Welcome to our 2019 Albums Ranking page! Scroll down to find our Top 10 Albums of 2019, as well as a list of every record we’ve reviewed this year!
The only way to really describe the sound of Copeland‘s new record Blushing is as a dream. A euphoric, introspective, reflective dream. Ethereal synths and crystalline vocals embody Blushing, atmosphere and melodies combining in perfect ways throughout the record, from the beautiful ‘Lay Here‘ to the blissful climax that is ‘Waltz On Water.’ Giant atmospheres seem to consume you in their grandiose, wrapping you into tracks like ‘Colorless‘ and the slow introductory track ‘Pope.’ The amount of heartbreak and hope that goes into every track on Blushing makes every track an emotional masterpiece: ‘Strange Flower‘ tells a pained story, where its chorus explains “Every time you see her now you drift off... All at once you're overcome, you get lost... In an endless spin you're only looking for her,“ though the dreamy jazz of ‘Suddenly‘ return to a sense of wonder that propel you deeper into an emotional abyss. Blushing is the encapsulation of Copeland’s deepest hopes, dreams, and emotions, presented in a beautiful, uncompromising form.
Bring Me The Horizon have come a long way since their metalcore origins. Their exploration of pop, electronica, and alternative music over the last few records have culminated in a wildly experimental but powerful record in amo. Opening track ‘i apologise if you feel something‘ brings a unique atmosphere to the table right at the start of the record, its curious nature bringing tension at the start. Other tracks continue to dazzle with their powerful, often dark and brooding atmospheres, such as ‘nihilist blues‘ featuring Grimes. Bring Me The Horizon doesn’t completely strip away their heavy past, either, flawlessly intermingling their previous sound with their new modern touch in tracks like ‘MANTRA‘ and ‘wonderful life‘ featuring Dani FIlth. amo is impressive in every aspect, being a daring experiment that could not have gone better.
Every artist’s goal is to capture their message in their music. Sigrid does that and more in her debut Sucker Punch. Through joyful and energetic numbers like ‘Sucker Punch‘ and ‘Sight Of You,’ Sigrid captures the confusing highs and experiences of life, fully enjoying living in the present. Her vocals soar above all the tracks in the record, from the punchy ‘Strangers’ to the stripped down, emotional ballad ‘In Vain.’ Sigrid’s personality and character is present in every moment of this album, showing her listeners a look at her life through her curious yet understanding tone. Sigrid does on her debut what many can’t do in a career: express herself and her personality wholly and with perfect pop appeal.
The concept of Toro y Moi‘s Outer Peace is relatively simple: humanity’s main goal is to succeed in comfort. People want to be able to work and live by their own comfort and on their own accord; and in today’s society, that’s possible. Outer Peace is the exploration of these concepts. A freeing atmosphere encapsulates the record, leaving you no choice but to fall in line with the grooves and stay engaged; it’s certainly not a hard trap to fall into, with infectious tracks like ‘Laws Of The Universe‘ and ‘Ordinary Pleasure‘ in the tracklist. ‘Freelance‘ is the album’s most directly content-driven track, an attitude present that attempts to motivate you to get out and do whatever it is you want to do. Whether you’re caught up in the schizophrenic-yet-beautiful opening track ‘Fading‘ or the minimalistic haunt of ‘Miss Me‘ with Abra, Toro y Moi’s look on society does more than provide perspective: it encourages you to go out and accomplish something of your own, from the comfort of your own home.
Few bands can claim as notable a throne as progressive rock legends Dream Theater can. Between massive concept albums and even bigger tracks, Dream Theater have risen to every occasion. The band step away from the complexities of their more conceptual records and focus more on delivering energy in the ways they know how to in their new record Distance Over Time. Dream Theater dig deep into their heavier side on this record, delivering massive tracks in the form of bustling drums, massive riffs, and larger than life vocals. ‘Room 137‘ and ‘Paralyzed‘ wholly embody this energy, exploding with riffs and power, while tracks like ‘S2n‘ are almost ridiculously powerful and electrifying. Though the focus isn’t necessarily on structure or complexity, Dream Theater don’t mind experimenting with different sounds to achieve different moods. The uplifting instrumental ‘Barstool Warrior‘ is in stark comparison with the dark opener ‘Untethered Angel,’ which also differs from the multi-parted ‘Fall Into The Light.’ Distance Over Time goes to show that even when they’re not attempting to dazzle with their prowess, Dream Theater can’t help but deliver a massive, engaging effort.
A few years ago, you couldn’t escape the gospelly blue wails of Hozier. After keeping quiet for a few years, however, the opposite is true: you can’t help but want more music from him. His long-awaited sophomore release Wasteland, Baby! provides just that, delivering power and experience right out of Hozier’s mind. From bombastically big numbers like the urgent single ‘Nina Cried Power‘ with Mavis Staples to the massive ‘Dinner & Diatribes,’ it’s clear that Hozier has a statement to make throughout the album. This doesn’t stop him from keeping things fresh, though: the album ranges in sound from folky acoustic numbers like ‘As It Was‘ to warm indie ballads like ‘Nobody‘ to hugely driven monsters like ‘Movement.’ Hozier is back with a vengeance, and Wasteland, Baby! is his declaration of such.
A band that knows how to have fun can’t help but succeed. On their latest record Feral Roots, Rival Sons show their musicianship with power and passion. Feral Roots explodes with creativity and energy from start to finish, powerful tracks like bombastic opener ‘Do Your Worst‘ and the massive ‘Too Bad‘ being responsible for that. It’s not all just simple rock n’ roll though; Rival Sons keep things interesting, experimenting with elements of folk, blues, and more through the album. The folky blues flair of title track ‘Feral Roots‘ is representative of the album as a whole, while the Middle Eastern vibes of ‘Look Away‘ add a new color to the album. Huge vocals and a powerful instrumental bring the record to an awesome close in ‘All Directions,’ assuring the record ends as explosively as it begins. If you love to rock, then this is the record for you.
Nostalgia is a powerful tool in music, yet its possibilities are seemingly endless. Massachusetts duo Boy Harsher‘s modern take on 80s new wave in their sophomore release Careful certainly sees nostalgia used in a unique way. ‘Face The Fire‘ perfectly captures the band’s goals with this record, showing their prowess of the 80s aesthetic while still delivering drama and drive all the same. Careful is generally dark, Boy Harsher diving into some of the more sensual, serious sides of life with opener ‘Keep Driving‘ and ‘Come Closer.’ Despite this, Boy Harsher sound alive in their music, punchier and fun tracks like ‘LA‘ and ‘Lost‘ showing that they’re ready for adventure, and even more ready to face the world with their music.
9. gnash - we
A fresh perspective on life can say a lot for a musician. In the case of gnash, his look on life helps make his unique sound that much more special. In his debut album we, gnash introduces his sound with confidence and plenty of personality to spare. we has a “live life in the present” attitude to it, but doesn’t live in harmony: gnash faces his demons directly in we. Chiller numbers like the somber ‘t-shirt‘ and the heartbreaking ‘the lonely hearts club‘ show a more fragile side to gnash as he lets his emotions flow freely and poetically. Meanwhile, tracks like the twenty one pilots-esque ‘insane‘ and the sweet ‘pajamas‘ offer warmer, relatable messages. At the heart of the record is the tortured hit ‘i hate u, i love u‘ with Olivia O’Brien, the two duerting in such a way that both of their dejected vocals accept the harsh realities of love and life together. we is the culmination of gnash’s personal philosophies, and that charm makes for a great record.
Electronic producer James Blake has been redefining his genre and practice since he began creating music, and his latest effort Assume Form is no different. Blake employs elements of trap, electronica, folk, and more into this eclectic blend of genres, making for a very engaging listen. Whether Blake is creating atmospheres (which range from relaxing like in opening track ‘Assume Form‘ to unsettling with album closer ‘Lullaby For The Insomniac‘), collaborating with some of today’s most notable artists (Metro Boomin and Travis Scott join Blake for ‘Mile High,’ while Moses Sumney also features in ‘Tell Them‘) or breaking boundaries (dueting in both English and Spanish alongside Spanish singer ROSALÍA in ‘Barefoot In The Park‘), Blake doesn’t waste a moment throughout the entirety of Assume Form.
The following is a comprehensive list of all of the albums and EPs we have listened to in 2018 and how they rank with other records.
Click the links to check out the full reviews!
NOTE: Some rankings may differ from the final rankings posted in the review.
Last Updated: March 16, 2019
Sigrid - Sucker Punch: 91
gnash - we: 81
dodie - Human: 78
Soen - Lotus: 75