Mandatory Best of 2019: Ranking the 10 Greatest Music Albums of the Year
2019 proved to be the year of the self-made artist. We kicked off the decade with pop stars that seemed to come from a factory and ended it with a creative bang. From Lizzo’s DNA test to Billie Eilish turning 18 and keeping her clothes on, artists stayed true to their vision, resulting in stiff competition for the best albums of 2019. Somehow, we managed to narrow them down and rank them. All you have to do is keep reading to see who ended up releasing the 10 greatest music albums of the year.
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10. Thom Yorke - 'ANIMA'
What best albums of the year list is complete without the mention of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke? His 2019 album ANIMA gets him back to his roots and making ominous noise that feels like the nicest panic attack you've ever willfully had.
9. Automatic - 'Too Much Money'
We definitely saw Automatic before we'd ever heard of them. The all-female trio opened for glam rock god's Bauhaus' mini-tour this year and for good reason. Their debut album Too Much Money is a new-wave feminist anthem. But it's more than that; it's three awesome women making cool noise you can listen to on repeat while you're geeked out of your mind.
8. DaBaby - 'Kirk'
There's a reason DaBaby's album Kirk hit No. 1 in October. From start to finish, DaBaby sets out to create a wholly cohesive album that showcases what a gifted MC he is. Kirk poises the Southern rapper as one of the hip-hop artists to watch in 2020.
7. Bad Bunny - 'X 100PRE'
It's been said that he who dominates Latin music controls the world. This year that person was Bad Bunny and he showed off his skill for fusing trap, R&B, and reggaeton into a sound that is distinctly his own with X 100PRE. Bad Bunny is an artist who's totally self-actualized, which is what makes X 100PRE one of the best albums of the year.
6. Ariana Grande - 'Thank U, Next'
Being famous isn't all glitz and glamour. Ariana Grande explores the darker side of fame, love, and loss while living under a microscope on her album Thank U, Next. It's a grade-A pop album made by one of the greatest vocalists of modern time and a breakup album about that goofy idiot she dated from SNL.
5. Tyler, The Creator - 'IGOR (A Boy Is a Gun)'
With IGOR (A Boy Is a Gun), Tyler, The Creator showed a sort of refinement to his in-your-face antics. It's a breakup album, and the best kind, where the artist seeks to find answers about life and love and life after love. Tyler gets vulnerable with a roster of A-list collaborators who help him weave through heartbreak and into self-discovery.
4. Lana Del Rey - 'Norman Fucking Rockwell'
There always seemed to be a vision that Lana Del Rey was going for and with Norman Fucking Rockwell, the sultry vocalist seems to self-actualize. The album's a love letter to her adopted home of Los Angeles, complete with a cover of Sublime no one ever knew they needed.
3. Billie Eilish - 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'
Billie Eilish has proven that talent can get you everywhere. At a time when pop stars are perfectly curated to sell sex before all else, Eilish has dominated. When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is perfectly listenable from start to finish and you don't even have to be a teen girl to appreciate her incredible vocals and dreamy lyrics.
2. Post Malone - 'Hollywood's Bleeding'
Even if you don't like Post Malone, you probably like one of the tracks off his third studio album Hollywood's Bleeding. He manages to outdo himself thanks to his star-studded collaborations with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Yung Thug, DaBaby, and Travis Scott. This album is the perfect balance of single after single and totally streamable, which is why it's on this list.
1. Lizzo - 'Cuz I Love You'
Lizzo and her bodacious bod exploded in 2019 thanks to her anthem, "Truth Hurts," off her third studio album Cuz I Love You. The multi-instrumentalist's album landed her as one of the most sought-after artists in 2019. Plan to hear more of her powerhouse vocals in 2020, as we expect her to be one of the biggest artists of the decade.
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Which of these albums made your best of list for 2019? More importantly, what did we miss? Let us know what albums defined 2019 for you in the comments!