Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves and Beyoncé: Here's a look at the top 10 albums of the year

2018-12-12 11:37

New York — Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer has been named album of the year by The Associated Press; others in the top 10 include Kacey Musgraves, J. Cole, Chloe x Halle, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Ariana Grande and the soundtrack for season three of HBO's Insecure.

A lot of the albums on this list were also nominated for the 2019 Grammy Awards. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, 10 February 2019 in America. 


1. Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer

When Janelle Monae released the masterfully brilliant The ArchAndroid in 2010, it was hard to imagine how this futuristic, already-seasoned artist could grow, and where that growth would take her. Enter Dirty Computer, her third full-length album and another work of genius from one of contemporary music's best entertainers. There are so many ways to describe this stunning album: Honest. Fun. Sexual. Political. Thought-provoking. Empowering. Liberating. And simply put — it's just damn good. Songs like Crazy, Classic, Life, Take a Byte, Screwed, I Got the Juice and Pynk inject into your bloodstreams and spread a carefree confidence throughout your body, causing you to dance, and dance, and dance some more. It feels like freedom.

2. Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour

At its base, Kacey Musgraves' fourth album is a country record. And woven into it are sounds like dance, pop, R&B and other genres. The result is a piercing, soulful album where Musgraves' gliding vocals treat each song like a mini masterpiece. The lyrics are strong and sharp throughout the 13-track album, and each song is touching and beautiful. Golden Hour will put a smile on your face, and live inside of your heart.

3. J. Cole, KOD

At a time when the entertainment world is questioning the relevance of the Grammys, it's hard to take the organisation seriously when J. Cole's KOD didn't garner a nomination for best rap album. His fifth release, which he mainly produced on his own, is powerful, striking and remarkable, and easily the year's best hip-hop album, and we don't need a Grammy co-sign to confirm that.

4. Various artists, Insecure: Music from the HBO Original Series, Season 3

There's not much that can hold you over during the months and months of waiting in between seasons of Insecure, except for the TV show's epic soundtrack. This compilation is a breezy effort that plays smoother than most of the albums released this year. Every song is outstanding — no skipping going on here — and the track list will give a chance to discover some artists you may have never heard before.

5. Chloe x Halle, The Kids Are Alright

The sister duo Chloe x Halle have beautifully mastered harmonisation, and they sound like angels throughout The Kids Are Alright. The album intro, Hello Friend, brilliantly transitions into the title track and the rest of the next-level songs, from Fake to "Everywhere" to "Happy Without Me," prove there's more to come from the talented Beyoncé mentees.

6. The Carters, Everything Is Love

Beyoncé's debut rap album was an adventure and further shows that there is probably little she can't do. She shines, alongside Jay-Z, on their first collaborative album that is a mix of Soundcloud rap, alternative R&B and overall amazingness.

7. Robyn, Honey

Robyn's album is like a tasty dessert, with just the right amount of sweetness.

8. Ariana Grande, Sweetener

With all her successful singles, Ariana Grande may not come across as an album artist, but that's not accurate. Sweetener is her fourth album and her fourth laudable effort, which is a great blend of upbeat jams and pop-R&B ballads.

9. Christine and the Queens, Chris

French singer Christine and the Queens' sophomore album is a pop escapade, with addictive songs like Comme si, Girlfriend, Goya Soda and Feels so good are worth listening to again and again.

10. Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear, The Radio Winners

Harmonising with family members — done correctly — can feel like an out-of-body experience. The mother-and-son duo Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear know how to do just that, and their latest EP, The Radio Winners, proves it.

Read more on:    janelle monae  |  beyoncé  |  music

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.