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The Best Jazz Albums of 2018

Plus the year’s best historical releases.

Dec. 6 2018 4:47 PMDoes Travis Scott Deserve His First No. 1, or Is He Just a Master of Chart Gimmicks?Why “Sicko Mode” sits atop the Hot 100.
Nov. 15 2018 4:40 PMWhy Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” Is Her First No. 1 SongThe single’s chart-topping success is the culmination of years of resilience in the face of tragedy and heartbreak.
Nov. 2 2018 3:10 PMTwo New Releases Reclaim the “Supergroup” for WomenOn the Pistol Annies’ new album and Boygenius’ debut EP, two generations of singer-songwriters find camaraderie rather than competition.
Oct. 18 2018 5:49 AMThe New American SongbookHere are the hits of the past 25 years that we’ll be listening to for the next 100.
Oct. 18 2018 5:47 AMIs the Cover Making a Recovery?The history of the cover song, and why it may be mounting a comeback.
Oct. 18 2018 5:45 AMHow Much of the New American Songbook Will Be Sung in Spanish?What Latino music will be remembered in the mainstream when the mainstream itself is Latino.
Oct. 12 2018 10:17 AMLeonard Cohen’s Kanye West Poem Wasn’t an InsultIt was a tribute.
Oct. 5 2018 3:02 PMOn His New Album, Eric Church Steps Out as a True Country-Music OutsiderAfter brushes with death in Las Vegas and at home, the Desperate Man isn’t playing it safe.
Aug. 16 2018 7:48 PMAretha Franklin Was Also One of R&B’s Greatest PianistsEven if she’d been born without a voice, she would have made a killer session musician.
Aug. 16 2018 10:06 AMHow Aretha Franklin Created “Respect”The story of the greatest cover song of all time and the quintessential empowerment anthem.
July 27 2018 2:26 PMIs Drake’s Latest No. 1 a Hit Song or a Hit Meme?“In My Feelings” is an accidental smash. It could become Drake’s biggest hit.
July 5 2018 10:33 AMCardi B’s “I Like It” Is the Latest Version of a Song that Took 50 Years to Get to No. 1The post-“Despacito” boom isn’t the only thing behind its crossover success.
June 28 2018 6:13 PMXXXTentacion’s No. 1 Hit Presents the Ultimate Music-Industry Test of the #MeToo AgeThough he’s far from the first troubled victim of gun violence to go to No. 1.
June 18 2018 11:06 AMBeyoncé and Jay-Z’s New Album Is Like the Satisfying Finale of a Prestige DramaEven if the Carters’ series already hit its peak.
June 11 2018 12:58 PMOn Kanye West’s New Album, the GOOD Music Rapper Focuses Simply on Good MusicKids See Ghosts is his first release in years that isn’t about his image.
Dec. 6 2018 2:19 PMThe Most Important Album of 1968 Wasn’t The White Album. It Was Beggars Banquet.It saved the Rolling Stones, altered the trajectory of music history, and turns 50 this week.
Nov. 7 2018 7:12 PMBeastie Boys Book Re-creates the Pleasures of the Group’s Best AlbumsIt’s freewheeling, collaborative, revelatory, and brimming with gags.
Oct. 29 2018 3:06 PMRobyn’s Honey Is a BalmThe long-anticipated new album may not have the sugar-rush highs we want, but its healing powers are what we need.
Oct. 18 2018 5:48 AMThe New American SongbookThe ballots.
Oct. 18 2018 5:46 AMYou Never Thought That Hip-Hop Would Take It This FarWhy only certain rap hits endure—and why “Juicy” may be the exception.
Oct. 15 2018 7:14 PMElvis Costello’s New Album Is His Best This CenturyAnd one of his best in decades.
Oct. 9 2018 3:53 PMOn the A Star Is Born Soundtrack, It’s Lady Gaga That ShinesBradley Cooper’s movie throws her pop under the tour bus, but on the album, she gets the last laugh.
Sept. 28 2018 6:06 PMHow Maroon 5 Fused With the Pop Machine to Score a Second Life on the ChartsThe band’s new No. 1 is only their latest collaboration with the song factory.
Aug. 16 2018 12:48 PMA Beginner’s Guide to Aretha FranklinThe 10 best gateway songs for newcomers to the Queen of Soul.
Aug. 16 2018 10:05 AMAretha Franklin Was the Defining Voice of the 20th CenturyNo one sang as well as her, and no singer changed pop music more.
July 20 2018 4:47 PMLori McKenna Is Back to Wreck YouThe acclaimed country songwriter may have broken your heart without you even knowing. On The Tree, she’s returned to do it again.
July 2 2018 1:00 PMDrake’s Scorpion Is a Savvy Bit of PR Management With a Side of BeefThe 90-minute album manages to be more succinct than Views without saying much.
June 19 2018 2:53 PMXXXTentacion’s Death Deserves More Than IndifferenceEven if you don’t mourn for the controversial, violent rapper, his story, and his fans, shouldn’t be casually dismissed.
June 15 2018 6:23 PMAmerica’s New Favorite Song Proves Post Malone Is a Full-Blown Pop StarWith “Psycho,” the “rapper” behind “Rockstar” confirms he’s this generation’s Everlast.
June 1 2018 12:00 PMMaster of SuspenseHell-On is the latest aural thriller from Neko Case.