2019 Ranked

from best to worst

rating distribution
10 - 0
9 - 1
8 - 5
7 - 15
6 - 9
5 - 3
4 - 4
3 - 1
2 - 0
1 - 0

Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs
1.
90
Jessica Pratt’s Quiet Signs is ethereal and magical- soothing and haunting all at once. Musically it’s sparse, yet beautifully lush. There are many subtleties that leave the listener making new discoveries on every listen.
Little Simz - GREY Area
2.
85
Assertive yet vulnerable lyrics grace some lively production that is occasionally bruising and occasionally gorgeous. The two strike a balance for a fully-realized and air tight album.
American Football - American Football
3.
85
American Football return with a haunting and sobering album that unfolds itself like a jigsaw puzzle. Naturalistic and scenic, LP3 is brimming with life, full of beauty with plenty of breathing room to take it all in.
Helado Negro - This Is How You Smile
4.
80
NY native Roberto Lange has crafted a cute and charming album mixed with short field recordings. The results are soothing and pleasant. "Smile" is a perfect and fleeting escape from the stressors of life.
Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
5.
80
Former Jackie-O Motherfucker guitarist Weyes Blood has concocted an album filled to the brim with all-around solid songwriting, production, and singing. Occasionally lacking lyrically, Titanic Rising makes up for it in spades with an album so buoyant yet densely layered, it's easy to lose yourself in.
Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center
6.
80
Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and boygenius’ Phoebe Bridgers team up for a striking singer-songwriter album, consisting of tried-and-true melodies and emotionally dense lyrics.
James Blake - Assume Form
7.
75
Blake recruits a superteam of musicians for his latest and happiest project, filled with exciting production mixed with trendy trap beats and alt r&b.
Quelle Chris - Guns
8.
75
Quelle Chris's hot streak continues on "Guns," a witty and sharp statement on guns and their effects on society. While "Guns" largely remains in Quelle Chris's lane he's carved out for himself, lyrically it is very captivating. Unfortunately, however, very few moments on this album excite.
Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow
9.
75
Super synthy project with some impeccable hooks and a capitvating vocalist. Couple of a duds though
Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken
10.
75
Tobacco’s quirky and exciting beats meet Aesop Rock’s equally quirky and lethargic flows and they mesh exceptionally well. Occasionally a little too wordy and dense but overall I dig it
Julia Jacklin - Crushing
11.
75
The title isn't wrong. "Crushing" maps out a devastating break-up and its fallout. The melodies are simple; they are simply a vessel for Jacklin's lucid lyricism. The lyrics are transparent, describing the pain and anxiety in a straightforward way, rarely shrouded in metaphor. While it is immediately captivating, it doesn't provide a ton of replay value.
Panda Bear - Buoys
12.
70
Panda’s latest evolution is as interesting as ever. Sung Tongs acoustics mixed with heavy reverb and autotune create a feeling of comfort in time of deep despondence. When the songs hit their mark, they deeply resonate, but in total the results are mixed.
Solange - When I Get Home
13.
70
Solange follows up "A Seat at the Table" with a neo-soul album that reads like a collage of ideas hinting towards a bigger picture. It is difficult to see what exactly that bigger picture is, however. At least it's pleasant though; the sum of its parts is still very enjoyable.
Deerhunter - Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?
14.
70
Solid project from the indie rock stalwarts. Poppy songwriting and eccentric instrumentation lead to interesting songs even if they don’t always live up to their potential.
Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs
15.
75
Stella Donnelly's debut LP packs a punch for how breezy the instrumentals are. "Boys Will Be Boys," a standout track from her "Thrush Metal EP" is an absolutely breath-taking and devastating song about rape culture. It's an important statement to be made. The remaining best songs are the others that tackle major social issues (Old Man, Watching Telly). The more introspective and personal tracks aren't nearly as captivating, but Donnelly has a quirky and unique charm that keeps them interesting.
Avey Tare - Cows on Hourglass Pond
16.
70
AnCo mainstay Avey Tare's latest is murky and pulsing, filled with dystopian imagery, clashing between the mechanical and natural. The songwriting and production pull most of the weight here. Avey's lyrics seem to grasp at straws to be something greater and more otherworldly than they really are, and leave the album feeling like an ambition not completely realized.
Broken Social Scene - Let's Try the After - Vol. 1
17.
70
Broken Social Scene have followed up "Hug of Thunder" with what seems to be a multi-part project released in EPs. The songwriting here isn't superb, but the dense and bright production make this short project a breeze to listen to. Also the refrain of "Boyfriends" is absolutely cathartic and I love it.
Mineral - One Day When We Are Young
18.
70
A couple of songs that show that 90s midwest emo band Mineral has still got it. Looking forward to another full project someday.
Anderson .Paak - Ventura
19.
70
While Ventura is a bounce back from Oxnard, it does not feel as thematically rich as Malibu, nor does the songwriting match Malibu’s. Overall, it’s a pretty agreeable and easy listening soul record
Beirut - Gallipoli
20.
70
Occasionally beautiful, occasionally pandering, Beirut croons his way through a decent collection of tracks
CHAI - PUNK
21.
70
Nagoya, Japan's Chai absolutely go off on "PUNK," an album that is sensory overload in a great way. Bouncing between many styles, "PUNK" is a hyper, sugary, thrilling joyride that makes up for its duds by its fast pace. Never feels like a slog to listen to even if it feels like a guilty pleasure. Also side note, the lyrics are completely disposable, empty platitudes, and drivel.
Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet
22.
65
"My Finest Work Yet" isn't, but it at least is a pleasant and samey collection of tracks. It's Andrew Bird being Andrew Bird though. It's nothing new.
Billie Eilish - WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
23.
65
17-year-old Billie has concocted a startlingly intoxicating debut here, although its tracklist varies widely in quality. Highlights "Xanny," "Wish You Were Gay," "Ilomilo," and "Bury a Friend" would make an excellent EP, where lowlights "You Should See Me In a Crown," "All the Good Girls Go to Hell," "8," and "My Strange Addiction" could be easily left off.
Girlpool - What Chaos Is Imaginary
24.
65
Indie rock paint-by-numbers. However it is well produced and has some sweet guitar riffs. The shoegaze bits are dope too
The Japanese House - Good At Falling
25.
60
When I first started this project, I assumed that The 1975 had a help in creating this album. I was wrong, but I may as well have been right. Many songs on "Good At Falling" attempt to emulate their recent achievements. All in all it's enjoyable, but not something I think I will be returning to.
Broken Social Scene - Let's Try the After - Vol. 2
26.
60
Discouragingly, Volume 2 of “Let’s Try the After” is even worse than it’s predecessor in terms of songwriting, but here the production doesn’t carry the project nearly as much. There are some very odd decisions made that sound quirky but don’t serve to improve the song in any way. Couple of these are good though
Boogie - Everythings For Sale
27.
60
Boogie’s kinda the lite version of Saba. There’s a few great beats here and there, but Boogie’s takes on self-conflict and relatable struggles are unnuanced and generally uninteresting.
Xiu Xiu - Girl with Basket of Fruit
28.
60
Whoa, this is absolutely wild. Sounds like a little kid that could make industrial music had a temper tantrum. Unfortunately most of it is just craziness with no means to an end
Pom Pom - Untitled II
29.
60
Really cool but overly indulgent and aimless ambient music. Hits the spot every so often
Big K.R.I.T. - TDT
30.
65
Turns out Big Krit on autopilot still churns out some pleasant listenable music
Ariana Grande - thank u, next
31.
55
Ariana Grande is vulnerable and personal on this album. A lot of the time though, she ends up comes off as really self-centered. This is a rather sad album too which is fine, but with Ariana’s melodies it just doesn’t feel fun, which is where most of my enjoyablility of her music stems from
Toro y Moi - Outer Peace
32.
55
Toro y Moi’s new album seems calculating, occasionally kinda soulless. This formula he seems to have struck is 3 bops, 2 sops. There’s a couple good songs here tho
Kevin Abstract - ARIZONA baby
33.
50
Brockhampton's de facto leader Kevin Abstract's new EP is heavy on production tricks and light on good songs.
Weezer - Weezer (Teal Album)
34.
45
This is a desperate plea to stay relevant more than it is the band having fun playing some covers
BTS - MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA
35.
40
Interesting and occasionally fun songwriting, but the production is downright awful. Sounds like a gentrification of every popular sound in contemporary music right now.
Weezer - Weezer (Black Album)
36.
40
At least it’s the second best Weezer album of the year
Maggie Rogers - Heard It In A Past Life
37.
40
Really bland songwriting and lyrics team up with overproduced instrumentals that produce a just barely listenable experience
Logic - Supermarket
38.
35
What the hell is this, Logic??? Some of the most derivative and non-engaging “indie” pop of this year. Lyrics are absolutely hilarious. Apparently Mac DeMarco had a hand in this. Disappointed
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