The 50 Best Albums of 2024 (So Far): Staff List

Some years, the release of big-ticket albums is mostly a slow trickle to start. You get maybe one or two every month or so, and elsewhere on the calendar, you look to some up-and-comers, or long-underrated favorites, or you maybe even keep on playing catch up with the previous year. Some years, it feels like everyone is still listening to different new albums at the halfway point. And then some years are like 2024.

In early March, Ariana Grande released her Eternal Sunshine album to Billboard 200-topping, Billboard Hot 100-blanketing returns, as well as widespread critical acclaim and fan approval. In other years this decade, she might have essentially gotten to rule unopposed over pop’s mainstream well into the spring. But this year, within a few weeks, she had to fight for attention and playlist space with new albums from Kacey Musgraves, Beyoncé and Future & Metro Boomin — and then shortly after that, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, J. Cole, Dua Lipa and Future & Metro Boomin (again). Now in June, it can be hard to believe that Grande’s album even came out this year.

Eternal Sunshine is still one of our top albums of 2024, though, and you’ll also find most of the new sets by those big names in our list below of the best LPs of the year to date. Even as the headlines seem to cycle through another big release every week this year, we’re not moving past some of these huge albums quite so quickly — nor are we letting them totally overshadow some of the less-earth-shaking, but equally rewarding albums from not-as-starry artists who have also made major impacts on us throughout these first six months.

Here are our staff’s 50 favorite albums of 2024 so far — presented alphabetically by artist name — and we certainly hope to have to contend with just an action-packed back half of the release calendar in the months to come.