By NME. It was alive with possibility. Solange They tainted the water. hide caption, This stunningly beautiful, trance-inducing album record draws heavily on traditional Irish folk music, but with a deep dark Dublin twist. With ambition and intent that should shame many of their peers, These New Puritans have crafted another suite of post-punk symphonies. View reviews, ratings, news & more regarding your favorite band. From the album's compact spaces to its expansive vistas, Shaw excels in the evocative power of the pluck – formally termed, pizzicato – which is the backbone of the ricocheting yet songful Limestone & Felt. One of the UK’s greatest ever MCs ... Kano. First of all, this lovely, wholly consistent album is answer enough. The album cast a more intimate spotlight on her gravelly timbre and the sensuality and gravitas of her phrasing, but more than that, its songs showcased her interpretive gifts and, at long last, placed her at the center of her own enthralling mythology. Their ranting live shows gathered hype like a crowd round a bullhorn, and this debut album delivers – and then some. 4. The latter is an album-length self-excavation that crawls through moldy memories in a brutal poetry that is at times darkly funny but mostly wrestles with personal and societal truths that'll leave you touched, shook. Awards season has begun and we've already seen Shea Butter Baby obviously snubbed by the Soul Train Awards and the Grammys. On its follow up, she continues to wrap herself in its lore. “They’re waiting and hoping I’m not enough,” she sings on Cellophane in the album’s final moments, contemplating the fallout from the end of her relationship. BEST ALBUM SEKAI NO OWARI 2010-2019 2021.2.10[WED] Release. 1. Listen to our Best Punk Albums of 2019 playlist on Spotify right here . See which music tops the charts, read reviews, and rate albums. The powerful music on Almadura will long outlast the injustices iLe and the rest of the island are fighting against. The UK Albums Chart is one of many music charts compiled by the Official Charts Company that calculates the best-selling albums of the week in the United Kingdom. Written By SPIN Staff December 17 2019, 1:21 PM ET. Since 2015, the album chart has been based on both sales and streaming. Because Sharon Van Etten has no time for superficiality. by VICE Staff 0:00 Months later, he released his fourth album with the same title. Slowthai wryly evokes the forgotten parts of the country through snapshots of working-class life: tea and biscuits, hiding drugs, fallouts with a stepfather, EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell. As buzz bands go, Black Midi is a weird one, a jagged mulch of math rock, Beefheart restlessness and the 90s Chicago school of alt-jazz, full of the declamatory vocals of Geordie Greep (whose voice you couldn’t make up if you tried). Best Albums of 2019 Our critics chose the best albums of the year — a format that is in an increasingly fragile state in pop music. BBT Read the full review. Although many of the lists come from publications whose reviews are included on this site, we have also included extra lists from prominent music stores, websites, a few radio stations, and publications not normally found in Metacritic's music section. More bests and worsts . This list was made by writers, editors and producers at NPR Music operating under two rules: Albums had to be released during 2019 and no lead artist was allowed to appear on both this list and our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2019. They took chances. Hannah Ewens Read the full review. Specificity is the marker of killer pop (the matches in Pet Shop Boys’ So Hard, the shoelaces in Robyn’s Be Mine), a trope that the LA trio Muna wield to intense effect on their second album of gothic synthpop. By Pitchfor k. December 10, 2019. The 10 Best Jazz Albums Of 2019 2019 In Review December 9, 2019 3:00 PM By Phil Freeman This wasn’t a year of radical transformation in the world of jazz. ... (2019) It’s an oddity of this very odd era that the greatest musical innovation has also been in its most … It only frustrates if you demand answers. On Boss, she goes in as hard as an aggrieved Wu-Tang member over a raw bluesy beat; on the very next song, Selfish, these spikes are melted into smooth R&B. Salinger and Charles Dickens), but he himself knocks at their door with an ability to wrap nostalgic imagery within a crucial moment that never leaves your psyche: "Dollar movie theater, dingy foyer, little kid, not a penny to my name / F*****' with the joystick, pretendin' I was really playin'." Play "These are black-owned things," as Solange sings on "Almeda." Southern Sky, Bad Man, SugarHouse and plenty more make this a future cult classic. sharpens the singular vision that's always animated Lana Del Rey's body of work. Jem Aswad’s 10 Best Albums. Alabama Shakes hardly cleaved to one genre, but frontwoman Brittany Howard shows just how astonishingly broad and instinctive her talent is here. BBT Read the full review. Diatom Ribbons, by Kris Davis (center) was selected as the No. Lanre Bakare Read the full review. – and in our world of lies and gaslighting, we need that north-star constant more than ever. My top album of the year was probably Sharon Van Etten's Remind Me Tomorrow, but that doesn't mean it's the best album, it's just the one I danced badly to the most. 7. 1:59 These are the Best Records of 2019. Performing concerts in support of the album while dressed in a Warhol wig, shades and dazzling neon suits, Tyler cavorted all over the stage celebrating an even greater breadth to his music. The pining of "EARFQUAKE," the short-lived euphoria of "I THINK," the feeble negotiation of "NEW MAGIC WAND," the obvious lie of "I DON'T LOVE YOU ANYMORE," the diluted compromise of "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?" —Jacob Ganz, ■ MORE: Aldous Harding performs live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, Back when DJ Screw was plying his chopped-and-screwed mixtape trade heavy in Houston, Solange was living out her wonder years. If you read the fine print under our list of high-scoring albums above, you noticed that reissues, compilations, live sets, and other album types were excluded from our best-reviewed albums charts (which are intended to include only new full-length studio albums). DIIV: Deceiver. Whether in grunge ballads (Jenni), front-porch blues (Orange) or the ambient indie-folk that sways reed-like throughout, the mood is as melancholy as it is beautiful. By Pitchfor k. The Chorus of #MeToo, and the Women Who Turned Trauma Into Songs. —Raina Douris, World Cafe, ■ MORE: Watch Sharon Van Etten perform at NPR's Tiny Desk, No music I heard this year convinced me I could hear my own cells dividing like Designer, Aldous Harding's approachable, enigmatic third album. Dense layers of fluttering gauze ... Amber Bain. By NME. Generally speaking, breaks-up are trash. Big Thief —Andrew Flanagan. Cate Le Bon wrote Reward during a year spent living in the Lake District and learning how to make furniture. It would've been a historic event for four women of color who write, reinterpret and perform roots music on banjo to simply come together and make music — their collaboration is, in and of itself, a reminder of the whitewashed African roots of their instruments. Here are the 25 best albums of 2019. It’s certainly the first record by the Norwegian artist that you could put on as background music, give or take some striking spoken-word sections. As ever, the sound design is exquisite, bass thrumming in clouds under choirs, pianos and their trademark instant-decay drums, but the big earnest melodies give it heart. Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2019 Mike Flynn Thursday, November 21, 2019 The ultimate guide to the year's best new jazz albums as voted for by Jazzwise's peerless panel of reviewers – including the complete original Jazzwise reviews. No Home Record is as industrial as it is impish, full of sculpted noise, harebrained ragers and sly protest songs – against corporate branding and treacherous ex-husbands – that are sexy and seditious. Over the course of 2019, we featured more than 100 new releases on our airwaves. The first solo album by Alabama Shakes front woman Brittany Howard inspires such heady thoughts. —Suraya Mohamed, ■ MORE: Watch Burna Boy perform at NPR's Tiny Desk, New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is one of the most compelling voices working in music today — and his latest "stretch music" album is possibly his most ambitious work to date. From the return of Sunn O))) to Blood Incantation’s death-metal space odysseys to anarcha-feminists Ragana, these are the metal records we loved this year. It’s both stupefying and incredibly obvious that When We All... 3. Drawing from personal history — including the death of his older brother, the album's namesake, from a heroin overdose — Saadiq delivers an anguished suite of songs about black struggle and surrender, incarceration and redemption. December 19, 2019 2019! Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell! The 50 Best Albums of 2019: Staff Picks. A breakup record that muses on the nature of relationships without romanticising them, All Mirrors sees Olsen drill down into the damaging power-play of past loves, interrogating how they have made her feel less-than, as well as the self-knowledge and peace their endings have occasioned. This is a strutting, utterly badass glam rock record, shot through with a gimlet-eyed outlaw nihilism – and comes with its own accompanying Kurosawa-inspired anime. It's a cleverly-worded plea for social justice set to a masterful pastiche of Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The Livelong Day makes the past entirely fresh and present. BBT Read the full review. “This shit is for us,” Solange announced on her previous album, handing her music to the black diaspora. As slow and stately as a tanker turning, and as waterlogged as its title implies, Titanic Rising was a curio in 2019. —Nate Chinen, WBGO, Bad Bunny and J Balvin have both taken up the charge to make urbano a worldwide project without sacrificing the hunger that has made the genre seem abrasive and vulgar to some in their industry. But also, the group will most likely be unavoidable in the new year, so enjoy the unknowing while you still can. Classic Rock Newsletter. —Jewly Hight, ■ MORE: Hear Tanya Tucker In Concert At AmericanaFest, In the hands of pianist Kris Davis, a musical phrase can bristle or bloom — sometimes managing both at once, as often happens on this visionary album. Below is our updated running tally of the albums most frequently mentioned by individual music publications in their year-end top ten lists. BBT Read the full review. The chief grotbags of the British indie scene return, retaining a genuinely reptilian edge to their lounge lizard music. Yet following her own perspective, Howard turns confession on its head. "The Barrel" could be a consideration of motherhood, or it could be about creation and destruction, a tale of a minor deity, off in a corner of the universe, a god sinking her fingers into clay, shaping a new world by rules as she imagines them. American Love Call is full of modern classics, from the falsetto raptures of How Can I Be Sure to the perfect country soul of Long Way Home. The artists who ruled the year, starring FKA twigs, Bon Iver, Kim Gordon, DaBaby, and more. 2019 Blues Albums As the world of mainstream popular music grows more and more focused on technology and its latest trends, the blues gains a new kind of respect among those too young to recall the genre’s early days. —Nate Chinen, WBGO, ■ MORE: Watch Raphael Saadiq perform at NPR's Tiny Desk, "I didn't know that the record was going to sound this way at all. —Stefanie Fernández, This is, simply put, one of the most stunning recordings of 2019. The Best Rock Albums of 2019. —Lyndsey McKenna, iLe recorded Almadura long before the political situation in Puerto Rico came to a historic conclusion this past summer, but the themes she addresses on the album were the same as those raised in the massive protests that eventually drove its governor from power: musical stands against injustice and inequality, passionate statements of cultural pride and a barely contained fury at being at the mercy of U.S. policies for over 100 years. But the original intent is that of a temperance song, and that's how Lankum approach it, with a sustained heaviness to match the story's consequence and building sense of regret. It’s full of contemporary ennui as it is, expressed as much in Yanya’s subtly hangdog vocals as in the lyrics. Shaw gene splices strands of Mozart and Ravel into rigorously assembled pieces such as Plan & Elevation, proving that while some tricks of string quartet architecture remain, her buildings emerge with fresh authority. Facebook. BBT Read the full review. Copied to clipboard. Like Caroline Polachek, Hannah Diamond and so many others this year, Amber Bain uses super-synthetic electropop and soft rock to say much rougher, grittier truths. Across 40 minutes, IGOR draws, erases and redraws emotional lines in the sand, smudging up Tyler's self-esteem with each new boundary crossed. Our pick of the year’s finest albums brings American dreaming, teenage dynamism, heartbreak, barbed rap, impetuous indie and beautiful soundscapes, First published on Tue 3 Dec 2019 06.00 GMT. PROTO is an album about the human spirit and the future that new kinds of collaboration — or, as Herndon calls it, interdependence — could bring. The 10 Best Albums of 2019. A masked metal juggernaut reconfirmed what we always knew: They are not of our kind. Uncut’s 50 best new albums of 2019. The orchestra's 100 or so musicians and a chorus of singers weave a beatless, beatific drone that draws inspiration from the deceptive monotony of our planet's deserts, where time only appears to stand still. Dec 19, 2019 by Genius @Genius. The best albums of 2019 From Solange to Burial and everything in between, this is the music we loved this year. —Felix Contreras, A spirit of collaboration courses through Holly Herndon's third album, PROTO. Play Lewis fully leans in to her best west coast troubadour mode on her fourth solo album, spinning endlessly captivating yarns of estranged lovers and lost hopes. Best Albums of 2019 Our critics chose the best albums of the year — a format that is in an increasingly fragile state in pop music. Big Thief, U.F.O.F. By Matt Miller and Madison Vain. Voices emerge from the depths to thread hints of peril or restlessness into the fabric of gentle melodies. Listen to our Best Indie Rock Albums of 2019 playlist on Spotify right here. The singles that heralded its arrival were spectacular – the crawling menace of You Should See Me in a Crown; Bury a Friend’s warped, unsettling glam stomp; Bad Guy’s cocktail of sharp lyrics and 60s spy thriller theme pastiche – but they aren’t significantly better than the rest of the album. The Best Albums of 2019 This year should be remembered as a bridge between music’s past and future. feel less like a history lesson and more like a glimpse into a beloved photo album. It's a beautiful world, but we are not okay. While that's of note, it does a disservice to the music, which is epic on every level. She pulls you under with her. As with Sleater-Kinney’s album, there was so much noise around Lover that it was hard to parse the record itself on release. But it’s a disarming invitation to Hval’s most intimate work yet, one where she and her collaborators contemplate the purpose of existence and art in imagery that’s no less evocative for its surrealism. —Anastasia Tsioulcas, ■ MORE: Watch Jazz Night In America's Christian Scott special, A lot of artists made big, ambitious albums in 2019, but few soared as wondrously as Weyes Blood's Titanic Rising. —Stephen Thompson, ■ MORE: Laetitia Tamko On The Making Of Vagabon, What does it mean to make a family? —Tom Huizenga, ■ MORE: All Things Considered's review of Orange, Remind Me Tomorrow opens with six seconds of silence. A future cult classic ... (Sandy) Alex G. Modern classics ... Durand Jones and the Indications. I … This is a band caught deep in one of the songwriting grooves of the century. It's no surprise that Burna Boy received his first Grammy nomination for this album. After Manchester, the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and a called-off engagement with Pete Davidson, Grande gracefully considers how life could have been and how it turned out, tangling sweet melodies with embattled production. Shea Butter Baby speaks to an often misunderstood and underrepresented music lover: The Black woman. It features a song from every record. Rough Trade Human voices and machine voices coalesce in double helix formations; trance motifs and mile-wide drums offset the choir's earnest emoting and lyrics unfurl like folk stories. Ben Beaumont-Thomas Read the full review. The Best Albums of 2019 This year was highlighted by projects from artists like Young Thug, DaBaby, and Billie Eilish. Nevertheless, human decency still feels close at hand – not least from the man singing. It flew over some folks' heads, but only because it so thoroughly resists the white gaze. billy woods released two great albums in 2019: the jagged Terror Management and Hiding Places, a collaboration with L.A. producer Kenny Segal. New ground … Carrie Brownstein, left, and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. There are spectral strings and synths, bells, electronics, a smattering of piano notes. All that inscrutability could be off-putting, but Designer is the kind of art that rewards questioning. 1 With St Vincent as producer, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker break new ground as songwriters – high camp on Bad Dance, trading intimacy and vaulting catharsis on The Dog/The Body – while mining affectingly desperate and ugly emotional depths. Does the lengthening onslaught ever become absurd enough to laugh at? S... 3. BBT Read the full review. This album, Olsen's fourth, runs screaming from her quiet side, with songs propelled by string arrangements that, along with her dramatic vocal performance, enhance the lyricism of some of Olsen's most energetic songs. Every one of the album's 19 tracks is a gem and features his signature Afro-fusion genre blend of dancehall, reggae, R&B and hip-hop. The quavering, circuitous voice of British jazz-dub songwriter James Blake is still a beautiful instrument, and his arrangements are as atmospheric as ever here. Best jazz albums of 2019 - Los Angeles Times Then: simple piano chords. The D.C. native sings about universally recognizable ebbs and flows of life on songs like "Broke," "BMO" and "Speak To Me," which are sprinkled with euphemisms that will hit women of color first. The Best Metal Albums of 2019 - United Alive, Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution), Moonglow, Heart Like a Grave, Human, Dawn of the Dragonstar, A Dawn to Fear, Songs the Night Sings, Hidden History of the Human Race, The 13th Beast, I, The Devil, A Pyrrhic Existence —Rodney Carmichael, ■ MORE: 'Still Tippin': Solange At Home In Houston'. Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next 2. Also: echoes of All Saints’ sultry best. The strongest tracks, though, are when he slinks softly around guests Travis Scott and RosalÍa. Note: You can listen to a Spotify playlist of songs from these albums below. Norman F****** Rockwell! It’s a moment of fragility, but one that’s undercut by what has come before it – FKA twigs has proved that she is more than enough, someone who can sing, write, produce and pole-dance, all of it brilliantly. Over metronomic garage-rock, frontman James McGovern sings like a man reading a list of demands out of a high window, but also modulates into sweeping gothic romance. Introduction. It's a compelling, echoing acoustic introduction to a primarily synth-driven album, which at times resolves into chaotic crescendos. It’s a body of work that’s comforting and heartening in the way a journey towards enlightenment should be, but it’s also challenging, full of ambivalence and irresolvable confusion. It’s easy to oversimplify the path that recovering addicts must take toward rehabilitation. The result is revelatory, not only for the raw emotion in his lyrics and delivery but also for the way that this material pushes his music out of a comfort zone. Contact me with news and offers from other Future brands Jack Barnett’s vocals, conversational yet epic, add their own particular drama. The freestyle flows. Clockwise from left, Billie Eilish, Bad Bunny and Brittany Howard. After 2017's Infinite Worlds pushed past the boundaries of bedroom pop, Tamko's new record expands her sound still further, most notably landing on synth-smeared electro-pop in masterful, appropriately fluid songs like "Flood" and "Water Me Down." Miss Universe doesn’t really need the concept-album framework, with its satirical interstitial muzak from the supposedly caring corporation Wway Health. The surreptitious Sault — is it pronounced "soo" or "salt" or "so," we wonder — may have connections to the equally mysterious-at-the-outset group Jungle, a rumor that has some heft given the evolved disco/pop/R&B/soul genetics they clearly share. See how well critics are rating the Best Music and Albums for 2019 —Lars Gotrich, ■ MORE: billy woods is the rapper of 2019, Lankum, The Livelong Day Her love for it is infectious. It turns a broken circle into an open road. But, urged on by Giddens, they shaped a song cycle aimed at reversing the erasure of black women from American historical narratives, at zeroing in on the dehumanizing suffering black women faced under slavery, their strategies of survival and resistance, their sharp, sly critiques of oppressive systems, their creativity. LS Read the full review. It’s adventurous, beautifully crafted, devoid of filler, packed not just with hooks but finely wrought sonic details. The talk that's surrounded it has focused on Herndon's co-creation of an AI that became part of an ensemble she worked with to make the record. The Daughters' collaboration is enriched by the distinctness of each of their voices: the dogged Appalachian blues rock of Kiah's "Black Myself," the willowy reverence of Russell's "Quasheba, Quasheba," the commandingly vivid narration of Giddens' harrowing call-and-response "Mama's Cryin' Long," the Kreyol liveliness of McCalla's "Lavi Difisil," the polyrhythmic communal audacity of "Moon Meets the Sun." 10th Anniversary. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Good: Check out our picks for the Best Movies of 2019 and the Best TV Shows of 2019. Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAJayII Singing of her deep ambivalence about love and identity, Tamko ultimately settled on the only album title that could sum up the full measure of her sleek, soulful shape-shifting: Vagabon. When I Get Home It features a song from every record. As with Bowie’s Blackstar and Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, David Berman’s long-awaited return to music will forever be overshadowed by his death, as he died by suicide less than a month after its release. 2 Trending Now. —Sidney Madden, ■ MORE: Watch Tyler Perform At NPR's Tiny Desk, In spite of the reverence shown for country music made in the 1970s and the groundswell of nostalgia for '90s country, Tanya Tucker — an artist whose high-caliber hits spanned both eras — has been perpetually underappreciated. While artists like Billie Eilish and Polachek have pushed pop into the future this year, King Princess joins Lana Del Rey in showing that there’s potential in classicism yet. Share. Some breakup albums wallow, but this one carries itself with the strength and tenacity of its namesake. Working with two core partners, turntablist Val Jeanty and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Davis devises a new strain of avant-garde chamber-jazz, volatile yet gleaming. LS Read the full review. Producers Elite and Ron Gilmore handle the bulk of production, lacing her words with jazzy and soulful sonics that put her range on display. Those sounds are more than just another layer of Americana cosplay: her obsession with American archetypes, once dismissed as superficial, has matured into an acute understanding of how they are created and frustration at what they conceal.