Halftime Report 2018: Favorite Albums

20 personal favorites from rap, idol pop, metal, techno and more

I’m not going to pretend like I got every album here figured out. A few land here mainly because of their impressive style. But what I hold on from some of these records is how each artist copes with loss and finality, whether that may mean through death (real or hypothetical), separation (amicable or not so much) or failure (artistic or of self-realization). Some of my favorite songs of the year, too, find its singers fighting to accept their world turned anew after an end of a certain phase. “Even though we’re a different shape/ We are the one/ We’re all looking at the same thing”: It’s just been a certain kind of year for me where a lyric that has been the one I have kept close with me.

Below are 20 albums that I’ve enjoyed so far in 2018:

Maenarawanai by Atarashii Gakkou no Leaders | Showa pop

► “Koi no Shadanki”

Baylor Swift by Bali Baby | brat rap/pop punk


Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett | rock

“Need a Little Time”

The EMPiRE Strikes Start!! by EMPiRE | emo pop

“For Example??”

Grid of Points by Grouper | ambient/folk

“Parking Lot”

Haru to Syura by Haru Nemuri | alt-rock/Gen Z pop

“Sekai wo Torikaeshitekure”

Juice by iri | R&B

► “Corner”

Bloodline by Steven Julien | house/techno

“Roll of the Dice”

Vibras by J Balvin | reggaeton

“Brillo” (ft. Rosalia)

Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves | AOR/country

“Oh, What a World”

The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness I and II by Panopticon | black metal (disc 1)/folk (disc 2)

“Sheep in Wolves Clothing”

Die Lit by Playboi Carti | rap


Celeste by Lena Raine | 8-bit


Nasty by Rico Nasty | rap

“Countin’ Up”

All at Once by Screaming Females | alt-rock/punk

“Glass House”

The Story of Light EP 1–3 by SHINee | dance-pop

“Good Evening”

Compro by Skee Mask | IDM/jungle revival

“Kosmic Flush”

Record by Tracey Thorn | pop


Devilman Crybaby by Kensuke Ushio | synthwave


Mirrors by Yanakoto Sotto Mute | emo punk

“Louvre no Sora”

Do you want more?


  • Toni Braxton: Sex & Cigarettes
  • BTS: Love Yourself: Tear
  • Heize: Wish Wind
  • Javiera Mena: Espejo
  • Ashley Monroe: Sparrow
  • ORE-SAMA: Hi-Fi Pops
  • Sayonara Ponytail: You Are My Universe
  • sora tob sakana: Alight EP
  • Tinashe: Joyride


  • At the Gates: To Drink from the Night Itself
  • Beach House: 7
  • CHAI: Wagamamania EP
  • Hatchie: Sugar & Spice EP
  • Ling Tosite Sigure: 5
  • No Thank You: All It Takes to Ruin It All
  • War on Women: Capture the Flag
  • Wrong: Feel Great
  • Wye Oak: The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs
  • Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Going On
  • Yob: Our Raw Heart


  • Against All Logic: 2012–2017
  • Blawan: Wet Will Always Dry
  • Blocks & Escher: Something Blue
  • Will DiMaggio: At Ease
  • DJ Koze: Knock Knock
  • Eartheater: IRISIRI
  • Essaie Pas: New Path
  • Gas: Rausch
  • Silvia Kastel: Air Lows
  • Proc Fiskal: Insula
  • Road Hog: Spares
  • Sophia Loizou: Irregular Territories EP
  • Various Artists: Flowers from the Ashes: Contemporary Italian Electronic Music


  • Denmark Vessey: Sun Go Nova
  • OMB Peezy & Sherwood Marty: Young & Reckless
  • Roc Marciano: RR2: The Bitter Dose
  • SOB x RBE: Gangin’
  • Tierra Whack: Whack World
  • Valee: G.O.O.D. Job, You Found Me EP




music, etc.

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Ryo Miyauchi

Ryo Miyauchi

music, etc.

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