The 50 best international albums of 2018, according to TFS

With a new year beginning, it is always necessary to collect the best of what has already left. That is why here we bring you our list of the 50 best international albums published in 2018, which stands out for the inclusion of so many works produced by Latin artists, reaffirming the global domination of urban music, not only in the most important markets such as American.

That these 50 albums serve to add new entries to their playlists of the best of the year and accompany them until we see each other in this way at the end of 2019, where we hope to provide you with another number of albums that are worth listening to.

Table of Contents

50. Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead

Sense of humor, wisdom, passion and social criticism are found in one of the albums that surprised me the most this year. Fantastic Negrito , a small but great artist from Oakland, delivers an album where he is proud of his heritage, so he mixes the most acid blues of the delta, with funk, hip hop, soul and rock and roll, erasing the dividing lines between all these genres and, above all, with a magnificent delivery in each of the songs that make up this album.

49. EELS – The Deconstruction

The musical return of Mark Everett’s band continues to pursue philosophical nortes, as he has done in the rest of his career. Here, the genius continues to review himself, finding feelings of guilt and depression, but from his point of view, closer to optimism than anything else. He is a privileged lyricist, and he demonstrates it by making everything he says and sings come out in the form of a gentle and necessary catharsis. At the same time, it is a record rich in sounds, experimenting with a programmed beat and a string ensemble at the same time in a song. If you want a record that touches your soul, and with which you can help overcome your problems, it would be good to go through EELS discography, and The Deconstruction is a good place to start.

48. Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer

The best lyricist of the year, every year. The great Josh Tillman returns to a year of Pure Comedy  with another wonderful album where, as a crooner, he talks about who we are as humans and as a society from a comic, pessimistic and mocking point of view. God’s Favorite Customer shows him greased in what he does best and is more and more happy to listen to his music.

47. Against All Logic – 2012 – 2017

Chilean-American producer Nicolas Jaar returned with a new collection of songs under a new alias where he presents the world with his most house facet, without remaining oblivious to his passion for experimentation with sounds. 2012 – 2017 is a string of sounds that move in the world of dance-oriented house electronics, where it does an interesting sampling work that collects sounds of funk and soul music to create a very unpredictable whole, which shines like any production where your name is involved.

46. ​​Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

Spiritualized’s eighth album finds Jason Pierce and his people in front of another well-polished work, loaded with introspective feeling and with space as a common pattern in his music. This is one of the most personal records of Pierce, who affected by different health problems, took many years to deliver one of the best albums of the group’s career, which does not need to live on the rent of  Ladies And Gentlemen We’re Floating In Space  to continue making transcendent music and that reaches the heart.

45. Ozuna – Aura

Aura, the second album of Puerto Rican Ozuna, seems a great success. With 20 songs and collaborations that go from Cardi B to J Balvin through Anuel AA and Manuel Turizo, El Negrito Ojos Claros gave us this year a record based on different shades of the urban genre.

44. The Lemon Twigs – Go To School

A musical about a chimpanzee raised as a child who is forced to go to school. This is the idea behind Go To School, the second full-length work of the D’Addario brothers duo in which they reinvent themselves to create something that sounds like their own version of Broadway, with a collection of seventies riffs taken from bands like T-Rex, Creedence or Big Star, string arrangements from the 20s and 30s, and lyrics that deal with issues from miscarriages, the educational system of the United States, one’s anxieties, school life, self-discovery and self-acceptance, and more.

43. US Girls – In a Poem Unlimited

A record that seems to have reserved its position in the counts of the best of the year. Meg Remy’s way of making pop music is as spectacular as it is nostalgic for the sound of the nineties, which rebounds and resizes with mysterious choruses and a rich and varied musicalization, while Remy provides an important message about feminism and femininity, mixed with violence, crudeness and power, showing that it has important things to say, while making you dance.

42. Hookworms –  Microshift

The third release of the English band presents a drastic change in its style through a collection of songs with a message and sound much more expressive and urgent than the rest of his work. Those of Leeds now play with a much brighter and more careful electronic musical landscape that denotes that they took seriously the idea of ​​not composing based on what we already knew them, but on what they had visualized as the future of the band. A very interesting work that, of course, we predict a position in the counts of the best of the year.

41. Jungle – For Ever

The second album of the enigmatic and mystical British soul band makes them even more pop and fresh than we had already heard. Forever is an album that continues to play with the way of composing the group, very raw in terms of emotions, with a cutting-edge production that drinks a lot from the music disc and that has a lot to say in terms of melancholy and love breaks, although nowhere moment you feel you are singing about something sad. A great return to sad dancing.

40. Jack White – Boarding House Reach

BHR is a record that grows as you listen to it. Less rocker than Lazaretto and much more experimental, the album gives us the characteristic seal of White: the distorted screams and guitars without neglecting the tranquility of songs like Why Walk a Dog. Our favorite song is Over and Over and Over, a song that reminds us of the old days of The White Stripes and one of the most rockers of the album.

39. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy 

Will Toledo did it again, with an album that already existed and only wanted to improve it. With better recording techniques and a more refined sound, the leader of Car Seat Headrest takes the songs from his 2011 Twin Fantasy album, and rebuilds them in a superb way, leaving intact his load of crudeness and teenage angst and sound as composed in his room that his music has always distilled. A sign that the good can always be better, and that this project promises to continue providing great things.

38. Parcels – Parcels

Australians although based in Berlin, Parcels debuts with a record that has much more than sponsoring Daft Punk to sell. Taking the witness of The Whitest Boy Alive, Parcels plays to channel European funk and disco music from indie pop, and the result is a collection of themes that invite us to dance until we can no longer.

37. IDLES – Joy as an act of Resistance

That a punk record has reached number one in England in 2018 is undoubtedly a peculiar phenomenon. IDLES, with a message focused on being one with its community of followers, delivered an album that the only thing it wants, like good punk, is to have fun and drain all our thoughts about life and youth. An artistic statement about not letting ourselves be overwhelmed by the times.

36. Snail Mail – Lush

With a lot of sincerity and a faithful guitar, Lindsey Jordan has made a debut that is framed in the new litter of indie rock, characterized by its honesty and for making music without pretensions. With only 19 years, Jordan appeals to the feeling to sing about all the fears and insecurities that come with his age and turns the confusion and sadness into learning while he unfolds his themes.

35. The Voidz – Virtue

Of the solo careers of  The Strokes members ,  Julian Casablancas  seems to be the freest and reluctant to fit. Albert Hammond Jr. has been providing great solo albums for years, proving that he is the band’s musical brain, and I must say that I feel weakness for  Little Joy , that wonderful group of  Fab Moretti  with  Rodrigo Amarante  who has only offered an album. After the – deliberately – disastrous Tyranny , of 2014,  Julian Fernando he dares with an equally intriguing, intelligent and daring album, but somewhat (not much) more accessible to less educated ears, where he dares to mix the funk, progressive rock, psychedelia and indie rock to which we are accustomed , sometimes even in the same song. An album that distills the fun that his musicians had in doing so, and leaves us in doubt if  Julian , and the rest of  The Strokes , does not enjoy making music with the band that made him famous.

34. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

The second solo album of the Australian retains its intact form. Barnett outlines some of his most honest lyrics on a record that talks about what people expect of him as a lyricist, being honest with what he can and cannot do, and about what he wants and what he doesn’t want to sing.

33. Rhye – Blood

The project of the Canadian Mike Milosh faced the challenge of the second album and came out very well, delivering a string of songs that explore electronic rhythms that raise sensual atmospheres bringing R&B to the most minimalist possible, while showing more romantic lyrics than in Woman , his big debut of 2013.

32. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

Perhaps one of the most controversial albums of the year. After five years of waiting, the British of Arctic Monkeys introduced us Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a disc that did not have simple and somewhat strange for those who expected AM part II. TBHC is a space ode in which the lyrics of Alex Turner take us to unexplored territories that are appreciated with greater value if you listen with attention and patience.

31. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found

We do not know if it is too soon to say it, but the United Kingdom has its new great singer-songwriter in Jorja Smith. Lost & Found is an honest and beautifully conceptualized album where Smith displays his beautiful voice to sing about what’s happening to him and what’s hurting him. The result is wonderful and one of the R&B and Soul albums of the last 5 years.

30. Ariana Grande – Sweetener

While controversies in which Ariana Grande has been involved lately overshadowed the impact of Sweetener’s music, it would be a mistake to pass high pop one of the most notable pop albums of 2018. On this album, her fourth, Ariana keeps pop as its genre of header but that also explores rap and electronics. Of course, in none of the songs the singer deprives us of her excellent vocal ability and also stands as the voice of a female soul in the process of empowerment and self-liberation.

29. Albert Hammond Jr. – Francis Trouble

The fourth solo album of the rhythm guitarist of The Strokes, is named Francis Trouble, in honor of his twin brother who died at the time of birth. This gives us a clue: we are in the presence of Hammond Jr.’s most personal album and that is reflected not only in his lyrics but also in the guitar riffs whose anura of anguish and nostalgia is present throughout the album.

28. Interpol – Marauder

Marauder, the sixth album of Interpol New Yorkers, retains the garage sound that made them so popular at the beginning of the last decade but with much more mature lyrics and a rather thoughtful aesthetic. Marauder is an album to rock seriously, of the few remain in the indie scene worldwide. Worthy successor to El Pintor (2014), the previous and acclaimed effort of Paul Banks and company.

27. Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

The expected debut album of Cardi B is, without a doubt, one of the successes of the year. The rapper of Dominican origin knew how to live with the fact that  Bodak Yellow  was one of the themes of 2017 and delivered an album loaded with bangers and luxury collaborations, being able to bring together J Balvin and Bad Bunny on a single theme and that it was really good.

26. Beach House – 7

A Beach House, the duo composed of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, is surrounded by an aura of mystery from which they cannot escape and this is reaffirmed in 7, the band’s first album after the Depression Cherry of 2015. The 11 songs of 7 have a surround sound that transports us to a reflective and, at times, haunting atmosphere.

25. Superorganism – Superorganism

Rarely does an album sound as captivating as this. Psychedelic pop of great invoice, where the deconstruction of sounds and musical collage is key to the creation of his songs. A hyper-expected debut that, it was worth every single day that has passed since we heard Everybody Wants To Be Famous or Something For Your MIND The London-based ones created a fresh and very different album than any other band currently working on, with a very peculiar voice that sounds like a less intense Björk (I like Björk, calm down). He will paint a smile on their faces and make them dance, especially if they like The Flaming Lips.

24. Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Deafheaven’s  music  is emotional. They feel every word they shout, every chord they play and every sound they make. Sometimes they are poetic (in this album they even refer to Cortázar), sometimes they don’t say a word and end up transmitting you more than ever. The truth is that  Ordinary Corrupt Human Love  is an album that could be considered the quintessence of this band, because it combines their emotions with the excellent and at times chaotic instrumentation of their songs, loaded with progressions, changes and a perfect rhythm to tell their story .

23. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

The music of Parquet Courts reminds us why punk drains our anger. Danger Mouse’s production brings out the best side of New Yorkers, who sing on the current political landscape with a passion as unbridled as their music. Of those albums that will entertain you from beginning to end.

22. Post Malone – beerbongs & bentleys

18 songs make up the long-awaited second album by Austin Richard Post, aka Post Malone, in which the rapper has a nuance and beats difficult to find among other exponents of the genre. Beyond the ultra-heard rockstar and better now, Malone shows that he has things to say from his sadness and his contempt for hip hop.

21. Khruangbin – With Everyone

Do you know when you hear something that seems completely original despite sounding things you already heard? That happened to me when, thanks to the incredible NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, I came across Khruangbin, a trio of experimental Texas music whose music intrigues me and fascinates me more with each listening. Con Todo El Mundo is the second study work of this American group where they deploy an instrumental rock that takes elements of psychedelia and funk, as well as typical music from the Middle East, Spain and part of Asia with an incredible richness of sound . This is a simple and fun album that works so well to smoke a joint and scream to concentrate on working.

20. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food

Ruban Nielson is crazy about making this record. And when I say he is crazy, he is a true mad genius. Sex & Food was one of my most anticipated albums of the year, mainly because UMO blew my brain with the change it made a few years ago in Multi-Love. This new work demonstrates the desire for constant evolution that the band has and its passion for vintage sounds, presenting this time a pop and funk album within its indie pop environment, which at the same time plays with the sound of bands like T- Rex or Big Star, on topics like Major League Chemicals. Fun, danceable, and executed so finely that it makes no sense. UMO is the band of the future and everyone should have this companion record on their daily journeys, because it will put them in a good mood.

19. Gorillaz – The Now Now

11 songs are those that make up The Now Now, an album with which Gorillaz regains vigor and the doses of a lot of synth-pop and funk that Humanz (2017) had left behind. Another of The Now Now’s strengths are its collaborators: George Benson, Snoop Dogg and James Principle give him a carefree and good vibes dose that makes this album the perfect soundtrack of good times.

18. Tom Misch – Geography

After years working in hip hop,  Tom Misch  finally decided to show his music alone. The result is an amalgam of funk, blues, disco music, soul and much more, touched with skill and feeling at the same time, that caresses your soul through your ears. Geography  is one of those albums that predicts that an artist is going to be great, and also shows us that  Misch  has the versatility and talent necessary to continue reinventing with each album, and keep doing great things for many years. In repeat since I first heard it.

17. Bad Bunny – X 100PRE

The Bad Rabbit finally delivered his first album after taking over the world of urban music with his rhymes and the result is much more than we expected. Here, San Benito not only demonstrates how well his voice is in tracks of trap and reggaeton, but he ventures to experiment with sonorities close to pop punk and psychedelic indie, and adds them to his outdated lyrics, bringing freshness to the ever-increasing World of urban music.

16. MGMT – Little Dark Age

After four years without new material, the band led by Andy VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser returned with Little Dark Age, a disc of 10 songs with an aura as dark as dancing and with which they tried to return to the time of their first album. It is an album where all the songs work by themselves, from the most synth pop songs to the oddities that New Yorkers have accustomed us to. Of the best returns of the year.

15. Troye Sivan – Bloom

In 2015, Troye released Blue Neighborhood, a correct debut album in which he showed his preference for dream pop; However, three years later he shows us a more mature and more experimental version of his music on Bloom, an easy-to-listen album that has an intimate aura in which the singer talks about his homosexuality without any complex.

14. Blood Orange – Black Swan

If you had to label the music of Blood Orange in some genre that would have to be, without a doubt, indie hip hop and Black Swan is an album that shows it. In this new album, successor to Freetown Sound (2016), Devonté Hynes, the man behind Blood Orange, explores the borders of hip hop to tell an intimate and often self-referential story that goes from the broken heart to a hopeful life and that you Do dance even if you are sitting. No waste

13. Mac Miller – Swimming

Reducing Mac Miller’s talent that could now be considered a martyr would be a huge nonsense. Shortly after the great The Divine Feminine, Malcom Miller handed us his last musical testament that finally consolidated him as a legend. This is an album where Miller experiments with jazz sounds and explores that vein that characterized him where his own existence was questioned and how difficult it is to be famous, although many think that having money and recognition exempt you from everything that afflicts the Mind of the human being. Alive or dead, Swimming is a discazo and, if we judge by its sound, Miller seems to be more alive than ever.

12. Robyn – Honey

For Honey, her sixth album, Robyn got the perfect combination of voice and synthesizers that makes this album with which the Swedish 39 tries to place all her emotions in 40 minutes and 38 seconds. It is impossible to unlink Robyn’s music with that of Kylie Minogue and; However, he talks about other things, leaves the party aside and from his voice he only releases emotional phrases that evoke at the end of a relationship and the loss of a friend.

11. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

The country is complicated even for the Americans themselves. It is so ingrained to a group that seems to generate rejection to all others. However, Golden Hour is not only the country record of the year, but it honors the work of making the genre accessible to everyone, giving it a closer package to pop and R&B, leaving the canons of the profitable North American industry . It is a collection of themes that are felt in the soul when you listen to them and leave the odd teaching for life.

10. Kamasi Washington – Heaven & Earth

The saxophonist Kamasi Washington has time demonstrating that he is one of the most striking artists of the current music scene, even though his music is not for everyone. In Heaven & Earth, his second solo work, Washington dares with a double album that divides the utopian from the mundane where he experiments with new sounds and ways of doing jazz by pressing his own music and his own expertise as a composer to break paradigms to through experimental, warm, colorful and very eclectic sounds, without much variation in the sound line and the story that it tells through its scores.

9. Mitski – Be The Cowboy

With a mixture of Yoko Ono and Dido, Dido, the Japanese-American singer-songwriter, has introduced us Be The Cowboy, an album that takes us to the depths of her emotions. Throughout the 14 short songs of this album, sometimes very electronic, sometimes closer to folk; Mitski introduces us to his thoughts full of loneliness, prey to the expectations of others but with a voice as melodious as heartbreaking.

8. Rosalia – The Evil Want

In times where music is presented and consumed as simple, Rosalía Vila Tobella has given us El Mal Querer, a conceptual album that contains 11 songs / chapters inspired by a 14th century book that serve as an ode to modern relationships at the rhythm of flamenco , pop and trap. El Mal Querer is a very thoughtful album, excessively thought out, so much that the singer herself has had to go out and explain it. An album in which the Barcelona sensation gives us a formidable interpretation of a woman who releases the chains that tie her to a toxic relationship.

7. Pusha T – DAYTONA

Kanye West’s production and Pusha T’s vocal skill make DAYTONA one of the biggest rap milestones in 2018. Like the other releases of the mid-year Yeezy Season, this album, perhaps the least experimental of all, it consists of few songs (thanks for not making albums of 15 tracks loaded with fillers and 6 good songs) but it has an overwhelming power.

6. Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer

R&B, dance, soul and hip hop – all very danceable – are cited in Dirty Computer, the album in which actress and singer Janelle Monáe, explores themes such as sexuality, female empowerment in the black community and her discontent with politics current with a force such that it is impossible to ignore it.

5. Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD

ASTROWORLD is one of those rap albums we will talk about for decades and a very high bar that Travis Scott himself put on to overcome with his next album. We are in front of an ambitious work with a production of insane beats that flow under the voice of one of the most privileged and talented rappers of his generation. An instant classic where the grandiloquence of sound guides us to Travis’s mind and walks us through every corner.

4. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

From The 1975 many things can be said and one of them should be that they do not skimp on being ambitious. ABIIOR is a conceptual album that seeks to talk to its audience in their language about love in the millennial era, with musical arrangements that roam between their well-known guitar popper and their eagerness to experiment with electronic, R&B and music. eighty. Matt Healy demonstrates his talent for writing beautiful songs that capture the root of the feeling and explains how to sing about whatever he wants with a band that, with each album, feels more mature, comfortable and eager to get out of the mold .

3. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts

Removing the man from the play is an increasingly difficult task in these times and this has overshadowed the true genius behind records like Kids See Ghosts. Kanye West and Kid Cudi, two men who have fought against their mental illnesses in recent years, made an honest album as therapy where we witness the exorcism of their demons with the most honest rhymes they have ever said. All this trip to the depressions and disorders of its two authors we do with some crazy tracks that play with the human voice and in some measures remind the psychedelia of artists like The Flaming Lips. Seven songs to the point and that show that Kid Cudi deserves more love than we give him and that Kanye is much more than a red beanie with a message.

2. Kali Uchis – Isolation

With his winks to Spanish, his sensuality and his songs that can be danced and at the same time serve to raise the voice of feminism, Kali Uchis try to leave hatred behind or simply say that sometimes it is not easy to get out of toxic relationships in Isolation , an album of 15 songs that catapult the one born in Pereira, Colombia as one of the most interesting singers of the current R&B offer.

1. J Balvin – Vibras

Vibras is a disc of sounds and; However, the lyrics are responsible for granting an aura of nightlife and seduction that never comes close to the grotesque, elements strongly criticized in the genre. J Balvin has been the exponent who has best achieved the evolution of a genre that is no longer reggaeton, but strolls through many elements that feel organic, although they have a purely electronic nature, without forgetting that they do not neglect the lyrics and that they are not afraid to explore A wide range of sounds with a great result. This album is the sound equivalent of taking two Cuba Libres. If you want to know where the urban genre points, all roads lead to the Colombian.