Machine
  11. Queen — Nicki Minaj
  12. KIDS SEE GHOSTS — Kanye West & Kid Cudi
  13. East Atlanta Love Letter — 6LACK
  14. Redemption — Jay Rock
  15. Light of Mine — KYLE
  16. The Color of You — Alina Baraz
  17. Milky Way — Bas
  18. Lost — Brent Faiyaz
  19. Lies After Love — Drama
  20. beerbongs & bentleys — Post Malone
  21. Man of the Woods — Justin Timberlake
  22. so sad so sexy — Lykke Li
  23. Swimming — Mac Miller
  24. Snacks — Jax Jones
  25. Testing — A$AP Rocky
  26. Post-Apocalypto — Tenacious D
    • Technically the musical score for the D’s animated web series of the same name…but since I never watched it, and will never, I’m classifying it as a regular album. Just go with it.
  27. Scorpion — Drake
  28. EVERYTHING IS LOVE — The Carters
  29. MUDBOY — Sheck Wes
  30. Culture 2 — Migos
  31. DAY69 — 6ix9ine
  32. DUMMY BOY — 6ix9ine
  33. Whack World — Tierra Whack
  34. Negro Swan — Blood Orange
  35. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Various Artists
  36. Room 25 — Noname
  37. ? — XXXTENTACION
  38. SKINS — XXXTENTACION
  39. STOKELEY — Ski Mask the Slump God
  40. You Will Regret (Reloaded) Ski Mask the Slump God
  41. Archives — Ski Mask the Slump God
  42. BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI — Ski Mask the Slump God
  43. Treehouse — Sofi Tukker
  44. 44/876 — Sting & Shaggy
    • LOOOOOOOL
  45. Dancing Queen — Cher
    • The only cover album that qualified, because no Cher slander will be tolerated around these parts. 
The Rest

Revamp — Elton John & Co

The Greatest Showman: Reimagined — Various Artists

Graceland — Paul Simon & Co.

Restoration — Elton John & Co

Singing You Home — Laura Benanti

A Love Letter To You 3 — Trippie Redd

Shawn Mendes — Shawn Mendes

Good Thing — Leon Bridges

ye — Kanye West

YSIV — Logic

ZOO — Russ

SR3MM — Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee & Slim Jxmmi

K.T.S.E. — Kanye West & Teyana Taylor

The Now Now — Gorillaz

Hive Mind — The Internet

Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 — Lil Peep

My Dear Melancholy, — The Weeknd

Bobby Tarantino II — Logic

Vacation in Hell — Flatbush Zombies

GANGIN — SOB X RBE

Sex & Cigarettes — Toni Braxton

BALLADS 1 — Joji

Isolation — Kali Uchs

LIFE’S A TRIP — Trippie Redd

Cry Pretty — Carrie Underwood

Sorry To Bother You: The Soundtrack — The Coup

Head in the Clouds — 88rising

Survive the Summer — Iggy Azalea

ONEPOINTFIVE — Aminé

Blindspotting: The Collin EP — Daveed Diggs

D6: Reloaded — Lil Wayne

KOD — J. Cole

QUAVO HUNCHO — Quavo

For My Fans — Fetty Wap

Little Dark Age — MGMT

Blue Madonna — BØRNS

TA1300 — Denzel Curry

I Used to Know Her: Part 2 — H.E.R.

SYRE: THE ELECTRIC ALBUM — Jaden Smith

It’s Complicated — Wale

Self Promotion — Wale

Amen — Rich Brian

Five Five — Pouya

Nuthin’ 2 Prove — Lil Yachty

Lost & Found — Jorja Smith

Tha Carter V — Lil Wayne

Cosmic — Bazzi

I Want to Die In New Orleans — $uicide Boy$

MIH-TY — MihTy (Jerimih & Ty Dolla $ign)

How We React and How We Recover — Jason Robert Brown

ASTROWORLD — Travis Scott

Suncity — Khalid

Love Yourself Tear — BTS

Beach House 3 Bonus Tracks — Ty Dolla $ign

STAY DANGEROUS — YG

4275 — Jacquees

Trapholizay — Zaytoven

California — Diplo

When We (Remix) — Tank

Invasion of Privacy — Cardi B

That’s A Girl’s Name — DRAM

Life of a Dark Rose — Lil Skies

Beloved — Dave East & Styles P

As She Pleases — Madison Beer

Still Run — Wet

Activated — Tee Grizzley

God’s Favorite Customer — Father John Misty

Legends of the Summer— Meek Mill

I Used to Know Her: The Prelude — H.E.R.

Bloom — Troye Sivan

Golden — Kylie Minogue

2.23 — Blac Youngsta

Common Ground — Above & Beyond

Punken — Maxo Kream

Expectations — Bebe Rexha

The Big Pescado — Berner

Rico — Berner

Free Lunch — Wale

Still My Moment — Tee Grizzley

Youngblood 5 Seconds of Summer

Ready — Ella Mai

Trench — twenty one pilots

Vibras — J Balvin

By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile

Play — Dave Grohl

Hoodwolf 2 — HoodRich Pablo Juan & Danny Wolf

Rolling Papers 2 — Wiz Khalifa

P2 — Dave East

Camila — Camila Cabello

I Like It Loud — Tiesto

M A N I A — Fall Out Boy

Victory Lap — Nipsey Hussle

MEMORIES DON’T DIE — Tory Lanez

Human — Steve Angello

International Artist — A Boogie wit da Hoodie

Fuck Everybody 2 — Blac Youngsta

Bless Yo Trap — Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz

Goodbye & Good Riddance — Juice WRLD

Reckless — NAV

The Longshot — The Longshot

Fate — Tammy Rivera

The World is Yours — Rich the Kid

23 — Jaydayoungan

Kolorblind — DJ ESCO

Edgewood — Trouble & Mike WiLL Made-It

Future & Juice WRLD Present… WRLD ON DRUGS — Future & Juice WRLD

Sincerely, Tokyo — MadeinTYO

Hurtin’ Me — Stefflon Don

F.A.M.E. — Maluma

Rearview Town — Jason Aldean

This One’s For You Too — Luke Combs

LoVE me NOw — Tory Lanez

Ella Mai — Ella Mai

Obsessed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Lena Hall

November — SiR

The Chocolate Box — Jeremih

Last Day of Summer — Summer Walker

Voicenotes — Charlie Puth

The Vault — G-Eazy

SUPERFLY — Future & Co.

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES — Metro Boomin

The Last Rocket — Takeoff

Sweetener — Ariana Grande

Heart Break Kodak — Kodak Black

Die Lit — Playboi Carti

Ottopsy — Chief Keef

Lil Boat 2 — Lil Yachty

Dan + Shay — Dan + Shay

Glock Bond — Key Glock

Drip Season 3 — Gunna

Spiritual Conversations — Mozzy

DIME TRAP — T.I.

Northsbest — Lil Mosey

Fully Loaded — Shy Glizzy

On the Rvn — Young Thug

Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves

We Beefin? — at Wendys

Until Death Call My Name Reloaded — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Harder Than Ever — Lil Baby

The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It — 2 Chainz

Real Hasta la Muerte — Anuel AA

Bad Witch — Nine Inch Nails

Mansion Musick — Chief Keef

Humble Beast (Deluxe) — G Herbo

4Freedom — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Rich As In Spirit — Rich Homie Quan

Scary Hours — Drake

  • Too short to be labeled “an album.”

Pain and Pleasure — Tink

Ray Ray from Summerhill — YFN Lucci

Fredas Son — YFN Lucci 

Dex Meets Dexter — Famous Dex

Swervo — G Herbo & Southside

Forever — Popcaan

Age Of — Oneohtrix Point Never

Queen Naija — Queen Naija

Just Cause Y’all Waited — Lil Durk

Apart — Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

Karma 2 — Dave East

Slime Language — Young Thug & Young Stoner Life Records

The Marina — Curren$y & Harry Fraud

BEASTMODE 2 — Future

Aura — Ozuna

Sick Boy…Everybody Hates Me — The Chainsmokers 

Hear No Evil — Young Thug

First Time — Liam Payne

Chained to the City — Kevin Gates

Drip Harder — Lil Baby & Gunna

No Stylist — French Montana

Life After Fame — Quando Rondo

Master the Day of Judgement — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Until Death Call My Name — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

2 Heartless — Moneybagg Yo

Don Season 2 — Don Q

Grow God — Money Man

Don Talk — Don Q

N****S Get Shot — Young Dolph

Rich Hood — HoodRich Pablo Juan

The Leek 4 — Chief Keef

3 — YFN Lucci

Bet On Me — Moneybagg Yo

YBN: The Mixtape — YBN Almighty Jay, YBN Cordae & YBN Nahmir

4Respect — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

4Loyalty — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Luca Brasi 3 — Kevin Gates

Role Model — Young Dolph

Decided — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Pray For The Wicked — Panic! At the Disco

4Respect 4Freedom 4Liberty 4WhatImportant — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Signed to the Streets 3 — Lil Durk

RESET — Moneybagg Yo

The Grinch — Tyler, the Creator

PERIOD — City Girls

Girl Code — City Girls

The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story — Jaden Smith

Glockoma — Key Glock

Street Gossip — Lil Baby

don’t smile at me — Billie Eilish

11 — Trey Songz

28 — Trey Songz

The Pains of Growing — Alessia Cara

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships — The 1975

Championships — Meek Mill

Some Rap Songs — Earl Sweatshirt

Feed Tha Streets II — Roddy Ricch

Evil Genius — Gucci Mane

Everythangs Corrupt — Ice Cube

Taking Off — Jaydayoungan

Forever 23 — Jaydayoungan

OTXmas — Shoreline Mafia

Dying to Live — Kodak Black

TRIFECTA — Big K.R.I.T.

iridescence — BROCKHAMPTON

Hooligans — Vic Mensa

Pain — Derez De’Shon

Pain 2 Derez De’Shon

Egypt Station — Paul McCartney

Creed II: The Album — Mike WiLL Made-It

A Very Spidey Christmas

i am > i was — 21 Savage

Realer — YoungBoy Never Broke Again

X 100PRE — Bad Bunny

Hoodie SZN — A Boogie wit da Hoodie

Blindspotting: The Miles EP

GANGIN II — SOB X RBE

POISON — Swizz Beatz

Bruce Wayne — Fetty Wap

7 — Beach House

American Utopia — David Byrne

Caution — Mariah Carey

Origins — Imagine Dragons

DROGAS WAVE — Lupe Fiasco

 

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