The 2018 AllMusic Readers’ Poll

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It's time to really, truly put the bow on 2018 by sharing the results of our year-end readers' poll. We took your album ratings from the year, put the year's best-rated albums on a ballot, and let you tell us what music best caught your ear over the past 12 months. Thanks for reading AllMusic for another year, and we look forward to what's ahead in 2019.

"On its debut album…the band has tightened things up in just the right ways and come up with something magical. The band headed off to a remote area of Australia, bunkered down with producer Liam Judson, and refined their sound until it shone like a gem. More than before, the guitars have a spiky bite, the vocals come through clearly, the rhythm section has some kick, and every song feels like a hit." (Full review)

"From the first moments of "Quorum," which suggests a hellish soundscape trapped in a locked vinyl groove, to the final abrasive pulse of "Disarray," this music confronts the listener on a level Low have never attempted before. Then again, as a work reflecting a world in chaos and a time when the line between truth and lies has been blurred into insignificance, Double Negative is in many respects a worthy reflection of its era, the sound of humanity struggling to be heard in the midst of punishing discord and alien static." (Full review)

"[Alex] Turner fetishes the swinging sci-fi '60s, winking at futurism while acknowledging that its starry potential has curdled in the digital age. Tranquility Base hints at these dashed dreams in its stylish soft contours, which are neither retro nor modern: they're hung suspended between these two extremes, sounding precisely like Alex Turner while never touching upon the frenzied, heavy roar of the Monkeys. The expansive aural horizons suggest there are plenty of avenues for Turner to steer Arctic Monkeys into a fruitful middle age." (Full review)

"Be the Cowboy finds [Mitski] adopting the persona of a married woman who fits in and lives up to expectations but longs to break free. Song titles like "Me and My Husband" and "Washing Machine Heart" hint at what's in store. What hasn't changed is Mitski's intense, impulsive style of songwriting and arranging that, while often catchy, can keep listeners off-balance." (Full review)

"It's a daring leap into the unknown for the band and for the most part it works, thanks to [Danger Mouse's] acumen behind the desk, the band's energy, and dedication to explore each tributary fully, Savage's elastic vocals and pointed lyrics, and maybe most importantly, the songs. Those who are open to hearing the band take on a variety of styles and bend them to their will should be very happy with Wide Awake!" (Full review)

"Three years in the making…Tell Me How You Really Feel plays like the flip image of its predecessor. What once was captivating now feels indifferent, delivered with a shrug instead of a snarl. Sometimes, a hook or a clever line cuts through the amiable haze, but it isn't an album of moments, it's a collection that sustains a mood: a mood that's ragged and slack, but too dulled to charm." (Full review)

"Heaven & Earth is more a refinement of the ideas expressed on The Epic than an entirely new paradigm. There is less wandering, more focus, more inquiry and directed movement, as well as an abundance of colorful tonal and harmonic contrasts. More than anything else, it establishes Washington as a composer and arranger of dizzying potential and still underscores his twin rep as a soloist and jazz conceptualist." (Full review)

"To make 7, Beach House opted to work with Sonic Boom instead of longtime producer Chris Coady; brought their live drummer James Barone into the studio; and recorded songs as soon as they were done writing them instead of waiting to record all of them at once. This creative liberation resonates on every track, whether Scally and Legrand build up the instrumentation or pare it back, touch on their familiar sounds or invent new ones. 7's sequencing spotlights just how wide its range is, juxtaposing songs that sound wildly different, but equally like Beach House." (Full review)

"At their core, the songs on Golden Hour don't play with form: they are classic country constructions, simply given productions that ignore country conventions from either the present or the past. This is a fearless move, but Golden Hour is hardly confrontational. It's quietly confident, unfurling at its own leisurely gait, swaying between casual confessions and songs about faded love. The very sound of Golden Hour is seductive — it's warm and enveloping, pitched halfway between heartbreak and healing — but the album lingers in the mind because the songs are so sharp, buttressed by long, loping melodies and Musgraves' affectless soul-baring." (Full review)

"Monáe and her trusty Wondaland partners, the album's dominant creative force, colorfully twist and flip new wave-leaning pop with booming bass drums and rattling percussion. While this is easily the most loaded Monáe album in terms of guests, with Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, and Grimes among the contributors, there's no doubt that it's a Wondaland product. It demonstrates that artful resistance and pop music are not mutually exclusive." (Full review)Original Article

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