Favourite albums - 2019 edition

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by pedalhead, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. ajaxender

    ajaxender Rando

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    Yeah this is definitely my album of the year too, and I want to thank whoever it was that posted Rise of the Chaos Wizards here a few months ago (suspect it was Deep Funk). I listened to little more than their three albums on repeat for a while.
     
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  2. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Thanks for reminding me. Played the album today. I want to listen to it again. It has that Iron Maiden charm to it that makes it fun to listen to. Tool is for specific moods, Soen is Proggy but this is party music for Metal heads. Reminds me of listening to Austrian Death Machine for the first time, oh yeah \m/.
     
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  3. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Thanks for the recommendations everyone, this is why I love these end of year threads...three albums have immediately caught my ear...

    Efterklang - Altid Sammen
    HVOB - Rocco
    Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love
     
  4. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Number 1 album of the year: Holly Herndon - PROTO
    Damn, man.. this album. Bleeding edge of music creativity and technology. Aside from being just good music that Ive enjoyed listening to this AI thing is amazing and the way that shes combined electronica with southern gothic and shape-note singing is wonderful. I want to be like Holly Herndon when I musically grow up.

    other electronic/experimentalish:
    Slow Meadow - Stellarum Fixarum: the Texas ambient artist took a bit of a turn from last two albums here and I like it a lot
    Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) - Uncut Gems Original Motion Picture soundtrack: some haunting stuff here at times. I havent seen the film yet.
    Lena Andersson - Söder Mälarstrand: dense, percussive, jagged
    Thom Yorke - Anima: probably the most cohesive Thom Yorke solo to date
    Tycho - Weather: a different direction with the vocalist but enjoyable

    jazz(ish):
    Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Ancestral Recall: i realize that I didnt listen to a whole lot of jazz this year but I dug this one from the innovative trumpeteer

    folk/songwriter/americana:
    The Tallest Man On Earth - I Love You. It’s a Fever
    Caamp - By and By: love his voice, unmistakeable
    J.S. Ondara - Tales of America: bold title for a Nigerian! Just kidding but man is this guy an enigma. Basically moved from Nairobi to Minnesota because Bob Dylan and he became a really gifted songwriter. Compelling album from a guy with an equally compelling story that you can read a bit about here
    Laura Stevenson - The Big Freeze
    Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years to Burn: Sam Beam and friends collaborate on a followup to 2005’s In the Reins

    international:
    Penicillin - As All the Stars Shine (专辑 - 群星闪耀时)a new chinese band but this album has a lot of english lyrics. A bunch of talented musicians and a very well produced album.

    rap:
    A brief word on my hip hop selections. I pretty much listen to exclusively christian rap because I dont care for the constant obscenities, misogyny , etc, in much of mainstream rap. Xtian rap is not what it used to be. There is a ton of amazing talent there and here’s something we can all appreciate: I’ve not heard any other genre of music in which males have so unashamedly and openly addressed mental health issues across the board, especially the last couple of years. Anyway..
    nobigdyl. - Lowercase Tape: love his rhymes and references. Edgy and catchy. Catch Up is my fave track
    Kay Sade - Meta: man Kay is amazing, fresh and intelligent with some serious skills
     
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  5. Superexchanger

    Superexchanger Friend

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    I'll split this up, because half of the music I come to in any given year comes from prior years, so I'll give two lists: one for the releases of 2019, and one for albums I (re)discovered in 2019 from any time prior.

    Released, 2019
    • 10 :: King Princess - Cheap Queen
      • Enjoyable pop with intriguing sensibilities and an ear for pop history evident in the writing and compositions
    • 9 :: The Damned Things - Something Good
      • Members of Every Time I Die, Anthrax, and, Fall Out Boy?! You like good riffs? This album is just 200 of them in a row, for 45 minutes. Thin Lizzy vibes. Fun as hell.
    • 8 :: Baroness - Gold and Grey
      • Another Baroness record, another baffling set of mastering choices. Anyway, despite sounding like the entire album is being played through an AM radio with questionable reception, it's carried by rich, vulnerable songwriting for a metal album, is compositionally dense and varied, while continuing the musical development arc suggested by previous albums, frequently pulling in quiet, economical moments that complement and foreshadow the loudest ones. Bonus that enjoying this record pisses off metal purists that rarely bathe despite the shower right there in mom's basement; I love that.
    • 7 :: Spotlights - Love & Decay
      • Aurally analogous to being crushed under a tidal wave, lovingly.
    • 6 :: Greet Death - New Hell
      • Fascinating mix of shoegaze, late 90's emo, smattering of bluegrass influence, and massive riffs a-la Jesu/ISIS/This Will Destroy You. Quiet tracks rise up to just bury you, without warning. The album is driving and just as importantly, transportive.
    • 5 :: Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
      • No two albums of hers really sound the same, and this one follows that refusal to sit still creatively, backed by what sounds like a full orchestra. That grand backdrop against quiet, incisive writing about finding the fine and overlapping contours of both self-understanding and uncertainty sets up a masterful contrast, wonderfully executed.
    • 4 :: Russian Circles - Blood Year
      • This album reminds me of destructive weather phenomena. This instrumental group doesn't rely on technical peacockery (and never really has), but instead puts the same effort into producing mood and movement, and this album is incredibly thick with it. It sounds like natural disaster, and when I get to listening I feel like i'm powerless to stop it, like trying to starve a hurricane of atmosphere.
    • 3 :: FKA Twigs - MAGDALENE
      • I'm still processing this album, but it's gorgeous, quietly devastating, and affecting to me in ways nothing else really was this year. This is ostensibly a pop record, but there's really nothing else like the songcraft mastery outside of perhaps Lorde that touches this, and even there the comparisons fall flat because of how simply unusual this album sounds. That there is so much for me to wrap my head around, and the fact that the first impressions just flattened me, it ranks highly.
    • 2 :: Brutis - Nest
      • Belgian three-piece wall-of-sound post-metal with a female drummer vocalist is about the most unusual band configuration I've maybe ever seen, but the results are stunning. Just go listen to this if you have even a remote interest in heavy music. Probably my most listened-to album of the year.
    • 1 :: The National - I Am Easy To Find
      • The National have been a longtime personal favorite, and one of the primary draws is that the band is full of conservatory-level players and songwriters who genuinely seem to understand each other and play to one-another's (and the song's central ideas) strengths. More foundational to the band's identity, though, is Matt Berninger's intoxicating, sophisticated expression of modern emotional vacancy, superficiality and distance. So the decision to essentially give up half of the vocal performance to various female artists seemed like a huge risk, but it pays off. This choice leads the album to really unexpected places, and the back-and-forth often feels like frank, honest discussion in a domestic context, and really explores those fraught and messy places in unique ways. It's a gut punch, sounds gorgeous, and is a refreshing antidote to the "downtrodden white guy solipsism" critique the band has been susceptible to.

    Discovered, 2019

    • 10 :: Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps (2017)
    • 9 :: Mitski - Be The Cowboy (2018)
    • 8 :: Zola Jesus - Okovi (2017)
    • 7 :: Tool - Fear Inoculum (2019)
    • 6 :: JPEGMAFIA - Veteran (2018)
    • 5 :: Aphex Twin - Drukqs (2001)
    • 4 :: Skee Mask - Compro (2018)
    • 3 :: Lume - Wrung Out (2018)
    • 2 :: The Story So Far - Proper Dose (2018)
    • 1 :: The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993) [Look, I know, I'm not proud it took this long.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
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  6. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Or maybe just post those over in the "What are you listening to right now?" thread and stick to the topic here.
     
  7. Superexchanger

    Superexchanger Friend

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    Was never going to be anything other than a footnote in the above post. If we're really policing this tightly, and to be sure not to distract, I've further hid it behind spoilers.
     
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  8. murphythecat

    murphythecat Friend

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    Havent even began looking at year end list, so this is very preliminary list, but those albums i all enjoy...


    my top 3:

    Grant- Fantasy blues. been a fan of his work for years and he hits it out of the park on this one. Second half is godly

    Fennesz- Agora. best ambient work ive heard this year. such a special sound.

    American Football- 3. Rock indie emo.


    Grant- long game ep
    Mikael lind- contigencies
    Helado negro- this is how i smile
    Proem- Until here for years. Im a fan of Proem, not his ebst work but I'm just happy to see him releasing again material
    Tim Hecker- Anoyo.
    Anthéne- Weightless
    Freddie Gibbs and Madlib- Bandana
    Lusine- retrace EP.
    Bon Iver- i,i
    Ross from friends- Epiphany ep
    Laxcity- purity
    Purl- violante
    Celer- xiexie
    Kelpe- A polymar compendium
    Vegyn- only diamonds cut diamonds
    Andy stott- it should be us. if only for the Verni track
     
  9. will_f

    will_f Almost "Made"

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    My exploration of 2019 releases has been fairly limited. That said, IMHO Coldplay’s “Everyday Life “ Is an amazing Album. I’ve always liked Coldplay, but not to the point where I could name a single album. I probably would never have listened to this one if it hadn’t been on Tidal’s list of new release “Master” recordings.

    I’m glad I did for a couple reasons:

    One, The sound is fantastic. This is a better engineered recording than what I usually listen to. Instruments and voices are nuanced, detailed, and musical. The layering is engaging and sonically interesting. Dynamics are very much present with percussion and string plucks coming through with plenty of energy. Soundstage varies by song but is stable and well defined.

    Two, I like the music. It’s kind of a themed rock album (About everyday life from different perspectives) but it also has bluegrass, choral and chamber pieces. It’s subtle, original and never scolds so you can just enjoy the music without feeling like you’re being lectured.



    Anyway, that’s all I have.
     
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  10. shambles

    shambles Rando

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    Got a lot of stuff still on the virtual 'to listen' pile (including quite a few that made it on to other's lists in this thread) due to a lack of time, but stuff that definitely made my list this year in no particular order included:

    FKA Twigs - MAGDALENE
    These New Puritans - Inside the Rose
    Tim Hecker - Anoyo
    Fennesz - Agora
    LDR - Normal Fucking Rockwell
    Charli XCX - Charli
    Big Thief - U.F.O.F. / Two Hands
    Tool - Fear Inoculum
    Sun O))) - Life Metal
     
  11. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I liked their first singles of this album. For the first time in years I actually liked their singles. Right now I am playing the album because I am too curious. It reminds me of the Oasis/Blur-era of Pop with world music influences.

    That is not even the best part. This feels like Coldplay before they went U2 on the listener. The songs actually have stories, no big preachy anthems and no vague themes but kind of Bluesy.

    It is hard to explain but this album feels like Coldplay is making music again. The shifts in moods, instrumentations and going from silent to loud as if waves roll by. The guitar and piano actually breathe on the songs.

    Thanks, for reminding me.
     
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  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'm gonna add a little bit different thing this year: artists I've discovered this year that didn't necessarily have releases in 2019, so feel free to call me out or tell me to move it to another thread!

    it goes without saying that it kinda works best to listen to the entire catalogue of each of these artists:

    CFCF
    Max Cooper
    Olafur Arnalds
    Holly Herndon
    Helios
    Ross From Friends

    Particular album standouts from 2019, for me:
    Bon Iver - i, i
    FKATwigs - Magdalene
    Big Thief - UFOF
    Tycho - Weather
    HVOB - Rocco
    How to Dress Well - The Anteroom
    Telefon Tel Aviv - Dreams Are Not Enough
    A Winged Victory For The Sullen - The Undivided
    Nils Frahm - All Encores
    Holly Herndon - Proto*

    * holy shit parts of this album were like listening to history being made - this along with Olafur Arnalds re:member make me really excited about the AI/human composer confluence we're starting to see. So neat!
     
  13. Pogo

    Pogo Friend

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    My pick for 2019 AOTY: Music!Music!Music! by
    Lucy Woodward and Charlie Hunter.

    Honorable mention: Rwanda,You Should be Loved by The Good Ones.
    (They are dangerously close to bein g overproduced,not what this roots music needs or wants)
     
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  14. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. An emotionally wrought but nonetheless poignant album. Music hasn't quite moved me like this in awhile.

     
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  15. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    Been meaning to give this one a listen.
     
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  16. shambles

    shambles Rando

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    I did almost add this to my list - I have given it maybe 3 or 4 proper listens so far and was really impressed. However, I have not had time to really absorb myself in it enough to say whether it should make my list or not and so in the end decided not to include it. I think you need to be in the right mood to really connect with an album as personal as this and I haven't been in a compatible frame of mind since it was released a few months back and so have kind of put it to one side for later.
     
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  17. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    That's a great booklet, thanks for the link!
    Got a few excellent recommendations out of it, e.g. the new Portico Quartet - Memory Streams album:

     
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  18. jazztherapist

    jazztherapist analrapist

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    I’ve been trying to make sense of my experience of this record. I wanted to love it. But I can’t get any emotional foothold, actually, unlike Skeleton Tree, which I found brutally affecting. I tend to revisit Cave records over time and warm to those that didn’t initially grab me but this record feels like a mess. I listen to a lot of weird shit so it’s not a question of experimentation, I don’t think. Part of it is the untouchability of “a grief record,” and I have a lot of cynicism about the way critics engage it. There’s something that strikes me as self-indulgent (almost an insistence of gravitas), a sense that I’m supposed to feel things amidst the free association and sprawling sonic landscape. And if I don’t I’m an asshole.

    To each his own? I guess. But at the very least I want to get out from under the context of the record and talk about whether this is good art and why. And I think that might be hard to do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  19. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    I wanted to make a nice top 10 list, but for me to include an album on a year end list it has to reach a certain level. So instead Ive got a top 5 list.

    1. Fear Inoculum - Tool

    I didn't have a whole lot of hope for this. I figured it would be ok, but nothing special. Tool's best years were behind them with Ænima and Lateralus, 10000 days was a subpar album overall. But out of nowhere, 13 years in the making, Tool put out the record of their career. It is a master class in progressive metal and hands down the best album of the year, and will probably make it onto my decade list as well.




    2. Pitfalls - Leprous
    Leprous has consistently put out some of my favorite albums each year they put something out. their brand of Progressive Metal is right up my alley. Their last release, Malina, leaned a lot more in the pop direction, and Pitfalls continues that direction. It's easily my favorite album of theirs since Bilateral. A monumental release, its almost a shame it came out the same year as Fear Inoculum.



    3. New Skin - Verite
    Verite is my favorite western pop singer, bar none. She has yet to release a bad song. New Skin is an incredible follow up to Somewhere in Between.



    4. Lotus - Soen
    Soen is another group like Leprous, that is championing my love for Progressive Metal. Lotus is a fantastic album, not quite as good as their last two, but still amazing in its own right.



    5. Veleno - Fleshgod Apocalypse
    Fleshgod Apocalypse are the kings of Symphonic Technical Death Metal. This release continues to prove that. It's better than King, but not quite as good as Labyrinth.




    This list is prog heavy, but that's how it be sometimes.
     
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  20. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    I also have a few honorable mentions

    A Dawn to Fear - Cult of Luna


    Sea of Tragic Beasts - Fit for an Autopsy


    Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex - Gloryhammer
     
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