Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. Year-end lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, we make no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

2018 Albums

Bob Boilen: Top Ten Albums of 2018

20 December 2018

Bob Boilen: Top Ten Albums of 2018, as published by NPR’s NPR Music

[see also 2019, 2017, 2011]

  1. Lucy DacusHistorian
  2. SuperorganismSuperorganism
  3. Ólafur Arnaldsre:member
  4. DarlingsideExtralife
  5. Adrianne Lenkerabysskiss
  6. David ByrneAmerican Utopia
  7. Niklas PaschburgOceanic
  8. John PrineThe Tree of Forgiveness
  9. serpentwithfeetsoil
  10. The Low AnthemThe Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea

Vinyl Me, Please: Best Albums of 2018

20 December 2018

Vinyl Me, Please: Best Albums of 2018

[see also 2017]

  1. MitskiBe the Cowboy
  2. serpentwithfeetsoil
  3. Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour
  4. NonameRoom 25
  5. Earl SweatshirtSome Rap Songs
  6. Janelle MonáeDirty Computer
  7. SabaCare for Me
  8. Tierra WhackWhack World
  9. Caroline RoseLONER
  10. Armand HammerParaffin
  11. Beach House7
  12. KhruangbinCon Todo El Mundo
  13. JPEGMAFIAVeteran
  14. Colter WallSongs of the Plains
  15. Christine and the QueensChris
  16. Cardi BInvasion of Privacy
  17. Blood OrangeNegro Swan
  18. DeafheavenOrdinary Corrupt Human Love
  19. Orquesta AkokánOrquesta Akokán
  20. Rico NastyNasty
  21. YOBOur Raw Heart
  22. Arctic MonkeysTranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  23. Yves TumorSafe in the Hands of Love
  24. Ness NiteDream Girl
  25. Playboi CartiDie Lit
  26. Snail MailLush
  27. RosalíaEl Mal Querer
  28. Adrianne Lenkerabysskiss
  29. Ariana GrandeSweetener
  30. Amen DunesFreedom
  31. Denzel CurryTA13OO
  32. Father John MistyGod’s Favorite Customer
  33. Mount EerieNow Only
  34. Kamasi WashingtonHeaven and Earth
  35. boygeniusboygenius
  36. Pusha TDaytona
  37. Charlie PuthVoicenotes
  38. Ambrose AkinmusireOrigami Harvest
  39. Travis ScottASTROWORLD
  40. Lady Gaga & Bradley CooperA Star Is Born Soundtrack

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2018

20 December 2018

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2018

[see also 2017, 2016, 2012, 2011]

  1. Tony MolinaKill the Lights
  2. The Goon SaxWe’re Not Talking
  3. OughtRoom Inside the World
  4. Salad BoysThis Is Glue
  5. Dan ManganMore or Less
  6. Shy BoysBell House
  7. PapercutsParallel Universe Blues
  8. ShameSongs of Praise
  9. Amen DunesFreedom
  10. HaterSiesta
  11. Alien BoySleeping Lessons
  12. The Spook SchoolCould It Be Different?
  13. Beach House7
  14. RestorationsLP5000
  15. Optiganally YoursO.Y. in Hi-Fi
  16. Dot DashProto Retro
  17. Say Sue MeWhere We Were Together
  18. Caroline RoseLONER
  19. BorzoiA Prayer For War
  20. Courtney BarnettTell Me How You Really Feel
  21. Wild NothingIndigo
  22. EthersEthers
  23. The BethsFuture Me Hates Me
  24. Peel Dream MagazineModern Meta Physic
  25. Sun JuneYears
  26. PreoccupationsNew Material
  27. Night ShopIn the Break
  28. Karen MeatYou're an Ugly Person
  29. DeafheavenOrdinary Corrupt Human Love
  30. Lingua FrancaModel Minority
  31. Rose MercieRose Mercie
  32. SmokescreensUsed to Yesterday
  33. Molly BurchFirst Flower
  34. ScarvesDinner Dates for the End of Days
  35. Olden YolkOlden Yolk
  36. BoysRest in Peace
  37. Parquet CourtsWide Awake!
  38. Dick StussoIn Heaven
  39. Snail MailLush
  40. The Love-BirdsIn the Lover's Corner
  41. The Innocence MissionSun on the Square
  42. Belle and SebastianHow to Solve Our Human Problems
  43. Caroline SaysNo Fool Like an Old Fool
  44. The Belle GameFear / Nothing
  45. LomaLoma
  46. En Attendant AnaLost and Found
  47. Rolling Blackouts Coastal FeverHope Downs
  48. RF ShannonTrickster Blues
  49. The Spirit Of The BeehiveHypnic Jerks
  50. Totally MildHer

Ken Tucker: Favorite Albums of 2018

20 December 2018

Ken Tucker: Favorite Albums of 2018, as aired on NPR’s Fresh Air

[see also 2019]

  1. Tracey ThornRecord
  2. Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour
  3. Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, SZABlack Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By
  4. Amy RigbyThe Old Guys
  5. Cardi BInvasion of Privacy
  6. Pistol AnniesInterstate Gospel
  7. Janelle MonáeDirty Computer
  8. John PrineThe Tree of Forgiveness
  9. Courtney BarnettTell Me How You Really Feel
  10. Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 by Robert Christgau

AllMusic: Best Albums of 2018

19 December 2018

AllMusic: Best Albums of 2018

[see also 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

Vibe: 30 Best Albums of 2018

19 December 2018

Vibe Magazine: 30 Best Albums of 2018

[see also 2019, 2017]

  1. 6LACKEast Atlanta Love Letter
  2. BROCKHAMPTONiridescence
  3. BuddyHarlan & Alondra
  4. Cardi BInvasion of Privacy
  5. The CartersEverything Is Love
  6. DrakeScorpion
  7. Ella MaiElla Mai
  8. EstelleLovers Rock
  9. The InternetHive Mind
  10. J. ColeKOD
  11. JIDDiCaprio 2
  12. Jacob BanksVillage
  13. Janelle MonáeDirty Computer
  14. Jay RockRedemption
  15. Lil WayneTha Carter V
  16. Mac MillerSwimming
  17. MasegoLady Lady
  18. Meek MillChampionships
  19. Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
  20. NonameRoom 25
  21. Pusha TDaytona
  22. ReasonThere You Have It
  23. Royce da 5'9"Book of Ryan
  24. SabaCare for Me
  25. SiRNovember
  26. Teyana TaylorK.T.S.E.
  27. Tierra WhackWhack World
  28. Travis ScottASTROWORLD
  29. Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, SZABlack Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By
  30. YGStay Dangerous

Alternative: Top 50 Albums of 2018

19 December 2018

The Alternative: Top 50 Albums of 2018

[see also 2017]

  1. Hop AlongBark Your Head Off, Dog
  2. MitskiBe the Cowboy
  3. FoxingNearer My God
  4. Just FriendsNothing but Love
  5. Retirement PartySomewhat Literate
  6. KississippiSunset Blush
  7. Camp CopeHow to Socialise & Make Friends
  8. boygeniusboygenius
  9. Sidney GishNo Dogs Allowed
  10. Drug ChurchCheer
  11. The 1975A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  12. Snail MailLush
  13. Jeff RosenstockPost-
  14. Soccer MommyClean
  15. mewithoutYou[Untitled]
  16. The Spirit Of The BeehiveHypnic Jerks
  17. Animal FlagVoid Ripper
  18. The SidekicksHappiness Hours
  19. Now, NowSaved
  20. Death Cab for CutieThank You for Today
  21. The Wonder YearsSister Cities
  22. Pool KidsMusic to Practice Safe Sex To
  23. The BethsFuture Me Hates Me
  24. Wild PinkYolk in the Fur
  25. Joyce ManorMillion Dollars to Kill Me
  26. Lucy DacusHistorian
  27. VeinErrorzone
  28. Mac MillerSwimming
  29. Gouge AwayBurnt Sugar
  30. Pusha TDaytona
  31. Spanish Love SongsSchmaltz
  32. Parquet CourtsWide Awake!
  33. Mom Jeans.Puppy Love
  34. Earl SweatshirtSome Rap Songs
  35. Culture AbuseBay Dream
  36. Donovan WolfingtonWaves
  37. illuminati hottiesKiss Yr Frenemies
  38. NonameRoom 25
  39. awakebutstillinbedWhat People Call Low Self​-​Esteem Is Really Just Seeing Yourself the Way That Other People See You
  40. PetalMagic Gone
  41. Graduating LifeGrad Life
  42. NothingDance on the Blacktop
  43. Save FaceMerci
  44. Remember SportsSlow Buzz
  45. HoderaBesides
  46. Antarctigo VespucciLove in the Time of E-Mail
  47. Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour
  48. Travis ScottASTROWORLD
  49. Stove's Favorite Friend
  50. The Sonder BombsModern Female Rockstar

Chris Richards: Best Music of 2018

19 December 2018

Chris Richards: Best Music of 2018, as published by The Washington Post

[see also 2019, 2017, 2011]

  1. serpentwithfeetsoil
  2. Drakeo the RulerCold Devil
  3. Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour
  4. BlocBoy JBSimi
  5. Lori McKennaThe Tree
  6. Ashley MonroeSparrow
  7. TurnstileTime & Space
  8. Eli KeszlerStadium
  9. Steve TibbettsLife Of
  10. Rico NastyNasty

The Wild Honey Pie: Top 30 Albums of 2018

19 December 2018

The Wild Honey Pie: Top 30 Albums of 2018

[see also 2010s, 2019, 2017, 2016]

  1. MitskiBe the Cowboy
  2. First Aid KitRuins
  3. boygeniusboygenius
  4. Janelle MonáeDirty Computer
  5. Fenne LilyOn Hold
  6. Lucy DacusHistorian
  7. Death Cab for CutieThank You for Today
  8. Soccer MommyClean
  9. Ariana GrandeSweetener
  10. Haley HeynderickxI Need to Start a Garden
  11. AsheThe Rabbit Hole
  12. Liza AnneFine But Dying
  13. PinegroveSkylight
  14. Adrianne Lenkerabysskiss
  15. Oh Pep!I Wasn't Only Thinking About You...
  16. Blood OrangeNegro Swan
  17. Miya FolickPremonitions
  18. Wild PinkYolk in the Fur
  19. Snail MailLush
  20. The BethsFuture Me Hates Me
  21. Lykke Liso sad so sexy
  22. Hop AlongBark Your Head Off, Dog
  23. WetStill Run
  24. Father John MistyGod’s Favorite Customer
  25. Florence + The MachineHigh As Hope
  26. The 1975A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  27. Cautious ClayBlood Type
  28. The Paper KitesOn the Corner Where You Live
  29. FoxwarrenFoxwarren
  30. PhosphorescentC’est La Vie

Les Inrocks: Top 50 Albums of 2018

18 December 2018

Les Inrockuptibles: Top 50 Albums of 2018

[see also 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011]

  1. Flavien BergerContre-Temps
  2. Arctic MonkeysTranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  3. Cat PowerWanderer
  4. MGMTLittle Dark Age
  5. IdlesJoy as an Act of Resistance
  6. Courtney BarnettTell Me How You Really Feel
  7. Kanye Westye
  8. Jorja SmithLost & Found
  9. MiossecLes rescapés
  10. Neneh CherryBroken Politics
  11. PerezCavernes
  12. Parquet CourtsWide Awake!
  13. Dominique ALa fragilité
  14. Jeanne AddedRadiate
  15. Jacco GardnerSomnium
  16. Snail MailLush
  17. LomepalJeannine
  18. Blood OrangeNegro Swan
  19. A$AP RockyTesting
  20. Car Seat HeadrestTwin Fantasy
  21. SuperorganismSuperorganism
  22. ShameSongs of Praise
  23. Agar AgarThe Dog and the Future
  24. MitskiBe the Cowboy
  25. RosalíaEl Mal Querer
  26. Connan MockasinJassbusters
  27. Pusha TDaytona
  28. Insecure MenInsecure Men
  29. Rendez VousSuperior State
  30. SophieOil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
  31. Jean-Louis MuratIl Francese
  32. Alpha WannUne main lave l'autre
  33. DamsoLithopédion
  34. Oneohtrix Point NeverAge Of
  35. Franz FerdinandAlways Ascending
  36. Dream WifeDream Wife
  37. U.S. GirlsIn a Poem Unlimited
  38. Young FathersCocoa Sugar
  39. Daniel BlumbergMinus
  40. Ty SegallFreedom’s Goblin
  41. NasNASIR
  42. Kurt VileBottle It In
  43. SpiritualizedAnd Nothing Hurt
  44. Helena HauffQualm
  45. Myth SyzerBisous
  46. Amen DunesFreedom
  47. SabaCare for Me
  48. Cardi BInvasion of Privacy
  49. ValdXEU
  50. Grand BlancImage au mur