first Janelle Monáe, “Dirty Computer”
The interaction between people and machines has been a major feature of Janelle Monáe’s entire recording career. Her latest conceptual album, “Dirty Computer”, presents funky riffs (often with Prince echoes), beautiful battles and sharp pop songs to promise that love, polymorphic sensuality and an inclusive American spirit can conquer everything, even an imminent apocalypse. At the same time, Monáe’s full featured video – referred to as an “emotional image” – much more dystopic.
2nd Mitski, “Was Cowboy”
On her fifth album, Mitski has not figured out everything. Her asymmetrical songs still try to feel lust, love, life as an exercise and countless contradictory impulses. But she has grown deeper musically and moves far beyond the indie rock and chamber pop to try out synthesizers, disco beats, country and more while enjoying her voice search. On her larger screen, her dilemma only sounds more immediately.
3rd & # 39;
& # 39;
Intimate confidences grow dizzying and titanic in Josiah Wise songs, which register as snake feet. When he sings about love at his most devoted and unnecessary, his unprofessional voice comes as a multitude – tenor and falsetto, wisdom and proclamation, voice and singing – and it is evident in all directions. His vocals become dialogues, colloquies, choirs, armies and ghostly wisps, all parts of an endless search for connection.
4th Esperanza Spalding, ’12 Little Spells’
The songs at “12 Little Spells” have extensive intellectual superstructures. The text is linked to special body parts, while the music hoveres their jazzy chord progressions, devilish melodies, odd gauges and smart interlocking patterns. Does not matter; Spalding sings her complicated insights with such a breezy charm as the songs encounter as easy-minded, even light-hearted.
The Spanish singer and songwriter Rosalía Vila Tobella, now 25 years, deepened in the flamenco’s deepest traditions before smearing them into a thoroughly modern pop. songs on “El Mal Querer” (which can be translated as “Bad Desire” or “Bad Love”), produced by the electronic music El Guincho and others, she explores passion, jealousy and betrayal while handclaps link with the smallest field teams and flamenco’s Arabesques sing in the auto-tuned quavers: age’s old feelings expressed in the present time.
7th Ariana Grande, “Sweetener”
In order to celebrate romantic and fleshly luck along with career success while trying not to alleviate, Ariana Grande picked up experts in the pop factory – Pharrell Williams, Max Martin – to clear plenty of space around her voice. Developed but insistent skeleton tracks allow her song to retreat, hover, push back against pressure, blossom into harmonies and bask in satisfaction. And since less than three months after the release of the album came a postscript, one that announced that the romance was over: “Thank you, Next.”
Sophie Allison, the 21-year-old songwriter who plays in as the Soccer Mommy, started with homemade songs and her official debut album “Clean” is still based on low-movie bass units: spindly but late guitar pieces and one voice like do not hide their imperfections. Her songs engulf in lust, insecurity, betrayal and self-esteem, learning from all hurt feelings.
ninth Jupiter and Okwess, “Kin Sonic”
Jupiter Bokondji Ilola, the son of a Congolese diplomat who grew up in Tanzania and East Germany but returned to the fighting Democratic Republic of the Congo, leads a band of Okwess (“food” in the Kibunda language), based on rhythms and languages from all over Congo. It is a statement of unity; It’s also a trove of ideas that happen to be amazing funky, with another track in each song.
10th Autechre, NTS Sessions 1-4 & # 39;
The electronic duo Autechre delivered a magnum opus – eight hours of music – ordered by London’s online station NTS. It is a fully imagined artificial universe of unlikely times and rhythms of repetitions that are cracked and distorted by long waiting and sudden keys, propulsion and suspension, of expectations created and undermined by threatening consequences and fun sounds. Brittle, broken, punctual patterns ultimately lead to weightless, sustained rapture. The final track is almost an hour long: a reverential, euphoric disco.
[ See the critic’s list of the best songs 2018 .]
Tweaking Traditions and Mixing Attempts
3rd Juice WRLD, & Goodbye & Good Riddance & # 39;
A double album capturing all major dragon modes: indignation, flirtation, celebration and more anger. Nobody is better at internally narrative continuity than Drake, which is why he has the opportunity to make an album that’s completely up to date while it is mixed with Drake yesterday.
5th Gunna, & # 39; Drip Season 3 & # 39 ;; Lil Baby, ” Harder than ever”; Lil Baby and Gunna, “Drip Harder & # 39;
Young Thug’s children live and blossom – beautiful, abstract singer who caresses the streets of psychedelia. Lil Baby is fuzzy and coarse, while the elegant Gunna is worn at a new age.
6th Ashley McBryde, “Girl Going Nowhere”
Lean, senus, blues-bent country music from a singer with a voice that is thick but smooth. The still beauty of her song is impressive, but her easy-to-tell story feels very radical.
7th Kanye West, & # 39; Ye & # 39; and Kids See Ghosts, “Kids See Ghosts & # 39;
8th Cardi B, “Invasion of Privacy”
Cardi B, who arrived at reports of Instagram and reality’s TV fame, is not much for tradition or for a particular version of itself. So what is exciting if this album is its kind – you hear her work through who she can be in real-time, a fast-paced study that already runs to the front of the class.
As Weeknd has reached the popstratosphere in recent years, he has thrown a bit of scar tissue that made his earliest music so surprisingly disturbing. This EP album shows that he has not lost these abrasions.
10th Kane Brown, “Experiment”
Robusta songs about love. Strong songs about lust. Stable songs about faithfulness. Strong songs about growing up in the country. And a strong song about how political hypocrisy and its consequences can drown out all these things.
eleventh Pusha T, & # 39; Daytona & # 39;
Listening to Pusha T rap is like looking at a skyscraper, building a steel beam at a time. Each step is carefully programmed, each angle is sharp and the sum of the effect is overwhelmed.
12th The Blaze, “Dancehall”
Club music reframed as earth art.
thirteenth Turnstile, “Time & Space”
Hardcore that pummels locally and also reaches over time.
fourteenth Yves Tumor, “Safe in the Hands of Love”
Shades of sparkling industrial anarcho soul.
15th Lil Peep, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2”
The Ghost of 2018 Years In Pop That Never Was.