The Best Albums of 1998

1998 might have been the year nu-metal stepped up to a whole new level thanks to the blockbusting success of Korn’s third album, Follow The Leader, but there was so much more going on than baggy pants and down-tuned guitars. Marilyn Manson channeled the spirit of David Bowie on Mechanical Animals, Monster Magnet transformed from fuzzy-eyed stoners into leather trousered arena kings via Powertrip, Refused reinvented hardcore with The Shape Of Punk To Come, and a bunch of American-Armenians named System Of A Down dropped their self-titled debut album on an unsuspecting public. 

Relive the music of one of the best years of rock and roll. Click below and listen to the songs of the year 1998!

10. Deserter’s Songs (Mercury Rev)

“Easily their best album Goddess On A Highway, Funny Bird, Holes, Hudson Line & Bottleneck Stomp are some of the best things they have ever delivered. I still prefer Flaming Lips though,as they do this style of music the best.”

9. Electro-Shock Blues (Eels)

“This album is just unique…you feel E’s despair, but marvel at his songs. I love this….and want Last Stop This Town as my funeral music…not just yet mind 🙂 The finest moment from one of my most enduring and favorite ‘bands’.”

8. Ray Of Light (Madonna)

“The lyrics are very personal, thoughtful and eloquent throughout, sharing a deep understanding of Madonna’s personal transformation and new maturity after her daughter was born. There is so much she wants to say in this album and boy does she ever. The music amplifies her messages so powerfully. A couple of tracks like Candy Perfume Girl and Skin have the usual sultry lyrics, but even with those, the music is phenomenal.”

See more: Madonna Albums Ranked

7. XO (Elliott Smith)

“The first ‘slick’ Elliot Smith record. Some beautiful melodies here, almost a modern take on a Dylan and Beatles combination. Smith takes his music to a more accessible level, but there is the still the dark undertow from his previous albums creeping through.”

6. The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (Lauryn Hill)

“This is how female artistry and mcing is done. Lauryn is a goddess in the flesh and is an amazingly talented musician/artist. This album is hot from start to finish and has a powerful message and tells an amazing story.  he can sing in a tune that is very pleasing to the ear, and she can rhyme with the best of them.”

5. Music Has The Right To Children (Boards Of Canada)

“Boards Of Canada’s “Music Has The Right To Children” was (and still is) a very influential contemporary ambient electronica album, even if most people might not like it. It’s very atmospheric and experimental – a perfect ambient album. There are no bad songs to be found here, even if some of them might take a while to sink in (they did for me). The “electronicization” (electronic equivalent of instrumentation) is great here – every song is interesting (and sometimes chilling!).”

4. Aquemini (OutKast)

“The instrumentals/beats on this album alone should qualify this for the top spot in 1998. I never thought I would enjoy a hip hop album this much. Extra points from me for interpolating Genesis. I don’t really have much else to say about Aquemini.”

See more: OutKast Albums Ranked

3. Moon Safari (Air (FR))

“A very chill album that can destress the tensest shoulders. Not every track is stellar but each one maintains a cool atmosphere and never deviates too much. For some people, this might make the album seem a bit monotonous…but as David Byrne once said, “Some people don’t know shit about the Air.””

2. Mezzanine (Massive Attack)

“An album that shines stronger for me as it gets older. A superb example of creating a complete atmosphere in one album. Yes, it’s dark and sensual, but it’s also tender and wise. It’s the yin appearing through the yang – a dark ooze seeping through a bright reverie in dynamic, melodic transformation.”

1. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel)

“The album’s crown jewel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, layers striking metaphorical proclamations in rapid succession, partnering that with dizzying singing saw, creating an indie masterpiece confined within an alien biodome. Communist Daughter eases down the tempo but not the whimsy, as it oozes beauty almost in a whisper as it flutters into Oh Comely.”