Favorite Albums of 2019


As we wind down 2019, I’ve been thinking about my favorite albums. I think this year has been quite a year for music releases; at least for me, just about every one of my (still active) favorite artists released an album. Here’s my ordered list:

  1. Western Stars — Bruce Springsteen
  2. New Ways — Leif Vollebekk
  3. Gold Past Life — Fruit Bats
  4. Servants of the Sun — Chris Robinson Brotherhood
  5. Let it Burn — GospelbeacH
  6. i,i — Bon Iver
  7. Cotillions — Wiliam Patrick Corgan
  8. Fever Breaks — Josh Ritter
  9. Circles Around the Sun Meets Joe Russo — Circles Around the Sun & Joe Russo
  10. Weather — Tycho

Special mention:

  • Fear Innoculum from TOOL is also really good; as is Ghosteen from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Hard to leave these off of my top-ten list.
  • This might be the first year in a long time where I actually had more than 10 albums I really love.

Other notes:

  • Springsteen’s album is so great; I love just about every song on there. The closer, Moonlight Motel, is killer for me.
  • Vollebekk’s album is really impressive; the evolution of his music is really cool to hear. Yet another album of his where I love every song.
  • On any given day, the order of albums from the Fruit Bats, CRB, and GospelbeacH flip-flop in the order. These albums have had such a big impact on my painting.
  • Tycho’s album was nominated for a grammy, which is pretty cool for an intelligent dance music (IDM) band.
  • As usual, Billy Corgan’s solo albums are really solid, and tend to grow on me a lot over time.
  • I was very underwhelmed by Wilco’s Ode to Joy, seeing as I’ve listened to it a grand total of 2 times (?)

I would be curious to hear your thoughts on your favorite albums this year!


Great choices.

However, I disagree about Ode To Joy… after a few listens it has certainly struck a chord with me.


DIIV - Deceiver
Beirut - Gallipoli
Bon Iver - i, i
The Lumineers - III
Leif Vollebekk - New Ways
Lightning Bug - October Song
Big Thief - Two Hands
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
The National - I Am Easy To Find
Soft Blue Shimmer - Nothing Happens Here
Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY!
Julien Chang - Jules
The Tallest Man on Earth - I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream
Anti-Lilly & Phoniks - That’s The World
Chet Baker - The Legendary Riverside Albums


I suppose I need to give that album another shot at some point


Wilco can do that to you. It literally took me a couple of years before I could appreciate A Ghost Is Born & Sky Blue Sky. Ode To Joy might fall into that category for me as well. However, I loved Tweedy’s two solo records (Warm & Warmer) that were released within the last twelve months. Between Ode To Joy & the two solo records, Tweedy released three albums in almost 10 months. Eat your heart out Ryan Adams.


Good point – I do like Tweedy’s solo albums a lot. I’ve liked all other Wilco albums upon initial listen; perhaps Yankee Hotel Foxtrot took a few tries, but not as much as Ode to Joy.

(clearly having too much fun with italicized text)


It was really just a top three for me. These were the albums I spent most of the year listening to. I love each one, but I’d put them in this order:

  1. Josh Ritter - Fever Breaks
  2. Jenny Lewis - On The Line
  3. Better Oblivion Community Center - s/t

  1. Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka
  2. Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars
  3. Tyler Ramsey - For The Morning
  4. Leif Vollebekk - New Ways
  5. Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising


That Big Thief record was great. Really like that band.


I don’t buy much anymore. I concur with Western Stars - I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is. Also surprised at how good the Hold Steady’s Thrashing Thru The Passion is. I love their shows but their recorded output has not been great for quite a while. I was also surprised that Bob Mould’s Sunshine Rock came out in 2019. It’s been a long year. It feels like that CD has been around a long time. I go back to Husker Du and Sunshine Rock is as good as Bob gets. Good to have him around to bludgeon eardrums and write better songs than any “punks” around.

  1. J.S. Ondara - Tales of America
  2. Erik Koskinen - Burning the Deal
  3. The Cactus Blossoms - Easy Way
  4. Eilen Jewell - Gypsy
  5. Gabe Lee - Farmland
  6. Humbird - Pharmakon
  7. Damien Jurado - In the Shape of a Storm
  8. EmiSunshine and the Rain - Family Wars
  9. Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance
  10. Cat Clyde - Hunters Trance
  11. Charlie Parr - Charlie Parr
  12. Samantha Fish - Kill or Be Kind
  13. Michaela Anne - Desert Dove
  14. Coldplay - Everyday Life
  15. Kim Taylor - Songs of Instruction
  16. Reina del Cid - Morse Code
  17. King Princess - Cheap Queen
  18. Tyler Childers - Country Squire
  19. Durand Jones & The Indications - American Love Call
  20. Joshua Ray Walker - Wish You Were Here


Well, I was looking at 2020, and I checked Discogs and found out I haven’t bought any records in 2020. So I had to see if the records I bought in 2019 were on last year’s list and they were not. I don’t know if you folks like Shoegaze music, but I really enjoyed this one: