Everything is put on the table as they not only address personal struggles on the album — and that infamous elevator incident — they sing and rap about how they got through the good times and bad. There’s care and love in these songs, in the writing, production, and obvious dedication. And for more of 2018's best albums, see which titles critics are including on their year-end top 10 lists, or view our list of this year's best debut albums. On “Seasons,” after Mozzy and Reason analyze the perils of systemic racism that Killmonger suffered through, Kendrick powerfully states, “I am T’Challa. Their lyrics are piercing — we’ve come to expect that by now, since Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus are three of the biggest indie breakouts of the past few years, and we’ve seen their genius in their solo work. Sweetener was brilliant when Ariana Grande was in love, and somehow it’s even more brilliant now. There was no sophomore slump for French singer-songwriter Héloïse Letissier. Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. The only thing that felt expected about this year’s So Sad So Sexy was really the title, which got to the very core of what Lykke Li represents. While McMahon’s gaze remains fixated on the stars, Freedom isn’t a dreamy or torpid — the songs are always moving toward rousing climaxes, especially on the album highlight “Believe,” which builds from a murmur to a wave of Delicate Steve’s Edge-like guitar arpeggios. It may be in 10th place by score, but Cowboy is turning out to be one of 2018's most memorable releases, with many critics placing it at or near the top of their year-end top 10 lists. Everything Is Love‘s other tracks such as “Boss,” “713,” and “Friends,” continue to tell The Carters’ story as they want to tell it — through great production and catchy hooks. He won’t be bound by labels and subgroups but is the kind of artist who is destined for fame so expansive it drops any pretense of gender, sexuality, name, or origin story. The Best Albums of 2018 … "Honey is a near-flawless dance pop album. "Despite the album’s title, Microshift represents not a minor step up but a gigantic stride. Do you really think that in this list should be Star Wars Jedi:... lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll... Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy, starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams, premiers on Netflix Tuesday, November 24. Listening to Voicenotes, you get the impression that Puth is more confident than ever in who he is as an artist. As Grouper, Liz Harris has been able to create a world that dwells in the grey so many of us call home. In some ways, 2018 felt … Manhood, especially manhood as defined by the narrow scope allotted to it by the established tenets of hip-hop culture and rap music, is a funny thing. The goal of a lot of music is to tell a story, and a song can get a message across without a single spoken phrase. He’s been active ever since, and it’s all led up to Knock Knock, his first full-length since 2013’s Amygdala. Working over the span of just a week and a half, Harris layered austere piano melodies and porous vocal harmonies across seven tracks, which take up just 22 minutes. and your favorite movie hero still is Vampire Edward from “Twilight”. From Travis Scott's 'ASTROWORLD' to Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V,' here are Complex’s 50 best albums of 2018. Maybe it’s joy buried within loneliness. That’s what makes Spiritualized’s Vonnegut-referencing album title a bit of a misdirection, because while maybe the pain subsides once the album is out in the world, from all reports, creating And Nothing Hurt was a taxing, nearly destructive process for Jason Pierce. Maybe that’s what makes Mick Jenkins’ 16-song exploration of manhood so densely layered and engaging. As Colombia’s biggest superstar, J Balvin has carved out a space in mainstream music on his own terms; he makes no concessions for English speakers, instead serving up a colorful tour of Latin America’s hottest musical trends.