The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2019 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
I feel I didn’t get to as many as I would have liked as the year seem to get away from me. I did spend a lot of time on a few series such as finishing The Billy Idol Series, The Kiss Bootleg Series, the Kiss Box Set 6 Part Series and starting the David Coverdale Series. These consumed a lot of my time. What I am trying to say is I missed a lot.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list (okay, there might be one or two). These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way and some thanks to my kids. So, we might as well get started…
#10 – The Highwomen – ‘The Highwomen’
A Country Super-Group consisting of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires. I have not been digging Country lately, but the women on country rock. I found this to be enjoyable and was really digging the songs “The Highwomen”, a rework of the the Jimmy Webb classic “The Highwayman” as well as “Redesigning Women” and “Crowded Table”. Check them out.
#9 – Rodrigo y Gabriela – Mettavolution
I have a thing for flamenco music and these two do it like no others. Instrumental music with passion, heart and utter talent. For me, it is the perfect music to unwind to after a long hard day. What is really killer about this is the 18 minute cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” as well as songs like the title track “Mettavolution” and “Terracentric”. If you are looking for something a little different, then here you go.
Filled with songs themed around love and heartbreak, this album is actually a breath of fresh air in Jon’s songwriting and such a wonderful change of pace from The Fratellis. When a lead singer steps away from his band, this is how it is done. Magical songs such as “Serenade in Vain”, the piano led “After a While” and the slightly country-tinged “Evangeline”, take you on a musical journey that you never want to leave.
#7 – Lindsey Stirling – Artemis
Lindsey is an accomplished violinist who mixes hip hop, electronica music and many other genres into a classical crossover of brilliance. Mostly instrumental, but two songs with vocals featuring Elle King and Amy Lee who only add another layer of texture to Lindsey’s brilliance. She is someone worth checking out especially on songs like “Underground” and “Artemis”. Talent!!
#6 – James Blunt – Once Upon a Mind
James has a way of crafting beautiful pop songs that hit at the heart of the emotion, thought or problem. He tugs at those heart strings and makes you feel whatever he is feeling. Plus, that unique voice is something to behold. I really dig it. After seeing him in concert and seeing how funny this guy is, I have an even deeper appreciation for his music. Check out “The Truth” and “Cold”.
The album is really strong and its simplicity and brevity is its beauty. Rob seems to be a in a good place in life and this album is a reflection of that. As he is approaching 50, you can hear him be more reflective of the past and yet content with where he is today. It is a good place to be and so is this album…a good place to be. Check out “One Less Day” and “Can’t Help Me Now” to get you going on this one.
This is just a stellar release. I love the blues sound and it is refreshing to hear a new band still find solace in the sounds of old. Almost a throwback of sorts, but still modern and perfect for today. They show me the heart of music hasn’t died even though Pop Radio is certainly trying to kill it. For me, they are breath of fresh air in an ever tainted musical cesspool. Check out “Reaching”, “My Girl Is A Heartbreak” and “Boom Boom Boom”.
#3 – Harry Styles – Fine Line
Harry’s album just came out a couple weeks ago so probably shouldn’t be this high, but my daughter and I listened to quite a lot on a trip to Atlanta and I have to say it is pretty freaking great. The kid is a real talent. I loved the variety, the risks he took and I got into a lot of the songs the best being “Falling”. Also check out “Adore You” and “Watermelon Sugar” and my daughter likes “Sunflower, Vol 6” (not sure what happened to 1 through 5).
Bear Rinehart from Needtobreathe steps out on his own. There is a swagger and confidence in the style and his vocal delivery. I love the 70’s R&B vibes, the grooves and the soul that his heart is pouring out in his music and his lyrics. He made a modern R&B album that plays well today probably as well as it would have played in the 70’s. He has captured a sound that will hopefully resonate with everyone, young and old. Check out “Sure Ain’t”, “Someday Soon” and “Supply & Demand”.
#1 – Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go
Billie might be the only artist on the radio worth listening to as she is doing her own thing, taking risks, paving new ground and the only one doing anything even remotely interesting in Pop music today. This album is AMAZING! If it wasn’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t know who she is, but you should take notice. Hell, even Metal guys are noticing this young lady as I hear her name brought up in so many interviews, she is the IT artist right now. So many great songs including “Bad Guys”, “Bury A Friend”, “Xanny” and my personal favorite “You Should See Me in A Crown”. It is time to take notice if you haven’t already!!
Melanie Martinez – K-12
Melanie’s debut was a game changer and so freaking dark. Well, the star of that album was a girl named Cry Baby and Cry Baby is now in school and all the song titles are school related themes, but the songs are not what you think. Another concept album that goes in so many directions and Melanie crafts another beauty just missing my Top 10. If need your mind blown, give it a try.
Switchfoot – Native Tongue
I love that a band that has been around for over 20 years still has some juice left in them. The album’s message of love was well delivered with a vast variety of sonic tones and styles and kept me interested throughout. The variety of styles I think is what helped make this album so enjoyable as you didn’t know what was going to come next.
David Hasselhoff – Open Your Eyes
I have to say, this thing started out really enjoyable, but that enjoyment faded after 5 songs and faded fast…real fast. I will say it is better than the last couple Michael Bolton albums and that ain’t saying much. There were some great guests such as Elliot Easton, Steve Stevens, Flock of Seagulls, Charlie Daniels, Tracii Guns, to name a handful, but they couldn’t save it.
And there you have it, the final list of my Top Albums of 2019. I didn’t get through as much Non-Rock this year so I apologize for that, but there is some choice ones for you to check out. I hope you enjoyed the list and stay tuned for Top Rock Songs of 2019 coming up on Monday, December 30th. Let me know what albums you dug this year and which ones you didn’t. I like to know that as well. Thanks for stopping by.