The 25 Best Albums of 2018

Our picks for the year's must-have, must-hear music.

  1. Us, Empress Of

Lorely Rodriguez’s voice is one pop needs today. Not just for its agility and strength, reaching for scorn on one note and longing the next, but because Rodriguez uses it, as on standout “I Don’t Even Smoke Weed,” to communicate base vulnerability as few pop stars can. Us is not as anachronistic as its 2015 predecessor — the menace of a song like “Water” would be out of place among these 10 tracks — but it still bangs.