By Caleb Spencer / Staff Writer
There seemed to be no end to all the great music being released in the last 12 months. With so much to get through, it’s hard to pick 10 albums as the best of 2019, but with that being said here are the best albums from 2019.
The Backseat Lovers – “When We Were Friends”
Here we are, at the reason I wanted to write this article in the first place- I needed an excuse to write about this album. Powered by skater-boy vibes and long blond hair, Josh Harmon created the type of album that inspires other 19-year-old kids to start a rock band. It’s fun, light-hearted, and full of heart and clever writing. There’s something special about these guys, trust me. “When We Were Friends” blew me away, and in a year full of fantastic music, The Backseat Lovers came out on top.
BEST TRACKS – Pool House, Kilby Girl, Maple Syrup, Sinking Ship
YBN Cordae – “The Lost Boy”
Easily the best debut album of the year, YBN Cordae blew me away with “The Lost Boy” with his lyrical talent and fantastic production through the entire album. Add some of the best features and you’ve got a stellar album with a healthy mix of bangers and laid-back tunes. I can’t wait to see what YBN brings to the table in the future.
BEST TRACKS- Wintertime, Have Mercy, RNP, Lost & Found
PUP – “Morbid Stuff”
PUP’s third studio album brought the Candian pop-punk band to the spotlight, and for good reason- “Morbid Stuff” is something special. Every song on this album rocks, but the band still finds time to slow down and talk about some heavy topics. If you’ve been needing a fix of great rock music, it’s hard to find anything better than “Morbid Stuff”. As a bonus, their live show holds my top spot as best concert I’ve ever been to, and it’s not even close.
BEST TRACKS- Kids, Free at Last, Scorpion Hill, See You at Your Funeral
Tyler, the Creator – “IGOR”
Tyler’s redemption arc through this decade has been amazing to follow, and his transformation from angry teenager to adult that’s comfortable in his own skin reached its finale this year with “IGOR”. The conceptual breakup album shines with Tyler’s production on every track, and it almost feels otherworldly at times. I lost myself in this album for a solid week after I first heard it, and you should do the same as soon as possible.
BEST TRACKS- IGOR’S THEME, EARFQUAKE, NEW MAGIC WAND, ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?
Harry Styles – “Fine Line”
Was there any doubt that “Fine Line” was going to be great? Not at all. Harry’s sophomore album bumps the sound of his debut album onto a larger scale and leads to folk experiments on multiple songs. I knew this album was going to be great before I heard a single second of it, but I was blown away nonetheless.
BEST TRACKS- Adore You, Falling, Canyon Moon, Treat People With Kindness
100 gecs – “1000 gecs”
I hardly even know how to explain this album. There’s dubstep, black metal, and even ska packed into this bizarre piece of music. “1000 gecs” feels like club music from another galaxy, cast over radio waves from lightyears away. I just hope these strange beings keep sending more tunes our way.
BEST TRACKS- 745 sticky, money machine, stupid horse, xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx
Bad Breeding – “Exiled”
Punk music has always been political, and this is shown best by Bad Breeding’s rage-filled album “Exiled”. The band refuses to slow down over the course of this album as they yell about any and all of society’s problems over screeching guitars and heavy bass. In a year full of political strife, “Exiled” perfectly summarizes all of our anger into one complete package.
BEST TRACKS- Exiled, Clear Blue Water, A Rag Hung Between Two Trees, Tortured Reality
clipping. – “There Existed an Addiction to Blood”
The band Clipping- stylized as “clipping.”- has been producing amazing music through their time as a rap collective, but reached a new level on “There Existed an Addiction to Blood”. Heavily inspired by horror movies and overflowing with unsettling sounds and lyrics, Clipping manages to make some of the most unique and sonically-interesting music from 2019.
BEST TRACKS- Nothing is Safe, La Mala Ordina, Club Down, Story 7
Denzel Curry – “ZUU”
Soundcloud rappers get a bad image projected onto them, which isn’t really fair. Denzel Curry shows just how talented these “Soundcloud rappers” can really be with “ZUU”, easily the most banger-packed album this year. Add the fact that, according to the man himself, the entire album was freestyled and you’ve really got something special.
BEST TRACKS- ZUU, RICKY, BIRDZ, SHAKE 88
Anderson .Paak – “Ventura”
What a smooth ride. Anderson .Paak draws you in quickly with relaxing rhythms, gentle guitars, funky basslines and groovy vocals on the opening track and keeps the fun coming for the entire album. The fact that “Ventura” is this low on the list really shows how great the rest of the year’s music was, because this is high-quality content.
BEST TRACKS- Come Home, Make It Better, King James, Twilight