On ‘Map Of The Soul: Persona’, they used the psychological theories of Carl Jung to explore ideas of identity (the riff-fuelled rap-rock of ‘Intro: Persona’) and delved into Greek mythology with the swaggering ‘Dionysus’. Hannah Ewens Read the full review. Curry’s triumphant second studio album reminded us of the greatness within his home state of Florida – especially on the booming ‘CAROLMART’. From Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy to Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, the 2019 Grammy Award album of the year nominees include something for everyone’s taste. The band’s picture of Dublin is as vivid and impetuous as the Joycean visions they clearly admire, all rough beauty and “ready-steady violence”; the pint-chucking songs have the blithe, amused swagger of someone who enjoys a fight, but the ballads (Roy’s Tune, Television Screens) are equally good, with a bleating, pub-piano sadness to them. Watch videos, view photos more at GRAMMY.com. 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. On Boss, she goes in as hard as an aggrieved Wu-Tang member over a raw bluesy beat; on the very next song, Selfish, these spikes are melted into smooth R&B. Rachel Aroesti Read the full review. Best Moment: Those absolutely flawless high notes on ‘Cellophane’. A blessed return to form. With every twist, Simz is already on top of the beat. Much as Kacey Musgraves broke open country songwriting in 2018 with the love-bombing body high of Golden Hour, Sturgill Simpson casts himself as the genre’s outlier in 2019. WR, In a nutshell: The cult star’s avant-pop years were leading here. It was conceived in divided, aggressive times, and The Chemical Brothers sought to unite people with their awe-inspiring ninth studio album. You can easily create it via Facebook login. Basically: things are about to get really weird. Why not submit your album into our 2020 Album of the Year competition. Cali singer-songwriter Weyes Blood’s otherworldly fourth album ‘Titanic Rising’ is a vital wake-up call about climate change, Kano’s ‘Hoodies All Summer’ is a deeply empathetic plea for greater unity and even veteran rockers Slipknot broke new ground with their pulsing manifesto of compassionate hatred ‘We Are Not Your Kind’. LS Read the full review. Until this year, rapper Dave was a singles artist – he managed 11 before his debut album was released – but Black marked a sea change: serious, reflective and grown-up. Can we be friends?” Rarely does an artist rap with their heart on show like modern day Tyler. 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.”. 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. 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”. It was a poignant conclusion to a triumphant record. LS Read the full review. While that warmth glows through Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, Callahan’s understanding of his inherent masculine violence, and his way with lucid profundity, means his domestic treatise was never cloying. All of a sudden, songs about beer and broads seem a little lacking. They dip into the strangest, sexiest bits of the 70s, with prowling disco on Feet, rollicking glam on Tastes Good With the Money, and electronically, chemically enhanced psychedelic skronk throughout. Get involved and join the conversation with #bnqtAOTY19. The emergence of a new Desert Sessions album in 2019 was something of a surprise. Best bit: The bold takedown of the patriarchy in ‘The Man’. You can also browse the Top 100, or listen to the Rough Trade Podcast Albums of the Year 2019 Special.. The fourth Bon Iver album brought Justin Vernon full circle. After Clairo’s lo-fi, bedroom-pop hit Pretty Girl went viral, there was the risk that her ascent to pop proper would obliterate the intimacy that made her appeal in the first place. With appearances from Danielle Haim and Steve Lacy and no musical stone unturned, the band made sure to sidestep expectations. We simply have to stan bitchy Blake. It’s at this juncture that I’m contractually obliged to tell you it’s shit out there – but hey! Best bit: Finding yourself slinking along to the sexy ‘Spiders’, then remembering you’re listening to Slipknot. LS Read the full review. And he had a new album called, ‘IGOR’ was different from his previous albums. ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’ was JPEGMAFIA’s most personal album to date, combining his own brand of punk-infused rap with darkly comical lyricism, offbeat ad-libs and video game snippets. BBT Read the full review. As with Bowie’s Blackstar and Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, David Berman’s long-awaited return to music will forever be overshadowed by his death, as he died by suicide less than a month after its release. 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. There was an honesty and romanticism to ‘Dogrel’ that defined the record, and when Chatten snarled “Is it too real for ya?” on ‘Too Real’, irony was refreshingly thrown out the door in favour of true, cast-iron connection. Best bit: When ‘Winners Circle’ samples ‘90s gangster movie A Bronx Tale: “You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime. 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. The results were entrancing and showcased a young songwriter who both thought outside of the box but understood how to craft a killer pop hook. Taylor was angry on sixth album ‘Reputation’. ‘Sad day’ used warped syntax to depict a sad wank: “Faux my cunnilingus,” she said, scrawling out the verbs and flipping word orders back to front, giving the whole song a disjointed quality. The album format has been stretched to its limitations, but still it stands, a potent vehicle for fresh expression. Where his folky 2012 debut ‘Home Again’ often erred on side of caution, with more emphasis on pleasant tunes than weighty subject matter, this one was jammed with heavy stuff treated with a lightness of touch. The emergence of a new Desert Sessions album in 2019 was something of a surprise. There’s potential in classicism yet ... King Princess. Nevertheless, human decency still feels close at hand – not least from the man singing. On this page you will find the solution to Her “Girl” won the 2019 CMA for Album of the Year: 2 wds. Painfully. Yet it was the perfect ‘Ladbroke Grove’, on which he paid homage to the garage sound he loved as a teenager, that proved AJ Tracey is legendary full-stop. Jon Pareles. British album of the year From the opening squelches of ‘Imminent Spirit Arrival’, it was stuffed with exuberant house licks, drum ’n’ bass beats and techno soundscapes. There’s a musicality to his delivery that suggests a man considering one side of the argument, then the other – but ultimately there is little equivocation as he condemns institutional racism, needless violence, and the difficulty of social mobility: “We’re Kunta Kintes in some Cuban links / The Balenciagas didn’t blend us in.” BBT Read the full review. Whether it’s bossa nova pop, Snail Mail-style slacker grunge or moody synthetic rock in the tradition of the xx, Yanya’s songwriting bar flexes and warps but stays permanently high. Born out of his Sunday Service live sessions, it saw the rapper praise God, his wife, his family, God, Chick-Fil-A, God and, er, God. This is a band caught deep in one of the songwriting grooves of the century. 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. This time around Taylor was head-over-heels; starry-eyed love permeated the record. At least the music this year was good!!! BBT Read the full review. Actually, it’s a few days since the Tories won an absolutely massive majority and voters roundly rejected a government offering to reduce inequality in a country with more food banks than branches of McDonald’s. The other Dublin post-punk success story of 2019 alongside Fontaines DC, The Murder Capital have a bit more monochrome hauteur – but there’s still a touch of lairiness. This allowed them to explore the full capabilities of storytelling from a place of humour, comfort and curiosity. For the old punks who had finally found a band to believe in again after decades of disenfranchisement to the teenagers coming face-to-face with their first real heroes, Fontaines’ emergence felt like a real moment. DS, In a nutshell: The Geordie Springsteen comes good. On his wildly inspired self-titled record, though, he spread his wings. But mostly this was a record about its creator picking up the broken fragments and piecing herself back together. Best bit: The bit in ‘Arabesque’ when jazz hero Femi Kuti lets rip on the sax. The album felt like a finale, combining elements of Bon Iver’s entire back catalogue and fusing them together: the whirring electronics of ‘22, A Million’, the folk strums of ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ and the baroque pop of ‘Bon Iver’. The ultimate guide to a turbulent, tremendous 12 months in music. BBT Read the full review. 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 last record put out by Josh Homme’s motley crew of rock stars arrived in 2013 and marked the 10th volume in the series – a pretty natural number to round things off on. 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. Happily, that isn’t the case: featuring production from former Vampire Weekend member Rostam (and occasionally drums from Danielle Haim), Immunity is tender and earnest, its scale in keeping with the way 21-year-old Clairo’s generation shrugs off emotional disclosures with a lower-case “lol”. Here was a rapper unafraid of tackling the hard stuff, of speaking out against the status quo, of being vulnerable in a musical space that doesn’t always allow for emotional candour. LS Read the full review. Legacy! 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. Jordan Bassett, NME said: “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.”, In a nutshell: Irish punk meets the Irish poets meets a massive moshpit. Impressive and poignant. LS Read the full review. And ‘Cellophane’ was an anguished cry: “They want to see us, want to see us apart,” she sang, addressing a vague, collective spectator once again. It makes Legacy! And luckily there’s absolutely nothing else going on in the news at the moment that might distract you from this list and make it seem in any way trivial. If you’ve arrived at the end of the 2010s curious about what the next decade holds, Eilish and her older brother Finneas O’Connell made the record in their bedroom-studio, so there’s little surprise that ‘When We All Fall Asleep…’ acts as diary entries from an anxious generation. Best bit: The throat-cracking vocals on ‘God Is’, where Kanye admits that his faith helped him overcome sex addiction and gave his life renewed purpose. BBT Read the full review. It’s Dave’s world; we’re all just living in it. K-SW, In a nutshell: Old dudes in masks don’t age – they just get better. Posty will laugh all the way to the bank. Lanre Bakare Read the full review. The three albums form a sort of loose trilogy, and this record, like all great closing entries, took aspects of its predecessors – lush arrangements and reflections on the good life – and amped them up. 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. 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