10. The Kids Are Alright // Chloe & Halle
As far as debut albums go, The Kids Are Alright is as good as it gets. Written, produced, and perfectly executed by the duo from Atlanta, this is album should be on all of your playlists.
9. My Dear Melancholy // The Weeknd
This year marked The Weeknd’s return to his roots. With an unexpected EP, Abel brought the world back to the dark, lonely world of albums like Trilogy and Kissland. The songs are great, but more importantly they are authentic. Starboy was great, but hopefully 2019 brings more of the The Weeknd’s classic sound.
8. Sweetener // Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande’s Pharrell-produced album was one of the biggest moments in music. Visually and sonically, Sweetener is one of the most re-listenable projects of 2018.
7. Black Panther: The Album // Kendrick Lamar
I’ve already written plenty about the genius of this album, but in short: it’s a perfect blending of the best rapper in music and one of the best movies of the year. Rap, R&B, and soul come together perfectly in one of the of the more creative and imaginative soundtracks of the year.
6. Whack World // Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack’s 15-minute, 15-song work of art is a short but purposeful album with an equally stunning visual component. In a year full of long, overdrawn projects, Whack World represents a less overbearing style that more artists could benefit from adopting.
5. Invasion Of Privacy // Cardi B
Invasion of Privacy was the period to end the first chapter of Cardi B’s rise. The guest list is perfect, the length is under control, and the message is clear: Cardi is here to stay.
4. Swimming // Mac Miller
The final album from Mac Miller is a well paced, perfectly produced journey into the life of an legend. As with each album from Mac, Swimming was another showcase of a sound that never stopped evolving.
3. Daytona // Pusha T
Exclusively produced by Kanye West, Daytona is Pusha T at his finest. At just seven songs, the album is an angry firestorm of quoteworthy bars and reminders that King Push is still at the top of his game. Daytona also ignited the best rap beef of 2018 and that alone is enough to have it in your top three.
2. FM! // Vince Staples
Vince Staples’ album continued the trend of short records with its short 22-minute run time. In that time, Vince managed to give us summer time vibes with features from some of music’s best collaborators. It may of come late in the year, but it was easily one of 2018’s strongest offerings.
1. Astroworld // Travis Scott
After two years of teasing, Travis Scott finally delivered on of the most anticipated albums of the decade. With expansive production, high profile features, and large moments, Travis took 2018 and molded it into his own personal theme park. Sicko Mode became the year’s biggest hit almost immediately. His live performances--including one that literally got him arrested for starting a riot--only added to his growing legacy. It may have taken longer than expected, but 2018 was the year Astroworld finally went global.
By Michael Miller