Best albums of 2018 so far: The music industry picks its favourites

Best albums of 2018 so far: The music industry picks its favourites

As crazy as it may seem, we're already nearly halfway through 2018. SMusic Week gathered a host of industry names to find out what long-players (other than the ones they've worked on) have rocked their worlds over the last six months. So much for the album being a dying artform...

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

“Despite some strong competition from Jon Hopkins [Singularity], I probably would go for Arctic Monkeys as my favourite record of the year so far. It’s a stunning album, I absolutely love the record – it’s amazing.”

Mike Smith(MD, Warner/Chappell UK)

“Haters gonna hate, but this is going to stand the test of time as one of their best ever.”

Natalie Judge (general manager, Matador Records)

Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar

"Young Fathers keep moving forward. Also one of Britain's best live acts." 

Adam Webb (campaign manager, FanFair Alliance)

Pusha T - Daytona

“The now 41-year-old former Clipse man has never sounded more focused or urgent than on these seven tracks. The whole 21 minutes flows perfectly and the production (by Kanye West) is fantastic, too.

One suspects this will be the enduring highlight of West’s strange Wyoming odyssey and it proves that irrespective of anything else, he can still produce great hip-hop beats.” 

Paul Reed (CEO, Association Of Independent Festivals)

“I’m obsessed with it. As a wordsmith and a voice of authenticity within that space, he’s pretty unparalleled right now and he’s also a provocateur, which is important within music and hip-hop culture.”

Jack Melhuish (director of marketing, strategy & partnerships, Parlophone)

Tom Misch – Geography

“I know very little about him other than the music I’ve heard. But for my sonic palette, it works a treat, particularly the song Disco Yes, featuring Poppy Ajudha. I’ve yet to see him live, I’ve just heard the name and enjoyed the music, which is marvellous.”

Ted Cockle (president, Virgin EMI) 

Nas - Nasir

“Both Nas and Kanye West are hip-hop in human form. Both artists are true masters of their craft and hold GOAT status. When the release date was announced for this album we knew it was going to be a special moment, that it would be a pivotal milestone for the culture.

Is it a surprise that a Kanye West produced Nas album is nothing but undiluted hip-hop excellence? Nasir is a much needed body of work that documents this very moment in time.”

DJ Semtex (director, artist development, Sony Music UK)

Various Artists - The Greatest Showman OST

“The album that’s defined the year so far for me has to be The Greatest Showman. It is one of those moments that don’t happen very often, it’s truly remarkable.

My 10-year-old daughter knows it off by heart and my mum, who’s in her late ‘70s, is doing it in the choir – that is the broad reach of that soundtrack.”

Rebecca Allen (president, Decca Records UK)

Subscribers can find the full list online here.

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