The top 10 also include SZA’s CTRL and Sampha’s Process.
Here’s what NPR had to say about DAMN.:
“Has it felt like the forces of good and evil are locked in starker-than-usual struggle this year? Kendrick Lamar knows that feeling. On his taut, triumphant fourth album, DAMN., the Compton rapper probes inward, turning up all kinds of big questions — about fate and responsibility, ethical motivation and moral equivalence. But he keeps the conversation at ground level, reeling off punches as well as confessions. The rapping is deft, clever, densely allusive: a virtuoso display with a higher calling. And if DAMN. lacks the sweeping musical panache of Lamar’s previous consensus masterpiece, 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly, its sound is clearer and more focused, with a firm tether to prevailing modes of hip-hop production. (Consult the trap ecstasies that producer Mike WiLL Made-It establishes on “DNA.,” or Rihanna’s swerving rap verses on “LOYALTY.”) The album ends — or begins, depending on your choice of track order— with a true-life tale of coincidence, and mortal implications that seem to balance destiny and chance. And even as Lamar drills down on his own story, the implications spiral outward. Play the album in its original order and the first words you’ll hear are sung by Bēkon, one of the album’s producers: “Is it wickedness? Is it weakness?” Lamar later articulates those two inimical qualities himself, careful never to tilt the scale to either side.”
The 2018 Grammy Awards is scheduled to air on Sunday January 28. Catch the show to see if DAMN will be taking home Album of the Year or if Jay will swoop in with 4:44.