The first time I did one of these lists was in 2009. I’ve still got them over on my old tumblr. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to port them over to this blog in 2020. I also said that last year, so we’ll see. As with every year, this is a list of my favorite albums discovered over the course of 2019. I realized while putting this list together that I need to find some new ways of discovering the kind of music I like. I’m open to suggestions; particularly of the hard rock/metal and folk/Americana varieties. That being said, I still managed to stumble upon some great stuff.
10. Tool – Fear Inoculum
It’s hard to identify a favorite track or say what exactly I like best about this album, but it’s got the feel of a film score and that makes it great to write to.
9. Bishop Briggs – Church of Scars
I was drawn to this record by her song “River.” The music has some great texture and movement to it. And it’s just her debut, so she’s definitely one to watch out for. Shout out to Church of Scars being the most bad-ass album title on this list.
8. Primal Fear – Best of Fear
My friend Lindsay turned me on to these guys because of our shared love of Gamma Ray. I’m not usually a Greatest Hits guy, but this is a solid collection and it was a great place start.
7. Ben Platt – Sing to Me Instead
I found this by way of playing videos from Dear Evan Hansen. There are some great songs on here, and I’ve got a soft spot in my soul for songs about queer love and relationships. Ben Platt has a beautifully emotive voice, and I look forward to checking out what he does in the future.
6. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
I’ve always loved Placebo’s cover of “Running up That Hill” so I decided to check out the original. I was not disappointed. I’m not sure the that the rest of Kate Bush’s discography vibes with me, but this one struck a good balance between the eccentric and accessible.
5. P!nk – Hurts 2B Human
P!nk always delivers on singles, but her albums can be hit or miss for me. I thought his was one of her more solid efforts. I like the experimentation with different styles, and I’ve always had a soft spot for sad pop songs. “90 Days” is probably my favorite track.
4. Baroness – Gold & Grey
Another solid effort from Baroness. I love the addition of Gina Gleason on vocals. John Dyer Baizley painted another gorgeous album cover, and delivers the fantastic lyrics I’ve come to expect. This was a good note for the color series of albums to end on.
3. Patty Griffin – Flaming Red
I’ve been a fan of Patty Griffin ever since Blair recommend her to me. Living with Ghosts has become one of my favorites over the years. I’ve jumped around on her discography and initially skipped this one because of the glossy production. I wasn’t disappointed when I circled back around. I debated between listing this one or 1,000 Kisses on this list. Both have great songs, but as a whole I enjoyed Flaming Red more.
2. Collective Soul – Blood
Collective Soul put out their best album in years with Blood. It was easily my favorite since 2007’s Afterwords. It’s short, simple, and to the point. It’s got a little bit of everything I’ve always liked about them. I never skip a track when I put it on.
1. Rival Sons – Feral Roots
My friend Matt turned me on to these guys. We saw them live back in April and they put on a great show. This was an easy choice for the top spot on this list. It’s a great bluesy, riff-driven, rock album with some super catchy tunes.
Some of the albums worth mentioning that didn’t quite make the cut.
Veruca Salt – American Thighs
Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing
Fefe Dobson – Fefe Dobson
Caliban – Gravity
Every year there’s a few albums that find their way back from my past in powerful ways. I did this for the first time in 2018, and I’m realizing this year that I could probably do a full list of 10 here. But I’m a stickler for format, so here’s four that rose to the top of the pack.