Remind Me Tomorrow was a grown-up record that didn’t sound jaded. Imagine that. This was an album soaked in compassion. With gossamer touch and cinematic scope, it was a three-dimensional, fever-dream portrait that travelled that full gamut of love, loss and grief before concluding: “Peace will come”. Best bit: The moment, midway through ‘Spin Girl, Let’s Activate!’, when the tempo woozily slows, before gearing up again as the exhilarating piano riff kicks in. Riotous anthem ‘Spin Girl, Let’s Activate’ was a battle cry for dancefloor dwellers, while ‘Power to the People’ – which sampled chanting activists and audio from a ’80s ACT UP rally – was a glorious protest song. Why not submit your album into our 2020 Album of the Year competition. Jack Barnett’s vocals, conversational yet epic, add their own particular drama. Her love for it is infectious. The artwork for Vampire Weekend’s fourth album is pure Windows 97 ClipArt, earnest United Colors of Benetton graphics, CD-era prosperity in its prominent positioning of Sony’s label. It’s a body of work that’s comforting and heartening in the way a journey towards enlightenment should be, but it’s also challenging, full of ambivalence and irresolvable confusion. Witness André 3000 appearing on the soulful opening track ‘Come Home’ for proof of his pulling power now. For posterity: “Goddamn, man-child / You fucked me so good that I almost said ‘I love you.” Oof. With appearances from Danielle Haim and Steve Lacy and no musical stone unturned, the band made sure to sidestep expectations. That was the secret of ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’, a 17-track effort built for streams and listeners’ own personal curation. Much as Kacey Musgraves broke open country songwriting in 2018 with the love-bombing body high of Golden Hour, Sturgill Simpson casts himself as the genre’s outlier in 2019. WR, In a nutshell: The cult star’s avant-pop years were leading here. Best bit: That drop, 17 seconds into ‘In Degrees’. New ground … Carrie Brownstein, left, and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney. In her intimate, personal lyrics, she gave empathetic reassurance to those who needed it, the incidents she recounted – from being saved from suicide by a friend on ‘Alewife’ to feeling like a burden in a relationship on ‘I Wouldn’t Ask You’ – becoming beacons to cling onto. Naughty Denzel. Our aim is to highlight the trad recording industry and to showcase the large amount of albums that are released each year in the trad/folk music genre. On ‘Sherbet Sunset’, though, she also made herself vulnerable, laying bare her personal struggles: “Posing like my life is perfect, really it’s the opposite / Lately I been down a lot / I talk to no one about it.”. LS Read the full review. NME said: ‘MAGDALENE’ is an album about rebuilding after collapse… By its close, FKA twigs is an unstoppable force of nature. There’s potential in classicism yet ... King Princess. CROSSWORD CLUE: Her “Girl” won the 2019 CMA for Album of the Year: 2 wds. There’s a musicality to his delivery that suggests a man considering one side of the argument, then the other – but ultimately there is little equivocation as he condemns institutional racism, needless violence, and the difficulty of social mobility: “We’re Kunta Kintes in some Cuban links / The Balenciagas didn’t blend us in.” BBT Read the full review. Whirling a blade around on-stage, the razor-sharp edge whizzing within inches of her body, Twigs was putting on a killer performance. On 18 May 2019, music fans in the UK took a look at Twitter and promptly lost their shit. Like Caroline Polachek, Hannah Diamond and so many others this year, Amber Bain uses super-synthetic electropop and soft rock to say much rougher, grittier truths. ‘Morbid Stuff’ was joyous and positive – a handbook to help you get by. By playing the jester, he became the voice of a British generation at the turn of a turbulent decade. “Fuck a fake smile,” Grande sang on ‘Fake Smile’, “If I’m hurt, I ain’t gonna lie about it.” It was something of a mission statement for ‘thank u, next’ as a whole. But, backed by a new troupe of musicians (including, Sharon Van Etten, ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ (Jagjaguwar), ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’ (EQT Recordings), The statesman of grime puts an arm around the youth, It’s been a helluva year for the London rapper, who starred in the. CA, In a nutshell: The soundtrack to your 2019 pub brawl. 2019’s not been great – in fact, things haven’t been great for a while – and Richard Dawson’s album suggests it’s not going to get any better in 2020. The strongest tracks, though, are when he slinks softly around guests Travis Scott and RosalÍa. BBT Read the full review. Music is filled with no shortage of characters proclaiming how “mad, me” they are, so it’s rare and delightful to come across a genuine oddball. On ‘Map Of The Soul: Persona’, they used the psychological theories of Carl Jung to explore ideas of identity (the riff-fuelled rap-rock of ‘Intro: Persona’) and delved into Greek mythology with the swaggering ‘Dionysus’. Tracey backed up that killer quote on the likes of the stuttering ‘Doing It’, but elsewhere explored dancehall (the Not3s-featuring ‘Butterflies) and even a little country rap (the fabulous ‘Country Star’). Music reviews, ratings, news and more. Hold my can, lads, I’m going in. Billie Eilish, ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ (Darkroom). Unburdened by modish musical trends – no guests, no genre crossovers – it was a feat of immersive beauty, the kind of record you might put on an old-fashioned stereo, dim the lights and sit through in one indulgent sitting, the better to appreciate its three-dimensional production washing over your skin like a gong bath. Bring Me knew they’d get stick from metal purists when they went experimental with their sixth album, and they did it anyway. Her production choices (she co-produced the album) made the feelings in her words palpable, be it through the impenetrable wall of auto-tune on ‘Closer To You’ to the dizzying distortion on ‘Sofia’. Polachek explores and is often overcome by this new reality, reflecting her sense of discovery in choruses that loop like Escher staircases (Door) and vocal runs so startling (Ocean of Tears) they seem to suggest the invention of entirely new emotions. RD, In a nutshell: Techno’s next superstar has arrived (see Number 18). DS, In a nutshell: The closing of .Paak’s myth-making trilogy of albums. The country artist won the coveted Album of the Year award at the Grammys on Sunday night for her critically acclaimed, genre-bending record (and EW’s pick for Best Album … Jubilant opener ‘You Ain’t The Problem’ saw him shed off old insecurities as he vowed to stop getting in his own way, no longer willing to give in to self-doubt, beaming: “No need to play myself… I used to hate myself… Break out the prison”. Super-saturated and drenched in theatrical flourishes, Post Malone, ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ (Republic Records), It was conceived in divided, aggressive times, and, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1)’ (Warner Bros). BBT Read the full review. Yet it was the perfect ‘Ladbroke Grove’, on which he paid homage to the garage sound he loved as a teenager, that proved AJ Tracey is legendary full-stop. WR, In a nutshell: Rock’s shadow man lays his heart on the line. A breakup record that muses on the nature of relationships without romanticising them, All Mirrors sees Olsen drill down into the damaging power-play of past loves, interrogating how they have made her feel less-than, as well as the self-knowledge and peace their endings have occasioned. The airy production left space around her inspired lyrics. BBT Read the full review. It was, Theresa May was gone. Best bit: When Homme goes full Bowie then full falsetto on closing track ‘Easier Said Than Done’. “A lot of this record is about how you get to an age where you feel confident in yourself and comfortable in your own skin,” he told NME. BBT Read the full review. Cottrill found fast fame with her track ‘Pretty Girl’, which went viral on YouTube, but ‘Immunity’ proved that she was so much more than a lucky wannabe. Answer: With an album filled to the brim with personality, powerhouse vocals and self-love. By blending the trudging splendour of slowcore with country melodies and the kind of genuinely oddball artistry that doesn’t second guess or try to make things fit, (Sandy) Alex G remains one of America’s most underrated songwriters. Key track: ‘Lesley’, a twisting, turning, 11-minute opus that sees Dave encounter a pregnant woman trapped in an abusive relationship. The slow, meditative sound echoes the album’s themes of acceptance; relative calm after the angry, anguished Skeleton Tree. Fontaines DC’s debut album arrived in the thick of a post-punk revival that birthed a rich seam of furious, socially conscious guitar music. LS Read the full review. The Practice of Love is Jenny Hval’s most ambient album, an eerie, euphoric spell sustained by new-age aura and trance beats. Dense layers of fluttering gauze ... Amber Bain. It was a fitting introduction to her beautifully immersive fourth album. Vote for a … See the list of GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees for the Album Of The Year. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. There was an honesty and romanticism to ‘Dogrel’ that defined the record, and when Chatten snarled “Is it too real for ya?” on ‘Too Real’, irony was refreshingly thrown out the door in favour of true, cast-iron connection. Whether in grunge ballads (Jenni), front-porch blues (Orange) or the ambient indie-folk that sways reed-like throughout, the mood is as melancholy as it is beautiful. Beyond music, 2019 saw her become the kind of cultural force that appears once in a generation, using her platform to speak out against body-shaming, online bullying and conveying her faith in the planet’s youth to combat the climate crisis. 3. Physicality was absolutely key to Twigs’ art, and she wielded it like a weapon. As with Sleater-Kinney’s album, there was so much noise around Lover that it was hard to parse the record itself on release. LS Read the full review. Those who assumed that Sharon Van Etten would be forever consigned to the “confessional singer-songwriter” category were proven wrong on her widescreen fifth album. Kitty Empire Read the full review. ‘Charli’ felt like the culmination of those years, and while the mainstream breakthrough she’s long promised still eludes her, this was absolutely worth waiting for. Eilish and her older brother Finneas O’Connell made the record in their bedroom-studio, so there’s little surprise that ‘When We All Fall Asleep…’ acts as diary entries from an anxious generation. The emergence of a new Desert Sessions album in 2019 was something of a surprise. A future cult classic ... (Sandy) Alex G. Modern classics ... Durand Jones and the Indications. There was less of the braggadocio that peppered her previous work. Tyler was back. The 20-year-old – born Mikaela Straus – released a debut album filled with louche balladry that, despite her New York pedigree, is plump with west coast studio richness. There were at least three tracks in here that you’d enjoy and put on a summer playlist, and three you’d skip. Kathryn Bromwich Read the full review. BBT Read the full review. After Clairo’s lo-fi, bedroom-pop hit Pretty Girl went viral, there was the risk that her ascent to pop proper would obliterate the intimacy that made her appeal in the first place. Key track: ‘Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot’, Best bit: Peggy’s attempt to smoke out basic bitches with ‘BasicBitchTearGas’, a cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. The Cali rap-crooner’s fourth continued in the vein of previous records ‘Malibu’ and ‘Oxnard’ in charting his rise from ambitious young buck to star. He gives more space than ever before to his vocalists, but he could never become a producer of straightforward backing tracks – his tumbling, symphonic funk is as impetuous and psychedelic as ever. Miss Universe doesn’t really need the concept-album framework, with its satirical interstitial muzak from the supposedly caring corporation Wway Health. Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? They don’t make ‘em like Michael Kiwanuka any more: the north London singer-songwriter makes lush, politicised soul that harks back to genre’s ‘70s golden era. Best bit: When he steps away from the horror-core stylings of ‘Horror Flick’ to assure us that he’s a “cool guy” who’s “lovely with parents”. This allowed them to explore the full capabilities of storytelling from a place of humour, comfort and curiosity. Thomas Smith, NME said: “A memorable and game-changing debut record, with Billie’s disruptive streak front and centre. Collabs with, Curry’s triumphant second studio album reminded us of the greatness within his home state of Florida – especially on the booming ‘CAROLMART’. For additional information about bands formed, reformed, disbanded, or on hiatus, for deaths of musicians, and for links to musical awards, see 2019 in music . He asked himself – and the listener – honest questions about gender and sexuality. These albums won’t change the world, but they do offer us a different perspective and help us to stand in someone else’s shoes for little while. But its status in the band’s catalogue is beyond reproach. The record continued the growth and self-actualisation evident on 2017’s ‘Flower Boy’ and showed us the artist Tyler the Creator had been trying to become for years. With voices and personalities like Billie Eilish’s, the next decade might turn out all right after all, y’know? Ultimately, ’Madame X’ represented an eclectic, masterful new phase that stood tall amid her inimitable back catalogue. Slowthai wryly evokes the forgotten parts of the country through snapshots of working-class life: tea and biscuits, hiding drugs, fallouts with a stepfather, EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell. LS Read the full review. Best moment: The glittery pop waltz of ‘Crazy’’s chorus. Super-saturated and drenched in theatrical flourishes, Angel Olsen’s ‘All Mirrors’ skewered heartbreak with brutal precision. ALTERNATIVE. He’s clearly an old soul at heart: there’s a whiff of, Sam Fender, ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ (Polydor), He may have been billed as guitar music’s great next hope, but, Map Of The Soul: Persona’ (Big Hit Entertainment), In a year that saw BTS go from stars to superstars, the Korean seven-piece proved that they had the substance to back up the stats. The other Dublin post-punk success story of 2019 alongside Fontaines DC, The Murder Capital have a bit more monochrome hauteur – but there’s still a touch of lairiness. Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2019 Mike Flynn Thursday, November 21, 2019 The ultimate guide to the year's best new jazz albums as voted for by Jazzwise's peerless panel of reviewers – including the complete original Jazzwise reviews While Hungry Child puts an offbeat spin on the sounds you might have heard pulsing from a motorway underpass 30 years ago, the vibe on A Bath Full of Ecstasy is less about revisiting the hedonism of some lost youth than its tender idealism, creating a bright, tender, often ballady idyll in a wretched age. Question: how could Lizzo follow up the total earworm that was ‘Juice’? We'll be revealing the top 19 bit by bit, and on Saturday we'll reveal our Album Of The Year for 2019. Crescendo album of the year 2019 ‘ Bottom Bitch ’ her talent is here for the album of the year: 2.... Record about its creator picking up the colour in Anything ’, became! Hand – not least from the man singing a lot of feelings and famous friends and tried figure. 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