By: Timothy Coffman, Columnist
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Music’s golden night is almost upon us and in the spirit of things, it’s time to look back on the greatest music of the past year and see how it ranks amongst its predecessors. For this list, I will be looking at the nominations for Album of the Year and picking five out of the eight that stood out to be obvious forerunners for the prized Grammy award.
- Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B)– 2018 was the year of Cardi B. After her arrival on the scene last January, she blew up with guest spots on songs by pop giants like Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars. This album does not deserve to be overlooked. Songs like “Be Careful” and “Get Up 10” show Cardi’s dangerous reputation and is a signal of great things to come.
- H.E.R. (H.E.R.)- This compilation of H.E.R’s first few EPs helped to show us that this is someone any R&B fan should be paying major attention to. While much of pop music seems to be going towards slow jams, H.E.R’s “Best Part” and other soulful cuts like “Avenue” give a retro spin to the normal trends. Even though artists pride herself on her sentimental soul, H.E.R seems to put some of the biggest names in pop to shame with this record.
- Golden Hour (Kacey Musgraves)- This is a country album that transcends the genre. Musgraves always was a talented songwriter, but this album samples electronic and pop elements that take the songs to another plain. And don’t be surprised if this one tears at your heartstrings if you’re not careful.
- Dirty Computer (Janelle Monae)– With her rise in acting recently with “Hidden Figures,” Monae could have easily played it safe musically this year. Instead, she gave us one of the most engaging and socially conscious mainstream releases of the year. Songs like “Make Me Feel” and the closer “Americans” show that spark of small lyricism and tight musical arrangements that is sorely needed in today’s pop landscape.
- Black Panther The Album (Various)– This collaboration record assembled by Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest original soundtracks to come out in the past few years. While loosely mentioning the Marvel movie of the same name, this record takes Lamar’s strengths and stretches them for an incendiary 49 minutes, with dramatic powerhouses culminated in “Pray For Me,” “King’s Dead” and the Oscar and Grammy nominated smash “All the Stars.”