The Best Albums of 2018 by Genre

Hip-hop, metal, pop, and more picks from our critics

Doug Freeman (Country)

1) Brandi Carlile, By the Way, I Forgive You (Low Country Sound/Elektra)

2) Malcolm Holcombe, Come Hell or High Water (Gypsy Eyes)

3) Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour (MCA)

4) Brent Cobb, Providence Canyon (Low Country Sound/Elektra)

5) Courtney Marie Andrews, May Your Kindness Remain (Fat Possum)

6) I'm With Her, See You Around (Rounder)

7) Jeffrey Foucault, Blood Brothers

8) Charley Crockett, Lonesome as a Shadow (Son of Davy)

9) Cody Jinks, Lifers (Rounder)

10) Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis, Wild! Wild! Wild! (Bloodshot)

Christina Garcia (Latin)

1) Chancha Vía Circuito, Bienaventuranza (Wonderwheel)

2) J Balvin, Vibras (Universal Music Latino)

3) Rosalía, El Mal Querer (Sony)

4) Natalia Lafourcade with Los Macorinos, Musas, Vol. 2 (Sony)

5) Dos Santos, Logos (International Anthem)

6) Mon Laferte, Norma (Universal Music Mexico)

7) Eddie Palmieri, Mi Luz Mayor (Ropeadope)

8) Alex Anwandter, Latinoamericana (Nacional)

9) Mint Field, Pasar de las Luces (Innovative Leisure)

10) Aterciopelados, Claroscura (Sony)

Dan Gentile (Electronic)

1) DJ Koze, Knock Knock (Pampa)

2) Oneohtrix Point Never, Age Of (Warp)

3) Brian Eno, Music for Installations (Astralwerks/Opal/Universal)

4) Nu Guinea, Nuova Napoli (NG)

5) Ross From Friends, Family Portrait (Brainfeeder)

6) Robyn, Honey (Konichiwa/Interscope/Island)

7) Holodeck Vision One (Holodeck)

8) Hunee, Hunchin' All Night (Rush Hour)

9) Dallas Acid, Laraaji, Arji OceAnanda, Arrive Without Leaving (Flying Moonlight)

10) Leon Vynehall, Nothing Is Still (Ninja Tune)

Raoul Hernandez (Metal)

1) Portal, Ion (Profound Lore)

2) Judas Priest, Firepower (Columbia)

3) Immortal, Northern Chaos Gods (Nuclear Blast)

4) At the Gates, To Drink From the Night Itself (Century Media)

5) Rebel Wizard, Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response (Prosthetic)

6) Mournful Congregation, The Incubus of Karma (Osmose Productions)

7) Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Wasteland (Rise Above)

8) Skull, The Endless Road Turns Dark (Tee Pee)

9) High on Fire, Electric Messiah (eOne)

10) Evoken, Hypnagogia (Profound Lore)

Alejandra Ramirez (Pop)

1) Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour (MCA)

2) Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)

3) Ariana Grande, Sweetener (Republic)

4) Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic/KSR)

5) Robyn, Honey (Konichiwa/Interscope/Island)

6) Internet, Hive Mind (Columbia)

7) Kali Uchis, Isolation (Virgin EMI)

8) Carters (Beyoncé with Jay-Z), Everything Is Love (Parkwood/Roc Nation/Sony)

9) 1975, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (Dirty Hit/Polydor)

10) Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (Interscope)

Kahron Spearman (Hip-Hop)

1) Noname, Room 25

2) J.I.D, DiCaprio 2 (Dreamville/Interscope/J. Cole)

3) Saba, Care for Me (Saba Pivot)

4) Earl Sweatshirt, Some Rap Songs (Tan Cressida/Columbia)

5) Young Fathers, Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune)

6) Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic/KSR)

7) Pusha T, Daytona (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam)

8) Nipsey Hussle, Victory Lap (Atlantic)

9) Royce da 5'9", Book of Ryan (eOne)

10) 03 Greedo, God Level (Alamo)

Jeremy Steinberger (Jazz)

1) Sons of Kemet, Your Queen Is a Reptile (Impulse!/Verve)

2) Joe Armon-Jones, Starting Today (Brownswood)

3) Brad Mehldau Trio, Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)

4) We Out Here (Brownswood)

5) Makaya McCraven, Universal Beings (International Anthem)

6) Kamasi Washington, Heaven and Earth (Young Turks)

7) Kamaal Williams, The Return (Black Focus)

8) Cécile McLorin Salvant, The Window (Mack Avenue)

9) Peter Gall (ft. Wanja Slavin, Rainer Böhm, Matthias Pichler), Paradox Dreambox (Traumton)

10) R+R=Now, Collagically Speaking (Capitol)

Libby Webster (Indie Rock)

1) Haley Heynderickx, I Need to Start a Garden (Mama Bird)

2) Gia Margaret, There's Always Glimmer (Orindal)

3) Snail Mail, Lush (Matador)

4) Black Belt Eagle Scout, Mother of My Children (Saddle Creek)

5) Mal Devisa, Shade and the Little Creature

6) Soccer Mommy, Clean (Fat Possum)

7) Beach House, 7 (Sub Pop)

8) Tasha, Alone at Last (Father/Daughter)

9) U.S. Girls, In a Poem Unlimited (4AD)

10) Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! (Rough Trade)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Top 10s 2018
The Top 10 Austin News Milestones of 2018
The Top 10 Austin News Milestones of 2018
Days like these

Mike Clark-Madison, Dec. 28, 2018

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 26, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 12, 2021

More by Christina Garcia
You Won’t Catch Max Richter Sleeping
You Won’t Catch Max Richter Sleeping
A 60-minute edit of the 8-hour Sleep? Do tell!

Oct. 17, 2019

ACL Live Review: Robyn
Everybody dance now

Oct. 14, 2019

More by Dan Gentile
The Beach Bum
Fear and loathing in Florida with Korine and Matthew McConaughey

March 29, 2019

SXSW Music Review: Japan/Korea Summit
SXSW Music Review: Japan/Korea Summit
The best of Asian rap and electro for the cost of a Lone Star

March 16, 2019


Top 10s 2018

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle