Expect some deeper writing from me about 2018 stuff in this space soon!
I listened to a ton of albums this year, and I think these are the ten best!
10. boygenius: boygenius
I know they all have their own perfectly great things going on, but I’d be more than down for a full length of this. I have friends and family who went to their show, and with time I’m growing more and more annoyed with myself that I missed it. If they’re still coming through your neck of the woods, don’t make the mistake I made.
9. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy
A lot to say here, like how I didn’t expect this album to have as much variety as it does, but I wasn’t sure this would be on this list until the other day it hit me just how strong a piece of storytelling “Thru Your Phone” is.
8. Snail Mail: Lush
She’s nineteen! What the fuck! Anyway, some might think that the rest of the album doesn’t stand up to “Pristine” or “Heat Wave,” and so did I, but all of the songs pretty much live up to the latter. One day you just realize that the “Full Control” refrain is with you forever, little things like that.
7. The Beths: Future Me Hates Me
So it’s down here at #7, but hearing The Beths’ album was probably the most excited I’ve been about music all year, the way I felt hearing Alex Lahey the first time last year. I’m so eager to follow them in the years to come.
6. Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour
Yeah, yeah, country for people who don’t actually like country, whatever. But not a lot calms me like a Kacey Musgraves melody, and that remains true even as she’s become more concerned with atmosphere and dropped her punchline-after-punchline approach. She’s classic in the right way.
5. SOPHIE: OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
PC Music mocked and lightly ribbed pop music. Here, SOPHIE has melted its pretty face off.
4. noname: Room 25
There’s something so gentle about noname’s nimble wordplay. And already she’s put out an ambitious album worthy of her easily apparent talent. It’s cliché to point to it at this point, but, man, “My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism.”
3. Mitski: Be The Cowboy
I was definitely of two minds when Mitski ditched her DIY sound for a polish that reminded me of, I dunno, St. Vincent? But no, this approach brings her storytelling to the fore in a way it just wasn’t before, and she’s been rightly recognized as finding a breakthrough.
2. Parquet Courts: Wide Awaaaaake!
The political rock album of the Trump era. Unless we’ve got six more years of this. How exciting!
1. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer
A lot to say about this album! I’ll keep it to one thing. Look, I love her other two albums. But I’m very happy that she released a shorter album. Instant classic.
IDLES: Joy as an Act of Resistance.
The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel
Pusha T: Daytona
Kali Uchis: Isolation
Kendrick Lamar & Various Artists: Black Panther The Album
Let’s Eat Grandma: I’m All Ears
Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy (Face To Face)