Adam J’s Best of 2019 (So Far): Third Quarter Results – Best Albums
2019 has been chock-full of good-ass music (and hyphens). Like, every week it seems. So instead of spinning myself into knots at the end of the year, here are some of the best albums that have kept me busy so far.
And yes, there will be yet another Honorable Mentions list. Remember I said there was too much good-ass music? Yeah…
But there is also another playlist coming, as well, if you don’t have the time to read up. You’ll be able to take 2019 with you anywhere you go!
Lingua Ignota – CALIGULA, Profound Lore Records
If the Frankenstein monster were to compose their own operatic soliloquy, it would probably sound a little something like this. Terrifying, beautiful misanthropy from a highly capable artist whose next move just might be the death of us all.
Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild, Sacred Bones Records
My favorite producer goes bonkers on this fluid collection of blazing, aptly titled tracks: “Death Drop” ,”Wings of Hate”, “Love Is A Parasite” – what you see is what you get.
Torche – Admission, Relapse Records
Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes, Bella Union
“When everyone that talks to you is working towards some goal/What can you do but rock, rock-and-roll?”
No shit, Furman – exactly on point. Each of the eleven tracks feels more cathartic than the last, which only encourages repeat listens of this absolutely entertaining rock-n-roll album. What can I do but rock-n-roll?
Kyle Craft – Showboat Honey, Sub Pop
Triple crowns don’t pop up much these days – singer, song-writer, composer. This kid makes the best guitar-based rock-pop songs I’ve heard in a minute, and if I could adopt him I would. “The Millenial Todd Rundgren” – there I said it. Fight me.
The Regrettes – How Do You Love?, Warner Records
IDER – Emotional Education, Glassnote Records
The Highwomen – s/t, Elektra Records
Fist-pumping, heart-wrenching outlaw country songs from the best voices in the game today (who all just happen to be female). If only Margo Price were a part of this ensemble..
Purple Mountains – s/t, Drag City
Reserved as I was to approach this very loaded album, it did not disappoint. I didn’t expect it to, by any means, I simply had (well deserved) reservations*. Out of context with David Berman’s death or entirely within the artifice of suicide, it doesn’t quite matter – this is a beautiful, oftentimes dope-as-hell collection of Nashville balladier songs.
*Belated inclusion is, however, entirely predicated upon his untimely passing. RIP
De Lorians – s/t, Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
Here Lies Man – No Ground To Walk Upon, RidingEasy Records
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Polydor/Interscope Records
Relationships and gender roles in modern America are rendered in vivid detail, similarly to the eponymous American “master”. Apropos of nothing – I wish Lana Del Rey were my friend growing up, because I would ask her to beat up all of my bullies.
Sheer Mag – A Distant Call, Sheer Mag LLC
Sarathy Korwar – More Arriving, The Leaf Label
the bird and the bee – Interpreting the Masters, Volume 2 (A Tribute to Van Halen), No Expectations/Release Me Records
Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee, Columbia Records
The singer-producer sensation returns with a heavy head but the strength and wherewithal to celebrate a life rather than lament a tragedy. Which isn’t to say these tunes aren’t heavy. Honesty remains the best policy in the art of song, and Saadiq honors the deceased titular character in the highest fashion.
Outer Spaces – Gazing Globe, Western Vinyl
Maren Morris – GIRL, Sony Music Entertainment
CANNIBLE – Acceleration, Born Bad Records
Sannhet – So Numb, Profound Lore
Atmospheric instrumental blackened doom metal can work, and this latest from New York trio Sannhet is superlative proof.
Ra Ra Riot – Superbloom, Ra Ra Riot LLC
Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold, Mom+Pop Music
Perhaps the last statement from one of the great modern rock-n-roll bands, different and familiar in all the right ways all at once.
Nérija – Blume, Domino Recording Company
The Silence – Metaphysical Feedback, Drag City
Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence, Sargent House
A reminder where the queen of doom made her hay. Volume is her “horse”, but attitude is her ready army.
Alexander Tucker – Guild of the Asbestos Weaver, Thrill Jockey
Russian Circles – Blood Year, Sargent House
Iggy Pop – Free, Loma Vista Recordings
I honestly thought Jim would be done after Post Pop Depression. This feels like a very appropriate denu moi; a report from Paraguay – ‘All is not well, but I’m free’.
Girl Band – The Talkies, Rough Trade Records
Kendra Amalie – Intuition, Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
Indy psyche rock’s mightiest hired gun delivers an album entirely of her own invention with thrilling results.
Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis with his wife, cats, and guitars.