The Guardian's Best Albums of 2019 So Far

The Guardian's Best Albums of 2019 So Far

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Aldous Harding - Designer

Aldous Harding - Designer
April 26, 2019
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

Her lyrics are inscrutable and her vocal and visual stylings eccentric, but Harding’s third album is a thing of beauty.

Angélique Kidjo - Celia

Angélique Kidjo - Celia
April 19, 2019
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle

Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle
February 8, 2019
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

This is an intriguing album, futuristic in tone but hardwired to an ancient and deeply spiritual vision of what music can achieve.

Ariana Grande - thank u, next

Ariana Grande - thank u, next
February 8, 2019
Critic Score
83
24 reviews

This feels like the work of a pop star previously happy to act as conduit for other people, finally working out who they are and what they want to say. Here, Grande finds her voice.

Big Thief - U.F.O.F.

Big Thief - U.F.O.F.
May 3, 2019
Critic Score
83
22 reviews

UFOF sees them pare things down further still, in a collection of gentle folk that seems dazed by its own exquisite beauty.

Billie Eilish - WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Billie Eilish - WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
March 29, 2019
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

The highs are thrilling, and despite their obvious pedigree, arranged unlike anything else in contemporary pop. They also reveal the lows more starkly.

Dave - Psychodrama

Dave - Psychodrama
March 8, 2019
Critic Score
88
10 reviews

Fearless and incisive, Dave’s reportage-style tracks sketch out race, prison and abusive relationships, resulting in a landmark record.

DAWN - new breed

DAWN - new breed
January 25, 2019
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Adventurous but never abstruse, New Breed sounds effortless, as though transforming yourself from a manufactured pop star into a unique artist is the easiest thing in the world.

Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?

Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?
January 18, 2019
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

Unpredictability is a rare and rather valuable commodity in a world of media-trained personalities and music dictated by the metrics of streaming services, and it’s something Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? has in abundance.

Durand Jones & The Indications - American Love Call

Durand Jones & The Indications - American Love Call
March 1, 2019
Critic Score
76
8 reviews

There simply isn’t a weak or even middling track, and the strongest can go toe to toe with the best of Al Green or Bobby Womack.

Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel

Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel
April 12, 2019
Critic Score
91
18 reviews

This is the kind of songwriting quality that bands can take years to reach, or never reach at all: brilliant, top to bottom.

Holly Herndon - PROTO

Holly Herndon - PROTO
May 10, 2019
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

Herndon counters the hysteria around AI with an album that presents it as a quizzical, cute pet on the leash of a human master: a sensitive, responsive part of the family.

Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY!

Jamila Woods - LEGACY! LEGACY!
May 10, 2019
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

Full of dust-shaking beats, layered vocals and sticky melodies, the record is every bit as rousing as Heavn, with even more intricate production flourishes. But as ever with Woods – who is also an acclaimed poet – her words hold the greatest weight.

Jayda G - Significant Changes

Jayda G - Significant Changes
March 22, 2019
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

While her close friend Alexa Dash belts out an undeniable anthem as lead singer on Leave Room 2 Breathe, it’s Jayda G’s own vocal work that ultimately unites Significant Changes, accenting hooks with fizzy ad-libs, steering tunes with sprawling falsettos and resounding in the deep.

Kelsey Lu - BLOOD

Kelsey Lu - BLOOD
April 19, 2019
Critic Score
80
10 reviews

Blood is an enticingly restrained debut, showing a consistency of tone without compromising on Lu’s inventiveness.

Lucy Rose - No Words Left

Lucy Rose - No Words Left
March 22, 2019
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Her fourth album, No Words Left, is her starkest, filled with lyrics about uncertainty and isolation, and yet her most striking, conveying the strongest sense of her artistic identity yet.

Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe

Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe
March 22, 2019
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

In between the mock adverts, Miss Universe throws up a ragged miscellany of styles – rackety alt-rock, radio-ready pop, saxophones that appear to have escaped from a Sade album, jagged left-field guitars, primitive drum machines and what sounds like an attempt to make the kind of 80s AOR ballad that’s popular with Magic Radio on a lo-fi, bedroom-bound budget – all blessed by the melodic facility already in evidence when Yanya made her debut.

Rustin Man - Drift Code

Rustin Man - Drift Code
February 1, 2019
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
January 18, 2019
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
Whether Van Etten is brooding on the present or pining for the good old days ... the general impression remains the same: this ambitious, arresting album feels like the work of an artist wielding her considerable talents with newfound confidence and conviction.

Sleaford Mods - Eton Alive

Sleaford Mods - Eton Alive
February 22, 2019
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

As ever, Sleaford Mods are a voice that must be heard.

slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain

slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain
May 17, 2019
Critic Score
83
16 reviews

Clever, bleak, funny, bracing, aware of a broad musical heritage but never in thrall to it: after you hear Nothing Great About Britain, it’s even more obvious why Slowthai stands out.

Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride

Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride
May 3, 2019
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

Its 18 tracks seem to belong in an august tradition begun by the Beatles’ eponymous 1968 release: the double album not as grandiose conceptual statement, but a crowded, loose scrapbook of ideas, not all of them fully baked.

Original Source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jun/04/best-albums-of-2019-so-far
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