I have to admit, I thought by this point into the Trump administration, we’d have more music addressing the national mood of this country, which largely feels outraged and openly confrontational against the White House, or on the flip side, dug in and more eager than ever to own the libs.

Surprisingly that tension wasn’t really captured in the music that makes up my top ten album list, one of my favorite annual traditions here at Amplify (for real though, doing whatever I wanted was my number one motivator for going indie in 2014). Beside Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, this year’s music was surprisingly apolitical, and tended to serve more as an escape than as a tool for confrontation.

Ofcourse that’s not a terrible thing — music is as much as an escape as it confrontation with truth. Sometimes the most important aspect of music is that it serves as a form of escapism for the listener. It brings ease, relaxation and most importantly joy.

So what was the mood of music in 2018? I ask myself this every year, and every year it gets harder to pin down. It seems that in 2018, we’re at an inflection point. Perhaps a reflection point, with more artists lookings inward as they release new music. Below are my top ten albums of 2018.

10. Twenty One Pilots, Trench

9. Drake, Scorpion

8. Mac Miller, Swimming

7. Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes

6. Maluma, F.A.M.E.

5. Eric Church, Desperate Man

4. Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty

3. Janelle Monae, Dirty Computer

2. Kasey Musgraves, Golden Hour

1. Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy