2019? Yeah, here we go.
A lot of new albums were released this year. The world takeover from Lil Nas X first comes to mind when I think about the music of 2019. But there were still a lot of great albums by a lot of great artists this year.
#1. SWMRS — Berkeley’s On Fire (Fueled By Ramen)
Everyone who knows me knows that SWMRS is my favorite rock band. Berkeley’s On Fire is technically SWMRS’ fourth studio LP; second under the name SWMRS. “Lose Lose Lose” is one of the boldest songs to come out of 2019. The band performed it at the X-Games on ESPN, even singing the line, “2019 is a f__king disaster/dear Vladimir Putin, stop (messing) up my (stuff) ’cause I know I can (mess) it up faster.” The album is proof that good rock music still exists.
#2. Sigrid — Sucker Punch (Island)
I know the world is raving about Billie Eilish right now, but honestly, the best new artist of 2019 is Norwegian pop star Sigrid. Her new album, Sucker Punch, is phenomenal. This album is filled with highs, from songs about female empowerment, regarding the ‘suits’ in music, or even a track dedicated to a male producer/co-writer who was “killing Sigrid’s vibe” in the studio because she was young and inexperienced.
#3. Anna Akana — Casualty (Independent)
Famed YouTube star Anna Akana took a deep-dive into music this year with her debut visual album, Casualty. The album reflects Akana’s YouTube channel which is filled with self-reflection videos that assist her audience in advice through various topics such as self-doubt, depression, and anxiety. Although her videos send mostly serious messages the majority of the time, she mixes them with comedy to send them in a light tone. Her album does that significantly making for an impressive yet important, and sometimes, funny message.
#4. Bring Me The Horizon — amo (Columbia)
Bring Me The Horizon’s transition into pop music was very interesting and unusual since they did a complete 180 degree turn from metalcore to dad-rock in a matter of two years. 2015’s That’s The Spirit was lined with impressive rock music much different from the art they’ve put out before. On amo, the album is named after a song dedicated to Oli Sykes’ wife. In “Mother Tongue,” Sykes screams “fala amo” which translates to “speak love” from Portuguese, the native language of Sykes’ wife. amo, on the other hand is much more experimental. The album features a slew of songs different from anything the band has tried before.
#5. Taylor Swift — Lover (Republic)
Taylor Swift has just released her ‘ultimate record.’ And if you don’t believe me, please listen to it. The production is shared between Joel Little and Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff. Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan of Lover, but after noticing how it reflects Swift’s best moments over her career, it grew and grew on me. Just hear “Soon You’ll Get Better” and let me know what you think.
#6. NF — The Search (Capitol)
NF’s newest release is really impressive. Perception was a massive indicator of the Michigan rapper’s progression, but on The Search, NF reacts to the massive success of his 2017 album. It’s a familiar record, but it’s still the same, heart-scathing raps on topics that need to be discussed. Unpopular opinion, though: “Nate” is the best track on this record. It’s still worth mentioning that no songs on this album should go unturned.
#7. Billie Eilish — When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Interscope)
Billie Eilish has sprung a controversial music debate with her lo-fi, trippy music. In the first two months of the year, she debuted singles for her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and man, it was dark. One of the first singles, “Bury a Friend,” whispers “I wanna end me” over a trippy bass groove. That’s as dark as it gets. Approved by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.
#8. Carly Rae Jepsen — Dedicated (Interscope)
I never gave Carly Rae Jepsen much of a chance until last year. That’s when I heard 2015's EMOTION for the first time. That’s the album that revealed that Jepsen isn’t much of a one-hit wonder. “I Really Like You” disproves that immediately. Many pop tracks on Dedicated broaden Jepsen’s horizon and really bring her into the spotlight she deserves.
#9. Harry Styles — Fine Line (Columbia)
Harry Styles was the best part of One Direction and I can’t be wrong. Much of his music is inspired by 80s songs and that’s what appeals so much. I heard this album once and knew I loved it. On Fine Line, Styles steps bounds outside of his comfort zone to create an LP that is so very ripe. It’s really a great record.
#10. Lizzo — Cuz I Love You (Atlantic)
Lizzo’s spot on this list, while deserving, isn’t quite what you might think. She’s definitely a great artist with massive potential. However, Cuz I Love You doesn’t have the powerhouse vocals that I had hoped for. Much of it is incredible R&B with this messy sing-rap thing that Lizzo tries doing. Regardless, the album’s writing mostly overcomes this weakness on much of the record to the point where most of it is enjoyable. I’m a big fan of where Lizzo is headed.
Here’s the rest of the list.
11. Lana Del Rey — Norman F**king Rockwell! (Interscope)
12. Clairo — Immunity (Fader)
13. The Menzingers — Hello Exile (Epitaph)
14. Frank Turner — No Man’s Land (Universal)
15. PUP — Morbid Stuff (Rise)
16. The Maine — You Are OK (Independent)
17. Future Teens — Breakup Season (Triple Crown)
18. Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner)
19. Jimmy Eat World — Surviving (RCA)
20. Kevin Abstract — ARIZONA BABY (RCA)
21. Ariana Grande — thank u, next (Republic)
22. Miley Cyrus — SHE IS COMING (RCA)
23. Plans — Get The Bad Out (Independent)
24. Grayscale — Nela Vita (Fearless)
25. Tiny Moving Parts — Breathe (Hopeless)
26. Red Hearse — Red Hearse (RCA)
27. Oso Oso — Basking In the Glow (Triple Crown)
28. Vampire Weekend — Father of the Bride (Columbia)
29. Waterparks — FANDOM (Hopeless)
30. PVRIS — Hallucinations EP (Warner)
31. FIDLAR — Almost Free (Mom+Pop)
32. Stories Untold — Forever Is a Long Time (Independent)
33. Fever 333 — Strength In Numb333rs (Roadrunner)
34. Two Door Cinema Club — False Alarm (Glassnote)
35. Gary Clark Jr — This Land (Warner)
36. Tyler, The Creator — IGOR (Columbia)
37. Hoodie Allen — Whatever USA (Independent)
38. Tegan and Sara — Hey, I’m Just Like You (Warner)
39. Emarosa — Peach Club (Hopeless)
40. Sleeping With Sirens — How It Feels To Be Lost (Sumerian)
41. The Regrettes — How Do You Love? (Warner)
42. Sum 41 — Order In Decline (Hopeless)
43. Stacked Like Pancakes — Strange Creatures (Independent)
44. Proper. — I Spent The Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better (Big Scary Monsters)
45. Avril Lavigne — Head Above Water (BMG)
46. John Floreani — sin (Hopeless)
47. Weezer — Teal Album (Atlantic)
48. Prince Daddy & The Hyena — Cosmic Thrill Seekers (Counter-Intuitive)
49. blink-182 — NINE (Columbia)
50. Selfish Things — Logos (Pure Noise)