We’ve reached the midpoint of our Top 50 list. We’ve already shouted-out some fantastic albums released in 2018, from Superorganism’s scintillating debut to Ariana Grande’s triumphant return. We’ve also got plenty left up our sleeves to reveal. Before we really get into the business-end of things with our No. 10 pick on Saturday, we’ve got the rest of the Top 30 to unveil – starting with Nos. 30-21 today, followed by 20-11 tomorrow. I’ve done enough talking. Let’s carry on with The Edge‘s Top Albums of 2018.
#30: Troye Sivan – Bloom
If Sivan‘s debut was the popstar coming to terms with his sexuality, Bloom is him urging others to do the same. The album is perfectly balanced, with hyper-personal ballads (‘The Good Side’) rubbing shoulders with out-and-out bangers (‘My My My!’, ‘Bloom’), creating an utterly affecting listening experience.
#29: The Magic Gang – The Magic Gang
Containing an impressively diverse set of tracks that somehow each still sound distinctly “Magic Gang” through their impassioned vocals and heartening instrumentation, the four-piece from Brighton crafted one of the greatest soft-rock records of the decade on their irresistibly upbeat self-titled debut.
#28: Natalia Lafourcade – Musas Vol. 2
In her second homage to the musical heritage of Mexico and Latin America in as many years, Lafourcade has another all-time great on her hands. Within the album’s delightful 13 tracks you’ll find delicate instrumentation, beautiful vocals, intensely engaging lyrics and a pervading sense of warmth and happiness that’s impossible to resist.
#27: Drake – Scorpion
When Drake dropped the rap behemoth that is Scorpion in the summer, it was impossible to avoid. That may have partly been down to the man’s ridiculous marketing budget, which practically let him turn Spotify into Spotify: Drake Edition for a week after his album’s release, but it’s also because Scorpion is so damn good. How can’t it be, when it features such bangers as ‘In My Feelings’, ‘Nice For What’ and of course ‘God’s Plan’? Scorpion broke streaming records across Spotify and Apple Music for good reason: it’s pure fire.
#26: The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy
In recent years, The Weeknd’s growth as a worldwide popstar has led to a shift towards a more catchy, radio-friendly sound that’s a long way from his old style of R&B. His split with Selena Gomez, however, prompted the release of My Dear Melancholy back in March: a fantastic EP/album with an atmosphere and seductiveness that marks a big throwback to his Trilogy era of mixtapes. With dark, hazy production and more personal and vulnerable lyrics than ever, My Dear Melancholy is a beautiful project that contains some of The Weeknd’s best work in years.
– words by Rob Tucker.
#25: Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
Impulsive, witty and unpredictable all at once, the Edinburgh trio return with an irresistibly delightful album that surprises you at every turn. With infectious bangers matched equally by reflective slow-burners, Cocoa Sugar is a truly special record.
#24: Beach House – 7
7 is a truly important album for Beach House, representing a shift in their sound that feels as effortless as it does surprising. It’s an ode to changing times and to the relationships weathered, strained and stressed by modernity – an opulent, gleaming jewel in the crown of Beach House’s discography. It’s more ethereal, distorted and haunting than anything they’ve produced so far – a testament to their breadth of influences and talent as musicians, a modern classic and a new standard for the dream-pop genre.
#23: Anderson .Paak – Oxnard
Is it possible for Anderson .Paak to produce anything that isn’t utterly danceable and infectiously groovy? Experimenting with jazz rap as well as funk and soul, the multi-talented MC’s latest record is an absolute bop from start to finish.
#22: Nicki Minaj – Queen
As with Drake’s Scorpion, the latest record from Nicki Minaj is a lesson in how to dominate the charts with lethal hip-hop. Featuring hits like ‘Beds’, ‘Good Form’ and ‘Chun-Li’, Queen is an album that’s impossible to resist.
#21: Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
A bold change of sound and luxurious production make for a divisive but equally memorable sixth album. Alex Turner‘s crooning voice and lyrics are still as sharp as ever, and they still have an element of melancholia reaching back to Whatever People Say I Am. Arctic Monkeys‘ latest record may have divided fans with their abrupt change in style, but for every fan criticising the band’s pretentious instrumentation and even more pretentious lyrics there’s 10 more applauding their bold artistic direction and creative vision.
The Edge‘s Top 50 Albums of 2018: Playlist Edition
Want to listen to all of this musical goodness? Follow our shiny Spotify playlist for highlights of our Top 50 albums, with new songs added as we approach that No. 1 Spot…