The Year That Was: Best Albums of 2019

I'll confess something: as the years pass, I find myself less invested in Best Of The Year lists. This hasn't stopped me from assembling a rather lengthy list of albums that I enjoyed enough that I would be happy to listen to again at some point in the future, though. Lists are fun, for one, but they're also useful snapshots of what happened in a year. Plus, they're part of the game if you write about art: it's a simple tool to demonstrate your taste and aesthetics, and they can be a useful consumer guide.

What follows a loose order, although after 40 or so, it'd be easy to swap rankings and nobody would be the wiser. If an album isn't here, it's possible I didn't hear it or maybe I forgot it or perhaps I just don't care for the act (Big Thief, Tool, or 100 gecs, who I wish were weirder).

So, without further ado, here are 125 albums from 2019 that I believe are worth a spin or two.

  1. Mike & The Moonpies—Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold

  2. Vampire Weekend—Father of the Bride

  3. Purple Mountains—Purple Mountains

  4. Ex-Hex—It’s Real

  5. Tyler Childers—Country Squire

  6. Tanya Tucker—While I'm Livin'

  7. that dog—Old LP

  8. Miranda Lambert—Wildcard

  9. Yola—Walk Through Fire

  10. Robert Ellis—Texas Piano Man

  11. Charley Crockett—The Valley

  12. Sharon Van Etten—Remind Me Tomorrow

  13. Weyes Blood—Titanic Rising

  14. Comet Is Coming—Trust in the Life-force of Deep Mystery

  15. The Highwomen—The Highwomen

  16. Cactus Blossoms—Easy Way

  17. Taylor Swift—Lover

  18. The Delines—The Imperial

  19. Jon Pardi—Heartache Medication

  20. Dee White—Southern Gentleman

  21. Africa Express—EGOLI

  22. Bruce Springsteen—Western Stars

  23. Kelsey Waldon—White Noise/White Lines

  24. Bill Callahan—Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest

  25. Juliana Hatfield—Weird

  26. The Who—WHO

  27. Amyl & the Sniffers—Amyl & the Sniffers

  28. Lizzo—Cuz I Love You

  29. Billie Eilish--When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

  30. The Raconteurs—Help Me Stranger

  31. New Pornographers—In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights

  32. Jenny Lewis—On The Line

  33. Clinic—Wheeltappers and Shunters

  34. Gruff Rhys—Pang!

  35. The Regrettes—How Do You Love?

  36. Jimmie Vaughan—Baby, Please Come Home

  37. Gary Clark Jr—This Land

  38. Liam Gallagher—Why Me? Why Not.

  39. Sleater-Kinney—The Center Won’t Hold

  40. Jimmy "Duck" Holmes—Cypress Grove

  41. Carly Rae Jepsen—Dedicated

  42. Madonna—Madame X

  43. Robert Forster—Inferno

  44. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood—Servants of the Sun

  45. Kendell Marvel—Solid Gold Sounds

  46. Lauren Jenkins—No Saint

  47. George Strait—Honky Tonk Time Machine

  48. Sturgill Simpson—SOUND & FURY

  49. Jason James—Seems Like Tears Ago

  50. Ty Segall—First Taste

  51. Luke Combs—What You See Is What You Get

  52. Ariana Grande—thank u, next

  53. Trupa Trupa—Of The Sun

  54. Leo Bud Welch—The Angels in Heaven Signed My Name

  55. Runaway June — Blue Roses

  56. FKA twigs—Magdalene

  57. Bruce Hornsby—Absolute Zero

  58. Desert Sessions, Vols. 11 & 12

  59. The Cash Box Kings—Hail to the Kings!

  60. The Black Keys—"Let's Rock"

  61. George Winston—Restless Wind

  62. Bob Mould—Sunshine Rock

  63. Dylan LeBlanc—Renegade

  64. John Paul White—The Hurting Kind

  65. Van Morrison—Three Cords and the Truth

  66. Rhiannon Giddens—There Is No Other

  67. Craig Finn—I Need A New War

  68. Old Dominion—Old Dominion

  69. Hayes Carll—What It Is

  70. Harry Styles — Fine Line

  71. Tank & The Bangas—Green Balloon

  72. Weezer—Black Album

  73. Mercury Rev—Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited

  74. Jeff Lynne's ELO—From Out Of Nowhere

  75. Pixies—Beneath the Eyrie

  76. Olivia Jean—Night Owl

  77. 3X4: The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade

  78. Old Dominion—Old Dominion

  79. Paul Cauthen—Room 41

  80. Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders—Get The Money

  81. Chick Corea—Antidote

  82. Neil Young & Crazy Horse—Colorado

  83. Lula Wiles—What Will We Do

  84. Chris Stamey & the ModRec Orchestra—New Songs for the 20thCentury

  85. Beck—Hyperspace

  86. The Hold Steady – Thrashing Thru The Passion

  87. Brittany Howard—Jamie

  88. The National—I Am Easy To Find

  89. Camila Cabello—Romance

  90. Maren Morris—GIRL

  91. Charli XCX—Charli

  92. Juliana Hatfield—Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police

  93. Kim Gordon—No Home Record

  94. Cody Jinks—After the Fire

  95. Cody Jinks—The Wanting

  96. Jon Regen—Higher Ground

  97. Geraint Watkins—Rush of Blood

  98. Iggy Pop—Free

  99. Black Midi—Schlagenheim

  100. Whitney – Forever Turned Around

  101. Stephen Malkmus—Groove Denied

  102. Spiral Stairs—We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized

  103. Theon Cross—Fyah

  104. Pete Yorn—Caretakers

  105. Midland—Let It Roll

  106. Chris Shiflett—Hard Lessons

  107. Rodney Crowell – Texas

  108. The Bird and the Bee—Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 2: Van Halen

  109. Robert Randolph & The Family Band—Brighter Days

  110. Willie Nelson—Ride Me Back Home

  111. Jenny Tolman—There Goes The Neighborhood

  112. Sugar Ray—Little Yacthy

  113. Black Pumas—Black Pumas

  114. Reba McEntire—Stronger Than The Truth

  115. Dale Watson—Call Me Lucky

  116. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram—Kingfish

  117. Coldplay—Everyday Life

  118. Lana Del Rey—Norman Fucking Rockwell!

  119. Betty Who—Betty

  120. Ryan Bingham—American Love Song

  121. William Tyler—Going West

  122. Jessica Pratt—Quiet Signs

  123. Royal Trux—White Stuff

  124. Thomas Rhett—Center Point Road

  125. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real—Turn Off The News, Build A Garden