NPR

The 50 Best Albums Of 2018

Even in an era when listeners have been primed to expect the unexpected, the best albums of 2018 are full of surprises: a cascade of discoveries, revelations and artistic rebirths.
Source: Angela Hsieh

Art is identity, scream these best albums of 2018. Even when it's pure invention. The most striking things we heard this year mined personal experiences that could feel intimate as whispers or bold and overstuffed as superhero science fiction. Even in an era where listeners have been primed for the unexpected, genuine surprises arrived steadily across the last 12 months – a cascade of introductions, breakthroughs, revelations and rebirths to reward whatever precious attention you could give. (Not a huge surprise: Most of them, after the votes from our staff and member station partners were tallied, turned out to have been made by women.) We're happy to share NPR Music's list of the 50 best albums of 2018. You can listen to them here and hear a discussion on the year in music on All Songs Considered. We'll have lots more before the year ends.


50.

The Carters

Everything Is Love

Beyoncé and Jay-Z finally dropped a collaborative album, and it's triumphant in the truest sense of the word: jubilant, victorious. functions as a state-of-our-union victory lap after a pair of solo albums (Beyoncé's and Jay-Z's ) that picked through the debris of a widely publicized marital might feel comparatively slight, especially given how frequently the lyrics back-burner personal revelations in order to rejoice in the accumulation of wealth and status. ("My great-great-grandchildren already rich," Beyoncé notes in "BOSS," adding, "That's a lot of brown children on your list.") Still, the breathless celebration in feels hard-won, as music's dominant power couple crafts an infectious, album-length tribute to marital solidarity as the ultimate expression of power.

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