Breaking of genre stereotypes and boundaries, 2019 was a transformative year for music. It was exceptional and refreshing to experience music that was not bound to conform to the ‘classic’ sounds. To say which artist and/or album topped the other ones’ better is tricky and messy because we all have our own preferred genres, so instead of picking our favourite albums, we’re sharing the best albums of 2019 according to data collected from faithful music listeners a.k.a you.
This is Scott’s strongest release to date, Astroworld is a depository of ‘trippy’ hip-hop that’s of the gold standard. The album name is inspired by an amusement park in his hometown of Houston; the album art resembles a sunny day at the carnival, sticky, sweaty and sweet, packed with cheap thrills. Experience a rollercoaster ride of sounds with beat changes and genre changes in the middle of songs, coupled with Scott’s sentient voice, this album is the epitome of psychedelic hip-hop - the ultimate Travis Scott experience. Featuring guest stars of pop’s highest ranks like Drake and the Weeknd as well as indie gods Kevin Parker (from Tame Impala) and James Blake, it’s no wonder how well this album made it on the charts.
GENRE: POP/ BLUES ROCK/ COUNTRY
A Star is Born has an ageless vibe whereby current pop-cultural relevance is not required. The third remake of the original 1973 film by David O’ Selznick caught fire when it was released and the soundtrack album transports music listeners on a whirlpool of emotional and affectionate music. The songs are made up of various categories, such as gentle acoustic ballads, strong blue-rockers as well as colourful electro-pop - and save for a digital shake or two on the pop songs that becomes the backbone of the film, this is the blockbuster film soundtracks of decades past.
This pivotal album from Drake is a double album - one side R&B and one side rap, spoiling his fans as well as his detractors with a 90-minute eargasm experience. This split experience allows listeners to get a taste of his versatile ability that ranges over different flows and sounds. Scorpion has become the first album in the streaming era to gain 1 Billion streams only after one week after it’s release. Despite the heavy controversy and drama that clouds this singer/rapper, he will go down as one of the greatest artists of the century. His latest album just hammers home that point, whether you’re a Drake lover or hater. He is a legacy that won’t be denied but debated till the end of time.
GENRE: HIP HOP/ ALTERNATIVE ROCK/ TRAP
“Old Town Road” is a revolutionary track by Lil Nas X that has miraculously affected entire nations, managing to stay at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 11 weeks! This song is so unstoppable, it has lifted country music back into the mainstream as well as become one of the biggest singles - and memes - of all time. However, reflecting back on the album, 7 is a 19-minute EP featuring about 7 songs and 1 remixed version of Old Town Road with Billy Ray Cyrus. Lil Nas X shows admirable versatility in this album, from elements of pop to country to punk rock, Nevertheless, there is plenty of room for growth for this rising star but that didn’t stop this album from becoming one of the top 10 Albums of 2019!
Post’s smash 2017 single “rockstar” featuring 21 Savage sets the tone for Beerbongs & Bentleys. Post Malone is no one-hit-wonder as he’s been ranking on top of music charts all over the globe. His unique style that blends his melodic singing and rap could be the key to the sensational success of his album. Post Malone talks about fake friends, having insane amounts of cash, depression all the while living the best life possible in Beerbongs & Bentleys. Despite the change of subjects, almost all the songs are made up of contagiously catchy melodies that you’d be surprised you enjoy vibing to. Any casual listener of Post Malone would be amazed at this effortless body of work as the album is filled to the brim with hits, with each song effortlessly leading into the other.
Growing up is hard to do. Free Spirit reminds us just how weird it can be. After his mega-hit single ‘Location’, Khalid has been sitting comfortably on the top 100 charts and in this new album, he dives into introspection and explores the state of separation from the facts and practicalities of the real world as well as loneliness. These deep hits are perfect for late-night drives into the dark heart of the soul or just for chilled introspective nights with your homies. Besides that, with singles like Sunflower - the soundtrack for the animated Academy Award movie - Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse- getting more than 800 million streams, you can bet that the other tracks in this album would be nothing short of amazing. This album has definitely earned its spot on the top 10 Albums of 2019.
The theme for Pop in 2019 mainly revolves around spontaneity, whether it's the intensifying feedback loop dances between pop and TikTok or the off-the-cuff language that’s made it way into the biggest pop hits in the decade. However, nobody became a better connoisseur of Pop music than Ms. Grande, whose second album in six months (after Sweetener) translates with immediateness. After the horrible Manchester bombing, mourning after the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and a called-off engagement with Pete Davidson, Arianna Grande gracefully chews life and spits out one of the best albums in this era; tangling sweet melodies with her haunting, powerful vocals as well as meaningful lyrics that every millennial can relate to. This femme fatale is a force to be reckoned with, and this album is only the start of her world domination.
Lover is a captivating, adventurous old-school pop album that is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It is free and unhurried, without fear of a boxed concept or outlook - the perfect representative of Swift at her current most liberated state, basking in the freedom she’s won for her cohort. This album finds an artist known for her rigid adherence to her brand exploring new things and it paints in complex emotional shades of her experiences. Lover is the album where she proves she is a master of it all - from country to synth-pop and even electro-goth; is there anything this American sweetheart can’t do? Lover perfectly wraps up the highlights of her twenties and at the same time shines to the highlights of her next one!
The singles that signified the arrival of this ingenious album were nothing short of spectacular - the arachnophobia triggering of You Should See Me in a Crown; 60s spy thriller theme song mood of Bad Guy; unnerving glam stomp of Bury a Friend - however, fret not as everything else on the album is on par with the singles, if not better. It’s haunting, beautifully created, lacking any filler, packed with finely formed sonic details that birthed hook after hook in each song. This album is everything you didn’t know you needed and you’ll be obsessed with her characteristic whisper-hum singing style. With this thrilling yet astounding effort, Eilish’s album deserves a spot on the top 3 best albums of 2019.
Post Malone has a gift of transforming dreamy darkness into top 40 gold and that’s exactly what he did for Hollywood’s Bleeding. This album may be the catchiest album you’ll hear from 2019, and that includes Taylor Swift! In 50 minutes for 17 songs, his melodic talent and capacity are proven to be significantly more expansive than Young Thug, and every track packed with choruses parallel to legends like Linkin Park. His signature mesh of bitter content and dwindling delivery carries Hollywood’s Bleeding and as much as he’s a master of creation, he’s a master of curating as well - featuring hot names like Young Thug, SZA, Halsey and Future, who bless the album and bring it to an elevated level of eargasm. With this level of almost trap music perfection, it comes to no surprise that there were over 3 BILLION Audio Streams in 2019, aiding it to be crowned at the top of the top albums of 2019.