Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B! PEOPLE Picks the Top 10 Albums of 2018

Political, personal, and full of pop — here are our favorite 10 albums of the year

01 of 10

KACEY MUSGRAVES, GOLDEN HOUR

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The Nashville disrupter blended traditional country twang with psychedelic synth-pop and sassy storytelling.

02 of 10

ELLE KING, SHAKE THE SPIRIT

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Battles with depression, divorce and drugs fueled the rocker’s raw second album, a personal and artistic triumph.

03 of 10

DRAKE, SCORPION

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Drake’s fifth LP offered a smash song of the summer (“God’s Plan”) and revealed a secret bombshell — he’s a dad!

04 of 10

ARIANA GRANDE, SWEETENER

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Grande contemplated love, loss and anxiety on this sugary-sweet collection of pop bops.

05 of 10

MIGOS, CULTURE II

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The Atlanta trio remained hip-hop’s buzziest act, this time with support from powerhouses like Post Malone and Nicki Minaj.

06 of 10

THE CARTERS, EVERYTHING IS LOVE

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Jay and Bey got political and personal, addressing the state of the union and their marriage on their first joint album.

07 of 10

CARDI B, INVASION OF PRIVACY

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The rapper unleashed a stellar debut, exuding humor, vulnerability and her badass attitude.

08 of 10

SHAWN MENDES, SHAWN MENDES

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Mendes graduated from teen idol to arena-packing alt rocker with his third LP, about growing pains and fame.

09 of 10

JANELLE MONÁE, DIRTY COMPUTER

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Channeling her mentor Prince, Monáe explored identity, sexuality and politics on this soulful pop-funk record.

10 of 10

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, CRY PRETTY

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After a year out of the spotlight, the country queen delivered her most personal, soulful set yet.

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