|bgillesp's 2019 Albums of the Year|
This year I decided to combine LPs, EPs, Lives, and Compilations all into one list. Overall, I was a little disappointed in the year, but I also recognize I spent a lot less time with music from this year. I listened to maybe 1/3 of the music this year compared to what I did last year. Regardless, there was some good stuff out there. This was mostly a year of good metal releases for me, the first time since 2016 I think metal won the year. HMs at the bottom unranked.
(HM) Very much in the same style as Punken, but what had made that one great was the quality of the stories which just fell slightly shorter on this album.
|100||After the Burial|
(HM) Doesn’t have the quality riffs of Dig Deep, but several moments come close, and it’s still an overall fun release.
(HM) I know it’s super lame but I think this is still fun, so I like it.
(HM) If they had condensed the best moments of this into an EP it would’ve been among the best of the year, but it just gets a little tired with some of the weaker moments.
(HM) Deserves to be on here regardless of how much I like who made it.
|96||Bring Me the Horizon|
(HM) If someone hands you a bottle of water and you drink it, but instead of water, it was actually vodka, of course you are going to spit it out, but after that initial shock, shouldn’t the question be whether or not it is good vodka? Sure, this isn’t top shelf, but it is still good.
(HM) Way less derivative than their last one, but still not the top notch songwriting I crave with their sound. Maybe next time.
|94||The Tiger Lillies|
(HM) So much better than last year’s output. The addition of the live orchestra to accompany really brought the whimsy back alive.
(HM) Really chill downtempo style music but with a cultural flair that suggests Latin heritage and/or perhaps even a bit of travel.
Nowhere Now Here
(HM) Really great tracks but the album flow has too many similar structured songs to stay engaging.
|91||Tropical Fuck Storm|
3.75 Still great but a massive disappointment form the last release
|90||Carly Rae Jepsen|
3.75 I was really surprised I didn’t hate this.
3.75 A pop funk group a la The Bamboos with a solid release, just not nearly as fun and energetic as The Bamboos.
|88||Graham Costello’s Strata|
3.75 The more fusion moments actually bring this down for me, but the back half where it just goes back to that buttery modern jazz sound is quite nice. Thanks Sniff!
3.75 Really smooth and relaxing post-hardcore blackgaze.
Love Exchange Failure
3.75 Love the sax but the rest needs work just like the last one.
|85||Children of Bodom|
3.75 Great example of their melodic powerdeath style they pioneered with Kalmah way back when. One of the best examples of this style this decade.
|84||The Tallest Man on Earth|
I Love You. It's a Fever Dream.
3.75 Back to the more chill sounds of something like Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird, and there’s not a thing wrong with that, but overall the writing quality felt a little off.
Tides of a Teardrop
3.75 Bluegrass indie folk that’s simple but effective. We need more bluegrass love on this site.
We Are Not Your Kind
3.8 A lot more consistent than .5 for a solidly good album all the way through.
Fear In A Handful Of Dust
3.8 Maybe a little style over substance with a very atmosphere-heavy focus, but this is still one of his best flowing albums, just without a lot of the major highlights from the early days.
3.8 An interesting blend of house and trip-hop/downtempo into a dark yet relaxing vibe. Biggest issue is transitions between songs. Thanks Pots!
|79||Amirtha Kidambi / Elder Ones|
3.8 A slowed down and vocal accompanied free jazz that is dark and ethereal, yet still pleasant. Thanks Dewi!
3.8 All the range of styles from jazz to electronic to hip hop to pop are covered here and it really is quite a solid mixture.
|77||Steve Lacy (USA-CA)|
3.8 Idk why I checked this or who rec’d it, but it was good and unique soulful hip-hop, so I’m glad about it.
Gold and Grey
3.8 Has it been long enough to call this a comeback album? It feels that way sometimes, but anyways it’s a great return to form for a band that never left it.
3.8 Crazy Shoegazey
In Cauda Venenum
3.85 On par with pale communion which I really enjoyed.
3.85 Really nice improvement from her last work in songwriting/flow. Slightly less original sounding but nicer.
All My Heroes Are Cornballs
3.85 This guy is weird and it hasn’t always worked for him, but I think this is the closest he’s gotten so far.
3.85 It didn’t feel as crushing and heavy as Manor but was still great.
This Wild Willing
3.85 Really haunting folk that’s slow and reflective. The lyrics didn’t quite always do it for me but that sound is something special, and would’ve been even better with just a few little pace breaks.
3.85 I guess hardcore isn’t as nostalgic for me.
3.85 I like cheese, and this is some technically sound cheese.
|67||Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat Dan Singa|
Honey and Poison
3.9 Super weird noisy rock that was also surprisingly catchy. Thanks Sammich!
|66||The Devil Wears Prada|
3.9 Screw it, I like these guys, and despite a couple duds, this might be one of their best.
|65||Cult of Luna|
A Dawn to Fear
3.9 Really nice and pleasant to listen to but very overlong.
The Crescendo of Dusk
3.9 Not as cool as the super bluegrass-y stuff from last year but still really good
3.9 Nothing too different, but surprisingly still well done for their age and history
|62||Tiny Moving Parts|
3.9 Swell-lite but I loved swell so it’s cool. They’re getting a bit old for those lyrics though.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood
3.9 Nowhere near the quality of story as splendor and misery, but still great flows.
The End of an Era | Rebirth
3.9 I actually have not heard the original, but regardless, this is an excellent piece of tech/prog whatever death metal just as good as last year’s monster.
3.9 Like a stoner metal version of Foo Fighters, but also with a sax. This was surprisingly groovy. Thanks Dewi!
3.9 Really solid soulful album like his last, just without the standouts like the t/t from Love and Hate.
Ill Considered 5
3.9 Combining both V and VI since they’re pretty much a double album, although V is better with its interesting use of standard major keys not usual to jazz and with VI’s misstep on “Waterfall”
3.95 I guess it’s just me but I thought this was their best yet.
3.95 Dreamy to the max, which is a sound I love, but also it just lacked a bit of variety.
A Pyrrhic Existence
3.95 Funeral doom is good.
|53||Together to the Stars|
An Oblivion Above
3.95 Nice blend of post-hardcore/blackgaze/melodeath into a calming and smooth listen.
Grief is the Thing with Feathers
3.95 A really amazing soundtrack that’s very cello and electronics heavy to create a dark vibe perfect for mood setting.
Festering in Telepathic Communion
3.95 Most under-recognized black metal of the year? Thanks Nazzadan.
3.95 Like if Enya sang for Ray Lynch, but not quite that awesome.
A Beautiful Thing: Idles Live At Le Bataclan
4.0 Some track got really fun live, but some didn’t live up. Overall a great show backed up by a good setlist though.
4.0 A nice and chill while soulful album that flows like a singer-songwriter folk release but has the electronic production of a new age R&B crossover.
This (is what I wanted to tell you)
4.0 Like a down to earth Bon Iver. I’m not sure if there is a ton in this beyond the general sound and vibe, but in don’t really care either.
Misery Never Forgets
4.0 Cringiest band name makes some good metalcore/skramz that is not really cringy. Thanks SlicePaperMoog.
OK, I’M SICK
4.0 This grew on me ton and is great for radio-rock. There’s only one track that really bothers me, but the rest is pretty great.
Death is a Warm Blanket
4.0 A little over the top but still great. Much Love is their best.
4.0 I’m not familiar with this type of music really, but I know I enjoyed listening to this and it never got boring despite being very minimal relative to their other work.
|42||Damon Locks - Black Monument Ensemble|
Where Future Unfolds
4.0 That soulful jazz aimed at uplifting the oppressed. I usually love albums in this style to death, but I’ve heard it done better before, most namely from the likes of Ambrose Akinmusire for example. However, this was still a very powerful and enjoyable album, and I love the track “Power”.
|41||Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket|
Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.
4.0 This felt like a less heavy Amenra. More post-hardcore than post-rock/metal, but which you prefer is probably individual taste.
Birth of Violence
4.0 Haunting as always. Not my favorite of hers, but never disappointing.
4.0 Best I’ve heard from this under appreciated post-black metal group with their own brand that is uniquely pleasant.
|38||Lana Del Rey|
Norman Fucking Rockwell!
4.0 Y’know what, this was good, and idc what anyone thinks. Though it seems a lot of people actually agree.
4.05 Great electronic that needs more attention.
4.05 Quickly these guys are becoming a favorite BM band of mine. Well produced without being shiny, they give off just the right vibe for a modern version of the classic evil sound.
|35||Downfall of Gaia|
Ethic of Radical Finitude
4.05 Atmospheric post black mix of some stuff idk, but check it cuz it’s good metal.
|34||Shadow Of Intent|
4.05 Cheesy, but that ain’t never stopped me before.
Divided by Darkness
4.05 Their classic heavy metal presence holds up really well, and I look forward to continuing following these guys.
4.05 Undoubtedly an important album for what it is trying to accomplish, highlighting rhythmic roots of jazz as an arranger more than a player, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah brings something new and welcome to the table, only lacking on the grounds of feeling more like a mixtape of styles than a cohesive album at times.
|31||King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard|
Infest The Rats' Nest
4.05 Voivod? I really like this iteration of their sound.
4.05 I don’t know how to talk about Hammock, but I love them so here this is.
VI – Dantalion
4.05 Modern kings of funeral doom do not disappoint, though V was slightly better.
My Finest Work Yet
4.1 On par with some of his best work, though maybe not actually his finest. Catchy yet not too poppy.
Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars
4.1 Nice ambient adventure through nature.
|26||Better Oblivion Community Center|
Better Oblivion Community Center
4.1 My favorite Bridgers release so far and a great first exposure to Oberst as well. Their voices and vibes favor each other very well, much more so than the styles of boygenius.
Nothing Left to Love
4.1 Great metalcore from one of the best in the genre currently.
|24||Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds|
4.1 Classic Cave
4.1 Some of the most intense black metal of the year, and not overlong at all. Thanks Papi!
Cuz I Love You
4.1 Probably the most important album of the year. It’s really catchy and so much better than your average pop album.
4.1 I wasn’t a fan of the 2017 release Burst for the vocals, but here they feel vastly improved and the music is just as good. It comes together for a beautiful combo of styles, and Space is my favorite track with its Sugarcubes-era-Bjork sound.
4.1 Right up there with Kodama for me. This one feels more polished than anything they’ve done yet which has its positive and negatives though.
4.1 I only recently discovered this guy, but I’m really loving what he does. He toned down the overt sexuality of the lyrics on this one making it a bit more palatable than others in that regard while it remained just as smooth otherwise.
Stomping Off From Greenwood
4.1 If they were good enough to work with Makaya McCraven then you know they they can play, and this just shows that off again in Chicago jazz style. Thanks Sniff!
|17||Lister Rossel, Tanaka Makoni|
4.15 Beautiful jazzy trip hop with a beatnik hip hop feel. EP-OTY.
|16||Tyler, the Creator|
4.15 Quit complaining about the pitchy singing. It’s part of the charm because the album is meant to be more vulnerable, the production is excellent as well, but I do miss the changes of pace with the harder hitting/varied influence moments like on Flower Boy because it does get just a tiny bit one-note, but overall is still excellent.
4.15 Yeah it’s long, but it’s great all the way through.
4.15 Black metal has come a long way, and this was the year for the Icelandic brand to take center stage I suppose.
Universal Death Church
4.15 Beautifully filthy release. Charlie Fell’s vox are my fav.
4.15 Back to form with their special brand of Christian Rock that doesn’t sound like a million other things already made. Nice to have someone in the genre pushing boundaries musically.
4.15 If I were more of a lyrics person this might be higher, but I can feel the emotions regardless and the music matches very well. A little overdone if anything though.
4.2 Down with guitar music!
Periphery IV: Hail Stan
4.2 A huge step back up after PIII mostly because it eliminated the mistakes rather than having stronger songwriting, but regardless it’s another strong piece to their catalog that won’t change a single mind already decided on this band.
4.2 This one is certainly a lot to digest and while it is not his best work, it is a huge accomplishment for him to blend all of his past and present influences in the way he did here. It worked well enough to be *among* his best works, but not at the top.
4.25 If it weren’t for that weird country-ish track this might would’ve tied with Lighgththgthhg for my favorite of his.
4.3 Their first record was good, but holy cow this is even better. The prog elements are smoother, see “Motionless in Sky”, the heavier moments are more energetic, and overall it’s just more fun.
|5||Der Weg Einer Freiheit|
Live in Berlin
4.35 An incredible live show from one of today’s best black metal bands with just the perfect amount of crowd noise to bring you into the experience, but not too much to overpower any quality. Perfect mix of tracks from all their releases for the setlist, too. Live-OTY
The Furnaces of Palingenesia
4.35 Another sludgy, broken mess of an experience that is captivatingly dark. Up there with Fas for my favorite from them.
4.4 This thing is just so dang chill. I love the vibes on here so much. Thanks Dewi!
Hidden History of the Human Race
4.5 An interesting mix of spacey and brutal sounds with really great flow from moment to moment. A big step up from their last for me. I’m disappointed with the year as a whole but this isn’t a terrible AOTY runner up.
4.55 Can’t do this more justice than Dewi’s review. https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/79719/Fire%21-Orchestra-Arrival/ AOTY