The Independent's 50 Best Albums of 2019

The Independent's 50 Best Albums of 2019

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50. Kim Gordon - No Home Record

October 11, 2019
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

No Home Record’s lack of cohesion is unlikely to pull you deep into its disjointed soundworld. What does unite the tracks, though, is the restlessly questing, non-conformist spirit of their creator.

49. Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe

March 22, 2019
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

Miss Universe is a brilliant collection of songs, an expansive melange of indie, jazz, pop and trip-hop that flits between a lo-fi sparseness and something The Strokes would play.

48. The Black Keys - "Let's Rock"

June 28, 2019
Critic Score
70
23 reviews

A viscerally entertaining album that never lingers for more than four minutes per song. Rock’n’roll isn’t dead: it’s just been sleeping.

47. Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls

September 6, 2019
Critic Score
76
21 reviews

Musically, Lost Girls couldn’t be more Eighties if it were playing a Commodore 64 while eating Angel Delight.

46. Collard - Unholy

May 10, 2019
Critic Score
85
4 reviews

45. Angel Olsen - All Mirrors

October 4, 2019
Critic Score
87
32 reviews

It is ... balletic and haywire, refusing to follow traditional rules of song structure. Listening to it feels like accidentally pressing play on two songs at once, and finding the combination strangely inebriating.

44. Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

April 19, 2019
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

This is a polished, playful album, though it has a DIY edge to it.

43. Skepta - Ignorance is Bliss

May 31, 2019
Critic Score
76
14 reviews

The result is a quintessentially London record, as dark and moody as it is brash and innovative.

42. Ariana Grande - thank u, next

February 8, 2019
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

It lacks a centrepiece to match the arresting depth and space of Sweetener’s “God Is A Woman”, but Grande handles its shifting moods and cast of producers with engaging class and momentum.

41. Ezra Furman - Twelve Nudes

August 30, 2019
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

40. YBN Cordae - The Lost Boy

July 26, 2019
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

39. Big Thief - U.F.O.F.

May 3, 2019
Critic Score
83
22 reviews

You don’t come away from this record feeling downcast. It’s more a reminder of how fleeting yet beautiful life is, and an appeal to make the most of it.

38. Jenny Lewis - On the Line

March 22, 2019
Critic Score
83
23 reviews

Here, Lewis does what she does best: adds the glossy sparkle of Hollywood and a sunny Californian sheen to melancholy and nostalgia, with her most luxuriantly orchestrated album yet.

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

March 29, 2019
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

For the most part, When We All Fall Asleep is stiflingly dull and bloated, with subpar production from Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell.

36. AJ Tracey - AJ Tracey

February 8, 2019
Critic Score
74
11 reviews

The variety and scale of ambition on this album is breathtaking. Fans will be surprised to discover Tracey sings almost as much as he raps, in pleasingly gruff tones.

35. Caroline Polachek - Pang

October 18, 2019
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

34. Sturgill Simpson - Sound & Fury

September 27, 2019
Critic Score
73
15 reviews

It’s pure rock and roll: sleazy, slick and lots of fun. Sound & Fury marks another milestone for a remarkable artist.

33. Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel

April 12, 2019
Critic Score
91
20 reviews

32. Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride

May 3, 2019
Critic Score
78
36 reviews

For long stretches, Father of the Bride feels less like a studio album than the sort of demo trove usually unearthed decades after a rock band splits.

31. FKA twigs - MAGDALENE

November 8, 2019
Critic Score
89
29 reviews

The follow-up to 2014’s LP1, made in the wake of heartbreak, is twigs at her sorrowful, scrappy best.

29. Shura - forevher

August 16, 2019
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

28. Cage the Elephant - Social Cues

April 19, 2019
Critic Score
69
22 reviews

Social Cues is an album where Shultz bares his soul, and apparently shakes off a few demons in the process.

27. Brittany Howard - Jaime

September 20, 2019
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

There’s no track on Jaime that is likely to make waves ... But what lovely ripples it makes.

26. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

January 18, 2019
Critic Score
85
36 reviews
After a period of tumult, Sharon Van Etten’s fifth album is a reinvention. But beneath its hazy synths and electronics are songs of endurance and inner peace, of settling after a flurry of activity.

25. Floating Points - Crush

October 18, 2019
Critic Score
81
16 reviews

24. Stormzy - Heavy Is the Head

December 13, 2019
Critic Score
78
16 reviews
Not only is it a drastic step up from his impressive debut, but it shows an artist keen to test himself emotionally, as well as artistically.

23. Marika Hackman - Any Human Friend

August 9, 2019
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

A blunt, bold album on which Hackman’s beatific voice sits atop methodically messy instrumentals.

22. Solange - When I Get Home

March 1, 2019
Critic Score
82
23 reviews

Where 2016's A Seat At The Table commanded respect, action and validation to an extent, When I Get Home offers respite, support and hope.

21. Cate Le Bon - Reward

May 24, 2019
Critic Score
84
15 reviews

20. Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles

September 13, 2019
Critic Score
82
11 reviews
He has Springsteen’s rousing holler, and the early indications of someone who could be the voice of a generation – not because he wants to be, but because he sees things and understands.

19. Taylor Swift - Lover

August 23, 2019
Critic Score
73
24 reviews

Swift’s seventh album feels like a partial resurrection of the Swift of old: moony romance and earnest earworms abound.

18. Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka

November 1, 2019
Critic Score
86
25 reviews

The record is an introspective mix of psychey soul, blues, rock and funk, which skips and strolls and swaggers through its 13 tracks – but it is not simply an exercise in nostalgia.

17. Kano - Hoodies All Summer

August 30, 2019
Critic Score
86
12 reviews

16. Hot Chip - A Bath Full of Ecstasy

June 21, 2019
Critic Score
78
23 reviews

For all its glimmering synths and the robotic pathos of Taylor’s idiosyncratic vocals, this is a record with both heart and soul.

15. MUNA - Saves the World

September 6, 2019
Critic Score
81
10 reviews

If there’s any justice ... Saves the World, should see MUNA joining the ranks of those who have brazenly borrowed their sound.

14. Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

August 9, 2019
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

The sheer ambition on We Are Not Your Kind is just as staggering.

13. Rapsody - Eve

August 23, 2019
Critic Score
85
8 reviews

On her new album, Eve, she explores a lineage of black female icons in a way that is both tender and compelling.

12. Julia Jacklin - Crushing

February 22, 2019
Critic Score
84
27 reviews

Grunge-rinsed, feminist-flipped, upcycled Fifties guitar an’ all: Crushing is a triumph.

11. Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1)

March 8, 2019
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

Merging their asymmetrical early math pop with the deep space atmospherics of Total Life Forever and Holy Fire, plus added innovations ... they’ve created an inspired album of scorched earth new music that, in all likelihood, will only really be challenged for album of the year by Part 2.

10. Dave - Psychodrama

March 8, 2019
Critic Score
89
11 reviews

At 20 years old, Dave – born David Orobosa Omoregie – has just released one of the most thoughtful, moving and necessary albums of 2019 so far.

9. Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

April 5, 2019
Critic Score
86
27 reviews

The artist ... accompanies her instrumental idiosyncrasies with strong, luscious melodies and unfussy lyrics.

8. James Blake - Assume Form

January 18, 2019
Critic Score
77
34 reviews

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. And the politics sure got spiteful. But the good news is that the perma-brilliant James Blake has flooded his fourth album – Assume Form – with euphoric sepia soul and loved-up doo-wop.

7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

October 4, 2019
Critic Score
92
30 reviews

Following the traumatised chaos of 2016’s Skeleton Tree, Ghosteen is a warm cloud of ambient solace – a sonic evocation of the communion he has experienced through his newly porous relationship with his audience.

6. Tyler, the Creator - IGOR

May 17, 2019
Critic Score
85
21 reviews

Tyler has never been one for traditional song structure, but on IGOR he’s like the Minotaur luring you through a maze that twists and turns around seemingly impossible corners, drawing you into the thrilling unknown.

5. Big Thief - Two Hands

October 11, 2019
Critic Score
86
20 reviews

Two Hands is Big Thief’s best to date, and undoubtedly one of the best of the year.

4. Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars

June 14, 2019
Critic Score
83
27 reviews
Where most rock superstars sink into trad tedium by 69, Springsteen is still crafting sophisticated paeans of depth and illumination, a rock grandmaster worthy of the accolade. A must-have for anyone who has a heart.

3. Little Simz - GREY Area

March 1, 2019
Critic Score
87
17 reviews

Rapper lands on a new, bold sound that incorporates an eclectic range of influences, along with three carefully chosen features.

2. Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell!

August 30, 2019
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

The album is sultry and soporific, sitting somewhere between the minimalist trip-hop of Del Rey’s early days, and the scuzzy desert rock she has toyed with over the years.

1. Aldous Harding - Designer

April 26, 2019
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

It’s layered with whimsical flutes, intricate guitar picking and sombre bass lines that meander with casual abandon. At an age where the pressure is on to have everything worked out, Harding sounds delightfully free.

Original Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/albums-of-the-year-2019-lana-del-rey-tyler-the-creator-taylor-swift-a9250921.html
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