21 Best Albums of 2018 (So Far) | Year in Review
10. Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
Canadian pop heartthrob Shawn Mendes returned with his highly-anticipated, third studio album, Shawn Mendes. The 19-year old wunderkind built up the buzz with five compelling singles, including the crown jewel of the album, “In My Blood”. He flexes his pop-soul chops on the likes of “Lost in Japan” and shows he’s ‘not a kid anymore’ on “Where Were You in the Morning?”. Giving “In My Blood” a ‘run for its money’ is the reflective, relationship-oriented ballad, “Why.” While the youthful Mendes continues to develop his artistry, his self-titled album marks his best yet. It’s not sans flaw, but there’s much more to love as opposed to criticize.
Must Hear: “In My Blood”
11. Kali Uchis, Isolation
24-year old Colombian-American R&B singer Kali Uchis proves she’s ‘the real deal’ on her debut album, Isolation. Vocally, Uchis has a truly distinct instrument, while artistically, she’s chocked-full of personality. Despite the incredibly subdued release of Isolation, it’s a jam-packed affair. The crowning achievement is undoubtedly “After the Storm”, a feel-good, 70s soul-influenced gem featuring Bootsy Collins and Tyler, the Creator, and produced by hip-hop jazz collective BADBADNOTGOOD.
Must Hear: “After the Storm”
12. Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
Two-time Grammy-winning country artist Kacey Musgraves returns with a magnificent, third studio album, Golden Hour. Perhaps what’s most notable about Golden Hour is its distinct appeal beyond the confines of the country music audience. Among the highlights is captivating single “Butterflies”, which maintains a certain amount of simplicity. Musgraves serves up beautiful, easy-going vocals, showcasing incredible poise. On “Space Cowboy” she sings about breaking things off, best evidenced by the chorus. Also, there’s “Velvet Elvis,” a groovy and retro number that gives a nod to Presley.
Must Hear: “Butterflies”