From SHINee To BTS, The 10 Best K-Pop Albums Of 2018
The fast-paced nature of K-Pop has made South Korea a singles-based market, but that doesn’t mean that great albums aren’t being produced. With the spotlight on K-Pop becoming ever brighter, many labels are putting in extra effort to make sure their albums are more killer than filler. A number of K-Pop artists even cracked the Billboard 200 this year, including BTS who topped the chart twice. Outside of BTS, newcomers LOONA more than lived up to their massive hype with their first EP, while SHINee pulled a Robyn and went full Body Talk for their three-part The Story of Light. We list the 10 best K-Pop albums of 2018 below.
10. NCT — NCT 2018 Empathy
Bouncing from the sinister sex appeal of “Baby Don’t Stop” to the feel-good throwback “Touch,” NCT’s first full album was a perfect showcase of the eclectic group’s versatility.
9. SHINee — The Story of Light
After the shock suicide of member Jonghyun, SHINee somehow rebounded from tragedy with this epic, three-part pop opus.
8. BLACKPINK — Square Up
Although a short release at just four tracks, BLACKPINK’s long-awaited first album delivered slick, top forty bangers from start to finish.
7. GOT7 — Present: You & Me
Across a whopping 24 tracks, GOT7 showcase their strength as a group while also shining individually on a string of superb solo cuts.
6. Jonghyun — Poet Artist
Posthumous albums tend to vary wildly in quality, but the late Jonghyun’s eclectic Poet Artist delivered on all fronts with its soulful blend of disco, funk and R&B.
5. Red Velvet — Really Bad Boy
It’s hard to rank Red Velvet’s albums because they’re all so consistently great, but Really Bad Boy stands out for being the group’s sassiest offering yet.
4. EXO — Don’t Mess Up My Tempo
EXO do polished urban-pop like nobody else, and their fifth album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo (and its incredible repackage Love Shot) finds the now-legendary boy band at their best.
3. LOONA — ++
LOONA seamlessly shift between bubblegum synth-pop to cheerleader hip-hop and tropical dancehall on their first album as a 12-member group.
2. VIXX — Eau De VIXX
Experimental synth-pop and atmospheric electro permeated VIXX’s sensual third album, reminding us all yet again that VIXX are one of K-Pop’s most unique and underrated acts.
1. BTS – Love Yourself: Tear
On their third studio album, BTS were able to create their most cohesive work to date whilst still fearlessly experimenting with diverse global genres. A-list foreign songwriters like MNEK and Ali Tamposi added some blockbuster pop appeal, while BTS gave the album real emotional depth by writing about the complexities of love and life.