Camiele’s 100 Favorite Albums of 2018
20. DJ Jazzy Jeff – M3
As you’d expect from DJ Jazzy Jeff, the production is magnanimous. His sound landscape is gorgeous. He has an ability to meld the esoteric with the classic and traditional in terms of hip-hop. It just shows how versatile he is and how wide his palette is.
The MCs present (most notably Rhymefest) work so perfectly with his sound, making each song a cohesive whole instead of disrupting the beautiful composition with uneven and unnecessarily aggressive rapping.
19. Clarence Clarity – Think: Peace
Damn, does Clarence ever know how to put the funk in something truly outrageous!
Think: Peace is the type of album you put on when you just want to obliterate your sense of what’s around you and what’s completely a concoction of your imagination. I’ve been waiting for a follow-up to No Now. Thank god the man has returned with work that’s surpassed what I could’ve even imagined. There’s an obvious joy in the music this time around that wasn’t in No Now, but it’s tempered with lyrics that are dark and heady. It suggests that rather than “joy,” there’s a sense of acceptance of the things that are and were, a feeling of mostly peace with how life has turned out despite how utterly fucked-up it can be (especially if you’re attempting to share it with another person). So much emotional elegance in this piece.
18. Hyukoh – 24: How to find true love and happiness
This EP is absolutely glorious. Hyukoh can genuinely do no wrong. Despite being backed by a major label (in some ways) and most notably because of their continued experience as a band, they are consistently just good and keep getting better exponentially with each release. Plus Love Ya! has such deep shades of the Beatles it’s ridiculous, (there’s a particular musical slant to it a la classic Something. How can you not adore a song like that with such sentimentality attached?
17. CIFIKA – PRISM
God, her voice coupled with her unreal production and composition is breathtaking. She does have so much of Björk in her, and I can’t even be mad.
Though, vocally she reminds me a bit of Roisin Murphy. While there are similarities, never doubt that CIFIKA is her own artist with her own darkness, lightness, quirks, and peccadillos. There’s a lot of technical precision on PRISM, but there’s also a deep level of organic creation and discovery in what she does. Just lovely.
16. Cavalier – Innate
Innate is a magical piece of music, ambient, dreamy. But there’s something really soulful and deeply intellgent here. It’s a lighter version of FlyLo, mixed with a bit of moodier Vikter Duplaix. Sensual, dark, husky. It’s an album that’s about sensations, the nature of touch and sound, how they relate to each other. Gorgeous piece of music.
15. JJANGYOU – KOKI7
The amount of depth, lyrical scope, and just all-out rage and passion on KOKI7 is the reason JJANGYOU is my favorite Korean rapper. He has the creative muscle of a 100-foot giant and a heart for music that I just sometimes laugh at.
His longtime partner in crime Jflow adds that much more dimension to an already multifaceted artist. Their work together, including unit WAVISABIROOM with producer ARwwae, is staggering. This album is no exception. JJANGYOU has a beast inside him that he unleashes with full force on this solo effort.
14. Pusha T – DAYTONA
Good lord Pusha T’s flow is just effortlessly flawless. He holds nothing back, goes all in, with unapologetic lyricism to the gods. DAYTON is a powerful piece of music. In it the MC exposes all souls no matter if they’re in his scope. Aggressive without being over-the-top. Nothing wasted. Every single note, bar, syllable is there for a reason.
13. Jonghyun – Poet | Artist
Poet | Artist is pure magic. As his final gift to the music world—because make no mistake, this wasn’t only for his fans, I refuse to believe that—Jonghyun gave perhaps his most visceral, most musically exploratory and ambitious project.
Poet | Artist sees him actively blur the line between the two titles, creating a brilliant smear of color and shape. A glorious album. Now my weary heart is light and I can finally rest and revel in the marvelous discography this man left us.
You did well, Jonghyun.
12. G Yamazawa – Money Is Time
I just have to laugh listening to G Yamazawa. Just… WHO’S MANS IS THIS?!?! The level of Southern swag he has is appalling! I’ve not actually heard Southern hip-hop this thick and well executed since Outkast, and I’m not even kidding. It’s more than just the slang and the twang. It’s about being able to put that flow over some legitimate BARS!
Tip my hat and toss my bra to G Yamazawa!
11. Kimbra – Primal Heart
Well, the album certainly sounds primal. These sounds are heavily linked to the earth at their barest, most natural. There’s something very untamed and virginal in Primal Heart that is stripped of any pretense.
Experience colors Kimbra’s lyricism, a lot of pain, trial, triumph, and unanswered questions. She continues to raise her own bar, continues to seek out her truth. With each release she uncovers more of herself, continuing to strip herself down to the least common denominator.