After reviewing the albums released this year that we covered, we came up with a list that demonstrates the best albums of 2019. Over time, albums may sound better or worse after reviews, so on that list we consider the note the albums remember and how they look after some time
15. Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
With no doubt, Billie Eilish dominated 2019. Reaching sales records and critical and fan acclaim, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Is a phenomenon. As in “bad guy”, Billie, with the help of her brother, Finneas, managed to make her album reach a large number of teens thanks to her representativeness. It is not only “bad guy” that represents teenagers, but also the album itself. Elements such as extremely heavy synthesizers, that create demonic voices; snapping fingers; ambient voices; and teenage themes that were difficult to see became visible with Billie. Billie’s album has a great production, from her voice that ends up at various levels and in different aspects taking on various roles throughout the story, to the small details that bring a certain charm to the songs. However, although the songs do not sound the same, the style becomes a little bit saturated. But in the end, even with some small details and the fact that I feel that none of the songs will become something so timeless, the album is of a certain quality and certainly deserves a try.
14. Carly Rae Jepsen: Dedicated
The Carly’s new fantasy starts with “Julien, it was more than a fantasy”. The new Carly Rae Jepsen’s album, Dedicated, it’s a breath of brightness. With lyrics that raise self-esteem and hope in almost every song, Carly presents a similar view to EMOTION, her previous album. With a sparkle of starlight, rambling, beats coming from a New York City, and a bit of sensuality and love, Carly delivered a great album. The lyrics that go through all stages of all kinds of love, Dedicated features songs that worship the love for someone who leaves high, but also the love for the self-love. With drug addictions, addictions and mental stages, Jepsen’s Dedicated a catchy album. Despite the beats that sometimes sound overly electronic, Carly’s 2019 project will make you dance, rethink your relationships and make you fall in love.
13. Clairo: Immunity
Straight from her room, Clairo presents us with her debut album. By far, Immunity stands out for its softness, calm and deconstructed lyrics. From the very first song, the quiet pop that seems to have been quietly built in a teenage girl’s bedroom during fall and winter is catchy. Bass beats, fearless guitars, nostalgic video game sounds and synth effects create an inviting atmosphere. In addition to this, teenage background sounds, or children’s and teenage choirs help create the atmosphere that sometimes sounds like an excerpt from an independent teen movie. The lyrics that follow a fearless heart that wants innovation don’t follow an usual pattern: at the beginning, we have bridges, at the end verses and hardly choruses. Although it is not an album I listen to many times, it is an album that every time I listen, it fascinates me more and more.
12. Solange: When I Get Home
When I Get Home is an open letter from Solange to herself and your city. Using internal references that enhance Texas’s daily and domestic life, Solange returns to her hometown with a wealth of experiences in his luggage. The account, that begins with the reinforcement that Solange saw the unimaginable, is full of sounds like jazz, pop, rap, hip hop and even rock. The lyrics, which criticize people who abandon their origins, talk about sex and praise black culture, mingle with the interludes that has deep, well-crafted references to Houston’s physical and mental ideas and customs. Although several lyrics sound very repetitive, it is not something that greatly hinders the journey throughout the album. Of course, these had a purpose of reinforcing the ideas that were being passed on, and in a way, Solange did it. At the end, When I Get Home is cohesive with great progression and lyrical and sound diversity.
11. Ariana Grande: thank u, next
With no doubt, Ariana Grande became a Pop Star. With countless hits in recent years, Victorious’s young actress has been showing an evolution since her first album. Now, in 2019, her fifth studio album shows a more adult view of Ariana. Even though Ariana has tried to show adulthood on other albums explicitly referring to drugs, drinks and sex, in thank u, next Ariana achieves this goal without having to exaggerate or explain these attitudes so much. Although the songs are generic or perhaps not as characteristic as those in sweetener, the tracks are dancing, catchy and even exciting. With the help of electronic instruments that can combine the different with the usual, Ariana was able to deliver a good sounding album that will also reach a wide range of society. Since the intimate times of “imagine” and determination of “NASA” up to the sorrows of “ghostin”, thank u, next shows that Ariana knows where she is going.
10. Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars
Following the failure of High Hopes, Bruce Springsteen had a debt in his hands. With some responsibility, singer of excellent albums such as Born in the U.S.A., Nebraska and Born to Run, returns in 2019 with Western Stars. The best meaning of Western Stars? Restart. Working with a huge orchestra, Springsteen expresses your love, anger, hate, sadness and happiness for simple things in life. In “Hitch Hikin'” and “Sleepy Joe’s Cafe” Bruce praises the little pieces of the United States that actually matter a lot. “Tucson Train” demonstrates love and hope visually. “Moonlight Motel” sounds sad about the memories. The instrumental of the album is fascinating, from the simplest moments to the great sounding performances, the instruments sound perfect, connected and dancing. In short, Western Stars It is an account of the beginning of a new life, full of hope, happiness and memories that torture us at night.
09. Charli XCX: Charli
After four years since her previous album, Sucker, Charli presented in 2019 her new project: Charli. After two mixtapes and an EP, Charli can bring her ideas for the future of music to the studio. With the help of jets, spaceships and robots, Charli sound imperfectly perfect. The background sounds consisting of synthesizers, remix tables and all-digital instruments demonstrate Charli’s vision for the future of music. With lyrics that use love and hate, XCX relates persecution to her visionary image, failed love, a utopian ballad, life with speed and a certain hope for what’s to come. Even the moments when the instruments sound buzzing and saturated like in “Click” and “Shake It” and the voices that seem more robotic and alien than humans, Charli remains an interesting, contagious and misunderstood album.
08. Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part. 2)
Being Foals’ second album of the year, Everything Not Save Will Be Lost (Part 2), it’s a contrasted album. In this record, Foals managed to encompass as many subjects as possible. From self-esteem to keep running wildly, to the times when we should calm down and rest, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 2) speaks from worldliness to spirituality. Also, while the guitars and shouts of a classic rock sound in the background, the lyrics work with cult themes like Greek myths, like Icarus. In fact, the Icarus’s story is a guide that divides the album into phases, one full of violence and power, another composed of death, sadness and acceptance. While “Runner” encourages you, “Ikaria” is a rite of passage for “Neptune” where death is worked out so cautiously that we hardly realize the track is 10 minutes long. Although Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 2) does not have a great value of replay, its importance and quality are not unnoticed.
07. Vampire Weekend: Father of the Bride
Vampire Weekend has always been able to do great work, and Father of the Bride is no different. After the dark and polluted atmosphere of the city in Modern Vampires of the City, the American Indie Rock Band takes us to the to a clearing in the middle of a forest. With the help of Danielle Haim and Steve Lacy, Father of the Bride is a good vibes album that expands the barriers of kindness and reflection. In every song, Ezra sings carelessly while the rest clearly and softly plays the instruments that reflect Ezra’s voice. However, not even the pleasures of the countryside and the adventures of love that are featured in this album take away the importance of social issues that are presented as environment in some songs. As early as the songs sound like simple happiness songs, the tracks that make up Father of the Bride go much further with their carefully thought out lyrics. Whether Vampire Weekend is in town, in the countryside or on the beach, their albums will always be great.
06. Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising
With a vintage bowl, Natalie Mering blends old-fashioned sound with today’s problems. The fourth album by Natalie Mering as Weyes Blood is gorgeous. In Titanic Rising, the atmosphere is taken to another level. Throughout the album, Weyes gets us down to the bottom of the sea, especially on the tracks after “Titanic Rising” where the lyrics, instruments and sensations come to have a heavier weight on our lungs. While Natalia uses 70’s and 80s instruments and sounds as a blank canvas of her sonority, brushes brushed occasionally paint futuristic sounds. In the first song, when the change arrives, Natalie is confident about it, for as much as she has been through a lot of shit, she still misses her pre-fame life. In “Everyday” Weyes demonstrates that love has won her. “Movies” represents a harsher critique of everyday life. In any case, Titanic Rising remains cohesive, because at all times, having instruments that sound like out of tune organs or romantic ballads, Weyes managed to create something unique, both in voice, as lyrics and sound.
05. Angel Olsen: All Mirrors
Since his first album, Angel Olsen has been more biased towards the dark, orchestral and grandiose side. In All Mirrors, Olsen begins by composing a loud song with a whiny, natural voice, and as the dark orchestra unfolds fascinatingly in the background, Angel hits more emotional vocals. From the first song, Angel shows sadness in all songs, even those that sound light and talk about children, have a certain somberness. The instruments as a whole sound stunned, fearful of themselves and screaming, resulting in a beautiful, overly complex orchestra. The lyrics, which at first talk about change, develop into a gentle spring and end in a cruel summer. In all cases Angel fit everything in a unique way, since the cymbals in the midst of synth storm, even soft themes in the dark. In the end, All Mirrors’ parable is beautiful and fascinating, from Angel’s vocational performance to intimidating instruments sound inviting.
04. Nick Cave & Bad Seeds: Ghosteen Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell!
The death of a loved one is extremely painful, and Ghosteen is the truest account of this situation. Taking on the sadness related to his son’s death, Nick Cave teamed up again with The Bad Seeds to end the trilogy that began with Push the Sky Away and Skeleton Tree. The most incredible of Ghosteen is how this album is so immersive. The lyrics talk about his son’s death in a fanciful way, using legends, fairy tales, and fantasy references to build on her sadness. In some songs, Nick takes us to the album cover environment: a beautiful, peaceful place where you will feel good forever. The sound is impeccable, composed of instruments that sound so far away, but at the same time, seem to come out of us, and faithfully, this represents the feelings of Nick and his lyrics. In some moments, all the magic of the songs takes us to a mysterious place between life and death where Nick’s voice sounds like a divinity. The album, besides being beautiful and deep, is a great reflection that can be done by all the world. Also, an unimaginable and priceless account. With sure, Ghosteen will become a classic.
03. Taylor Swift: Lover
In 2016 and 2017, half of the world was loving Taylor Swift, and the other one hating Taylor Swift. The exposure that Taylor suffered that time changed her in a radical way: “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now / Why? Oh / Cause she’s dead”. In response to everything that was happening in her life, Taylor put all her forces, outbursts, hate and reasons together on reputation. Despising the fact that reputation didn’t pleased a huge percentage of the world, Taylor’s 2017 album broke several records.
In 2019, in response to the radicality of reputation, Lover reintroduced Taylor’s sweetness in a more mature way. The best way to explain Lover? Well, in Lover, Taylor shows her love for everything. Not only the love for her family and friends, Taylor showed that she loved the world in a macro way too, but also that she had come to love herself again. “I Forgot That You Existed” is a good vibes introduction that demonstrates that Taylor is fine and has forgotten all the evil that afflicted her. In “Lover”, love is shown in a simple, delicious and extremely romantic way. “The Man” reveals things about the music industry and the world. “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” has its heavy beat and its political meaning disguised in an everyday setting. “False God” show Taylor’s versatility. “You Need to Calm Down” shows that Taylor is in the fight with everyone. “Daylight” closes the album with a ripening lesson. Lover can stay cohesive and innovative in every song. Even in the more generic songs, we can hear something different from the usual, and also, we can always feel the pastels from the album cover. Lover demonstrates the best of Taylor, in a more responsible, adult and enjoyable way to listen, but without losing her identity.
02. Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell!
In 2012, Lana Del Rey appeared stronger in the spotlight. With her lyrics about older men, drugs, alcohol, depression and death, Lana, while shocking and creating repulsion in some for her exacerbated lyrics and orchestral instrumentals that mingled not so homogeneously with pop, enchanted young people, who had never felt included in something. After Born to Die, Ultraviolence appeared darker and distorted vocals beyond a trip to New York. Honeymoon was a tour in Hollywood, where the movies had an influence even on the sound. Lust for Life struggled in 2017 with a Pop-Tumblr aesthetic filled with hipsters sounds.
Now, in 2019, Norman Fucking Rockwell! is apex of Lana Del Rey as a songwriter, musician and visionary. New York, Lana takes us to California, where summer is not the only concern. The United States is fading, the culture is breaking, the love is fading and, at the end, hope is the only thing left. Songs that sound simpler than old, with harmonies, arrangements, and transitions that aren’t so extravagant can be more emotional, meaningful, and dazzling. From trombones and saxophones to guitars and pianos, Lana’s lyrics sound like beautiful full poetry that has an objective meaning worthy of being called literature. Tracks like “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but have it.” where Lana sings in her most naked form. In Venice Bitch, Lana dances with synthesizers. In “Doin ‘Time” the heat becomes more cruel. In the end, Norman Fucking Rockwell! is phenomenal, a reflective and expressive album. From the small movements in the strings and pianos, to the commas of the sentences, the songs sound perfectly, and the album itself a sincere portrait.
01. FKA twigs: MAGDALENE
From the beginning of humanity, sadness have always yielded great reports and testimonies. In 2017, Melodrama showed sadness in a pop coming straight from an alternate sound universe. Now, in 2019, MAGDALENE, shows up with an eccentric sound, beautiful and deep, yet ahead of its time. In this project, FKA twigs tells in a biblical way the story of your last breakup, or at least it talks about your ending, the consequences of this in your life and career. The first track, “thousand eyes”, though repetitive, sounds confident and determined but still sad. “home with you” departs for the reverse of religiosity and appears as an angry E.T., representing the letter and its anger, but, softly, an angel appears singing in a solemn and fascinating way. “sad day” and “daybed” reach the apex of sadness with their deep, immersive and moving instrumental. In a way, all the lyrics of MAGDALENE are well constructed, thoughtfully designed to converse with the sounds ranging from medieval churches to the sound representation of the Northern Lights. In “holy terrain”, FKA and Future discuss sexuality and empowerment. “fallen alien” comes straight from frenetic movie. In the end, FKA twigs’ independent short film is transcendental and unfortunately it won’t please everyone simply by being ahead of its time. The combination of poetic lyrics with timeless instruments, futuristic sound elements and extremely emotional, moving and sad stories create MAGDALENE