Last year there were a few albums that I thought were outstanding. Brother Ali’s was the pick of the bunch, but Gary Numan, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar and Ghostpoet weren’t far behind. Then there were great albums by Syd, Thurston Moore, Jane Weaver and Binary Star, with The Charlatans also turning in their best for years. As I’m doing this album ranking project I sort the 2018 ones as I hear them, amending as necessary after further listens, but thus far I’d struggle to put any in last year’s top 10.
Kooley High and J. Cole are my pick of the bunch so far this year, with Poppy Ackroyd and Evidence’s new albums also being good. Andy Pawlak has released a decent mini-album, which is a million miles from his 80s debut album, which was fab, and Damien Jurado has released his best album for years. None of these are really growing on me fast enough to be as good as last year’s top half dozen, although I am enjoying J. Cole’s more with every listen. I listened to Pusha T’s new one for the first time this morning and it sounded like it could be his best solo one yet, thanks to Kanye West’s excellent production, but the whole album clocks in at 21 minutes. I am always banging on to my missus about hip hop CDs being too long, as too often they seem to think they need to fill the 78 minutes so the good stuff gets watered down with filler, but 21 minutes wasn’t what I had in mind (unless it was something by the rubbish my daughter subjects us to).
But, each year there are some great albums in everybody’s end of year list that I hadn’t heard, so, to jump the gun somewhat, what am I missing so far this year? What’s the best new stuff you’re listening to?