Favorite Albums of 2019


#1

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!


#2

Great choices.

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


#3

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


#4

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


#5

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.


#6

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)


#7

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

#8
  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

#9

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


#10

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.


#11
  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