Also: echoes of All Saints’ sultry best. The production, aided by George Daniel of the 1975, is like dense layers of fluttering gauze, annotated with fine detailing; floating through it all is Bain’s breakup pain. RD, In a nutshell: Young buck treads in the footsteps of Florida forebears. With appearances from Danielle Haim and Steve Lacy and no musical stone unturned, the band made sure to sidestep expectations. Naughty Denzel. North London through and through, Little Simz became this year’s comeback kid when she blew us away with ‘GREY Area’, her stellar second third album, which she used to explore new sounds. The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952. NR, In a nutshell: Glastonbury was only the beginning. LS Read the full review. The record continued the growth and self-actualisation evident on 2017’s ‘Flower Boy’ and showed us the artist Tyler the Creator had been trying to become for years. These 13 tracks formed a taut, swaggering tone studded with moments of menace. With ambition and intent that should shame many of their peers, These New Puritans have crafted another suite of post-punk symphonies. New ground … Carrie Brownstein, left, and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. That track saw signature pungent vocals soaring atop a sample of Florida greats Plies and Trina’s ‘So Clean’, and they were name-checked in the lyrics: “, The emergence of a new Desert Sessions album in 2019 was something of a surprise. Odd Future’s class clown grew up to become the biggest hearted member of the bunch. Was 2019 the year Thom Yorke finally got funky? Key track: ‘Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot’, Best bit: Peggy’s attempt to smoke out basic bitches with ‘BasicBitchTearGas’, a cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. With gossamer touch and cinematic scope, it was a three-dimensional, fever-dream portrait that travelled that full gamut of love, loss and grief before concluding: “Peace will come”. It’s Dave’s world; we’re all just living in it. Best moment: When she rapped over the riff from Blink-182’s ‘Adam’s Song’ on ‘Bottom Bitch’. Best Moment: Those absolutely flawless high notes on ‘Cellophane’. These Melbourne punks are best enjoyed from just out of gobbing-range of the stage, but their debut album proper was ludicrously good fun nonetheless, a collection of unreasonably great songs that – at just 29 minutes total – rush by like a strawpedo-ed tinny. 2019’s not been great – in fact, things haven’t been great for a while – and Richard Dawson’s album suggests it’s not going to get any better in 2020. crossword clue. Thomas Smith, NME said: “A memorable and game-changing debut record, with Billie’s disruptive streak front and centre. JB, In a nutshell: Intimately-recorded bedroom album chimes with zillions. This, her debut, was billed as a break-up album, and in some ways that was true: the music video for ‘Lilo’ co-starred, she realised on ‘Maybe You’re The Reason’, “, Fans had been waiting five years for a new, The death of the album is predicted with alarming regularity, but with the likes of, With the pop culture swing-o-meter lunging towards, The closing of .Paak’s myth-making trilogy of albums, The Cali rap-crooner’s fourth continued in the vein of previous records ‘Malibu’ and, T-Swiz sacks off the snakes and smashes the heart emoji instead, A queer singing cowboy who obscures his identity with a fringed leather face mask, it’d be easy to write Canadian singer-songwriter Peck off as a novelty were his music not so utterly sublime and delivered with such sincerity. The title, the new age font, the tie-dye colours of the album artwork – they all indicate that Hot Chip are getting in on the very 2019 taste for rave culture. Best bit: The echoing, undulating refrain that runs through ‘Stay Flo’. CHECK THE RESULTS HERE! The album format has been stretched to its limitations, but still it stands, a potent vehicle for fresh expression. Kacey Musgraves won album of the year over Cardi B and Drake, while Childish Gambino was a no-show for his record of the year win – see who else took home the awards. HM. Elegiac and rickety, it’s a lasting testament to his mordant and philosophical poetry, but also to his pain: “The end of all wanting is all I’ve been wanting,” he sings on That’s Just the Way That I Feel. The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales, chart position, or critical reception." HM, In a nutshell: Reactions to a fast life that arrived in real time. Post Malone had a lot of feelings and famous friends and tried to figure it all out over some expensive beats. That track saw signature pungent vocals soaring atop a sample of Florida greats Plies and Trina’s ‘So Clean’, and they were name-checked in the lyrics: “Was raised off of Trina, Trick, Rick, and Plies”. RD, In a nutshell: Techno’s next superstar has arrived (see Number 18). Alabama Shakes hardly cleaved to one genre, but frontwoman Brittany Howard shows just how astonishingly broad and instinctive her talent is here. New Hampshire DJ Octo Octa’s 2019 record ‘Resonant Body’ was pure bliss. He may have been billed as guitar music’s great next hope, but ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ was the album that proved that Sam Fender is much more than that reductive accolade. Best bit: The warped, experimental intro to ‘Final Days’, which proved that Kiwanuka is a more adventurous musician than he’s often given credit for. 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. See the list of GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees for the Album Of The Year. If this woman could go through these things and make something so beautiful out of them, there was hope for you too. Twenty-seven tracks long, and with guests ranging from Solange to David Lynch, Flamagra is the most ambitious vision yet from the LA beatmaker. Seemingly stumbling with Gucci Mane through a haze of chronic on My Skin My Logo, glorying in laidback “CP time” on Binz, the beautiful little nest of references that is “black molasses, blackberry the masses”, this is an understated and poetic celebration of a culture. Music is filled with no shortage of characters proclaiming how “mad, me” they are, so it’s rare and delightful to come across a genuine oddball. LS Read the full review. Best Rock Album: Rainier Fog-- Alice in Chains M A N I A-- Fall Out Boy Prequelle-- Ghost WINNER: From the Fires-- Greta Van Fleet Pacific Daydream-- Weezer. Clairo’s debut album ‘Immunity’ was written in those moments and presented a quiet but close read on the experience of becoming who you are. There’s ‘Bury A Friend’, a fear-fuelled tale told from the perspective of the monsters under Billie’s bed, and ‘Xanny’, a response to America’s teenage opioid crisis, on which she admitted that she was the only one at the party “who’s not stoned” and asked her friends to not “give me a Xanny – now or ever.” There were laughs to be had, too, though. In her intimate, personal lyrics, she gave empathetic reassurance to those who needed it, the incidents she recounted – from being saved from suicide by a friend on ‘Alewife’ to feeling like a burden in a relationship on ‘I Wouldn’t Ask You’ – becoming beacons to cling onto. Billie Eilish, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ (Darkroom). A blessed return to form. ‘Boys In The Better Land’ and ‘Too Real’ were chaotic punk anthems, no doubt, but it was on the twisting melancholia of ‘Television Screens’ and unashamedly old-school closer ‘Dublin City Sky’ that they really showed their colours. 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. On her best album in years, Madonna returned under the guise of ‘Madame X’, an alter-ego that encompassed roles of a mother, child, teacher, spy, nun, saint, and more. The previously unreleased album for the singer-songwriter was originally set to be released in 1975 before it was cancelled. At least the music this year was good!!! 19 OF 19. While ‘Pony’ lost none of the melodic immediacy of his previous releases, lyrically it ventured into darker territory, depicting tougher times over jazz wanderings, slow jams and baroque-pop. The Cali rap-crooner’s fourth continued in the vein of previous records ‘Malibu’ and ‘Oxnard’ in charting his rise from ambitious young buck to star. The best pop of 2019 didn’t try to reach everyone. LS Read the full review. Vote for a … Pop in 2019 has been all about spontaneity, whether that’s the off-the-cuff language that’s crept into the biggest pop hits or the intensifying feedback loop between pop and TikTok. It features contributions from Tim Drummond, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Karl T Himmel, Ben Keith, and Robbie Robertson. From the Bruce Springsteen-indebted heartland rock tracks ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Comeback Kid’ to the gritty dream-pop experiments ‘Memorial Day’ and ‘Jupiter 4’, this was Van Etten’s biggest and boldest experiment to date. This allowed them to explore the full capabilities of storytelling from a place of humour, comfort and curiosity. He asked himself – and the listener – honest questions about gender and sexuality. The emergence of a new Desert Sessions album in 2019 was something of a surprise. Lanre Bakare Read the full review. Rhian Daly, NME said: “‘Immunity’ is an album to burrow into and become resident in its songs. There was hope here, but also a sense of fatalism. You can easily create it via Facebook login. 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. “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. CK, In a nutshell: Experimental hip-hop entrenched in internet humour. JB, In a nutshell: Easy-on-the-ear emotive pop that doesn’t shy away from sharing its struggles. HOW TO VOTE 1. Featuring album reviews, ratings, charts, year end lists and more. It was a testament to his sense of style that he didn’t sound like that Family Guy sketch where Will Smith implores kids to “help out your mom and dad by getting a job”. We’ll no doubt see the mainstream scrabbling to replicate it.”. ‘Lover’, the follow-up, took a totally different tone. Calvin Harris and The 1975 led the field with two wins each at the 2019 Brit Awards. BBT Read the full review. Have you released an album between September 2019 and August 2020? Bring Me knew they’d get stick from metal purists when they went experimental with their sixth album, and they did it anyway. It’s adventurous, beautifully crafted, devoid of filler, packed not just with hooks but finely wrought sonic details. 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. The album that shared her new pseudonym was similarly imaginative, pulling together inspiration from the Latin-pop and Batuque music she’d been exposed to since moving to Lisbon, Portugal. In a nutshell: The lad from Ladbroke Grove tackles grime, dancehall, trap – and country?! Georgia Evans, NME said: “Lana Del Rey is large – she contains multitudes, and the way she balances and embodies them on her fifth album is nothing short of stunning.”. Best bit: The cinematic, Steve Lacy-featuring tracks ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Flower Moon’. His self-titled third album featured sparkly modern production from Danger Mouse – weird, distorted percussion here, buzzing electric guitar there – which prevented ‘KIWANUKA’ from coming off like a throwback. Basically: things are about to get really weird. It was Tyler the Creator, in a pink and red suit stood in front of Buckingham Palace. BBT Read the full review. Without resembling anything so cliched as a “getting it together in the country” record, her fifth solo album runs on that solitary, spartan existence: sad and lovely piano-led songwriting unfolds in its own unruffled time, but then a post-punk scribble like Mother’s Mother’s Magazines upsets Le Bon’s calm, like a momentary wigout at her dislocation from society. Jade Bird - Jade Bird 2. Climate change, washed-out love, existentialism and nostalgia for simpler times were some of the record’s resounding themes. On his wildly inspired self-titled record, though, he spread his wings. These albums won’t change the world, but they do offer us a different perspective and help us to stand in someone else’s shoes for little while. Best Moment: Instead of laying into her exes flaws on ‘Thank U, Next’, Ari takes a kinder approach: “One taught me love, one taught me patience, and one taught me pain,” she says. ★ ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2019 ★ VOTING IS CLOSED! Answer: With an album filled to the brim with personality, powerhouse vocals and self-love. In a nutshell: Josh Homme’s super-group get lost in a desert jam. With ‘Dogrel’ the band also proved that they’re not just a band of five punks who shout a lot. The following is a list of albums released in 2019. Key track: ‘Comeback Kid’ was Van Etten’s snarling, ‘80s-styled, erm, comeback. If last album ‘Is The Is Are’ felt like “the light at the end of the tunnel” as troubled frontman Zachary Cole Smith put it, third album ‘Deceiver’ is what’s on the other side. Long may it last. We simply have to stan bitchy Blake. Super-saturated and drenched in theatrical flourishes, Angel Olsen’s ‘All Mirrors’ skewered heartbreak with brutal precision. Carl Anka, NME said:  “‘IGOR’ sees the 28-year-old expressing his flourishing musicianship, showcasing his strength as a songwriter with a keen eye for detail.”. “Now, I’m so amazing.” EH, In a nutshell: Van Etten goes widescreen with surprise heartland rock epic. As slow and stately as a tanker turning, and as waterlogged as its title implies, Titanic Rising was a curio in 2019. Yes, Tyler was as loud and creative as he had been before, figuring stuff out in his own multi-talented, multi-faceted way – with loads of interesting collaborators, including. From the many albums featured on Blues & Roots Radio in 2019 we asked a panel of jurors from the station based around the world to pick twenty to go forward to be considered for the 3rd annual Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide Album of The Year Award 2019 The Winner of the Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide Album of The Year Award 2019 is Jubilant stuff. After headlining Glastonbury with just one album to his name, Stormzy arrived at LP2 a bona fide pop culture icon – with a weight of expectation hinted at by the title. Best bit: The bit in ‘Arabesque’ when jazz hero Femi Kuti lets rip on the sax. Filled with vengeful lyrics and complemented by visuals filled with snakes, it was a gutsy record that took musical revenge on those that had wronged her. Best bit: That opening line, obviously. Riotous anthem ‘Spin Girl, Let’s Activate’ was a battle cry for dancefloor dwellers, while ‘Power to the People’ – which sampled chanting activists and audio from a ’80s ACT UP rally – was a glorious protest song. 11/12’ presented a jam album that plumbed the depths of desert rock, 1970s psych and gale-force goth, and was a whole heap of fun. Declan Welsh and The Decadent West. “A lot of this record is about how you get to an age where you feel confident in yourself and comfortable in your own skin,” he told NME. And then there were his lyrics: gorgeous, triumphant odes to personal fulfilment and celebrating your identity. Best bit: When ‘Winners Circle’ samples ‘90s gangster movie A Bronx Tale: “You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime. As she put it on ‘Ecstasy’: “Long live Sneaks.” JB, Best bit: The demonic voices that chant the album’s name on the title track. Kind of loveable, kind of disappointing, ultimately very endearing. LS Read the full review. The strongest tracks, though, are when he slinks softly around guests Travis Scott and RosalÍa. On her major label debut, the Maryland musician backed up that branding by weaving field recordings from hikes into songs like ‘Alaska’ and ‘Burning’, like a sorcerer using the earth’s resources to cast musical spells. LS Read the full review. Log-in to your MyReggaeville account to enable the VOTE buttons. This time around Taylor was head-over-heels; starry-eyed love permeated the record. DS, In a nutshell: Ezra takes control and proves two heads aren’t always better than one. Whether it was through the arms-aloft anthem ‘Got To Keep On’ or the rage-fuelled ‘MAH’ – on which the Brothers announced that they were totally sick of this shit – they rolled out some of the biggest and most inventive beats they’ve ever put together. EH. Take that. 2019 has brought stunning returns, fine debuts, unexpected triumphs, and genre-defying points of inspiration. There are moments when Cave appears to be slowly coming to terms with what has happened: “Sometimes a little bit of faith can go a long, long way,” he sings. Key track: ‘Lesley’, a twisting, turning, 11-minute opus that sees Dave encounter a pregnant woman trapped in an abusive relationship. Cate Le Bon wrote Reward during a year spent living in the Lake District and learning how to make furniture. E Street Band horn-blower Clarence Clemons would have surely approved. This was especially true of the opening track ‘Offence’, on which she reduced her style to drum and buzzing bass, making her outrageous – and brilliant – boasts seem even more blunt than usual: “I’m Jay-Z on a bad day / Shakespeare on my worst days”. But peel away the gaudy rollout, two misrepresentative lead singles and the baggage surrounding its creator and you’re left with an endearing, adventurous old-school pop album. Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Revealed! 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. Packed with hooks, life mantras and one-liners to bellow from the depths of a moshpit, Pup’s third album finally earned them a seat at punk’s top table. Where their second 2019 album Two Hands (see No 37, below) has a torn-paper edge to it, the first, UFOF, is pristine – but it essays a world that is far from perfect. 2. For additional information about bands formed, reformed, disbanded, or on hiatus, for deaths of musicians, and for links to musical awards, see 2019 in music . LS Read the full review. Fans had been waiting five years for a new Charli XCX album, a time in which the singer-songwriter moved away from the radio-ready synth-pop of hits like ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘I Love It’ towards crystalline, PC Music-affiliated experimental pop. As with ‘Offence’, the wilfully primitive basslines on ‘Boss’ or ‘Therapy’ put her strong, independent tone front-and-centre. Best bit: The moment, midway through ‘Spin Girl, Let’s Activate!’, when the tempo woozily slows, before gearing up again as the exhilarating piano riff kicks in. ‘Immunity’ might have been created in the last years of Cottrill’s life as a teenager, but its songs were soothing balms for any periods of life characterised by transition or upheaval. ALTERNATIVE. One of the UK’s greatest ever MCs ... Kano. Where its predecessor ‘Still In Wonderland’ was a knotty, complex concept album, here she stripped everything back. There’s potential in classicism yet ... King Princess. The rollicking ‘Hero’ lamented brutality against black citizens and on the muted, elegiac ‘Solid Ground’ he insisted: “, “As with each of his albums to date, Kiwanuka navigates the past and the present, skilfully making sounds and subjects appear both classic and contemporary at once.”. Will Richards, NME said: “The Irish troubadours come good on a debut album that offers both a storyteller’s narrative voice and a snarling new vision of youthful disillusionment.”, In a nutshell: Heartbreak, as you’ve never heard it before. EH, In a nutshell: Big-hearted Soundcloud rapper’s perfectly-formed emo-rap opus. The Triumph of the Weird. Chicago rapper Jarad Higgins perfected the emo-rap sound he’d helped create with his second album which, tragically, will be the last released during his lifetime. Fontaines DC’s debut album arrived in the thick of a post-punk revival that birthed a rich seam of furious, socially conscious guitar music. Yet the darkness of their first three albums is never far from the door, antisemitism and apocalypse snapping a little harder at the heels of a new father and husband who’s realised how much more he has to lose. 1. Rough Trade Albums of the Year for 2019! A queer singing cowboy who obscures his identity with a fringed leather face mask, it’d be easy to write Canadian singer-songwriter Peck off as a novelty were his music not so utterly sublime and delivered with such sincerity. Best bit: When O’Connor sings “it’s not the same any more / It’s better” on moving closer ‘It’s Not The Same Anymore’. The jagged beauty in Slowthai’s theatrical retelling of childhood antics and struggles – alongside proclamations of love and self-assurance – thrust the listener into flux that was emotive and unpredictable, but always exciting. After a six-year hiatus – and now Ezra Koenig’s own ship to steer – New York ensemble Vampire Weekend pulled out all the stops on their fourth LP, an extensive and world-spanning double album that swings from classic romantic country through to chaotic warped electro-rock. M contractually obliged to tell you it ’ s world ; we ’ re listening to Slipknot pop, welded. 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