The 25 best albums of 2018

25 October 2023, 19:00

Some of the best albums of 2018... from Blossoms, Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Richard Ashcroft.
Some of the best albums of 2018... from Blossoms, Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Richard Ashcroft. Picture: Press

Arctic Monkeys touched down at Tranquility Base, Muse pondered Simulation Theory and Florence was High As Hope. Here are the best LPs of 2018.

Radio X

By Radio X

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2018 saw Arctic Monkeys reinvent themselves, The 1975 reinvent the entire universe and Courteeners get acoustic for the 10th anniversary of St Jude. Radio X looks back at 2018’s best albums.

  1. The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life: release date 9th February 2018

    The sour title masks another selection of wry lyrics and enormous choruses from Matthew Murphy and his bandmates.

    The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life cover
    The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life cover. Picture: Press
  2. Editors - Violence: release date 9th March 2018

    Six albums in and Editors transcended their 00s indie roots to become a mature, challenging band. Violence takes their dark sound and throws in a few electronic pulses, but at heart this is a huge rock record.

    Editors - Violence cover
    Editors - Violence cover. Picture: Press
  3. The Vaccines - Combat Sports: release date 30th March 2018

    Big tunes, brash choruses, the lot - The Vaccines returned with two new members, an album about “struggle” and a renewed vigour.

    The Vaccines - Combat Sports cover
    The Vaccines - Combat Sports cover. Picture: Press
  4. Courteeners - St Jude - Re:Wired: release date 7th April 2018

    Liam Fray cements his position as a genuine Mancunian poet by reworking the band’s debut album from 2008 - the acoustic treatment shows how powerful and relatable these songs are.

    Courteeners - St Jude - Re:Wired cover
    Courteeners - St Jude - Re:Wired cover. Picture: Press
  5. Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile: release date 13th April 2018

    The veteran Welsh trio proved that it’s still possible to be angry and passionate 30 years into your career.

    Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile cover
    Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile cover. Picture: Press
  6. Blossoms - Cool Like You: release date 27th April 2018

    This Stockport band’s self-titled debut appeared perfectly formed in 2016; the follow-up sees them refine their classic indie pop songs.

    Blossoms - Cool Like You cover
    Blossoms - Cool Like You cover. Picture: Press
  7. Frank Turner - Be More Kind: release date 4th May 2018

    On his seventh album, Turner’s worldview and outraged sense of justice seems more relevant than ever.

    Frank Turner - Be More Kind cover
    Frank Turner - Be More Kind cover. Picture: Press
  8. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino: release date 11th May 2018

    Deep, dark and VERY “lounge”, the Monkeys’ sixth album sees Alex Turner get stylistically as far away from the band’s debut as it’s possible to get… and yet his wry worldview still clicks with the slicker, slower sounds.

    Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino cover
    Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino cover. Picture: Press
  9. Snow Patrol - Wildness: release date 25th May 2018

    In the seven years since Fallen Empires, Gary Lightbody dealt with depression, alcohol and his father’s dementia. But this comeback is, as usual, uplifting and life-affirming.

    Snow Patrol - Wildness cover
    Snow Patrol - Wildness cover. Picture: Press
  10. CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead: release date 25th May 2018

    The third album from the Glasgow electro-pop trio, which sees singer Lauren Mayberry become a genuine figurehead and icon in rock. Glossy electronica with a beating heart at the core.

    CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead cover
    CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead cover. Picture: Press
  11. Ben Howard - Noonday Dream: release date 1st June 2018

    Four years since his previous album, Howard’s third outing is an ambient, introspective collection that showcases his delicate talent.

    Ben Howard - Noonday Dream cover
    Ben Howard - Noonday Dream cover. Picture: Press
  12. Johnny Marr - Call The Comet: release date 15th June 2018

    The former Smiths guitarist’s third solo album is a tour de force of melody and musicianship, particularly on the beautifully melodic Hi Hello.

    Johnny Marr - Call The Comet cover
    Johnny Marr - Call The Comet cover. Picture: Press
  13. Florence And The Machine - High As Hope: release date 29th June 2018

    An emotional, heart searching album like no other, this personal outing from Florence Welch sees her confront her demons, while conjuring up some of the most relatable songs of her career.

    Florence And The Machine - High As Hope cover
    Florence And The Machine - High As Hope cover. Picture: Press
  14. Gorillaz - The Now Now: release date 29th June 2018

    Damon Albarn followed hot on the heels of 2017’s Humanz and featured contributions from James Ford, Snoop Dogg and even his old Blur mucker, Graham Coxon.

    Gorillaz  - The Now Now cover
    Gorillaz - The Now Now cover. Picture: Press
  15. Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches: release date 6th July 2018

    Gruff, bluesy and undoubtedly distinctive, Tom Grennan is the most unique voice to come out of Britain in years. The no-nonsense, honest songs make this a strong debut.

    Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches cover
    Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches cover. Picture: Press
  16. The Coral - Move Through The Dawn: release date 10th August 2018

    James Skelly leads his band through a collection of beautiful, simple folk-influenced melodies.

    The Coral - Move Through The Dawn cover
    The Coral - Move Through The Dawn cover. Picture: Press
  17. Miles Kane - Coup de Grace: release date 10th August 2018

    Named after his favourite wrestling move, the former Rascal and one half of The Last Shadow Puppets creates a record of classic rock tropes given a charming, distinctive spin.

    Miles Kane - Coup de Grace cover
    Miles Kane - Coup de Grace cover. Picture: Press
  18. Paul McCartney - Egypt Station: release date 7th September 2018

    55 years after his debut album with The Beatles, 76-year-old Sir Macca issued his strongest album since 1997’s Flaming Pie. From the piano ballad I Don’t Know to the risque Come On To Me, McCartney remains a unique talent.

    Paul McCartney - Egypt Station cover
    Paul McCartney - Egypt Station cover. Picture: Press
  19. Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises: release date 14th September 2018

    Manchester’s Pale Waves take on similar lyrical concerns to labelmates The 1975, and their debut LP sparkles with synth riffs and a compelling singer in Heather Baron-Gracie.

    Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises cover
    Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises cover. Picture: Press
  20. Suede - The Blue Hour: release date 21st September 2018

    2016’s Night Thoughts re-established Suede as a one of Britain’s most respected bands, and this follow-up is a theatrical musing on life and love. The days of Britpop seem like several lifetimes away.

    Suede - The Blue Hour cover
    Suede - The Blue Hour cover. Picture: Press
  21. Richard Ashcroft - Natural Rebel: release date 19th October 2018

    The former Verve man proves he’s a spokesman for a generation with this rabble rousing collection of songs. He may be older, but the fire hasn’t gone out.

    Richard Ashcroft - Natural Rebel cover
    Richard Ashcroft - Natural Rebel cover. Picture: Press
  22. Gang of Youths - MTV Unplugged (Live In Melbourne): release date 26th October 2018

    Huge in their native Australia, Sydney’s Gang Of Youths have released two studio albums, but this accomplished acoustic saw them reach new fans around the world.

    Gang of Youths - MTV Unplugged cover
    Gang of Youths - MTV Unplugged cover. Picture: Press
  23. Muse - Simulation Theory: release date 9th November 2018

    Beyond the 1980s movie pastiche of the cover art, the trio’s epic, stadium-filling sound is still present and correct, but this time there’s a glittery synth-pop feel to replace the dark overtones of the Drones era.

    Muse - Simulation Theory cover
    Muse - Simulation Theory cover. Picture: Press
  24. Mumford And Sons - Delta: release date 16th November 2018

    Marcus Mumford and his trusty team of Gentlemen Of The Road stripped down their sound and built it back up, touching on elements of electronica and R&B to challenge the listener.

    Mumford And Sons - Delta cover
    Mumford And Sons - Delta cover. Picture: Press
  25. The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships: release date 30th November 2018

    Matty Healy digs deep into his own personal life and pulls out this remarkable album that epitomises the confusion and joy of 2018.

    The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships cover
    The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships cover. Picture: Press

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