The Top 50 Albums Of 2018
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The Top 50 Albums Of 2018

From stoner metal comebacks, to personal and soul-bearing industrial pop, all the way to fragmented jazz rap odysseys, these are the best albums of 2018.

The Top 50 Albums Of 2018


50. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food

Following a brief detour into funk and soul with their 2015 Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra return to the lo-fi psychedelia of their first two albums to solid results. Ruban Nielson steps up his songwriting game here, incorporating elements of noise rock, krautrock, and R&B into a brilliantly cacophonous album filled to the brim with catchy hooks, interesting textures, and immediately enjoyable, off-kilter rhythms.

49. Anna & Elizabeth - The Invisible Comes to Us

As one of the few original, modern albums released on the mostly traditional Smithsonian Folkways albums, Anna & Elizabeth carve out an entirely original take on classic Appalachian folk music. Their straightforward takes on the genre are beautifully simplistic and immediately memorable, and their experimental tracks are haunting, spiritual, and intensely unique.

48. Sleep - The Sciences

Sleep are arguably the most legendary stoner metal band of all time. After bursting onto the scene with Sleep's Holy Mountain and revolutionizing the genre with 2003's Dopesmoker, they completely disappeared. After 15 years of inactivity, the drugged-out trio finally released a new album on the best day imaginable—April 20th. The Sciences can't quite reach the peaks that it's legendary predecessor did, but it's still a brilliantly composed, performed piece of pummeling, heavy, and drugged-out metal.

47. Noname - Room 25

Noname's first proper studio album following her 2016 mixtape Telefone is a beautifully unapologetic and poetic piece of jazz rap. The production is lush, breezy, and sophisticated, but the real star of the show is Noname herself. Her stream-of-consciousness delivery is laid-back and lethargic, and her lyrics are personal, confrontial, and beautifully poetic.

46. Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer

God's Favorite Customer sees the intensely detached and ironic singer/songwriter take a step away from the grandiose political statements of Pure Comedy and deliver something personal, sincere, and often intensely sad. Misty sings about his struggles with depression, anxiety, and suicidal idealation, all with instrumentals seemingly ripped straight out of golden period Elton John and Warren Zevon songs. The songwriting is brilliant, and it's Misty's best album from front to back.

45. Eric Taxxon - Punk

As punk has moved from the deepest depths of the underground all the way to the mainstream, the ethos that lad the genre during it's formative years has mostly been lost. The genre of punk was founded on anarchy, and a complete disregard for the laws that have guided society for so long. Taxxon released Punk with this same ethos in mind, albeit with an increased focus on copyright laws. Taxxon blatantly steals songs left and right, placing a completely unedited version of AJR's banal "I'm Not Famous" right in the middle of the album, and that's the brilliance here. It's the best punk album I've heard in quite some time.

44. Haley Heynderickx - I Need to Start a Garden

Heynderickx's debut album is immediately familiar. The beautiful vocals combined with the delicate, complex guitar work brings to mind artists as varied as Bert Jansch, Sufjan Stevens, and Ichiko Aoba, but Heynderickx still manages to carve out her own unique musical voice while retaining this level of comforting familiarity. Her guitar work is rather strange, taking influence from American Primitivism than anything else, and her vocals bring to mind twee pop. While this combination might sound rather strange, the album ends up absolutely stunning.

43. Tomb Mold - Manor of Infinite Forms

The best death metal albums of the decade are generally rather experimental. Gorguts' Colored Sands, Insomnium's Winter's Gate, and Cattle Decapitation's Monolith of Inhumanity are all great, but they all fall into different subgenres that take away from the raw brutality that defined death metal in the genre's earliest forms. Manor of Infinite Forms is one of the few recent death metal albums that sticks true to the classic albums in the genre, and it does that exceptionally well. The riffs are heavy and blisteringly fast, and the atmosphere of the album is as dark and scary as it is brilliantly evocative.

42. Avantdale Bowling Club - Avantdale Bowling Club

I have a huge thing for hip hop done with live, usually jazz, instrumentation, and this is one of the best albums I've ever heard that does that, outside of the Roots. The beats on the album are heavily influenced by modal jazz, to the point where certain passages on this are barely hip hop. While the album could easily coast on this incredibly cool gimmick, the rapping is just as good, and the more typical hip hop beats are brilliant as well.

41. Rosalía - El mal querer

Rosalía's debut album was one of my favorites of 2017, so I was a bit apprehensive to see her move into the poppier direction she teased with several of the singles released before El mal querer. Thankfully, my fears were entirely unfounded, because El mal querer is an absolutely brilliant album from front to back. Rosalía's vocals are powerful, and the production is kaleidoscopic and entirely unique, mixing traditional flamenco with industrial, R&B, and trip hop.

40. Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts

Kanye may have had a landmark year for all the wrong reasons, but much of the output released from his time spent in Wyoming was pretty spectacular. Kids See Ghosts is Kanye's first collaborative record with Kid Cudi, and both musicians bring their a-game. Kanye's production is psychedelic, unique, and bombastic; Cudi's vocals are mournful, soulful, and passionate, perfectly fitting the production. Quite possibly Kanye's best release since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

39. Yves Tumor - Safe in the Hands of Love

After years of producing incredibly cerebral, folk-influenced experimental electronic music, I can safely say that I didn't expect Yves Tumor to move in such a conventional direction. Well, conventional is definitely a subjective word for a musician as unique as him. Safe in the Hands of Love is an arresting mixture of pretty much every genre under the sun. Psychedelic, industrial, chamber music, noise, experimental rock, gothic rock, pop, even a little bit of emo here and there, yet the album still manages to retain a unique and consistent vision all the way through.

38. Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace

Tropical Fuck Storm is the side project of Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of the Drones, and their debut album is a hellish, chaotic journey across blues, noise rock, and industrial. Liddiard's vocals are pained, passionate, and shouted, and the songwriting is as chaotic as the lyrics would necessitate. The lyrics are absolutely fantastic, offering takes on the current state of the world with heavy doses of skepticism, paranoia, and sheer, unadulterated anger.

37. Ty Segall & Freedom Band - Freedom's Goblin

Save for a brief detour with the noisy, metal-influenced Emotional Mugger, the profilic Segall's post-Sleeper outfit has been decidedly old-school and laid-back. Manipulator and Ty Segall are both very solid, but Freedom's Goblin is easily his most accomplished album in this glam rock style, and possibly even his best overall. The softer songs are brilliantly composed and performed, bolstering brilliantly catchy melodies and guitar riffs, and the harder-edged songs still have a certain sense of melodicism to them that really sets this album apart from anything Segall has ever done.

36. Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch

Thirty years on, Trent Reznor's formidable Nine Inch Nails project sounds just as vital and fantastic as it did in the late-'80s and early-'90s. Bad Witch is an entirely new sound for Reznor, he expands upon the sound laid out on Not the Actual Events and Add Violence but brings in an entirely new influence from jazz, drum and bass, and more conventional art rock. The tracks with this drum and bass influence are absolutely fantastic, they're great on their own and they work even better as a homage to Bowie's seminal final album Blackstar.

35. Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vols. 1 & 2

As much as I do enjoy quite a bit of so-called "mumble rap", it was definitely nice to hear a very lyrical hip hop project that wasn't by somebody named "Eminem" or "Joyner Lucas". Black Thought was already one of my favorite rappers of all time thanks to his work with the Roots, and these two EPs have further cemented this belief of mind, he puts on absolutely fantastic performances on both of these EPs. The production on both are fantastic as well, and I sure hope that he finishes the trilogy.

34. Beach House - 7

Beach House has easily been one of the most consistent bands of the 2010s, but they've yet to deliver a truly great album. Some might say Bloom is their best, or that they peaked with Teen Dream, but to me 7 is easily their greatest achievement. It's the first Beach House album to show true variety, breaking up long passages of ambient dream pop with beautifully cacophonous shoegaze and noise rock, and Legrand's vocals have never been better.

33. Saba - Care for Me

Saba first garnered attention due to his collaborations with fellow Chicago rappers Chance the Rapper, Noname, and Mick Jenkins, and he definitely lived up to the hype with Pray for Me, his second studio album. Pray for Me is a significant improvement over Bucket List Project in pretty much every way. Saba's rapping is gritty, concise, and immaculately performed, he raps like a seasoned veteran; and the production is equally as great. It's smooth without being background music, and it's able to hit hard without detracting from the overall atmosphere of the album.

32. Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears

After releasing an underwhelming debut album, I, Gemini, in 2016, Let's Eat Grandma seemed poised to have all of their hype completely die down. The three brilliant singles to this album made me think that the duo might be able to keep their relevancy, and I'm All Ears completely affirms that. The three singles released before the album have wildly different sounds, and that's what the album as a whole is all about. "Hot Pink" may be a pummeling, post-industrial song courtesy of SOPHIE (more on her later), but it's immediately followed by "It's Not Just Me" and "Falling Into Me", songs that explore the more delicate side of pop music. And then the whole album is capped off by the stunningly beautiful "Donnie Darko". \

31. George Clanton - Slide

100% Electronica, Clanton's debut album, was one of the first albums to utilize a vaporwave-influenced aesthetic in the context of catchy, concise pop songwriting. Clanton has spent most of the 2010s producing vaporwave and chillwave under many different aliases, but 100% Electronica broke him out and Slide is easily his best project to date. The sound of the album is absolutely impeccable, it's simultaneously yearnfully nostalgic and optimistically futuristic, and the songwriting is catchy as sin.

30. Daniel Bachman - The Morning Star

After 2015's River garnered the young guitarist critical acclaim, Bachman took his music in a completely different, wondrously experimental direction. River is a very flashy album, Bachman knows he's a fantastic guitarist and he took every opportunity to show that off; his 2016 self-titled album is quite a bit more restrained, incorporating influences from drone and classical music; and The Morning Star takes this drone influence to the next level, brilliantly combining blues-influenced guitar licks with hypnotic, enveloping drone.

29. Hailu Mergia - Lala Belu

After 33 years of inactivity (save for a reissue courtesy of Awesome Tapes From Africa), the Ethiopian jazz legend returns with Lala Belu, one of his best records to date and one of the grooviest, funkiest jazz records ever recorded. Mergia's keyboard work is absolutely fantastic, and the rhythm section is absolutely on point, offering hypnotic rhythms that perfectly complement Mergia's enticing melodies.

28. MGMT - Little Dark Age

Outside of a few choice singles ("Time to Pretend", "Siberian Breaks"), I've never been much of a fan of MGMT. They seemed like a band that was poised to fail, offering up a critically acclaimed, commercially successful debut and following that up with a commercial dud and a critical dud one after the other. Little Dark Age might not have been a huge commercial success, but it's easily the group's best effort to date. The sound is incredibly '80s, but it's not derivative at all, it just sounds like it was recorded and released in the '80s.

27. Eli Keszler - Stadium 

I am primarily a drummer, so drum based jazz and improvisational music is one of my favorite types of music. Sadly, there's been a pretty major dearth of good drum-based jazz in recent memory, so I'm eternally grateful to Eli Keszler for reprieving me of this drought with his fantastic Stadium. The compositions and Keszler's playing are both very influenced by traditional jazz, but the production is very spacious, experimental, and jittery.

26. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!

Parquet Courts are yet another band I haven't really thought much of until this year. The only album of theirs I've really liked has been the raw, lo-fi Light Up Gold, so the fact that ultra-pristine producer Danger Mouse was tagged to produce this album was a pretty major red flag to me. Luckily, I was entirely wrong, because that level of commercial sheen was exactly what Parquet Courts needed to really hone in their sound. Wide Awake! is an absolutely fantastic, no-frills rock record. The attitude is caustic, raw, and bitter, but the songwriting is brilliant and the wide variety of musical influences all come together very well.

25. Kali Uchis - Isolation

After a couple years of fantastic features on songs such as Tyler, the Creator's "See You Again" and Daniel Caesar's "Get You", Uchis finally released her debut album and it is absolutely spectacular. It's the kind of pop album that makes me yearn for the artist's success, because this absolutely deserved to be the biggest, most commercially successful pop album of the year. Uchis' vocals are smooth and an absolute joy to listen to, the production is varied, and the featured artists (Tyler, the Creator, Bootsy Collins, Damon Albarn, Steve Lacy, Thundercat) all turn in great work that helps to amplify and fully realize the vision of Uchis' project.

24. J.I.D - DiCaprio 2

DiCaprio 2 showcases the best rapping I've heard all year, without a doubt. J.I.D burst onto the scene with his fantastic The Never Story, he cemented his place within the upper annals of hip hop with his absolutely fantastic XXL Cypher verse, and DiCaprio 2 absolutely lived up to the hype. It's not much of a cohesive album, more of a "commercial mixtape", but that's not a problem at all. The production is beautiful in its simplicity, and J.I.D's rapping is absolutely fantastic, his flow is hypnotic.


SOPHIE has spent years in anonymity. Despite producing for artists as varied as Madonna, Charli XCX, and Vince Staples all while maintaining her own fantastic body of work, SOPHIE mostly stayed out of the spotlight until 2017, when she came out as transgender and released the personal, soul-baring "It's Okay to Cry". That song was a major departure from SOPHIE's usual industrial bubblegum bass sound, but it works as a perfect intro to OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES, a melancholic, brutally personal album that sees the producer focusing on her transition. Sonically, it's an absolute treat to listen to, and thematically, it's one of the most important and necessary albums of the year.

22. Low - Double Negative

Despite being one of the most consistent indie rock bands out there, Low has really never done much to vary their sound. Drums and Guns is a bit droney, The Invisible Way has a very light influence from country, but outside of these outliers the trio has stayed firmly within the slowcore genre. Double Negative changes all that, with the band showing off a glitchy, industrial sound that's as over-the-top as it is harrowing and melancholic. The band's songwriting doesn't change much, but that's not a bad thing at all. The slow, languid melodies play perfectly over the cacophonous, kaleidoscopic sound the band creates.

21. Them Are Us Too - Amends 

Amends is one of the most brutally sad albums of the year. Them Are Us Too, a duo consisting of Kennedy Wenning and Cash Askew, released their first album Remain in 2015, and it quickly became one of my favorite albums of the year. Sadly, in late 2016, Askew passed away in the Oakland fire that also claimed the lives of producers Cherushii and Joey Casio. After a couple years of hiatus, Wenning returned in 2018 with Amends, an album that ruminates on love, loss, and grief. It's a much more varied and sonically engaging album than Remain, and the tributes to Askew littered throughout the record are absolutely heartbreaking.

20. IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance.

IDLES bring some much needed sensitivity and introspection to the often meat-headed genre of post-hardcore. Lead singer Joe Talbot grapples topics as sensitive and varied as homophobia, toxic masculinity, and the Brexit vote; along with personal topics such as the death of his mother, his own sexuality, and his stillborn child. Talbot's conflicted emotions turn into a passionate and aching vocal performance that stands tall with the best vocals in punk history, and the music itself is incredibly anthemic, passionate, heavy, and filled to the brim with memorable hooks.

19. Pusha T - DAYTONA

DAYTONA was the best album to come out of Kanye's Wyoming sessions, and the crowning solo achivement for Pusha T, who hasn't really had a great solo album up until this point. My Name Is My Name and Darkest Before Dawn have some stnad-out tracks, but the former is too long and the latter doesn't have terribly interesting production. DAYTONA is the best of both worlds, it has a perfectly short length of 21 minutes and the production is fantastic. Kanye is at his absolute best as a producer here, and Pusha is a captivating force throughout the entire record.

18. Graham Lambkin - No Better No Worse (Vol 1)

I know I've mentioned this before, but I have to mention this again: "Summer Tape Work" is absolutely brilliant. It's one of the best sound collage pieces I've ever heard. It's brilliantly evocative without ever becoming uninteresting from a compositional perspective, and it's one of Lambkin's best pieces. The rest of the album is fine enough, but "Summer Tape Work" is truly something else entirely.

17. Kevin Coleman - First Songs

Kevin Coleman, just like Daniel Bachman, is a new-school guitarist in the American Primitivism tradition. The genre is incredibly expressive, and Coleman fulfills that requirement perfectly, his guitar work is expressive, emotive, and passionate. His compositions are very similar to those done by John Fahey, the pioneer of the genre, but Coleman's heavy blues influence is enough to make First Songs unique and engaging throughout.

16. Mid-Air Thief - Crumbling

Mid-Air Thief move away from the avant-garde sound of their debut album Gongjoong Doduk into something a bit more palatable and, above all, stunningly beautiful. It's a brilliant mix of electronic and folk music unlike anything I've ever heard before. The two genres are integrated so seamlessly, the sound of the record is beautiful and the songwriting is no slouch.

15. Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

The past couple years have been filled to the brim with bands making comeback records. American Football, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, A Tribe Called Quest. Despite all these fantastic records, Daughters might have delivered the best comeback record of all time with You Won't Get What You Want. After starting off as a rather forgettable metalcore band, the group released a pretty spectacular, more melodic self-titled record in 2010, promptly falling off the face of the earth until the release of this monolithic, heavy, plodding, absolutely terrifying future classic. The guitars here don't sound like guitars, the drums sound like rusty pipes being beaten, it's absolutely fantastic.

14. Elysia Crampton - Elysia Crampton

In the whole "post-internet" movement, very few musicians have managed to make a mark that lasts longer than a year or two, it's a movement in which forgetfulness seems entirely inevitable. The great Elysia Crampton has managed to avoid this plague. Despite fantastic releases such as The Light That You Gave Me to See You, American Drift, and Dissolution of the Sovereign offering pretty tough competition, Crampton's self-titled is her best thus far. The folk influences are indelible, and the industrial sound collages Crampton creates are something to behold.

13. Sons of Kemet - Your Queen Is a Reptile

Jazz has generally had a pretty good decade, but it hasn't had that unique of a decade. Jazz is a genre of innovation, of pushing boundaries, and of making serious social and political statements, something Sons of Kemet intimately understand. Every single track here sounds as urgent and necessary as the messages of the women each track is named after, and the influence from afrobeat is well-implemented and absolutely fantastic. The percussion is immense.

12. Denzel Curry - TA13OO

Despite my love for Curry's Imperial and 13 projects, my biggest fear was that the immensely talented rapper would be unable to evolve beyond the (admittedly fantastic) trap sound he carved out on these two projects. "Sumo" and "Percs" didn't give me terribly much hope, but the album absolutely blew my expectations away. The trap bangers are fantastic as always, with "Vengeance" and "Black Metal Terrorist" serving as major highlights, but the soulful, poppier songs are the real highlights. "Black Balloons", "Cash Maniac", and "Taboo" are new sides to Curry that I didn't even know existed, and I hope he further develops that sound in the future.

11. Tim Hecker - Konoyo

Tim Hecker is one of the most consistently great ambient artists, and save for 2016's Love Streams, he constantly outdoes himself with every release. I didn't think that he could deliver a better album than Ravedeath, 1972 or Virgins, but Konoyo accomplishes just that. His sound design is mature, carefully planned, and beautifully warm and enveloping, and the traditional folk influences add a fantastic extra dimension to Hecker's sound.

10. Mary Halvorson - Code Girl

Yet another brilliant and innovative jazz release from this year. Halvorson is a name I was vaguely familiar with due to her work with Trevor Dunn, but this is the first album of her's as a bandleader that's really stuck out. While the tracks that stick to a more typical avant-garde post-bop sound work exceptionally well, it's the experimental, fusion-esque tracks that take this album above and beyond any other jazz album released this year, and Halvorson's steady guitar work holds the entire affair together.

9. Natalia Lafourcade - Musas Vol. 2

Since her reinvention in 2009 as an art pop superstar, Lafourcade has consistently been one of the best latin pop stars out there. 2015's Hasta la raíz is a decent enough indie pop album, but the two Musas albums have been absolutely brilliant odes to traditional Mexican folk music, and the second volume overshadows the first volume by a rather wide margin. Lafourcade's vocals are fantastic, and the songs are all loving tributes to the music of times past.

8. Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar

As I've mentioned before, american primitivism is my favorite musical genre of all time, and I have nothing but admiration for the musicians who are able to take the genre past its usual limits. With that being said, sometimes I just want something that's beautiful in its simplicity, and Glenn Jones is remarkably consistent in that regard. This Is the Wind That Blows It Out is one of my favorite albums of all time, and Jones has only gotten better as a performer and a composer since then.

7. Jonny Greenwood - Phantom Thread

Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood has made quite a name for himself as a film composer, churning out the scores for fantastic films such as There Will Be Blood, The Master, and You Were Never Really Here. While these are all incredible scores, his work on Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread is arguably his best to date. In the context of the film, the score gets even better, but as an album it still works fantastically. Greenwood is an absolutely brilliant composer and this stands tall with most classical being composed today.

6. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy

The 2011 version of Twin Fantasy was already a classic in its own right, a perfect slice of teenage/college angst with huge, singalong choruses and brilliant lyrics. I've always liked it, but I've also always thought that the lo-fi production really hurts many of the huge, bombastic arrangements. Naturally, a re-recorded, hi-fi version of the album would be right up my alley. The production here is crisp, concise, and absolutely perfect for Will Toledo's cerebral, languid songwriting style. The harder-hitting rock songs rock harder than they ever have before, and the softer, folkier tracks have a new level of intimacy that boosts them quite a bit.

5. Carla Bozulich - Quieter

I've always had a large amount of admiration for musicians who are able to utilize the studio as an instrument in its own right. The instruments and the vocals might provide the base of the record, but the studio fills out the gaps and transforms the album into something different, something more enveloping and expressive. Carla Bozulich's latest album, Quieter, understands this perfectly. The base of the album is incredibly stark avant-folk with beautiful vocals from Bozulich, but the studio manipulation transforms it to something else entirely, and something much more impressive.

4. Against All Logic - 2012 - 2017

I've tried so hard to get into Nicolas Jaar, but nothing he's done has ever really stuck with me. Sirens is cool, but the sound grated on me, and Space Is Only Noise really only interested me when the house beats became a whole lot more prominent. I really wished that Jaar would someday do a straight-up house album, and 2012 - 2017 is just that, and it's one of the best house albums I've ever heard. House is usually a single/EP genre, so to hear a cohesive, fantastic album in the genre is very strange, but Jaar does a fantastic job. The beats are great, and the nocturnal atmosphere is impeccable.

3. Anna von Hausswolff - Dead Magic

Hausswolff's previous two albums showed a stupid amount of talent and potential without really capitalizing on either of them. This is the culmination of all the potential on those two albums combined with a more focused vision and some improved songwriting chops, and it's fantastic. The first three tracks are all pretty much perfect, especially "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra", which, to me, outdoes Swans at their own game. The last two tracks are eerie darkwave tracks that serve to amp up the chilly atmosphere of the album, and they work perfectly in that regard.

2. Armand Hammer - Paraffin

Billy Woods has been on my radar for a while, but I've never checked him out, and my only experience with Elucid is the underwhelming Nostrum Grocers project. So I came into Paraffin, their third collaborative effort, with pretty low expectations, and I was completely blown away. Elucid and Woods both deliver passionate, politically charged performances, and the production is brilliant. It has the east coast grittiness of Wu-Tang or Mobb Deep with the sampling genius of El-P, it's absolutely incredible.

1. Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs

I've never been a huge fan of Earl, but he has a couple absolutely fantastic songs that made me realize his potential as an artist. "Chum" and "Hive" are highlights from Doris, "Grief" is one of my favorite songs in recent memory, and his feature on Danny Brown's "Really Doe" is one of the best spots on an already incredible record. Despite all these highlights, all of Earl's projects (minus Solace) have been muddled with uninteresting beats and sophomorish lyrics that never allowed him to flourish as an artist like Frank did with channel ORANGE and like Tyler did with Flower Boy. This is the album that changes all that, it's Earl's best project to date, my favorite project from an Odd Future member, and one of the best hip hop albums in recent memory. Earl himself is the star of the show, delivering stream-of-consciousness raps laced with depressive, introspective lyrics about mental illness, drugs, and the death of his father, Keorapetse William Kgositsile, and his uncle, afro-jazz legend Hugh Masekela. Both of them make appearances on the album, "Playing Possum" samples a speech of Kgositsile's and the beat of "Riot!" is built around a Masekela sample. These two "features" contribute to the dense, dizzying, claustrophobic atmosphere created by the production, mostly handled by Sweatshirt himself. None of the beats match up to the glory of "Grief", but the abstract, jazzy, ambient style is brilliantly unique and handled incredibly well by Sweatshirt, who turns in his best production work to date. Considering how much I absolutely adore this, I kind of wish it was longer, but the short length is absolutely perfect for Sweatshirt, and the production and lyrics are dense enough to reward repeated listens. Absolutely fantastic album, and my album of the year.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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