We don’t like charts. So these are the best albums of 2018, listed in no particular order.
Black Panther – The Album
Can the soundtrack album of a Marvel movie be one of the best albums of the year? Yes, if it is curated and produced by Kendrick Lamar, featuring some of the hottest names of the latest generation of rappers.
The upshot is that the soundtrack is more beautiful than the movie.
Rosalía – El Mal Querer
The music phenomenon of the year. Rosalía has revolutionized flamenco with her second album El Mal Querer, which is a remarkable feat, linking the Catalan tradition to the modern R&B.
Blood Orange – Negro Swan
Dev Hynes’ fourth album as Blood Orange is sort of like a stream of consciousness, exploring his black depression and fragilities. However, Negro Swan tells these stories with the Hynes’ characteristic soul sound, full of sublime and soft melodies.
Nu Guinea – Nuova Napoli
Nuova Napoli is the most extraordinary album of 2018. Inspired by the 70s sound of Neapolitan Power, Nu Guinea have crossed the borders of Southern Italy, reaching success also out of Italy.
Wondering whether it’s retromania or not really does not make sense anymore.
Brockhampton – iridescence
Brockhampton showed they are the best boy band of the World this year. One day they performed on SNL, the next day they dropped a new video, then a new album and so on: a calendar full of releases, successes and tour dates. Nobody can stop them.
Kamasi Washington – Heaven & Earth
We are on Earth but Kamasi makes us feel Heaven. His metaphysical jazz brings us into another dimension, in perfect balance between reality and idealization.
Noname – Room 25
Noname’s second album is more than a positive confirmation. With her amazing flow, the Chicago rapper offers a sincere portrait of herself while questioning the world around her. Difficult to find such a sweetness elsewhere.
Tirzah – Devotion
Produced by Mica Levi, Tirzah’s debut sounds like an invitation to explore her intimacy. It’s a collection of love songs, moving between R&B, soul and unexpected ideas.
Any Other – Two, Geography
Adele Nigro is one of the few Italian artists who deserves a place on an international chart. Her latest album Two, Geography shows a good maturity of writing and an honest approach to her reference artists.
Pusha T – DAYTONA
IF YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW.
SOPHIE – Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
SOPHIE’s debut album, Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides finds itself torn between vulnerability and strength. Her own voice appeared digitally altered on those plastic-pop tracks, dancing along divine production.
Kanye West – Ye
Despite the bullshit he said, Kanye West’s productive mind is something unique. Only this year he produced Pusha T’s Daytona, KIDS SEE GHOSTS, Nasir and his latest album Ye: how can we not be bipolar to Kanye?
Kali Uchis – Isolation
The debut album from singer Kali Uchis explores all shades of R&B, featuring guests like Steve Lacy, Tyler, Bootsy Collins, Jorja Smith, and Damon Albarn. We’re still obsessed with it.
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
Because with her, we get lost, but then we find ourselves again.
Earl Sweatshirt – Some rap songs
It’s not a simple album in search of hype: Some rap songs are about pain and depression, setting the music as a backdrop for emotional lyrics. That’s why it is one of the most important albums of 2018.
Puma Blue – Blood Loss
Puma Blue is a fascinating mix of King Krule and Jeff Buckley. You can sip his magic potion “Blood Loss” while you’re sitting on your sofa: it will be the greatest finding of the year.