♬ 2018

These are my favorite album releases of this calendar year— drawn.

In no particular order (but ordered) and incomplete.

by Adam Crigger

Snail Mail

Most of the teen-rock that I gravitate toward has no lasting capacity. This is different. Lindsay has a bright future ahead of her and I'm ready for it.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

A heart-breaking journey through grief and loss which at times feels more like a therapy session than a hip-hop record. This was my favorite record of the year and I'm uncomfortable admitting how much PROM / KING emotionally destroyed me on the initial listen.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
God's Favorite Customer
Father John Misty

Mr. Tillman delivers another witty and narcissistic set that's thankfully a bit less bleak than last year's release.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Room 25

Noname comes with a surprising burst of confidence after a vulnerable and charming debut. (Telefone) A jazzy score provides a fitting stage for her words to juke throughout in her signature sing-song cadence as she reminds us that everything is everything.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Running to the Sun
St. Beauty

The kind of soulful and infectious debut that you'd expect from a group signed to Janelle Monae's Wondaland Records label.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Lupe Fiasco

If you've been a Lupe stan since the come-up, you know that it's not been an easy existence. The life is rewarding sometimes (see Tetsuo & Youth) but isn't without the occasional facepalm. This DROGAS is worth it for those patient enough to explore the feature-length runtime.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Negro Swan
Blood Orange

I don't know how to move to this album or classify it into a genre. I feel like whatever label you put on this record (Or Devonté) would be wrong. This is Dev doing too much.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Mac Miller

There was a time when I was not a fan of Mac. His last four albums completely flipped that script as he continued to improve. This was his best, it's a shame that it's his last.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Hive Mind
The Internet

I enjoy each of the individuals that comprise The Internet as independent artists— it's neat that they're also reaching peak-funk as a group. Come Over might be my song of the year.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Twin Fantasy
(Face to Face)
Car Seat Headrest

This was the first time that I was continually drawn back to a Car Seat Headrest record. This release was taste-aquisition for yours-truly and opened the door to enjoy the back-catalogue that I've so-heavily slept-on.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Teyana Taylor

Of all the seven-song yeezers that dropped this summer, Teyana's project had my favorite collection of "Old Kanye" beats. My only problem with this album is that it's too short.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Tha Carter V
Lil Wayne

It's been long enough— I had no expectations for this album. (release included) But Weezy brings enough to the table to prove that he's still notable today and undoubtedly one of the most influential artists in rap.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
And Nothing Hurt

I was only twenty years late to Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space so I tried to get ahead of this release and I wasn't disappointed. This is huge and somber space-rock concerning mortality and self-awareness and it's lovely.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Whack World
Tierra Whack

Even without the visual component of the project, this fifteen-song / fifteen-minute project holds up. It's a maze and I've been glad to put it on repeat and get lost in the number of rotations.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

Smi di Grigio's style is the audial embodiment of r/oddlysatisfying and he continues to pave his lane with this record. I can't get enough.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Sean Leon
(The Death Of)
Sean Leon

The criminally-underrated Maui Slim delivers another cohesive project that drips creativity as we navigate through the artist's near-death dream.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Boy in Jeans
Ryan Beatty

I was introduced to this record through Beatty's features on Tyler's Grinch album. This is the queer teen indie-pop record that I've been needing all year.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
The O’My’s

There's something super huggable about this album. It smells good. These boys are full of soul and sweetness without trying too hard to win your adoration. The results are a record with loads of replay value.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Freddie Gibbs

Nobody is doing this style of hip-hop better than Gangsta Gibbs right now. Freddie is unapologetically Gibbs and the attitude is contagious when this record is bumping. I liked Fetti just as much as this release but this artwork was more fun to draw. (Shoutout Teddy)

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Dirty Computer
Janelle Monáe

HOW CAN SHE BE SO GOOD AT EVERYTHING? The swagger-punch delivered by this release is ridiculous. I have trouble ranking any other project above Janelle's departure from the Mayweather persona.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

The best thing to come out of the creative bender that Kanye subjected himself to in Wyoming before going completely off the deep end. Ghost Town (pt. 1) should have been on this album instead of ye but that's my only qualm with this project.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

Neo hits us with her brand of neon r'n'b that never fails to have me catching feelings. While the subject manner of this album isn't particularly joyful, I've found it impossible to abstain from dancing.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Denzel Curry

A confusing, segmented, and polarizing drop by one of rap's brightest young stars. I hear bits of all my favorite MCs in this guy. It's obvious that Denzel loves creating and it's ever-so apparent through the thought put into this album.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
DiCaprio 2

JID makes it clear that he's aiming to be the next to take the top spot in the rap game. Kendrick isn't going anywhere— but JID is very convincing with this release, which at times gives me similar feels to the energy that section.80 pushed out.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Kali Uchis

Although this is her proper debut, Miss Uchis is no rookie and it's proven by the quality of polish on this release. Her voice is most intriguing part of her art and I don't just mean the sounds her mouth make. Kali is the sweetest peach to fall and this record is a peach scone.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Vince Staples

Leave it to Vince to make it feel like summer in the wintertime. He continues his undefeated streak with a concept album honoring radio.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Travis $cott

An hour of it being lit. ASTROWORLD is $cott's most approachable project to date but that doesn't detract from the charm of his once-unique brand of over-tuned whisper-shout bangers. He turns the function to bonnaroo with this one.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

Mahalia has a way of making me feel like she's writing these songs about me and I just want to apologize to her for being such an unapologetic ass sometimes.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

Ridiculously slept-on. Inevitable Frank Ocean comparisons should be considered compliments, but Choker separates himself a bit from those comparisons on his second release and the results are fruitful. Atomic tangerine kind-of fruitful. Hints of Prince and Timberlake.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Lost & Found
Jorja Smith

Soulful, smart, so much talent and a youthful spirit that I tend to seek out in music. I'm super to excited to hear more from Jorja in the future.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify

DAMN PEGGY— one of the more distorted and poignant albums of the year. This is the time capsule for the boundary of hip-hop in oh-eighteen and I’m afraid it’s brilliance won’t get noticed until we dig it back up. Uncomfortable and nasty but still beautiful tho, this album is not for everyone.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify
Pusha T

If I was asked to explain stank-face— I would stitch together a composite portrait of hip-hop-heads initial-reactions to this album. Push doubles-down on his style with every new release and somehow avoids becoming a parody of himself. YEUGH.

Listen: Apple Music Spotify