Radio X’s Best Albums Of 2018

15 December 2018, 18:00 | Updated: 18 December 2018, 14:30

Radio X's Best Albums Of 2018. Picture: Press

Arctic Monkeys touched down at Tranquility Base, Muse pondered Simulation Theory and Florence was High As Hope. Here are the best LPs of 2018.

What a year 2018 has been for albums - we saw Arctic Monkeys reinvent themselves, The 1975 reinvent the entire universe and Courteeners get acoustic for the 10th anniversary of St Jude. New acts like Isaac Gracie, Tom Grennan and Pale Waves all released excellent LPs and established acts like Mumford And Sons, Muse and CHVRCHES all returned with some fine collections. Radio X looks back at 2018’s best albums.

  1. The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

    Matty Healy digs deep into his own personal life and pulls out this remarkable album that epitomises the confusion and joy of 2018. The 1975 have transformed into one of Britain’s most vital bands.

    The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships cover. Picture: Press
  2. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

    Deep, dark and VERY “lounge”, the Monkeys’ sixth album sees Alex Turner get stylistically as far away from the band’s debut as it’s possible to get… and yet his wry worldview still clicks with the slicker, slower sounds.

    Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino cover. Picture: Press
  3. Richard Ashcroft - Natural Rebel

    The former Verve man proves he’s a spokesman for a generation with this rabble rousing collection of songs. He may be older, but the fire hasn’t gone out.

    Richard Ashcroft - Natural Rebel cover. Picture: Press
  4. Biffy Clyro - MTV Unplugged (Live At London Roundhouse)

    Beautiful, passionate songs played perfectly - everything you’d expect from the Scottish trio of Simon Neil and James and Ben Johnston, played in a way that means the songwriting skill shines on through.

    Biffy Clyro - MTV Unplugged cover. Picture: Press
  5. Blossoms - Cool Like You

    This Stockport band’s self-titled debut appeared perfectly formed two years ago, now the follow-up sees them refine their classic indie pop songs.

    Blossoms - Cool Like You cover. Picture: Press
  6. CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead

    The third album from the Glasgow electro-pop trio, which sees singer Lauren Mayberry become a genuine figurehead and icon in rock. Glossy electronica with a beating heart at the core.

    CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead cover. Picture: Press
  7. The Coral - Move Through The Dawn

    James Skelly leads his band through a collection of beautiful, simple folk-influenced melodies.

    The Coral - Move Through The Dawn cover. Picture: Press
  8. Courteeners - St Jude - Re:Wired

    Liam Fray cements his position as a genuine Mancunian poet by reworking the band’s debut album from 2008 - the acoustic treatment shows how powerful and relatable these songs are.

    Courteeners - St Jude - Re:Wired cover. Picture: Press
  9. Editors - Violence

    Six albums in and Editors have transcended their 00s indie roots to become a mature, challenging band. Violence takes their dark sound and throws in a few electronic pulses, but at heart this is a huge rock record.

    Editors - Violence cover. Picture: Press
  10. Florence And The Machine - High As Hope

    An emotional, heart searching album like no other, this personal outing from Florence Welch sees her confront her demons, while conjuring up some of the most relatable songs of her career.

    Florence And The Machine - High As Hope cover. Picture: Press
  11. Gang of Youths - MTV Unplugged (Live In Melbourne)

    Already huge in their native Australia, Sydney’s Gang Of Youths have released two studio albums, but this year’s accomplished acoustic set has seen them reach new fans around the world.

    Gang of Youths - MTV Unplugged cover. Picture: Press
  12. Gorillaz - The Now Now

    Damon Albarn continues to break ground, with this LP following hot on the heels of 2017’s Humanz and featuring contributions from James Ford, Snoop Dogg and even his old Blur mucker, Graham Coxon.

    Gorillaz - The Now Now cover. Picture: Press
  13. Isaac Gracie - Isaac Gracie

    A former choir boy from Ealing, West London, Isaac Gracie’s angelic looks and voice are a heady mix, as this confident debut album shows.

    Isaac Gracie - Isaac Gracie album cover. Picture: Press
  14. Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches

    Gruff, bluesy and undoubtedly distinctive, Tom Grennan is the most unique voice to come out of Britain in years. The no-nonsense, honest songs make this a strong debut.

    Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches cover. Picture: Press
  15. Ben Howard - Noonday Dream

    Four years since his last album, Howard’s third album is an ambient, introspective collection that showcases his delicate talent.

    Ben Howard - Noonday Dream cover. Picture: Press
  16. Miles Kane - Coup de Grace

    Named after his favourite wrestling move, the former Rascal and one half of The Last Shadow Puppets creates a record of classic rock tropes given a charming, distinctive spin.

    Miles Kane - Coup de Grace cover. Picture: Press
  17. Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile

    The veteran Welsh trio proved that it’s still possible to be angry and passionate 30 years into your career.

    Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile cover. Picture: Press
  18. Johnny Marr - Call The Comet

    The former Smiths guitarist’s third solo album is a tour de force of melody and musicianship, particularly on the beautifully melodic Hi Hello.

    Johnny Marr - Call The Comet cover. Picture: Press
  19. Paul McCartney - Egypt Station

    55 years after his debut album with The Beatles, 76-year-old Sir Macca issues his strongest album since 1997’s Flaming Pie. From the piano ballad I Don’t Know to the slightly risque Come On To Me, McCartney is a unique talent.

    Paul McCartney - Egypt Station cover. Picture: Press
  20. Mumford And Sons - Delta

    Marcus Mumford and his trusty team of Gentlemen Of The Road have stripped down their sound and built it back up, touching on elements of electronica and R&B to challenge the listener.

    Mumford And Sons - Delta cover. Picture: Press
  21. Muse - Simulation Theory

    Beyond the 1980s movie pastiche of the cover art, the trio’s epic, stadium-filling sound is still present and correct, but this time there’s a glittery synth-pop feel to replace the dark overtones of the Drones era.

    Muse - Simulation Theory cover. Picture: Press
  22. Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises

    Manchester’s Pale Waves take on similar lyrical concerns to labelmates The 1975, and their debut LP sparkles with synth riffs and a compelling singer in Heather Baron-Gracie.

    Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises cover. Picture: Press
  23. Snow Patrol - Wildness

    In the seven years since Fallen Empires, Gary Lightbody has had to deal with depression, alcohol and his father’s dementia. But this comeback is, as usual, uplifting and life-affirming.

    Snow Patrol - Wildness cover. Picture: Press
  24. Suede - The Blue Hour

    2016’s Night Thoughts re-established Suede as a one of Britain’s most respected bands, and this follow-up is a theatrical musing on life and love. The days of Britpop seem like several lifetimes away.

    Suede - The Blue Hour cover. Picture: Press
  25. Frank Turner - Be More Kind

    On his seventh album, Turner’s worldview and outraged sense of justice seems more relevant than ever.

    Frank Turner - Be More Kind cover. Picture: Press
  26. The Vaccines - Combat Sports

    Big tunes, brash choruses, the lot - The Vaccines return with two new members, an album about “struggle” and a renewed vigour.

    The Vaccines - Combat Sports cover. Picture: Press
  27. The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

    The sour title masks another selection of wry lyrics and enormous choruses from Matthew Murphy and his bandmates.

    The Wombats - Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life cover. Picture: Press