Start with the top, if you must: Janelle Monáe's human and heroic Dirty Computer is our No. 1 album of 2018 after all. But then we recommend hitting shuffle on this 40-hour playlist of the 50 best albums of the year and seeing where it takes you. Where else could you jump from Monáe's funk to the limitless sounds of Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera to Khruangbin's instrumental chill to The HIRS Collective's punk chaos to a true communion of Bartók's violin concertos? For every Vince Staples banger, we think there's a Shostakovich symphony ready for your ears. Take a listen via Spotify, and find more lists as December unfolds on our Best Music Of 2018 series page.