No Ripcord's 50 Best Albums of 2019

No Ripcord's 50 Best Albums of 2019

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50. Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars

June 14, 2019
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

In Western Stars, the old adage about finding meaning through the journey couldn't feel truer. And that's an idea that Springsteen can relate to—leaving a little bit of yourself in a landscape that feels immortal.

49. Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 2)

October 18, 2019
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
Straightforward, heavy Foals, and, disappointingly, almost nothing else.

48. Dave - Psychodrama

March 8, 2019
Critic Score
89
11 reviews

47. Cate Le Bon - Reward

May 24, 2019
Critic Score
84
15 reviews

45. Charli XCX - Charli

September 13, 2019
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

44. Mikal Cronin - Seeker

Mikal Cronin - Seeker
October 25, 2019
Critic Score
73
10 reviews

42. black midi - schlagenheim

June 21, 2019
Critic Score
81
22 reviews

Schlagenheim, the London post-punk quartet's debut, spins in all directions and without any warning, executed with youthful, frenetic energy.

41. Oso Oso - Basking in the Glow

August 16, 2019
Critic Score
73
4 reviews

39. Sudan Archives - Athena

November 1, 2019
Critic Score
78
14 reviews

38. Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love

September 13, 2019
Critic Score
81
15 reviews

34. Pharmakon - Devour

August 30, 2019
Critic Score
81
9 reviews

33. Tyler, the Creator - IGOR

May 17, 2019
Critic Score
85
21 reviews

31. Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls

September 6, 2019
Critic Score
76
21 reviews

Even if Lost Girls often sounds like scrapped ideas taken from a larger project, Khan doesn't go too deep into nostalgia—still working firmly within a pop framework.

29. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

June 28, 2019
Critic Score
84
25 reviews

In an era of hazy, spineless mumble rap, it’s so refreshing to hear two insanely talented, forward-thinking hip-hop artists back in the saddle for another Schedule-I romp in the game. Dig it.

28. Wilco - Ode to Joy

October 4, 2019
Critic Score
78
23 reviews

That’s what Ode to Joy does best: it fights against hopelessness by accepting it.

27. Floating Points - Crush

October 18, 2019
Critic Score
81
16 reviews

26. Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

April 19, 2019
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

For all the confidence she radiates, she's got some growing up to do. And if part of maturing means elevating her music to her message, so much the better.

25. Kim Gordon - No Home Record

October 11, 2019
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

21. Brittany Howard - Jaime

September 20, 2019
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

What’s notable here is that everything that should be a risk is pulled off without missing a step. The process of writing this album was personal and intimate, but the end result is a confident, bold debut.

20. Angel Olsen - All Mirrors

October 4, 2019
Critic Score
87
32 reviews

19. Sunn O))) - Life Metal

April 26, 2019
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

Calling Life Metal a great metal/rock/guitar album, ultimately, is a disservice: This is a sonic meditation channeled through humbuckers and hearts.

18. Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile

March 8, 2019
Critic Score
79
9 reviews

What makes it work is how even as he continues embracing more conventional instruments and structures, Lange still leaves room for himself to tinker and experiment at the same time. For music so understated and gentle, it's almost startling just how powerful it's capable of being.

17. Holly Herndon - PROTO

May 10, 2019
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

15. Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs

February 8, 2019
Critic Score
78
27 reviews

Quiet Signs manages to present a more empathetic side of her that was once concealed. It's still quaint by comparison ... a delicately-crafted acoustic set that offers insight into her deepest fears and truths without letting us encroach into her private space.

14. Jenny Lewis - On the Line

March 22, 2019
Critic Score
83
23 reviews

It's the true embodiment of a studio album, and it shows—from the classic FM radio pop-rock of Red Bull and Hennessy to the soulful country-rock of Little White Dove, every instrument is put to use with seamless efficiency.

13. Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?

January 18, 2019
Critic Score
77
31 reviews

Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? marks their third album since they regrouped, and setting aside the individual merits of both Monomania and Fading Frontier, it's the first where they provide a clearer understanding of how they function during their second phase as a unified piece.

12. The National - I Am Easy to Find

May 17, 2019
Critic Score
77
35 reviews

I Am Easy To Find resembles a closing-down sale, with ideas being thrown around whether they fit or not—even the inclusion of Rylan (first recorded during the High Violet sessions) comes across as a knowing nod.

9. Big Thief - U.F.O.F.

May 3, 2019
Critic Score
83
22 reviews

The band fills U.F.O.F. with a rich tapestry of textural tones, almost to the point of oversaturation. It's so embedded in their songs that they somehow get lost in their creation, filled with awe and wonder (and some healthy pretension).

8. Little Simz - GREY Area

March 1, 2019
Critic Score
87
17 reviews

Few artists achieve in their lifetimes what Simbi Ajikawo has achieved at 25. Grey Area, her coming-of-age (maybe "quarter life crisis" is a better epithet) record is equal parts confident, slick, and still somehow jejune.

7. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains

July 12, 2019
Critic Score
86
17 reviews

It's a new start for an artist who many had proclaimed early retirement. And even if he hasn't cheered up, his return does feel consistent with his downtrodden nature—and we can only listen as it all unfolds.

6. (Sandy) Alex G - House of Sugar

September 13, 2019
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

He's a cunning songwriter who will take on a challenge whenever an idea seems to complex to untangle, even if his tender side will always be there.

5. Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell!

August 30, 2019
Critic Score
86
31 reviews
Think of it as an hour-long car ride peeling down the highway with classic rock blaring out of the radio and no real destination in mind other than where your impulsive nature might take you.

4. Big Thief - Two Hands

October 11, 2019
Critic Score
86
20 reviews

Big Thief proves that it can feed your head, your heart, and your hands in equal measure. Like the musical giants of old there is nothing they can’t do, ably going from strength to strength. Two Hands serves as the band’s call to arms.

3. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

January 18, 2019
Critic Score
85
36 reviews
It’s her grandest and greatest evolution yet.

2. Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

April 5, 2019
Critic Score
86
27 reviews

Despite Mering's sonic flights of fancy, Titanic Rising is a lean, 40-minute recording that carefully considers her performative sentiments with fine craftsmanship. No emotions go astray—every full-hearted melody here stirs a passion in both subject matter and skill.

1. FKA twigs - MAGDALENE

November 8, 2019
Critic Score
89
29 reviews
It’s a record that makes you fall in love with music again, a record you feel privileged to experience and a record that imparts fundamental human truths.
Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/50-best-albums-2019
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