The annual roll of honour, compiled by the tastemakers at music bible Q, ranks the best 50 Albums released in 2018.
Arctic Monkey’s long-awaited sixth album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino was released in May marking a complete reinvention in the band’s sound and departure from their previous guitar-heavy work.
Originally, frontman Alex Turner says he wasn’t sure if the new music he was writing was for the band – or something else: “Arctic Monkeys is something I keep reminding myself has been around for half my lifetime now, so it’s never really not there,” he says, in an exclusive cover interview. “But there was something in writing on a piano which made me consider the idea that it might not be a Monkeys thing. It wasn’t until the others hearing the stuff and encouraging it that it became this thing.”
Elsewhere in the top ten are teenage Norwich duo Let’s Eat Grandma, The 1975, with their critically acclaimed third studio album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, Bristol based punk rockers Idles, American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer Janelle Monáe and the Modfather himself, Paul Weller.
Commenting on the list, Q Editor Ted Kessler said: “There’s a lot of talk about ‘the will of the people’ being sacrosanct at the moment, but Q is a dictatorship and, so, having given the readers the vote for the Q Awards in October, we wrestled back control from them for the all-important writers’ end-of-year-vote and the order of the top-two was reversed. This was very satisfying. Knowing that our readership’s taste is so close to those who write for us and that we all prize adventurous, tuneful melody most highly gives me heart for the onward journey through next year. All of the artist’s in the top ten, in fact, have attempted to make an album that subtly pushed themselves somewhere they haven’t been before, be it Paul Weller’s acoustic inner-visions on True Meanings, Christine & The Queens’ lavish feminist French funk or Arctic Monkey’s winning baroque psychedelic-pop. The whole top 50 is a dream. It may have been cold outside in 2018, but these albums kept us warm all year.”
Q Magazine’s Top Ten Albums of 2018:
Arctic Monkeys TranquIlity Base Hotel & Casino
Let’s Eat Grandma I’m All Ears
The 1975 A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Parquet Courts Wide Awake
Christine & The Queens Chris
Idles Joy as an Act of Resistance
Janelle Monáe Dirty Computer
Paul Weller True Meanings
Anna Calvi Hunter
The full 50 Albums of the Year list appears in this month’s Special Review of 2018 issue, on sale on Tuesday, 18 December.