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Top 40 Albums of 2019 (20-1)

In terms of music, 2019 began with a whimper and ended with a roar. An influx of powerful, innovative works emerged in the latter months, many of which have buoyantly emerged near the top of this list. The 2010’s have been a multifaceted decade of music, and the music in 2019 provided a perfect exclamation point as we head into a new decade. 

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Top 40 Albums of 2019 (40-21)

In terms of music, 2019 began with a whimper and ended with a roar. An influx of powerful, innovative works emerged in the latter months, many of which have buoyantly emerged near the top of this list. The 2010’s have been a multifaceted decade of music, and the music in 2019 provided a perfect exclamation point as we head into a new decade. 

Honorable Mention

Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

Damien Jurado, In the Shape of a Storm

Ezra Furman, Twelve Nudes

Flaming Lips, King’s Mouth

Maxo, LIL BIG MAN

Pharmakon, Devour

Pile, Green and Gray

Pissgrave, Posthumous Humiliation

Joan Shelley, Like the River Loves the Sea

Sacred Paws, Run Around the Sun

Wilco, Ode to Joy

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Top 20 Albums of 2019 (So Far)

2019 has been a toss-up year in terms of music so far. Without any major releases as of yet other than maybe Vampire Weekend or Solange, a batch of new artists have arisen to fill the void. It’s been exciting so far as lesser known musicians have elevated the year with exciting new sounds. Here are some of my favorite albums so far.

(NOTE: All albums on this list were released before July 1st)

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Top 40 Albums of 2017 (20-1)

The most alarming development in the world of music in 2017 (beside the lack of protest music in a time of uncertainty) is the rise of the playlist. In the past few months, publications like The Ringer, LongReads.com, Pitchfork, and The Guardian have posted articles that explored the popularity of pre-made playlists by streaming services and the impact they may have on indie artists and the album as an art form. Sadly, many listeners today would rather go to the one stop shop of a vanilla playlist that rarely strays outside the lines, and as a result, many may never experience the fulfilling experience of hearing a well-crafted album from start to finish.

Fortunately, there are artists still striving to release great albums that require focus and reflection to truly appreciate. On this year’s list you will find many albums that were overlooked by major music websites, and you will also see many of the most prominent names absent. If you’re looking for a list that ignores hype and focuses solely on innovation and art within the form of an album, then this compilation of the best that 2017 had to offer might be just what you’re looking for.

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Top 40 Albums of 2017 (40-21)

 

Honorable Mention:

Converge, The Dusk in Us

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers

Greet Death, Dixieland

Shannon Lay, Living Water

Oddisee, The Iceberg

Pile, A Hairshirt of Purpose

St. Vincent, Masseduction

Kamasi Washington, Harmony in Difference EP

Why, Moh Lhean

Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun

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Top 20 Albums of 2017 (so far)

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In the past, I’ve posted this mid-year list at the beginning of June, but I decided that to truly be a mid-year list, I needed to post it in July. This is list is comprised of some of my favorite albums released between January 1st and June 15th (there is a two week window in June because I didn’t want to put anything on the list that didn’t have time to marinate). 2017 started slowly in terms of great releases, but the past three months have been chock full of great work by both up-and-coming artists and veterans who have returned with outstanding offerings.

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Top 40 Albums of 2016 (20-1)

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I think we can all agree that 2016 was not a great year. From terrorist attacks to deaths of beloved celebrities to the tumultuous presidential election, it’s easy to compile a list of 2016’s lowlights. What has been lost in this sea of let-downs and despair is the amount of great music that was released this past year. Once again, I’ve compiled a list of some incredible albums that hail from a wide range of genres. Give the final 20 a read through and a listen. I’m sure you’ll find something you also enjoy, and maybe you’ll discover something that strayed beyond your listening peripheral in 2016.

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