I Can’t Believe This Is Called Music! Top 2019 Albums of 2019, Part I: 2019-1920

Note: The original version of this post was so huge it broke the page, so I’m reposting in sets of 100 albums. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Original idea by Pier-Luc Boivin.

2019 is officially over, folks! And one of you wanted a top 2019 albums of 2019. Fortunately, since I keep track of the albums I listen to, and I’ve listened to a little over this number of albums, I can indulge this seemingly absurd request. But before I go on, let me ramble on a bit and give you some statistics from this year.

Exit Teen, Enter Ni

How many albums, exactly, I’ve listened to this year? My spreadsheet tells me 2,302. This is definitely more than most people, and probably borders on being pathological, but this number includes a few singles, too, but they certainly don’t bring the number down to below 2,250. In time, all the music from 2019 that I’ve listened to and kept track of makes for a grand total of 97,105 minutes and 59 seconds, or 67 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes, and 59 seconds. That’s a huge playlist, for sure, but puny in comparison to the cumulative 243 days and 8 hours of average waking time in a year. But, considering that this time consists only of albums from 2019 that I’ve liked enough to put in my spreadsheet, and not the countless others I’ve listened to excerpts of before deciding not to include them and albums from previous years (or from 2020!), I believe it makes for a substantial and impressive amount of time.

I’ve sometimes felt discouraged and disheartened by the ceaseless discharge of albums flooding in. There were even times where I wondered about calling it quits. This time will come, someday, but, for now, I can still keep going on: I’m single, with no kids, and my job schedule allows me enough time to keep doing it.

2019 in Graphs

Here’s a few graphs that represent my year in music from various aspects.

Figure 1. The amount of albums reviewed and tracked per month.

So, the first graph here shows the number of releases I’ve kept track of (grey and gold) and the number of them I’ve reviewed (gold) per month. While the number of absolute releases varied with each month, the number of reviews stayed practically the same, except for April and November, which seem to have had more albums reviewed than the rest, at 37 each, while the least reviewed month is December, with 17 albums reviewed. I reviewed about 15 % of albums on every given month, up to a high of about 20 % for June and down to a low of 9 % for October, which was the month with the highest number of releases in my sheet for 2019.

This makes for a total of 335 releases that were reviewed or covered in some way on the website this year, an average of about 28 per month, or almost one per day! For comparison, the grand total of albums from 2019 I’ve tracked amounts to an average of over 6 new albums every day.

Figure 2. The amount of albums reviewed and tracked per day of the week.

The second graph is quite striking. It shows the amount of releases I’ve tracked and covered per day of the week they’ve come out on. As in previous years, we see a huge preference towards Friday, for releases. This, as stated before by many people, stems from an industry practice that became widespread and that is still pervasive. My own reviews hover around 15 % of the total number of albums on each release day, except for those that come out on Sundays and Mondays, which get reviewed about 10 and 9 % of the time, respectively.

Figure 3. The amount of albums tracked per subgenre.

If we look at figure 3, we see that my 2019 was completely dominated by jazz, with my top listened-to genre being jazz fusion, which I admit to using pretty liberally. Nonetheless, “jazz” appears in five of the top six subgenre categories of the year, cohabiting with progressive rock, which is somewhat surprising to me, since I don’t have many recollections of great progressive rock albums from this year. I’ve also listened to more contemporary classical music than I did progressive metal, which is another surprise, but a nice one, since I’ve expressed in the past years how I wanted to focus more on this in particular.

I think that’s about all that I can extract from my spreadsheet and that’s somewhat interesting or relevant.


Top 2019 Albums of 2019

Given the unhealthy amount of albums within this ridiculous top-2019, most of it will go unranked. It will, however, be divided into three parts: the non-reviewed albums, the reviewed albums, and a ranked top 20 at the very top (or bottom of the page). The unranked portions will be sorted chronologically, then alphabetically. So, without further ado, let’s begin the festivities!

Part I: 2019-1920

Wednesday, 31 December

Rhandu Lopez’s Ridiculous Tempo – Act Ⅱ: Odd Life

44:48
jazz fusion
PR, Brazil
Independent

Masaé Gimbayashi, Fabrice Hélias, and Thierry Waziniak – Motian’s Traces

40:00
modern jazz
France
Independent

Glass Noose – No More Dignity

40:55
indie rock, math rock
Chicago, Illinois
5:45 Media

Dead Neanderthals – Mankind

13:51
experimental post-rock
Nijmegen, Netherlands

Dave Nasty & A Serrano – Unfair

41:12
grindcore, noise
New Jersey
Harvestman

Dave Nasty & A Serrano – Cannibal Suite

31:45
grindcore, noise
New Jersey
Harvestman


Monday, 30

Hashtag Ensemble – Pierwsze dowództwo

55:07
contemporary classical
Warsaw, Poland
Dux

Hashtag Ensemble – Openings of the Eye

68:23
contemporary classical
Warsaw, Poland
Independent

Cécile Andrée – Nature

46:34
modern jazz
France
Independent


Sunday, 29

Wolfgang Heisig & Jan Klare – Heisig-Klare

29:41
contemporary classical
Essen, Germany
Umland


Saturday, 28

Szilárd Mezei Solo – Falling Buildings

37:12
avant-garde jazz
Serbia
Independent


Friday, 27

Koromač – Kontrapunk

46:05
experimental jazz
Cerkno, Slovenia
Independent


Thursday, 26

Nathan Blehar & Tony Falco – The Emperor, the Empress, and the King of Swords

31:08
avant-garde jazz
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Independent

An Isolated Mind – An Isolated Mind

32:31
post-black metal
Eureka, California
Vigor Deconstruct


Wednesday, 25

Prog jazz do absurdo – Como o sistema temperado arruinou a harmonia

35:28
avant-garde jazz
SP, Brazil

Mr. Snow’s Black Box Series – Ⅱ: Who by Fire?

27:26
experimental electro
Alaska
Mr. Snow!

Lou Kelly – Junk City Rejects

13:00
progressive rock
Ukiah, California
Independent

Foi – 保護者 (Bǎohù zhě) / Guardian

12:08
progressive metal
Bengaluru, India
Independent


Tuesday, 24

The Drag – The Drag

49:29
avant-garde jazz
Washington, D.C.
Independent

Mugxtsu – Moonless Sky, Volume 1

31:32
experimental hip-hop, hardcore
Montréal, Québec
Independent

Dietrich Petzold, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, and Jan Roder – Get Your Own Picture

62:29
free improvisation, contemporary classical
Lisbon, Portugal
Independent

Cult of Erinyes – Æstivation

43:41
atmospheric black metal
Brussel, Belgium
Musical Excrements

Arctic Plant – The Black Riders

61:24
progressive metal
Bayreuth, Germany
Independent


Monday, 23

Rob Ford Explorer – Buh Bye

12:47
math rock
Reno, Nevada
Independent

Dave Nasty – Textures of the South Pole​-​Aitken Basin

41:06
noise
Chicago, Illinois
Independent

Adam Neely – Christmas Microtonal Lo​-​Fi Hip Hop

11:06
hip-hop, experimental electro
New York, New York
Independent


Sunday, 22

Владимир Лучанский (Vladimir Lučanskij) – Гелиогабал (Geliogabal) / Heliogabalus

21:03
free improvisation
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Nachtstück

Xotla – Pico Metric

49:49
experimental electro
Melbourne, Australia
Independent


Saturday, 21

Vctre – Palindrome

27:47
experimental electro
Birmingham, Alabama
Independent

Tylor Dory Trio – Unsought Salvation

61:46
progressive rock, hard rock
Edmonton, Alberta
Independent

Timothée Quost, Ishmael Ali, and Bill Harris – Dawá

39:57
avant-garde jazz
New York, New York
Amalgam

Kalya Scintilla – Gaian Code

100:05
psybient, bass
Australia
Independent

Copal Quintet – Ahoo!

63:12
free improvisation
Germany
Independent

Chronologist – Solstice Ⅱ

14:31
progressive metalcore
Austin, Texas
Independent


Friday, 20

Zayn – Monolit, Part Ⅲ: You

14:06
progressive rock
Croatia
Independent

Terry Pack’s Trees – Into the Woods

59:49
big band, jazz fusion
England, UK
New Leaf

Tactus – TⅡ

16:07
progressive metal
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Independent

Ragnar Jónsson, Zofia Tomczyk, and Guðmundur Arnalds – Agalma Ⅲ

42:14
contemporary classical, free improv
Reykjavík, Iceland
Agalma

Mount Vesuvius Death March – Peachy

32:53
math rock
Gadsden, Alabama
Independent

Madara – Odd Perks

9:48
grindcore, deathgrind
Montréal, Québec
Independent

Jean-Michel Leblanc – Variétés narratives

60:55
modern jazz
Montréal, Québec
Independent

Grant the Sun – Sylvain

18:17
progressive post-metal
Oslo, Norway
Mas-Kina

Eartheater & Leya – Angel Lust

14:08
experimental electro, folk
Queens, New York
Pan


Thursday, 19

Sarah Rossy – The Conclusion

30:17
modern jazz
Montréal, Québec
Independent

Ouroboros – Porte moi

28:50
avant-garde jazz
Paris, France
Independent

Nylithia – Goddamn, Type 1

22:53
progressive thrash metal
Vancouver, British Columbia
Independent


Wednesday, 18

Fatal – Music of the Spheres

47:12
progressive metal, trance
Russia
Independent


Tuesday, 17

Rïga – Musicam ubique

24:21
experimental electro
Rennes, France
Independent


Monday, 16

Atrium – Dither

34:42
progressive metal
Provo, Utah
Independent

Age of Atlas – Between Now and Never

30:18
progressive rock, post-hardcore
Hull, UK
Independent


Sunday, 15

Sea Mosquito – Inferences

28:50
experimental black metal
London, UK
Independent

Non- – Artifact

11:41
blackgaze
Boston, Massachusetts
Independent

Fabian Dudek – Creating Meaning

46:43
avant-garde jazz
Cologne, Germany
Fixcel


Saturday, 14

The Richmond Avant-Improv Collective – Häxan: Cinema Paradiso, Volume I

32:40
experimental jazz, free jazz
Richmond, Virginia
Thirsty Leaves Music

The Echogenic – Into the Shepherd’s Maw

27:37
progressive rock
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Independent


Friday, 13

ミニマリスト (Minimarisuto) / Mnmlst – Anmls

19:19
progressive metalcore
Denver, Colorado
Independent

Wreath of Tongues – Penance

14:55
deathgrind
New York, New York
Independent

Whalesong – Radiance of a Thousand Suns

105:02
experimental post-metal
Tarnowskie Góry, Poland
Independent

Torino Unlimited Noise – Jason

31:31
electro-jazz
Torino, Italy
Jazz-o-Tech

Reptilian Civilian – Oblitus scientia

41:09
technical deathcore
Brisbane, Australia
Independent

Nova – Veniamo dal cielo

34:03
progressive black metal
Trieste, Italy
ATMF

Mosaic – Secret Ambrosian Fire

48:42
folk black metal
Gotha, Germany
Eisenwald

Mono & AA Williams – Exit in Darkness

15:55
post-rock
東京都 (Tōkyōto), Japan
Pelagic

Moleslope – Slope

32:57
jazz fusion, progressive rock
Tokyo, Japan
Dewfall

Moe & Pinquins – Vi som elsket kaos

38:20
noise rock
Oslo, Norway
Independent

Large Unit & Fendika – Ethio Braz

65:22
world fusion
Oslo, Kingdom of Norway
PNL

Incipience – Vehement

22:45
progressive metal
Los Angeles, California
Independent

In Human Form –

47:07
progressive black metal
Italy
I, Voidhanger

Free Nationals – Free Nationals

41:06
R&B, jazz-hop
California
OBE, LLC / Empire

Cosmo Sheldrake – Galápagos

23:55
indie folk
London, UK
Tardigrade

Bureau Berlin – High-Time Seizure

27:25
free improvisation
Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
Sounds et al.

Barney McAll – An Extra Celestial Christmas

47:23
jazz, classical
New York, New York
Independent

Aperiodic – For

54:47
contemporary classical
New York, New York
New Focus

Alexander Manotskov – 52

61:23
contemporary classical, opera
Moscow, Russia
Fancy Music


Thursday, 12

TBPN – Mémoires de formes

47:55
avant-garde jazz, contemporary classical
Paris, France
Gigantonium

Samuel Morgan – Nicotine Dreams

31:20
jazz pop
Wellington, New Zealand
Independent

Now Ensemble – Spare the Rod!

20:06
contemporary classical
New York
New Amsterdam

Grey Wing Ensemble – Ex machina

112:53
contemporary classical
Perth, Australia
Tone List

Grey Wing Ensemble – Artificial Field

119:25
contemporary classical
Perth, Australia
Tone List

Exitpost – Two Dreamers

26:09
synthwave, dream pop
Los Angeles, California
Zoom Lens

Alberto Braida – In Love with the Moon

44:05
free improvisation
Italy
We Insist!


Wednesday, 11

コシュニエ (Ko shu nie) / Cö shu nie – Pure

33:02
J-rock
Osaka, Japan
Sony

Altesia – Paragon Circus

56:46
progressive metal
Bordeaux, France
Independent


Tuesday, 10

Yaca –

58:44
free improvisation
Santiago, Chile
Ce chemin est le bon

Flaming Row – The Pure Shine

73:19
progressive rock, rock opera
Osterode Am Harz, Germany
Independent

Filipe Teixeira Trio – Tao

45:25
modern jazz
Porto, Portugal
Independent


Monday, 9

Widek – The Garden of Existence

50:04
progressive metal
Poland
Independent

The Great Sabatini – Dirge of the Cruel

32:24
noise, drone
Montréal, Québec
Independent

Mads Vinding, Marilyn Mazur, and Jean-Michel Pilc – Composing

60:09
avant-garde jazz
Denmark
Storyville

Joel Kent – Ghost Ship

29:01
djent, nu prog
Boston, Massachusetts
Independent

Eric West Group – EP

17:33
modern jazz
Toronto, Ontario
Independent

Abelia – Kalamari

21:22
math rock
Dallas, Texas
Independent


Sunday, 8

Jons – Jons

61:06
free improvisation, avant-prog
Sacramento, California
Independent

Alberto Cavenati’s Treifekter – 13

42:14
avant-garde jazz
Berlin, Germany
Trouble in the East


Saturday, 7

Tablopan – La cola del pan

41:17
free improvisation
New York, New York
Falcon Gumba

Postcards from Arkham – Øakvyl

38:10
post-rock
Czechia
Metalgate

Gourmand – Emanate

10:28
progressive death metal
Kansas City, Missouri
Independent

Fucm Hawj – Steeple

45:49
contemporary classical
New York, New York
Chris Pitsiokos

Feather – Convalescence

46:34
progressive metal
Dijon, France
Independent

9 Horses – Blood from a Stone

24:03
modern jazz, classical
New York, New York
Sunnyside


On January 2 2020, this entry was posted.
Loading Facebook Comments ...