THE TALON

Top Albums of 2018 (By Month)

This year has been hit or miss with many mainstream albums, while smaller artists have flourished.

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2018 has already proven to be an interesting year for music. Many of the more mainstream artists like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Cardi B are currently on the off year of their typical 2 year album cycles, while others like Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott are just releasing bad music this year, allowing the spotlight to be shed on smaller artists.

January: Ephorize by Cupcakke

Best tracks: “Fullest”, “Duck Duck Goose”

Chicago rapper, Cupcakke (a.k.a. Elizabeth Harris), released her 5th full length studio album. Featuring some of her best production to date, Cupcakke kept up her sexually charged and at times humorous lyrics and aggressive flows, while also finding time for more reflective and serious tracks. She demonstrated improvements in her technical skill as well on tracks like “Cartoons” where she delivers rapid fire verses with allusions to several classic cartoons including Spongebob and Johnny Bravo.

February: Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) by Car Seat Headrest

Best tracks: “Beach Life-In-Death”, “My Boy (Twin Fantasy)”

Car Seat Headrest bring back the past with their re-release of their 2011 album Twin Fantasy. Featuring an overall increase in the quality of the sound, not much has changed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

March: The Kids Are Alright by Chloe x Halle

Best tracks: “Everywhere”, “Cool People”

Beyonce proteges Chloe and Halle Bailey released their first full length album after a string of EPs and singles. Featuring trap and R&B production throughout the album, the main draw to the album is the vocal chemistry between the sisters. Chloe and Halle manage to combine their very distinct voices from each other, yet still come together to create lush harmonies.

April: Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

Best tracks: “Make me feel”, “I Got the Juice (feat. Pharrell Williams)

Janelle Monae further establishes her android persona in her 3rd studio album release. Presenting some of her best work to date, Monae deals with themes of embracing femininity and celebrating Afropunk style and culture. The best song by far is the Prince assisted track “Make Me Feel” which builds on the musical styles of Prince, more specifically his 1986 single “Kiss”. Monae presents herself as an artist to be reckoned with leading the charge in the current landscape of Afropunk and funk music.

May: Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes

Best tracks: “In My Blood”, “Where Were You In The Morning?”

May proved to be a lull in stellar albums, yet Shawn Mendes came through with the best release of the month. Mendes displays a more mature sound on his self-titled, third studio album. Incorporating sleeker production, Mendes covers similar lyrical themes of his past work but handles them in a newer, more complex way.

June: Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides by SOPHIE

Best tracks: “It’s Okay To Cry”, “Faceshopping”

The debut album of PC music producer SOPHIE has proven to be the most off-the-wall experimental pop album of the year. With her signature production style of combining a cacophony of synthetic sounds into tracks that somehow come together for a mind-bending listening experience that is better than it has any right to be, with lyrical themes similar to other projects by PC music of materialism and fast, impulsive love. The album has more intimate tracks like “It’s Okay To Cry”, where SOPHIE gets rid of the vocal effects present in all of her music to date, to balance out the more abrasive tracks like “Faceshopping” and “Ponyboy”.

July: Palo Santo by Years & Years

Best tracks: “Palo Santo”, “Lucky Escape”

Years & Years offer more of their indietronica sound in their second studio album release. Palo Santo is a concept album set in the fictional world of Palo Santo. The band explores themes of sexuality, religion, and guilt. Highlights include the title track and “Lucky Escape”.

August: Villains by Emma Blackery

Best tracks: “Burn the Witch”, “Villains Pt. 2”

English Youtube star, Emma Blackery, transitioned to an entirely pop sound on her debut album. While many of the tracks sound like they could comfortably fit in any top 40 playlist, Blackery brings charisma and decent songwriting to set her apart from the pack.

 

With 4 months left, hopefully more great music will be released!

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