I was listening to one of the albums I’ll be listing here the other night and I thought about writing about it alone, just because it’s so awesome. Then I was like, “let me write about the ones I can recall from memory”. So that’s what I’m doing. 2019 is just about halfway through and I’ve listened to a lot of new music. I know I’ll probably be leaving a few out here and this is by no means a definitive “best of” list, but instead it’s a highlighting of the albums that come to mind easiest and therefore are likely to be among the strongest releases I’ve encountered this year! In no particular order:
Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
After a few initial spins I let this one alone to breathe a while. It was, and still isn’t as good as her previous album Emotion, which is truly a pop masterpiece. But Dedicated is still a damn good album. She didn’t disappoint with this effort and as always, I look forward to more from Carly Rae in the future.
Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water
I love this album, just like I love every other album of hers. She makes a better one each and every time. Incredibly happy to see her return after a troubling few years. She’s amazing.
Soilwork – Verkligheten
Absolutely stunning. This is a band that I’ve been a fan of for many years now and I think their entire catalog is great, except for their 2007 album Sworn To a Great Divide which is disappointing in its songwriting. That’s their only weak one though. I’ve seen it before with other bands and well, who knows what the circumstances were around that album (the band themselves would know, obviously haha) but it definitely reflected on that record and well that’s what came of it. But let me not dwell on that one, and instead get back to Verkligheten! This is probably their best album since A Predator’s Portrait. I mean, it’s hard to compare their albums to each other because they bring in a lot of different approaches with each one and offers a listener something unexpected each time. That’s part of why I love this band so much. This album is just so well written, well produced, it’s such a pleasure to listen to. Super strong and one of my favourite albums of the year!
Glen Hansard – This Wild Willing
I mentioned this one in a much shorter write up when it was released. I’m a big fan of Hansard, and have been ever since I saw the movie Once where he and Marketa Irglova wrote and performed so much awesome music. In his latest album he delivers something very different from his previous work. It’s darker, more spacious, much more involved instrumentally and very subdued vocally. A big surprise but a welcome one. Impressive!
Gfriend (여자친구) – 여자친구 The 2nd Album ‘Time for us’
One of my very favourite kpop groups! Great vocals and just straight up good pop songs. I love their classier kind of sound on their newest output. Outstanding in many aspects.
A few other necessary mentions:
Twice (트와이스) – Fancy You
BTS (방탄소년단) – Map of the Soul: Persona
Blackpink (블랙핑크) – Kill This Love
All k-pop, all phenomenal.