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Best 19 Albums Of '19

Updated on December 16, 2019

Hyperspace Should Get Beck His Second Grammy For Album of the Year


Music in 2019 had quite a few surprises, which is not at all a bad thing. A look back at the albums released over the last twelve months certainly reveals that fact, as veteran artists as well as brand new acts issued records of original material.

One well-established band, members of the very first British Invasion from over fifty years ago, released their first album in fifteen years. Another popular band, on the other hand, released a new album after just fifteen weeks after its predecessor.

Here are the best nineteen albums that came out during 2019.

1. Duck by the Kaiser Chiefs
After nearly a decade that comprised several decent albums, the British alt rock quintet released a flawless record recalling the often amusing discontent of their first three records.

2. Self-contained (Black Album) by Weezer
In January came a teal album of the power pop quartet's cover versions of their favorite songs, and just two months later we were treated to the black album. It has ten original songs, each bearing inviting titles like "Can't Knock the Hustle", "Zombie Bastards" and "The Prince Who Wanted Everything.'

3. Stroke Manor by the Minus 5
Scott McCaughey suffered a stroke a few years ago, so this eclectic indie rock album is a testament to his dedication to making quality music with pals Jeff Tweedy and Peter Buck.

4. Look Alive by Guster
These indie guys, who have been around now for twenty years, step out from their catchy songwriting just enough to keep fans intrigued without discomfort.

5. Dogrel by Fontaines DC
Listening to this neo-punk band's debut, one cannot help but recall influential artists such as the Clash, the Stranglers and the Buzzcocks.

6. Self-Titled by Frank Lloyd Wrong
Indiana is the heart of this folk rock project fronted by John Taylor, whose lyrics showcase influences of Conor Oberst and the Mountain Goats.

7. The Feels by Fits and the Tantrums
Seventeen songs are packed into this album, each brandishing the characteristic back beats of the two previous releases. "Bella Donna" offers an acoustic side hitherto unheard from Fitz, while "OCD" addresses his first bout of nostalgia.

8. Hyperspace by Beck
Genre blending continues to be his forte, as proven by the impressive mix here of the last two records Morning Phase and Dreams.

9. On the Line by Jenny Lewis
Her follow up to The Voyager was made even more memorable by an appearance on a late night talk show, where she was carried away by the title character as she was finishing "Rabbit Hole."

10. Colorado by Neil Young
Climate concerns and other political issues are addressed here, including a song about eternity that sounds very much like Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side."

11. For Fear by Green Palm Radiation
Even though like many indie bands they are difficult to classify, these guys probably are more akin to Teenage Fan Club in terms of sound.

12. What's My Name by Ringo Starr
Other than his enthusiastic cover of his former group's "Money", this offering is a catchy collection of brand new songs.

13. Self-Titled (Detour) by the Who
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, the two surviving members, somehow on this one disc conjure up the band's various phases from the Sixties pop to the rock opera to the electronic early Eighties.

14. Berliner Grotesque by Anton Barbeau
The title track is just one of the dozen gems on this new set from the eccentric alt rocker, along with "Down Weird Dog", "The Gruff Exterminator" and "Disaster in Sandwich Island."

15. Phoenix by Pedro the Lion
Virtually unheard from for two decades, David Bazan popped up in the spring with this great record full of nostalgia and wry observations.

16. Ode To Joy by Wilco
These dozen songs follow the same path of the last few records Star Wars and Schmilco, as well as Jeff Tweedy's Warm from last year, which is no way a bad thing.

17. Here Comes the Cowboy by Mac Demarco
"K" must be the shortest song title in history, but it is also one of the best in this new release by a guy whose laid-back genre is often described as stoner rock.

18. False Alarm by Two Door Cinema Club
Combine Foster the People with Death Cab For Cutie, and the result would sound something like this excellent CD.

19. From Out of Nowhere by Jeff Lynne's ELO
Ten new songs build on the revival the legendary producer and songwriter began on 2015's Alone in the Universe.


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