PopBuzz Top 20 'Albums of the Year' 2018

3 December 2018, 19:39

PopBuzz Albums of the Year 2018
PopBuzz Albums of the Year 2018. Picture: Rich Fury/Stringer, NBC/Contributor, Kevin Mazur/Contributor
Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

From Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' to The 1975's 'A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, what will be crowned the Best Album of 2018? The PopBuzz writers decide...

2018 has been an absolute BANGER of a year for many reasons: memes, #20Gayteen, Kris Jenner in the 'thank u, next' video... and of course, all of the high-quality albums that were released within the last twelve months. Now it's time to unjustly rank them.

To be honest, there are no losers here (except Drake - please learn how to edit, sweetie). We're all winners this year for we have been blessed with some of the finest bops, bangers and ballads today's musical climate has to offer. But unfortunately, cuts had to be made (budgeting reasons, I'm sure you'll understand) and some very good albums were sadly thrown overboard against their will. The Neighbourhood, you were so close. Hayley Kiyoko, Aminé... you will be dearly missed. Cher, your Dancing Queen album was simply too iconic to even consider ranking on this list.

Nevertheless, after a heated debate, the final ranking is complete. It is here. And there's no going back. Violence ensued, scathing comments were thrown, friendships fell and lives were absolutely ruined... but we'll all soon get over it.

Without further ado, here are PopBuzz's 20 best albums of 2018:

20) Little Mix - LM5

Little Mix have continuously provided us with impeccably crafted pop hits but have never delivered an album worthy of their potential until now. LM5 is bop after bop and feminist af. Highlights include ‘Strip’, ‘Wasabi’ and ‘Motivate’ but honestly? It all slaps. - Sam Prance

Key track: 'Motivate'


19) Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga - A Star Is Born OST

This album has everything: Jackson Maine's gravely vocals, Ally's raw ballads, Ally's sell-out bops, Alec Baldwin dialogue tracks and one of the best lyrics of all time (please see: 'Why Did You Do That?') Between the two of them (and the other credited writers), B. Cooper and L. Gaga crafted not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the most authentic and unforgettable soundtracks of all time. - Katie Louise Smith

Key track: 'Is that Alright?'

18) Years & Years - Palo Santo

It was always going to be tough topping Communion, and yet Olly and the boys managed to swerve the difficult second album and create a record that oscillated between tearing up the dancer floor and cleansing the soul. - Woodrow Whyte

Key track: 'Palo Santo'

17) 5 Seconds Of Summer - Youngblood

2018 saw the complete reinvention of 5SOS and nothing has ever felt more right. Graduating from the angsty teen-Pop Punk vibes we all know and (still) love to a much more mature sound with vulnerable lyrics and a few eighties-infused bops, the boys have proved that they've got what it takes to stick around and grow with their fans. - KLS

Key track: 'Moving Along'

16) Christine and the Queens - Chris

While the world bemoans the lack of superstars, Héloïse Letissier is literally standing right in front of us making impeccable pop music which is intelligent, subversive, catchy as hell, and stands tall next to some of the greats. We didn’t just like Chris, we needed it. - WW

Key track: 'Doesn't Matter'


15) The Carters - EVERYTHING IS LOVE

The Carters assert their dominance once more on EVERYTHING IS LOVE. Beyoncé shows off her immaculate flow on tracks like 'APESHIT' and 'FRIENDS', while Jay Z is suave and energetic across the album. Of course, "I ain't never seen a ceiling in my whole life, that's word to Blue" is the line of the album and, possibly, the century. - Nicky Idika

Key track: 'HEARD ABOUT US'

14) Travis Scott - Astroworld

Travis Scott proved he was a contender when he dropped Astroworld in August. I mean, what album has a cover shot by David LaChapelle, has it's own theme park and knocks Nicki Minaj off of the number one spot – a great one, is the correct answer. With psychedelic notes among Travis' unique use of autotune, it's not surprising that the platinum-selling hiphop album received critical acclaim. – Jazmin Duribe

Key track: 'Sicko Mode'

13) Troye Sivan - Bloom

#20GayTeen really came through with the goods and Troye Sivan’s second record was one of the standout moments. With songs about daddies, bottoming, and a duet with Ariana Grande - it couldn’t really get any gayer. On Bloom, Troye found his voice and now anything feels possible for TS3. - WW

Key track: 'Bloom'


12) Kali Uchis - Isolation

Kali Uchis carves out her own lane on Isolation. Isolation is dreamy and ethereal, bolstered by solid features from the likes of Jorja Smith and Tyler the Creator. The Spanish language track 'Nuestro Planeta' is also a bright spot on the release. - NI

Key track: 'Nuestro Planeta'

11) Mac Miller - Swimming

Mac Miller grew and developed as a rapper with every single album and Swimming was not only a career best but a hint as to what was still to come from beloved star. ‘Jet Fuel’, ‘Self Care’ and ‘What’s the Use?’ all show off his talents at their full force. - SP

Key track: 'Self Care'

10) Twenty One Pilots - Trench

Featuring an ICONIC lead up campaign including a website with intricate clues, coded billboards and a incredibly hotly anticipated surprise drop, how could Trench NOT make the list?! Trench is a strong follow up to 2015’s Blurryface and an instant classic in the hearts of the clique.

Key track: 'My Blood'


9) MNEK - Language

With Language, MNEK displays mastery in the art of crossing genres, giving fans a robust album of bops ONLY. MNEK's hard work and delivery simply cannot be overstated. MNEK truly comes correct with the bright and addictive Language. - NI

Key track: 'Tongue'

8) Camila Cabello - Camila

We love Camila but never in our wildest dreams did we expect such an assured and confident debut album. Instead of run-of-the-mill Katy Perry cast offs, Camila was a refreshing listen that had all the hallmarks of an artist striving to carve out her own identity in the pop landscape. We stan.

Key track: 'She Loves Control'


7) Kendrick Lamar's Black Panther soundtrack

With Black Panther making cinema history earlier this year, it was only natural that there would be a banging soundtrack to go with it. Fusing Kendrick's trademark rapping style, collabs with artists like SZA, Khalid and The Weekend and nods to Africa – the 40-person choir sang in the South African Xhosa language – this was definitely one of most powerful albums of the year. – JD

Key track: 'Kings Dead'

6) Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monae really did what needed to be done this year. Not only is Dirty Computer filled with perfectly crafted songs (‘Make Me Feel’, ‘Pynk’, ’Screwed') but it’s also Janelle’s most personal project to date. Songs like ‘Django Jane’ and ‘I Like That’ are so important and proof that Janelle is one of the most exciting artists in the world right now. - SP

Key track: 'Screwed'

5) Ariana Grande - Sweetener

Ariana Grande is the biggest popstar of her generation for a reason. She has one of the best voices in the business and a knack for creating perfect pop. ‘Sweetener’ saw her team up with Pharrell as well as her longterm collaborators Max Martin and Tommy Brown and the results are sublime. ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ is euphoric, ‘R.E.M’ is beautiful and ‘God Is A Woman’ is that bitch. Perhaps best of all though, every song sounds like it’s 100% Ariana. A legend has arrived. - SP

Key track: 'R.E.M.'


4) The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

If there’s one record on this list that embodies the time we live in, it’s this one. With its cautionary tales of the internet and earnest quest for sincerity and compassion, The 1975 have built on the multi-genre masterpiece of I Like It When You Sleep… and created yet another brilliant album that forces us to think about our relationships and have a quiet weep in our bedrooms when no one’s watching. Thanks guys.

Key track: 'Love It If We Made It'

3) Panic! At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked

Just when you thought 2016's Death of a Bachelor couldn't be matched, Brendon went and did THAT. Pray For The Wicked perfectly balances the tongue-in-cheek highs of fame and success ('Hey Look Ma, I Made It') with the lows of trying - and failing - to get there ('Dying In LA'). Coherent, iconic, show-stopping, never the same, totally different... 10/10, would go to Brendon's mansion for a Gatsby-themed party.

Key track: 'High Hopes'

2) Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

Golden Hour was a masterclass in songwriting that allowed Kacey to transcend the confines of the country world to blossom into a global phenomena. It is, in our eyes, a perfect album. Joanne could never.

Key track: 'Slow Burn'

1) Cardi B - Invasion Of Privacy

This time last year, Cardi B had like, two songs and a couple of features to her name. Four months later, she drops the album of the year and cements herself as one of the most powerful female rappers in the industry. Cardi manages to destroy all misconceptions about her on Invasion of Privacy, opening up about her vulnerabilities, her work ethic and even providing some of the best relationship advice we've ever heard. ('Leave his texts on read, leave his balls on blue
// Put it on airplane mode so none of those calls come through.

Key track: 'I Like It'