Best Albums of 2018 - Editors' Picks
hmv.com Editor Tom Goodwyn runs down his 10 favourite albums of 2018...
10. Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album
Spearheaded by Kendrick Lamar's absolute smash 'All The Stars', one of the year's best films was matched by a majestic soundtrack.
Particular highlights were Jorja Smith's magical 'I Am' and Jay Rock's 'King's Dead'.
9. Christine and The Queens - Chris
Héloïse Letissier was always going to have a job to do to follow up her hit debut Chaleur Humaine, but she managed it with second LP Chris.
An LP of smart, slinky and dynamic pop songs, this showcases so many different sides of Letissier, from the powerhouse '5 Dollars' to the funktastic 'Girlfriend'.
8. Ghost - Prequelle
2018 was the year that Swedish metal maestro Tobias Forge said goodbye to long-term alter-ego Papa Emeritus and introduced us to Cardinal Copia. A new demon in black cardinal’s robes.
He also roared back with another rampaging and expansive metal record, full of power and pomp...
7. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Writing a preview at the start of 2018 about the prospect of a new Arctic Monkeys album, we were full of excitement. Would they return with a reprisal of the angular indie of their early days? Would they pick up the dust-in-throat desert rock of Humbug again? Or would we get another instalment of the groovetastic sounds of the all-conquering AM? As it would turn out, we got something rather different.
Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino was one hell of a curveball, a jazzy extravaganza which owed more to lounge-pop than The Libertines.
It took a few listens, but it was well worth it. The album is a seductive and glorious adventure from a band who continue to surprise us at every turn.
6. Soccer Mommy - Clean
After a series of smart, sardonic singles, much was expected from 21-year-old Sophie Allison's debut LP, but she more than delivered with Clean.
It's a wonderful collection of darkly comic, elegantly produced and hypnotically delivered songs. It's well worth a great deal of your time.
5. Deaf Havana - Rituals
Deaf Havana continue to surprise us with every album. So far they've gone from a screamy metalcore mob to Springsteen influenced rabble-rousers and to full on pop-rock types. And then, in 2018, they changed again.
Rituals is a pure pop record, one made on synthesisers and drum machines, and it's brilliant. Full of big hooks and catchy choruses, but still laced with frontman James Veck-Gilodi's witty melancholy. Superb.
4. Charlie Puth - Voicenotes
Before this year, Charlie Puth was probably best known for delivering the chorus on monster hit 'See You Again',
Voicenotes is a perfect mixture of early 90's R&B and modern pop. It's powered by funky basslines and shimmering production, but each track has an absolutely killer chorus.
3. Muncie Girls - Fixed Ideals
Code 7 - Specialist Subject
The Devon trio made a promising start with their 2016 debut LP From Caplan To Belsize, but took a giant leap forward on their sophomore effort in August this year.
This is an album of intelligently written and furiously delivered punk rock, all with real charm and so much spark. They deserve to be much, much bigger.
2. Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else
You won't hear a more joyful album all year than the debut effort from the Brighton pop collective.
From minute one to minute to minute 50, it's Day-Glo melodies, sunny production and enormous choruses. Guaranteed to put you a smile on your face and make you long for that epic summer we just had...
1. CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead
Virgin EMI Records
The Glaswegian pop trio continue their remarkable run of form with the dark electropop of Love Is Dead.
Bolstered by the influence of super-producer Greg Kurstin, the album is a flawless collection of shimmering electronics and giant pop choruses.
It has stayed on repeat from the day it came out and shows no sign of shifting...