As 2019 draws to a close, I realised just how many incredible albums came out this year. Today, I have the tough decision of choosing the top ten, plus some honourable mentions, of course. Now, before I begin, of course this is list is subjective. You might not agree with all my choices, but I would love it if you shared your top albums with me!
Without further ado, here’s number ten:
10: blink-182 – NINE
In at 10, it’s blink’s “NINE”. Now, I’m a lifelong fan, but I absolutely loved this album. Many didn’t find it great, but if you really take the time to listen to it a couple times, the songs start to become awesome. “I Really Wish I Hated You” has the infectious melodies, “Blame It On My Youth” has got the classic Travis Barker beats. The album overall is catchy and I very much enjoyed it.
Top Track: I Really Wish I Hated You
9: Issues – Beautiful Oblivion
Quite simply, Issues smashed it out of the park with this one. Since the departure of Micheal Bohn, I was unsure of the direction the band would go in, but I was not disappointed. “Find Forever” is easily my favourite song on the album. The three singles (Tapping Out, Drink About It, Flexin’) went down well with fans, and the rest of the album delivers the same level of dancibilty, and blends very nicely together to present a funky, swaggering tone.
Top Track: Find Forever
8: Blood Youth – Starve
I was a huge fan of Blood Youth’s first two EPs (Closure, Inside My Head), but not so much of their first album (Beyond Repair), but I was still very much looking forward to this album. They certainly delivered! Starve proves that the band have matured their sound and progressed since those first two EPs. Full of nasty breakdowns and vicious riffs, there is something for everyone. “Waste Away”, “The Answer”, and “Keep You Alive” are the standout tracks, they make any listener want to, quite simply, mosh.
Top Track: Keep You Alive
7: Emarosa – Peach Club
My first realisation when listening to Peach Club was how much Emarosa have evolved since their 2016 release 131. Half the album, (namely “So Bad”), is straight out of the 80s, with the synths and prominent basslines. It is almost impossible not to start subtly dancing in your seat whilst listening to this. Lyrically, the album touches upon a number of deep topics, such as Bradley Walden’s issues with faithfulness in “Comfortable”, and how his mother raised him and his sister alone in “Get Back Up”. Overall, Peach Club is excellent, and absolutely worth a listen.
Top Track: So Bad
6: Bring Me The Horizon – amo
I wasn’t expecting to love this album as much as I do, but it is incredible. Obviously, switching and blending genres is a risky move for larger bands to do, but Bring Me managed to pull it off. Songs like “why you gotta kick me when i’m down?” hold so much power, and the album as a whole brings something to the table for new fans and old. “wonderful life” is honest, yet relatable, and Dani Filth brings the creepy factor in his verse. “i don’t know what to say” is an outstanding closing track, I cannot get enough, the ending with solely just strings is so powerful, and holds so much emotion. It’s clear to see Bring Me The Horizon mean business, and I cannot wait to see where they go in the future.
Top Track: sugar honey ice & tea
5: Lil Peep – Everybody’s Everything
This is probably the odd one out in this mix. But honestly, I couldn’t not include this album. The re-mastering of these tracks adds more “emo”, and with the tragic death of Lil Peep, it only makes the songs hit the listener harder. “I’ve Been Waiting” is especially sad when you consider him and ILOVEMAKKONEN were best friends. The closing track is an acoustic version of “walk away as the door slams”, which is a bittersweet ending, as it could very well be the end of Lil Peep. This album is perfect for those who aren’t really into the rap/trap/mumble rap genre, as it holds down those emo undertones well, and really bridges the gap.
Top Track: Belgium
4: Rammstein – RAMMSTEIN
This was an obvious choice for me, the German powerhouses return after 10 years and blow everyone’s minds. “AUSLANDER” sounds like a stereotypical European Techno song, but is so much more, when this single was released, I listened to it non-stop for days. “DIAMANT” is a somewhat ballad, and is a breather from the rest of the high-energy, high-intensity songs. “PUPPE” was the song that surprised me (and I’m sure many others) the most. Starting out with quiet verses, then suddenly Till Lindemann starts shouting about how he is going to bite/rip a doll’s head off, scary stuff. This album was well worth the 10 year wait.
Top Track: PUPPE
3: The Maine – You Are OK
You Are OK took a while to grow on me, but tracks such as “Slip The Noose” and “I Feel It All Over” are very strong. “Flowers on the Grave” is a beautiful closer, at 9 minutes long, it is gentle and sweet, with the last line (I was on the verge of breaking down, ‘til you came around) leading right back into the opener “Slip The Noose”. The acoustic song Forevermore is heartwarming, and very feel-good, which is what The Maine are good at. “Numb Without You” was a great single, using the electronica genre to blend with their normal sound, created a solid mix, it sounds even better live. “Heaven, We’re Already Here” and “One Sunset” are also two feel-good songs, and I very much enjoyed them, typical The Maine sound, especially with Heaven.
Top Track: Heaven, We’re Already Here
2: Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties – Routine Maintenance
This is an outstanding album. Very powerful, very emotional, and very moving. The opening song, “Lead Paint & Salt Air” sets the extremely depressing tone, but at the same time, has this happy undertone with the Americana instrumentals, a lot of contrast. By far the best song on the album is “Bloodied Up In A Bar Fight”. You can hear the amount of desperation in the vocals as West realises he has no one to turn to after he was attacked in a bar, and leaves even the toughest guy choking up.
I could go on forever about this album, every song is near perfect, and gives the listener a much better insight into West’s life, after 2014’s “We Don’t Have Each Other”
Top Track: Bloodied Up In A Bar Fight
And here we have it. My number one album of 2019, the pressure is on. This was an incredibly tough choice, but ultimately, this album deserves it.
1: Black Futures – Never Not Nothing
Even though all but three songs were already out prior to the release of this album, overall it is fantastic, and flows nicely together. “Youthman”, “Body & Soul”, and “Riches” were easily the strongest songs on the album. The catchy synths combined with the powerful boom of the drums has you in a “Trance” (also a great song). I found myself listening to the album 15 times on the release date without even realising. The lyrics in opener “LOVE” instantly sets the tone for the album, declaring “Ten minutes ’till the end of the world, let’s make love…”, it’s clear that Black Futures are going for the political side of things, which is also seen in almost every other song. Youthman with, “Why you gotta blame it on the youth, man?”, and Riches “…secret to eternal happiness, three easy steps folks…get rich…get rich…and you guessed it, get rich”.
It’s very obvious that Black Futures aren’t just here to make music, they want to spread a message, and they are definitely going about it the right way. This is exactly why it wins my Top Album of 2019.
Sidenote from Ely:
I couldn’t agree more with Black Futures taking the top spot! They TRULY deserve it. I have seen them multiple times throughout the year from supporting Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes, on their own intimate tour and even tearing up the stage at Kendal Calling and let me tell you, no one puts mor effort into their shows than these guys. No matter how big or small the crowd is they ALWAYS put in 110% onstage, they are true showmen that exude passion for music and that shows on their album too. I cant wait to see what they get up to in 2020 I just know I’ll be first in line with Amy!
Top Track: Body & Soul
That was difficult! Now, it would be rude of me to exclude these wonderful albums that also came out this year, so here are my honourable mentions:
1: Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – End of Suffering
2: Jamie Lenman – Shuffle
3: Calva Louise – Rhinoceros
4: Thy Art Is Murder – Human Target
5: Whitechapel – The Valley
Oh man, those are some stellar albums! How many of my choices do you agree with? What would you change? I’m extremely excited to see what albums 2020 brings us.
Leave your top 10 albums in the comments!