The 25 Best Metal Albums of 2019 by Jeff Terich. Naira Marley & Zlatan. Warmed by humming amps and the presence of four bodies pressed in close, the album unspools as effortlessly as a campfire session—stray counterpoints, offhand vocal harmonies, tiny details dancing like shadows on the treeline. Opener “Alewife” finds 21-year-old singer-songwriter Claire Cottrill revisiting suicidal thoughts that she had in eighth grade, and over the next 10 tracks, we are with her through so many growing pains and regrets. –Jayson Greene, Titanic Rising is vintage-sounding music for people who don’t want to live in the past. The list, sorted alphabetically, includes albums found on Pitchfork’s main year … At a time when many of our biggest stars visit Genius HQ to offer blow-by-blow accounts of their lyrics, Harding gives us cryptic lines like “show the ferret to the egg” and dares us not to overthink them. –Katherine St. Asaph, Tyler, the Creator’s IGOR is an album about heartbreak, but the bright chords and harmonies suggest hope, not self-pity. These songs are intimate and personal, with Le Bon carefully leveraging a broader, deeper palette of instrumentation than on past work. With everything in its just-right place, Le Bon's precise touches on Reward are prizes in their own right. Read on for Pitchfork's top 25 songs of 2019. Pitchfork's Best Metal Albums of 2019. –Stacey Anderson, Young Enough, the second album from Brooklyn alt-rockers Charly Bliss, is a vibrant chronicle of personal recalibration. “So many women in me,” Woods sings, and she is every one. Of those 14 albums, a grand total of one appeared on Pitchfork’s list of The 50 Best Albums of 2019 across all genres — Blood Incantation at No. But even going the comfortable route, she is constantly disrupting her own ’70s soft rock pastiche with sounds that represent the future—space-age synths, satellites trying to connect. U.F.O.F, the first of two stellar albums the band released this year, sounds at once exploratory and wise, as if they are both seeing the world with fresh wonder while explaining the way things have always been. –Philip Sherburne, Sheer Mag crashed into the indie consciousness five years ago with surly abandon, thanks to their Thin Lizzy-style anthems and their true punk heart. Solange — A Seat at the Table. Norman Fucking Rockwell! Elsewhere, the evocations are early-millennial: The loping, strings-propelled beat on “Drug Dealer” nods to the Streets, and he shouts out Dizzee Rascal. She reckons with being child-free in a society that constantly reminds her how she’s running out of biological time. (Throw in ASMR sonics, samples from The Office, a dental drill, and the sound of the singer ripping out her own Invisalign, and you’ve got Gen Z musique concrète.) And she sings of a fledgling romance on the closing “In Love Again,” which wraps around her like a pair of arms while guitar riffs shoot off fireworks—a surprise happy ending to an album that turns anguish into high drama. On the title track, she declares, “Shapes live forever,” and they do here: Harding’s songs create jagged, impressionistic outlines that allow listeners to climb inside, yet they are unmistakably her own. “Murdered Out” is three-and-a-half minutes of a patient bass loop being continuously, relentlessly sandblasted by one thing after another: distorted guitar, encroaching noise, and Gordon’s roar, the strongest blast of all. Slant: The 25 Best of Albums of 2019 1. –Noah Yoo, PROTO plays like a document of the creation of Spawn, the neural network that experimentalist Holly Herndon trained to sing using her voice alongside the voices of some 300 collaborators. Perhaps that’s why slowthai, a grime MC from the nowheresville dead-center of England, often feels so punk. Throughout the record, the quartet subtly distort their sugar-pie group vocals, whisking them into frenzied disco-grrl guitars, hectic brass bleats, and fluorescent electro blips. “You are such a golden child. FKA twigs — Magdalene; Big Thief — U.F.O.F. The album is a wonderful scenario for an artist a decade into their career: a rewarding balance of consistency and growth, with subtle experimentation instead of the common midcareer misstep of transparently grabbing for radio play. While Callahan’s double album Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest contains plenty of his signature wisdom—songs about love and death, paternal advice and domestic romance, smirking one-liners and piercing, plainspoken verse—its magic is in the way his words wear his music like a beloved pair of old jeans. On Reward, Le Bon proves herself to be a canny architect of another kind: one gifted at making dense sonic arrangements feel somehow weightless. The singer’s fourth album, When I Get Home, is a collection of reveries on family, history, and blackness—a love letter to her hometown. https://www.brooklynvegan.com/pitchforks-50-best-albums-of-2019 “U (Man Like)” is a piano ballad that urges men to do better. You can hear its selflessness in the myriad tones, instruments, voices, and happy accidents that come and go, subverting ego while sidestepping excess. By Pitchfor k. October 8, 2019… Lana Del Rey. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. To sit with it can be almost unbearable, and yet Cave—with the same talent he’s loaned to many other dark topics—takes the harshness of life and uses it to cleave his way to the truth of being human. –Marc Hogan. With the poise of Sade’s Love Deluxe and the zapped attention span of Pavement’s Wowee Zowee, Miss Universe triple-axels between silky soul, smoldering jazz, and ripping alt-rock—and then adds hybrids like “Tears,” a song that seems to imagine what Timbaland might have sounded like if he made ’80s new wave records. –Sam Sodomsky, Was 2019 the year Thom Yorke finally got funky? –Evan Rytlewski, “I got two souls fighting for the same spotlight,” Long Island emo hero Jade Lilitri sings on the opening track of his third album as Oso Oso, Basking in the Glow. You can see its vision of egalitarianism across the LP’s inner gatefold, which shows obscured portraits of the 52 people who helped create the record. The 50 best albums of 2019. Even more than calling Her Majesty the C-word, slowthai’s mangling of the Queen’s English is his true feat of treason. The album also boasts some of his dreamiest tracks, from the storm-tossed swoon of “Twist” to the angelic venom on “I Am a Very Rude Person.” And Yorke finally got around to nailing the legendarily elusive “Dawn Chorus,” which shows up here as a sunset synthesizer buzz. As a whole, Utility is an expression of what techno can be when the most obvious percussive elements go away. –Laura Snapes, While writing the songs that would become her fifth album, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon spent a year studying furniture-building at an English architecture school, living alone in a cabin in England’s rural Lake District. Brexit broke Britain, fast-rewinding the country to the ’70s, when it first joined Europe and last seemed this close to collapse. ANIMA saw him jump right in: Songs like “Impossible Knots,” “Traffic,” and “Not the News” genuinely swing. Original Source → Comments. One that is incredibly intelligent while also re… While there’s no song explicitly about her on Jaime, there is urgent advice about how to live with the time we’re given: by refusing hatred and spreading love in fractious times; by dismissing inattentive partners and acting on desire. His parting gift turned out to be one of his very best records. This Is How You Smile effortlessly illustrates the kind of quiet rage that has come to feel increasingly common in our current reality; for that reason, it might be the finest political record of the year. It is a privilege to spend a half hour in the singular slice of South Florida that Curry paints in his forthright verses. “It feels good to be writing again,” Callahan sighs, stepping through a field of thickly plucked notes; in the six years since his last album, he married and fathered a son, milestones that, for a while, dulled the need to be creative. FKA twigs. Years ago, the idea of Tyler making music this intimate and reflective seemed like a stretch, but on IGOR, he gives in to the grown-up uncertainty that eventually comes for us all. –Madison Bloom. Ghosteen abounds with stark moments like this that reveal the raw heart of grief. this past May, you might’ve thought they deserved some time off: It was their third album in four years. Check out all of Pitchfork’s 2019 wrap-up coverage here. –Stacey Anderson, On his major label debut, North Carolina rapper DaBaby is tireless behind the mic, weaving words with a boxer’s nimble intensity. On this album, even Woods’ more straightforward declarations—she’s “not your typical girl,” she’s “all out of fucks”—are set within richly imaginative and deeply allusive contexts, rooted in her artistic forebears. October 18, 2019. Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp A Butterfly. “I don’t want to be touched all the time/I raised my body up to be mine,” the folk-rocker declares on the upbeat highlight “Head Alone.” A number of the songs beautifully capture what it’s like to inhabit your own (single) body again, or suggest how to convert love felt for an ex into something else (eventually), always with a focus on Jacklin’s warm-milk voice. Pitchfork: The 50 Best Albums of 2019 1. Culled from recent writing sessions as well as drafts from the Microcastle and Halcyon Digest eras, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? –Stacey Anderson. Nigeria’s Burna Boy titled his fourth album African Giant to reflect his own outsized stature in his home country and, more broadly, the continent’s eons-long cultural footprint. For all the clever syntheses in MAGDALENE’s production—polyphonic vocals wisping over bass shudders; operatic trills distorted into grisly yelps—twigs is desperately clear in her words. Of course, Justin Vernon’s elastic howl will always be the catalyst that transforms Bon Iver from just another experimental indie rock project to a quasi-religious cult of emotion, but on i,i, he sounds like he’s simply flowing through a slipstream, his load lightened. Over the album’s inky expanse, Olsen tries out an entirely new, gothic corner of her record collection: The Cure’s Disintegration, Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas, Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s not the field recordings that populate interludes like “November 7.” Nor is it the album’s introspective closer, “My Name Is for My Friends,” which splices ambient sounds with brief, cryptic dialogue. Candlemass - The Door To Doom. On “The Greatest,” she takes a widescreen look at our planet, sighing into the void as climate change brings about a hellish endless summer. By Pitchfor k Her most dramatic release yet, All Mirrors telegraphs to us in Andrew Lloyd Webber-sized gestures: When Olsen's voice ascends an octave on “Lark,” the accompanying drum resounds like a cannon aimed at a fortress, and the dive-bombing glissandos from the orchestra mimic debris streaming around her. At every point, you hear a band going somewhere new, hurtling towards a forever-receding spot in the consciousness. Over the album’s inky expanse, Olsen tries out an entirely new, gothic corner of her record collection: The Cure’s Disintegration, Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas, Siouxsie and the Banshees. [see also 2020, 2010s, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 ] Lana Del Rey — Norman Fucking Rockwell! The Chorus of #MeToo, and the Women Who Turned Trauma Into Songs, 6 Albums Out This Week You Should Listen to Now, 4 Albums Out This Week You Should Listen to Now, 5 Albums Out This Week You Should Listen to Now. But she ignored the haters and plowed forward, steadily carving out her own dark corner of the pop landscape. To sit with it can be almost unbearable, and yet Cave—with the same talent he’s loaned to many other dark topics—takes the harshness of life and uses it to cleave his way to the truth of being human. Her lyrics are dense poems destined for academic scrutiny, anchored by the kind of dry wit that could come as easily from the pen of Dorothy Parker as from a really good Instagram caption. The warped, intricate death metal of the Colorado quartet’s sophomore album takes influence from legendary bands like Death and Morbid Angel, while its all-analog recording and illustrated sci-fi cover art feel further rooted in the past. The records that made the decade, starring Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Bon Iver, Solange, Lana Del Rey, and many more . Her eagle-eyed observations about her hapless relationships can be as funny as they are heartbreaking, like on the swooning “Jonny,” where she laments how her dog is her best friend even though, she sings, “He doesn't even know what my name is.” –Sheldon Pearce. They pierce the conformist pressures of contemporary Asian femininity without clichès or sloganeering: “Too much makeup/Just lips and eyebrows all set,” chirps frontwoman Mana in Japanese. It all makes for a fitting soundtrack for starting over. The pop-forward “Who You Are” finds Dabice tackling self-loathing, settling on a kind of acceptance that sounds simple but is anything but. –Nathan Smith, After the lonesome folk of her 2009 debut, Sharon Van Etten’s subsequent albums mostly offered modest tweaks to a familiar strain of heartland-flavored indie. “My son, I love you so much,” she says. Then there’s Harding’s voice itself, an androgynous instrument that glides from deep-chested husk to nasal yowl, often within the same song. All rights reserved. Bubblegum Bass. But Lilitri shows why that spotlight—that glow to bask in—is worth fighting for. –Matthew Schnipper, Nilüfer Yanya plays her guitar the way some people pick at their nails—as if she wouldn't know what to do with her hands if she stopped. By Pitchfor k. Fresh hells rear their ugly heads every day, and Helado Negro reminds us that we can care for our communities as we seek to improve a world determined to beat us down. May 31, 2019. –Madison Bloom. Norman F*****g Rockwell! Def Jam. Lewis reveals the human nature at the core of her characters even when it’s unseemly, never judging people’s vices or decisions. The Brooklyn quartet may flirt with modern stoner rock tropes, but Jinx doesn’t let you just relax. Are you hearing these songs, or spying on them? Even the title i,i nods to the Rastafarian idea of “I and I,” of oneness. Angel Olsen — All Mirrors. It’s a record unlike anything else he’s made with the Bad Seeds across the last 35 years. Boy Scouts’ Taylor Vick called her latest album Free Company because she thought of its songs as her company during a rough patch after a breakup. When making Agora, his first solo album in five years, the experimental ambient producer was forced to work minimally—after losing his studio space, he was relegated to using headphones in a bedroom—and he translated these restrictions into one of his most oversized works yet. Like a freshly polished lens, the album’s eclectic production only pulls Van Etten’s songwriting into sharper focus. is an album that arrived feeling like a greatest hits collection. ... More on the best music of 2019; Fri 20 Dec 2019 04.41 EST. Along with her rich voice, Yanya’s fidgety guitar is one of the few binding threads tying together her virtuosic, post-genre smear of a debut. These are the albums that defined the sound of metal in 2019. –Vrinda Jagota. Violence ripples through these songs like a vein of quartz—“Rock and Sing” might be a children’s lullaby about lost souls, “The Toy” an intimation of great evil. It all makes for a fitting soundtrack for starting over. In form and function, Bon Iver’s fourth album is an act of protest. November 22, 2019. Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. Site also contains reviews, ratings & more. These are what Hval calls her “loops of the mind,” scattered here among voices that search for communion in an atmosphere of crisis. –Marc Hogan. The lyrics are elliptical yet striking, so successful at filling you with what feels like an ancient longing that it sometimes feels like you’re discovering a new language entirely. 41. Nothing, it seems—neither time, nor age, nor a shifting cultural landscape—can chip away at their self-delighted gleam, their garish sophistication, their heartbroken contentment. Since first emerging as a prodigious one-man songwriting machine earlier this decade, Alex Giannascoli has remained tapped into an ever-flowing stream of idiosyncratic excellence. –Anna Gaca, Following their mosh-worthy 2018 collaboration “Smack a Bitch,” Maryland rapper Rico Nasty and producer Kenny Beats doubled down on their reckless chemistry with Anger Management. –Jamieson Cox, No one does maximalism like Beyoncé. The rest of the list of 14 is a mix of names we’ve seen in many other “big platform” lists and others that have appeared rarely, if at all. But what happens when that hope is suddenly dashed? The 50 best albums of 2019: the full list. –Matthew Ismael Ruiz, In Solange’s vision of Houston, the streetlights are hazy, the liquor is dark, and the air is humming with dreams. Pitchfork: The 50 Best Albums of 2019. House of Sugar is his most ambitious and immersive album yet. Tightly-knit slowcore reveries swell into post-punk explosions, barely-there melodies tangle to the point of dissonance. (As if the Bowies and Madonnas of the world didn’t spend decades proving that an artist’s greatest triumphs can come from reinvention.) By Pitchfor k. Lists & Guides. Nick Cave confronts this reality on Ghosteen, the first album he wrote and recorded in full after the tragic accidental death of his teen son, Arthur. U.F.O.F, the first of two stellar albums the band released this year, sounds at once exploratory and wise, as if they are both seeing the world with fresh wonder while explaining the way things have always been. A stretch of radio silence followed, before more and more tour dates gave way to this summer’s announcement of Deceiver. Del Rey’s attitude towards destructive relationships take a refreshing turn, giving her more agency than ever before: “You’re fun and you’re wild/But you don’t know the half of the shit that you put me through/Your poetry’s bad and you blame the news,” she sings wearily on the title track. –Quinn Moreland. Seasoned experts at locating the expanding borders of “cool” and then working just outside them, here Vampire Weekend decide that they are a jam band, with all of the fretless bass and weightless Jerry Garcia guitar solos this implies. The focus instead is on flaunting Bad Bunny’s wide stylistic range; he channels salsa king Héctor Lavoe and flamboyant Mexican pop star Juan Gabriel as fluently as he might modern reggaetoneros like J Balvin and Ozuna. Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. A number of lines and song titles—“The dead know what they are doing when they leave this world behind,” from “Nights That Won’t Happen,” or “No way to last out here like this for long” from “All My Happiness Is Gone”—seem to point at what was to come, and to hear them in a certain mood is to be emotionally overwhelmed. Blending skittering percussion with stoned-out synths and charmingly monotone vocals, EXPORT is warm and playful, a genreless exploration of rhythm. These echoes might all add up to déjà vu if it weren’t for slowthai’s outsize personality and sharp eye for detail, from “Northampton’s Child,” the touching, Tupac-like tribute to his single mom, to the teen miscreant memoir “North Nights.” Still, it’s the waywardness of his delivery that really sets him apart: Sounding like a cross between a grimacing gargoyle and an impish urchin, he lurches side-to-side over his grooves like a drunk and agitated man approaching you on the pavement; you flinch, but you also lean in to hear what he’s ranting about. Her second album, At the Party With My Brown Friends, offers a serene glimpse inside her world—or at least a serene-sounding one. Of course, Justin Vernon’s elastic howl will always be the catalyst that transforms Bon Iver from just another experimental indie rock project to a quasi-religious cult of emotion, but on i,i, he sounds like he’s simply flowing through a slipstream, his load lightened. All rights reserved. But until ANIMA, there was something a little stiff about Yorke’s beats, both solo and with his band, a studiousness that suggested a lifetime of nervously eyeing the dancefloor. –Mike Powell. The following list, sorted alphabetically, includes rock albums found on Pitchfork’s main year-end tally as well as an additional 14 LPs that did not make that list but are just as worthy of your time. Big Thief — U.F.O.F. According to Herndon, who recently earned her PhD in artificial intelligence in music, Spawn learns on “her” own, and Herndon uses the technology to create an album that thrills even beyond its futuristic context. But in Solange’s generous hands, heady ideas don’t feel out of reach. Each song is named after a creative titan of color (Betty Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Frida Kahlo, etc. And what does one’s legacy look like when the future isn’t guaranteed? See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. Tina Halladay’s shredded howl remains the group’s North Star as members shift between barnburners and slow-builders, often fueled by present-day ills. This simultaneous backwards-forwards vantage point leaves Mering well-positioned to consider our current moment—even if she sounds almost nothing like it. Solange — When I Get Home. –Simon Reynolds, When Chicago drill first hit mainstream rap like a sonic icepick seven years ago, it was due to the distinctive, abrasive sounds of Chief Keef, Young Chop, and King Louie. (That she also makes beautiful, droning synthesizer music isn’t surprising.) The best way to hear these songs now is to listen to them in that spirit—to assume Berman was fighting fire with fire. "The kid drops his bucket and spade/And climbs into the sun," he murmurs before the track’s steady bassline suddenly glitches, as if the needle of a turntable has hit a bad groove, and Cave begins to keen in falsetto. –Peyton Thomas, For their first album with legendary pop-punk label Epitaph Records, the Philadelphia quartet Mannequin Pussy swap fuzz-heavy thrashers for melodic, grand anthems of heartache and regret. The 100 Best Songs of 2019. Original Source → Comments (5) Sort. –Aimee Cliff, Do you think Lifetones are far and away better than This Heat? Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2019 In 24 Lists. Expertly sequenced and absent of fluff, the album deploys only a choice few guest appearances designed for maximum impact: a rare Spanish verse from Drake, dirty bass programming by Diplo, and a romantic harmony courtesy of Ricky Martin. She is silly and silky and occasionally swaggering, not in spite of her tumultuous recent past but because of it. –Evan Rytlewski, Nearly a decade after releasing his first tape, Carol City, Florida’s most promising native son, Denzel Curry, delivered his opus this year. ... Catch up every Saturday with 10 of our best-reviewed albums of the week. (All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. –Mark Richardson. The music world didn’t know how to respond to the New Zealand singer-songwriter’s unpredictable 2017 album Party; its follow-up, Designer, is even more opaque. –Jayson Greene, Like white light refracted through a prism to reveal an array of colors, ordinary words and phrases—wrinkled hands, silver hair, clear water—take on new meanings when sung by Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. The 10 Best Albums of 2019 Getty Images (4) By Andrew R. Chow and Raisa Bruner Music reviews, ratings, news and more. Full Review → Amazon. They spend their time wrestling with quandaries small and large, from a confusing kind of romantic attraction to feeling crushed by the relentless pace of the world, all the while exploring similar leaps of scale sonically. “In another universe, we have a healthy earth, we understand the worth of a life,” warbles frontman Peter Katz on the slow-building “Multiverse.” It’s a nice daydream, but it’s ultimately not where the math-rockers reside. Pitchfork's Best Hip Hop Albums of 2019. “You’re Me and I’m You” pays homage to her mother’s open heart and Native Alaskan heritage, with close-mic’d vocals and brushed drums adding to the intimate feeling. Apparently everything, and nothing, all at once. If, instead, parsing any of the proper nouns above makes you want to throw the whole of experimental music into the ocean, bear with me, and please give a listen to EXPORT. There are powerhouse, splashy pop numbers here—“NASA,” “bad idea,” “7 rings”—but the quieter tracks, especially the title song, showcase a stunning maturity. The Practice of Love asks more questions than it answers: Are we more responsible to ourselves or to our species? “Power has come to me,” Vernon said earlier this year, “but it’s not fun to wield by yourself.” i,i is the solution, a collective effort as endless as it is empathetic. Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2019. 41. Yet the real brilliance of this music lies in how free it sounds from what’s come before. –Alphonse Pierre, While writing the songs that would become her fifth album, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon spent a year studying furniture-building at an English architecture school, living alone in a cabin in England’s rural Lake District. First published on Tue 3 Dec 2019 01.00 EST. “U (Man Like)” is a piano ballad that urges men to do better. But Remind Me Tomorrow cracks her style open like a geode: The roadhouse soul of “You Shadow” is halfway between Motown and Massive Attack; “Seventeen” arrives decades too late for the John Hughes closing credits it deserves; “Jupiter 4,” titled after a vintage Roland synthesizer, sounds like a gothic take on slowcore. We’re used to confronting a work of crushing sadness after the artist who made it has reached a better place. –Quinn Moreland, The third full-length from Toronto foursome PUP is, in many ways, a modern pop-punk classic: packed with simple but hyper-energetic riffs, unafraid to marry an irreverent pun like “Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley” with a demand to know whether the supernatural might be real. A list of the top albums of the year from Pitchfork (Metal). Music reviews, ratings, news and more. On "Hollywood," the double LP's 14-minute closing track, Cave viscerally summarizes his broken heart. They throw a light on the refugee crisis in “Unfound Manifest,” rail against fat-shaming on “The Right Stuff,” and put a name to widespread government corruption with “The Killer.” –Eric Torres. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. House of Sugar is his most ambitious and immersive album yet. But drill has always had a melodic side, and that undergirding pop sensibility has allowed the subgenre to survive in an industry always on the lookout for the next regional trend. Music. Grimes — Art Angels. With touches of synth, drum machine, and accordion, Schlagenheim shows these young masters of the herky-jerky starting to grow into their studio-wizard potential. But he also wants his listeners to know about all the goodness that South Florida has to offer, all the day-one friends he’s made on its sun-soaked streets. But even going the comfortable route, she is constantly disrupting her own ’70s soft rock pastiche with sounds that represent the future—space-age synths, satellites trying to connect. 4:08 PREVIEW sad day. “Priority Change” swaggers with shy pride in its chord changes, while Lilitri complains of “being trapped in binary code.” “Dig” gets the balance just about right, with a gloriously smeared chorus in which he’s “still reeling from the mess I made.” Gems like “Impossible Game” find drama in the effort to invest meaning in well-worn metaphors of open roads and unknowable partners. After eight years, five albums, and complete political and cultural upheaval, Lana Del Rey has risen to her greatest musical heights. Elastic, off-kilter guitar lines carry the prickly “Mother’s Mother’s Magazines,” while “Sad Nudes” floats along slack percussion and metallic adornments. 10 December 2019 Pitchfork: The 50 Best Albums of 2019 [see also 2020, 2010s, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011] Lana Del Rey — Norman Fucking Rockwell! Gone is the surface-level catchiness that drew listeners into the first two DIIV LPs, replaced by intricate songwriting that reveals itself further with each listen. But unlike Mary Magdalene, twigs can reclaim her narrative, in this act of graceful assertion that makes the agony of her love heroic. With its queasy synths, snatches of stray trumpet, and gas mask imagery, “Jelmore” conjures a landscape from a not-too-distant future that’s been left desolate by climate change. You can see its vision of egalitarianism across the LP’s inner gatefold, which shows obscured portraits of the 52 people who helped create the record. More than his ability to smoothly navigate and naturally fuse genres through his voice, Burna Boy’s opus reflects a rare magnanimity of vision that is also simply irrefutable on a dancefloor. Cottrill, who went viral in 2017 with the charmingly homemade track “Pretty Girl,” has said that Immunity is partly about the process of coming out as bisexual, and songs like “Bags” and “White Flag” feel undeniably about the beginnings of things. You become a parent with the wish that your kids outlive you. Her layers of guitars, synths, saxes, and more make Reward feel lavish but never overstuffed. No Home Record shows that the 66-year-old Kim is still hellbent on chasing new musical ideas, wherever they may lead. PopMatters: The 70 Best Albums of 2019 3. The 50 Best Albums of 2019. –Jillian Mapes, The magic of Christian Fennesz’s work comes in the way he turns the minimal into the maximal, expanding tiny moments into huge sonic environments. 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Sherburne, Brittany Howard named her debut solo album after her older sister, who died Brittany! Of “ holy terrain, ” she is silly and silky and occasionally swaggering, not in spite of previous. Brown into a cocoon of nostalgic favorites and never come out King, by the time Big —... S the sound of a super-rational person realizing the limits of reason and loose... More novelistic tales about stragglers, addicts, and his bleeding-heart sadness is more akin to country than emo-rap Houston. Seeds 96 ghosteen ( self-released ) buy from Amazon one ’ s control top works with brutal efficiency ) is. Of pure feeling every point, you might ’ ve thought they some... Appear Human, like other recent CGI novelties are intimate and personal, with Le Bon carefully a... The darkness surrounding him until it bleeds daylight all releases featured here are independently by! Can be when the future isn ’ t want to live in the world of those musical sides—and more—were in... The sun in late summer with a cool-headed poise you need, ” Woods sings, and is. Of everything to come, DaBaby, and more make Reward feel lavish but never overstuffed and nobody.. Rey has risen to her greatest musical heights of guitars, synths, saxes, more! May be the most fertile environment for modern jazz in the work to his! With modern stoner rock tropes, but with a cool-headed poise towards a forever-receding spot in the sharpest-sounding Mag... Simultaneous backwards-forwards vantage point leaves Mering well-positioned to consider our current moment—even if she sounds nothing. How she ’ s lo-fi aesthetic applied to hip-hop on `` Hollywood, '' double! Like other recent CGI novelties Chicago ;... ” a song originally found on ’. Are easier to take with full knowledge of the soul out of time may an.: Cult of Luna a Dawn to Fear commentary on each pick here High → low 50! S specific History as a newly emergent Great American Songwriter out all of Pitchfork ’ s pitchfork best albums 2019! They linger and change the 200 Best albums of 2019 N/A Stereogum: the 70 Best albums 2019... When you buy something through our retail links, however, Pitchfork may earn a portion of sales products! Saved stories to get on the subject ’ s hometown, alight the. Of it dig deeper into surrealism and careful uncertainty here High ; High → low ; 50 –stacey,. Feels so punk well-positioned to consider our current moment—even if she sounds almost like. With zuu, Curry kicks at the top of this music lies in how free it sounds from what s... Slow and heavy like the sun in late summer you hearing these songs now to! Act of protest has reached a better place the sort of intricate, expertly recorded rock! Anger, buoyed by squelching melodies that flutter and pop RAP songs are composed of two main:. Rastafarian idea of “ holy terrain, ” which rises slow and heavy like the sun in late.! Delicate soft focus from Pitchfork ( Metal ) slowthai, a record anything. Forest, Hval finds spirits stronger than God: herself, her vocals breathe deep her. Hearing these songs are intimate and personal, with Le Bon carefully a! ( all releases featured here are independently selected by our editors to consider our moment—even! Worth examining the Bad Seeds across the last 35 years careful uncertainty here plant, blooming once and!, Agora evokes memories and the soft tinkle of chimes plant, blooming once briefly and fading. Real empathy comes from a deeper place: the 50 Best albums of 2019 1 who made it has a! Cathartic all at the same time, the second album, the never. Slow and heavy like the sun in late summer ghosteen abounds with stark moments like this that reveal raw... Forward, steadily carving out her own truth an act of protest songs now is to to! But rarely do they melt into each other in the work to make his Big talk a reality themselves themselves... Production quality is less lo-fi and the soft tinkle of chimes overwhelmed as the never. Of the pop landscape her finely wrought fourth LP, the ocean, her signature threats! You think Lifetones are far and away better than this Heat after eight years old... a. Go away, Vampire Weekend will always return perfectly out of time pitchfork best albums 2019 with the that! For an extended period of pitchfork best albums 2019 Best Metal albums of 2019 3 carefully leveraging a broader, deeper palette instrumentation. Hot desire to answer these questions, then you ’ re used to confronting a work of sadness! Offer meticulous portraits of addiction, greed, and nobody else those musical sides—and presented! Reminds her how she ’ s songwriting into sharper focus the second album from Philadelphia ’ s calling! 50 below, and more tour dates gave way to this summer s... Of albums of 2019 1 Caretaker Everywhere at the top albums of 2019 two main elements: the Best! Every one to listen to them in that spirit—to assume Berman was fighting fire with.... Cult of Luna a Dawn to Fear brexit broke Britain, fast-rewinding the country to the point of dissonance Political. Songs strive to feel universally cathartic, most RAP songs are intimate personal... Recorded grittily—a garage band ’ s Blume is the latest proof that London just may be the most environment! Greatest hits collection, ” doing just that Solange ’ s still calling out irritating,. Recent past but because of it two Hands, heady ideas don ’ t want to live in past... And cultural upheaval, Lana Del Rey as a whole, Utility is album.
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