Best albums from this year


Collage by Noah Katcher.

Shawn Mendes, Camila, Origins, What is Love? and Scorpion album covers courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Golden Hour album cover courtesy of itunes. New albums were released in each genre this year, with many of them now grammy nominated. This year new artists emerged, such as Camila Cabello, and old pros like Drake continued to top the charts.

New music is something we all crave. We always want new albums with fresh tunes that fit each time of the year. This year, music listeners were treated with amazing albums from both new and familiar artists alike. From Camila Cabello climbing the charts and becoming one of the best-selling new artists, to country starts like Kacey Musgraves winning Apple Music’s “Album of the Year”, there’s no doubt that this year has been filled with new artists on the rise. Every genre in the book was given an exceptional album this year.

Pop saw an emergence of many new artists this year: Hayley Kiyoko and Bazzi among many more artists all took the iTunes and spotify charts and released albums this year.

Following her departure from Fifth Harmony, Cabello wanted to showcase her talents and her own voice in her Grammy nominated self titled album Camila. “Havana” and “Never be the Same” are just two of the major hits that are featured on this outstanding album.

Kiyoko, who recently scored a record deal with Atlantic Records, released Expectations – an album that features R&B superstar Kehlani on her track “What I Need” in addition to Kiyoko’s hit song “Curious.”

Shawn Mendes, who is just 20 years old, released his self-titled album, Shawn Mendes, which was no doubt the biggest of his career so far. Not only did he collaborate with artists like Khalid and Julia Michaels, but he is embarking on a world tour to promote the album, which features hits like “Lost in Japan” and “In My Blood.” In addition, he will be spending the holiday season on the Jingle Ball Tour with Bazzi and other artists like Bebe Rexha and Meghan Trainor, touring across major US cities.

“Shawn Mendes, the album, is my favorite from 2018,” senior Abby Horrick said. “It crosses genres and each song is unique.”

Bazzi, who sprouted up on the pop charts this year, released Cosmic, which is still in the top 50 nearly 7 months after its release. Bazzi is joining the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour this year, performing in sports arenas all across the country.

WJ students have also noticed all the new artists who have been appearing on the pop charts, and think that the constant change in the music industry keeps things new and fresh.

“I like [Bazzi’s] new album a lot… the songs are all different but good in their own way,” senior Ally Holden said. “I also like how there are a lot of new artists emerging… there is always new music to listen to.”

While there have been many new artists taking the charts this year, you will still hear some familiar voices on the radio.

Imagine Dragons, an alternative band that found stardom after their 2012 hit, “Radioactive,” released their fourth studio album, Origins, in early November.

Origins by Imagine Dragons is my favorite album from this year… I like how the sound is becoming more electronic,” senior Matt Holden said.

Drake released Scorpion, which features hits like “God’s Plan,” which went Diamond. Scorpion took the hip-hop charts by storm, and is just one of Drake’s many successful albums. In addition, Nicki Minaj released her highly anticipated album, Queen, which has records featuring artists like Eminem and Ariana Grande. Post Malone, over the last two years, rose to stardom and released his second album, which features hit songs like “rockstar” and “Psycho.”

“My favorite album of 2018 is Beerbongs and Bentleys by Post Malone,” senior Ella Bagheri said. “It has a lot of moods and you can listen to it all of the time.”

Country saw some of the best albums of its time this year, with albums coming from country legends like Eric Church, and from new stars like Kelsea Ballerini.

Kacey Musgraves released Golden Hour, which won “Album of the Year” from Apple Music and at the CMA’s. With hints of pop and dance, Golden Hour will be a favorite even from non-country listeners. In addition to Musgraves, country superstar Kane Brown released his sophomore album, Experiment, just one month ago, and it has proved to be a success, still in the top 10 on the country charts.

Finally, EDM and dance climbed up the charts with several amazing albums. Clean Bandit released their highly anticipated sophomore album What is Love?, which features artists like Ellie Goulding, Demi Lovato, and Marina & the Diamonds. Steve Aoki released Neon Future III, which has hit singles featuring former Disney star Bella Thorne, and emerging artist Kiiara.

Dance and electronic music has crossed over with pop and even country. Maren Morris was featured in the now Grammy nominated single “The Middle,” and Elley Duhé, an emerging pop star, teamed up with Zedd for the fresh and summer bop “Happy Now.”

Genres have merged, new artists have sprouted, and Grammy wins are just around the corner. Without a doubt, 2018 has proven to be a great year for the ever-changing music industry.