As a document of British rap’s indefinable present ... AJ Tracey’s debut is perhaps the best of the current crop; twisted, vibrant and ever-shifting, but linked with that confident voice.
It could easily be a self-pitying album, one ready to dwell in the wreckage of incidents, but instead keeps picking up and moving on; providing a guide to how to keep on keeping on even when it feels like whatever you do is going to end in devastation.
‘When We All Fall Asleep…’ is a memorable and game-changing debut record, with Billie's disruptive streak front and centre. We'll no doubt see the mainstream scrabbling to replicate it.
A moving, quasi-concept album, this debut from the 20-year-old rapper is bold and thought-provoking, the kind of record that comes along only rarely.
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.
The first five-star album of 2019! Proof that James Blake is one of the world’s greatest producers, this loved-up fourth record, featuring Andre 3000 and Travis Scott, sees him finally in control as a brilliant songwriter and emotive lyricist
The American songwriter questions it all on his divine fifth album, a remarkable achievement that may serve as a companion and guide in tough times.
London MC Simbi Ajikawo has come true on her early promise with this confident and unapologetic album, the best rap record of the year so far.
This bracing, addictive record takes the listener on a journey through anger to acceptance, finally arriving at a sense of calm. It's a great concept, and a great album.
A marked progression from her previous (brilliant) post-punk albums, Eva Moolchan’s third record is a woozy masterclass in understatement, endlessly inspired and fizzing with ambience.
This surprise-released, self-produced record is a reminder that Solange is an R&B frontrunner in her own right. It’s a celebration of women, black culture and – above all – music.
Enthralling and hugely relevant, the Australian singer-songwriter's debut album tackles difficult subject matter with cheekiness and real lightness of touch.
‘IGOR’ is an accomplished and evergreen record that’s well worth putting your phone down, turning the TV off and devoting your full attention span to.
Depending on your mood, there’ll be songs you’d happily lop off for a more streamlined listen, but by and large, all of these songs make the patchwork much more vibrant.
‘Titanic Rising’ harnesses convention and refashions it into something singular. At once a document of this “wild time to be alive” and an escape from it, it’s often remarkably good.