Albums of The Year 2019 – the Top 50 

as chosen by LTW Websites* regular writers & contributors.  

*LTW print magazine Top 50 is completely different – separate set of writers…

listen to the top 50 albums below whilst you read the list!

 

 

  1. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen  (Bad Seed Ltd)

Ghosteen draws you into its own world.  The vocals are rich and gorgeous. He has never sung better and the vocals are intimate and emotional. You can hear the cracks in his voice and glimpse into his charred soul and feel the moments of beauty or religious sensitivity in its mournful creaks.

The album is elegiac,  atmospheric and it subtle waves of sound and atmospheres combine to pull you into this world. Cave’s voice switches from his pulpit sermon deliveries  quavering with emotion and those typically pictorial lines that are full of dark meaning to an unexpected falsetto to simple anguish or flickers of dark humour.  (John Robb – full review)

2.  John – Out Here On The Fringes  (Pets Care records)

For those who don’t know, John are a two-piece blast of punk from Crystal Palace. They’re both called John. By day, one is a chef, the other is a decorator. By night they make a huge incendiary racket and this release is powerful as fuck. They make Royal Blood and Slaves sound like fuckin’ Abba.  said Wayne Carey  Full LTW review 

3.  Girl Band – The Talkies  (Rough Trade)

The Talkies is a concrete slab of horror and humour. It is an album that is grimy and majestic. Beautiful in its ugliness. It seems haunted by demons yet also also a sense gallows humour. Listening to The Talkies is a life-affirming experience as it not only allows you to get that vital sense of someone understanding the noise within your own head it also tells you that it is ok to feel this way as long as you channel it properly and use it for positive ends.  (Simon Tucker – Full LTW review)

4.   Fontaines DC – Dogrel   (Partisan Recordings)

They don’t declaim angrily, pushing buttons to ignite fury; they don’t mouth platitudes to earn fist-pumping salutes from the easily pleased: these songs, rooted in the romance of the Irish experience – misery and melancholia, resilience and resistance – create an impressionist portrait of their hometown. Fontaines could not come from anywhere except Dublin, even without the accent. They’re the musical equivalent of a perfect pint of Guinness, their songs drawn, like all great art, from the world around them, enhanced by the imagination of the people creating them. Authenticity is the key.  (Tim Cooper – full LTW review)

5.   Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – Oh Really, What’s that Then? ( Trapped Animal)

Maybe the (comparison) is only superficial; androgyny, alienation and the intro to Hard Times… Freeman has the potential to be a Bowie like figure for the future, as they evolve and make records even better than this, and given access to a bigger budget, they will. For now, this is an album which anyone who values mere pop music as a life-affirming art-form and a salve for the soul needs to hear.  Between thought and expression lies a lifetime.  (Ged Babey)  Interview and  LTW Review

6.   Sunn O))) – Life Metal (Southern Lord)

Life Metal is gorgeous. It is playful and destructive. Light of touch but heavy with intent. Life Metal is the sound of a refreshed band opening up new avenues for themselves and for their sound. Life Metal sings to the gods whilst getting cosy with demons. Life Metal is threatening yet inclusive and is a pitch perfect display of how a band can walk a tightrope of duality within their art.  (Simon Tucker – Full LTW review )

7.   Membranes – What Nature Gives… Nature takes Away 

“This is the pinnacle of our long and strange journey. This album is steeped in the powerful forces of nature and an underlying emotional undertow that is dark and brooding bass driven postpunk with the epic swirl of the choir and a diversity of sounds that takes you on a trip. I put my life into this album musically, lyrically and emotionally,” says John Robb (taken from here)   A great review in the Quietus here.

8:  Girls In Synthesis – Pre/Post

“This isn’t rock’n’roll, it’s a matter of life and death. This isn’t music, it’s a constructive alternative to suicide. This isn’t entertainment it’s exorcism. Of course it’s fucking political.” review

9:  The Specials – Encore

“…embrace the effort these guys have made to make a brilliant album that keeps them grounded yet retaining what they aimed to do in the first place. Give us a message through music…” review

10: Slowthai : Nothing Great About Britain

“A unique take on modern hip hop and grime that takes it to the next level.” Wayne Carrey’s review

11.   The National : I Am Easy To Find 

Shit, We don’t appear to have reviewed this album….

12.    Miss June: Bad Luck Party  

“Whatever they are putting in the water in the Southern Hemisphere is working. Yet another Antipodean band comes up with the goods as New Zealand punks Miss June unleash their defiant debut album, Bad Luck Party, on the unsuspecting masses.”

(LTW Review)

13:  Blue Orchids: The Magical Record Of Blue Orchids (Tiny Global)

“As the world crumbles around us in 2019 it’s a welcome journey into inner space, a retreat into the self, the centre of your mind… via the Third Eye….” review

14: Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow

“proof that good things really do happen to those who wait”  LTW review

15: Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) Conducted By Krzysztof Penderecki

“Beth Gibbons delivers the performance of her career to date.” Simon Tucker’s review

16: Doctors of Madness: Dark Times

“It’s a wonderful piece of work that adds to the legacy of a great band and also serves as an angry riposte to the way the world is today.” review

17  Amyl & The Sniffers – S/T 

…the band have honed and sharpened the attack of their debut EPs. The songs are full of confidence. Short sharp shots of adrenalin-fused punk rock.    (Nathan Whittle Review )

18     Deux Furieuses : My War is Your War

Deux Furieuses are exciting of that there is no doubt. Thorns kicks and roars, Let Them Burn unleashes anger at the horror of Grenfell and, Wired To Hate responds to the London Bridge knife attacks with a ruthless sincerity.  (Paul-Scott Bates review)

19    Black Midi :  Schlagenheim

The sound of Black Midi is tight, but the ideas are fluid. Rhys Delany review

 20   The Murder Capital :  When I Have Fears

Less is also more. For all the harsh brutality there is always a resetting of the equilibrium, a beautiful openness and gentleness on several tracks.   (Neil Hodge – full review )

 21   Sleaford Mods: Eton Alive

“the album where they swagger into the league of UK alternative culture greats.” Simon Tucker’s review.

22.  Mark Lanegan : Somebody’s Knocking    preview

23  Peter Perrett :  Humanworld    review

24  Starcrawler : Devour You      review

25  Slow Faction :  Unilateral Declaration Of Independence    review and interview

26  Bat For Lashes : Lost Girls   review 

27  Tenement & Temple : Self-titled    review

28  Sleater-Kinney : Center Won’t Hold

29  John Howard : Cut The Wire  review

30   Deja Vega  : Deja Vega   review

31  Shortparis Так закалялась сталь (Thus the Steel Was Tempered)  Live review

32  Radio Europa: Community is Revolution      review

33  The Total Rejection : Everybody Knows What You Don’t Know   review

34  Carter Tutti Void : Triumvirate  review

35   Helen McCookerybook – Green 

36   Prince Fatty – In the Vipers Shadow   review

37  Hurtling – Future From Here    review 

38  Earth – Full Upon Her Burning Lips   Live review

39  The Comet Is Coming -Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

40  Sam Fender   Hypersonic Missiles  Review

41 Jowe Head :  Widdershins   Review 

42  Tom Rafferty   More Guitars    Review 

43  Jenny Lewis – On the Line   Live Review

44  Metronomy  -Forever    Live Review 

45  New Model Army – From Here    Review 

46  Armoured Flu Unit  -Crusading Nations      Review 

47  Hot Chip   –  A Bathful of Ecstasy           Live Review 

48  Sanction This – Sanction This      review 

49  Adventures of Salvador – Welcome To Our Village    review 

50  Devin Townsend – Empath  review

 

 

Compiled from votes from John Robb, Phil Newall, Melanie Smith, Cazz Blaze, Nigel Carr, Simon Tucker, Ged Babey, Andy Duke, Ian Canty, Wayne Carey, Nathan Brown, Arash Toshabi, Cassie Fox, Paul Scott-Bates, Mike Ainscoe, Joe Whyte, Christopher Lloyd, Nathan Whittle, Mark Ray, Elliot Simpson, Ian Corbridge, Tim Cooper, Gus Ironside, Paul Grace, Keith Goldhanger, Neil Hodge. 

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. There is a glorious punkrock revival in Australia. Maybe it was there always, don’t know Check Bad//Dreems, Pist Idiots, The Chats…

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