Debating the Best Albums of 2018: Janelle Monáe, Soccer Mommy and More

The end of 2018 is near, bringing the inevitable tugs-of-war over what music defined the year.

The pop music critics for The New York Times had vastly different lists. Jon Pareles’s favorite was Janelle Monáe’s funky epic “Dirty Computer,” while Jon Caramanica topped his list with the intimate indie rock of Soccer Mommy.

Beyond that, their lists ranged widely: country music from Kane Brown, modern flamenco from Rosalía, peak pop with Charlie Puth, sound-bath hip-hop with Gunna and Lil Baby. On Popcast, they discuss both the year’s best LPs and whether albums, a format of music delivery that is in decline, will continue to be worth ranking a few years down the line.

On this week’s Popcast:

Jon Pareles, chief pop music critic for The New York Times

Joe Coscarelli, pop music reporter for The New York Times

Caryn Ganz, pop music editor for The New York Times

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