You know what it is. Here are our favourite albums of the year.
Notable things about our list this year: a lot of R&B, a lot of women in the top 15 (Jay Z as part of The Carters being the only man in the top 5), a lot of music from non-English speaking countries (including 3 in the top 5), and arguably no mainstream rap (unless you count The Carters and Pusha T).
01. Lary - Hart Fragil (R&B, Germany)
Lary, the most gifted and most criminally overlooked German vocalist in years, channels alt-R&B, neo-soul, traditional R&B, rap and.. Falco? Whatever exactly it is, it kills.
Listen to Mond.
02. Mariah Carey - Caution (R&B)
Mariah Carey’s new album is her best one since E=MC² and easily one of her best albums, which automatically makes it one of the best albums of the year. In a year were we discussed who the King of R&B is, Mariah reminded us that she is the reigning Empress.
Listen to Giving Me Life.
03. Rosalía - El Mal Querer (Flamenco/R&B, Spain)
Flamenco x R&B = Perfection. This album is a masterpiece of modern European “urban music” (yes, urban is a bad phrase, but in this case a convenient shorthand nonetheless).
Listen to Malamente.
04. The Carters - Everything Is Love (R&B/Hip Hop)
Ain't no way to stop this love.
Listen to Boss.
05. Bad Gyal - Worldwide Angel (Reggaeton/Dancehall/Pop/R&B, Spain)
Another Catalonian gem. A girl from a small Spanish town fell in love with a niche subculture, moved to Barcelona and starting making some of the freshest music that you can currently find.
Listen to Blink.
06. Gavlyn - Headspace (Hip Hop)
Gavlyn released one of the most effortlessly fresh sounding boom bap albums of the year, once again proving that you can both look back and sound current at the same time.
Listen to Looking Back.
07. Drangsal - Zores (Post-Punk/New Wave, Germany)
80s Toten Hosen x Nena x The Cure, but for 2018.
Listen to Und Du? (Vol. II).
08. Evidence - Weather Or Not (Hip Hop)
Evidence once again effortlessly raps about his life over some of the best beats Alchemist, Nottz, Premo and others have to offer. I will never not love this formula.
Listen to Throw It All Away.
09. Ruston Kelly - Dying Star (Country)
Ruston Kelly, Kacey Musgrave’s husband, released the best, most gripping country album since Kacey Musgrave’s Pageant Material. What a family.
Listen to Mockingbird.
10. Curse - Die Farbe Von Wasser (Hip Hop, Germany)
After some misguided pop escapades, Curse, Germany’s original answer to Common and one of Europe’s best rappers, returned to distributing keys over soulful beats that combine modern influences with a golden era foundation. It’s exactly what we needed him to do in 2018.
Listen to Was Du Bist.
11. Frank Sinatra - Standing Room Only (Jazz)
Specifically disc one, “Live At The Sands Hotel And Casino (1966)” with The Count Basie Orchestra. If you never quite understood what all the fuss is about, you will after listening to this.
Listen to I’ve Got You Under My Skin.
12. Scotty McCreery - Seasons Change (Country)
A fun, consistently well written, non-corny, radio-ass country album. It can still be done.
Listen to This Is It.
13. Rola - 12:12 (R&B, Germany)
Although many tried, nobody ever did a better job at translating 90s and 00s R&B into German, and yet Rola makes it sound easy.
Listen to Blender.
14. MihTy - MihTy (R&B)
In a year in which alt-leaning R&B and melodic trap once again dominated the conversation, MihTy instead decided to go back to the Ginuwine/Usher/R. Kelly/Etc. school of R&B. They might not be doing anything new, but you can’t help but smile when you listen to it.
Listen to FYT.
15. Red Velvet - The Perfect Red Velvet (K-Pop/R&B, South Korea)
In case you didn’t know: five Korean girls made some of the most unabashedly fun R&B songs of the year.
Listen to Bad Boy.
16 - 25, Unranked
August Greene (Common, Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins) - August Greene (Hip Hop/Jazz/R&B)
Teyana Taylor - K.T.S.E. (R&B)
Black Milk - Fever (Hip Hop)
Joel Ortiz & Apollo Brown - Mona Lisa (Hip Hop)
Pusha T - Daytona (Hip Hop)
Masta Ace & Marco Polo - A Breukelen Story (Hip Hop)
NIKI - Zephyr (R&B, Indonesia)
Bun B - Return Of The Trill (Hip Hop)
Tiny Moving Parts - Swell (Emo)
Ice Cube - Everythang's Corrupt (Hip Hop)
That was it. See you next year.
Marius | 1520