Chelsey O's Top 10 Albums of 2018

Dec 18, 2018

Chelsey O, co-host of Grand Union Radio breaks down her top-10 albums of 2018. Check out who made the cut:

1. Ariana Grande – Sweetener

Ariana has powered through 2018 in the best of ways. With the release of her latest single "Thank U, Next" taking over the charts and being crowned Billboard’s 2018 Woman of the Year, her fourth album Sweetener expands beyond the bubble gum pop-star persona. With help from Pharrell on tracks like "R.E.M" and "Successful," Sweetener has been in constant rotation for me.

2. Pusha T – DAYTONA

Drake vs. Pusha was an iconic hip-hop moment in 2018. We covered rap battles and beefs on Grand Union Radio, and put their tracks head to head. Heated emotions and a studio full of creatives in Wyoming gave birth to albums from Kanye West, Pusha T, Nas, Teyanna Taylor and Kids See Ghosts. Pusha T’s album stuck out as iconic, with top-notch production, tons of IG-worthy lines and shots taken.

3. Kids See Ghosts - KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Another release from Kanye’s Wyoming escapades, Kids See Ghosts was introduced in 2018 as the collaborative project between Kanye West and Kid Cudi. Finally putting their differences aside and working together again was well worth the wait- as the album is a complete masterpiece from start to finish.

4. Now, Now – Saved

I photographed Now, Now on tour sometime in 2014 or so. When NPR launched the first listen at their May release of Saved, I was immediately obsessed. Saved was my summer album- in constant rotation, windows down, taking the long way home to listen to the entire body of work. The return of Now, Now was six years in the making and this album was an iconic piece this year.

5. Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD

During Grand Union Radio’s 2018 coverage of Lollapalooza in Chicago, one of the most memorable moments of the festival was Travis Scott’s iconic performance, following a midnight release of his album ASTROWORLD. With the help of music genius Mike Dean, this album has stayed consistent on the charts since August.

6. Polyphia – New Levels, New Devils

With the release of their third full-length, Polyphia continues to expand horizons in music. With tracks fusing together prog-metal riffs with underlying hip-hop beats, this album is spot-on in the way of production and guest features (Jason Richardson, Cucuo and Mateus Asato).

7. Dance Gavin Dance – Artificial Selection

Formed in 2005, Dance Gavin Dance has built up a cult following through their signature sound. I didn’t “get” the hype until last year, upon discovering their 2016 release Mothership when it all just clicked. This seventh studio album packs a heavy punch, including guest cameos and lyrical Easter-eggs for OG DGD fans.

8. BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence

The “#MeToo” movement made an impact on the internet and hip-hop’s favorite boy band, BROCKHAMPTON this year. After cancelling a solid chunk of tour dates and kicking out member Ameer Vann over sexual misconduct allegations, the collective came back strong with iridescence (RIP Team Effort, RIP puppy). With a number one debut on the Billboard 200, the album holds a special place on my top 10 of 2018.

9. The Story So Far – Proper Dose

When TSSF began releasing singles off Proper Dose, a lot of fans had mixed reactions. The new album depicts a different side of The Story So Far- less structured around hard-hitting music and a vulnerable, openly honest release that fans (including Halsey) can get behind.

10. Tory Lanez – MEMORIES DON’T DIE

Grand Union Radio gained all-access to Tory Lanez Memories Don’t Die tour stop in OKC. Opening act Flipp Dinero mentioned a track he was really into at the time, "4 Me." The tour packed solid artists and stage performance and caused me to listen to MEMORIES DON’T DIE on repeat for weeks on end. With Lanez release of LoVE me Now as well this year, MEMORIES displays the diversity behind the hardworking artist.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Speak Low If You Speak Love – Nearsighted
  • All Get Out – No Boquet
  • Misc. Artists - Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By
  • Action Bronson – White Bronco
  • A$AP Rocky – TESTING