We are half way through 2019- and man does life come at you fast. As mid-year approaches, so comes reflection. I’ve been simmering on what I felt were the best albums of 2019… so far. A lot of quality music has dropped this year, though most of the big names have stayed quiet. We got a J Cole/Dreamville album with Revenge of The Dreamers III, Schoolboy Q came big with CrasH Talk, and Cage The Elephant dropped a very good listen with Social Cues. This year though has been really special for the underground, with lots of smaller artist on the rise. Without further ado, let’s dive into my eclectic Top 10 list.
- Billie Eilish- When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
The 17 year-old singer dropped her first commercial album this year and it shot her to super stardom. With ‘bad guy’ and ‘bury a friend’ she got her first hit singles and massive radio play. Now she stays busy headlining festivals and stealing the show at Coachella. Billie has an amazing career ahead of her, and this is just the beginning.
- Anderson .Paak- Ventura
Last year Oxnard was one of the biggest let downs of the year for me. Anderson seemed to have heard the critics, as he returns this year with a big comeback. He got back to the basics, more soul and more live instrumentation, better placed features, and overall a much more cohesive album.
- Denzel Curry- ZUU
The South Florida native has been making music for the entire decade, a constant voice in the underground leading the way for acts like Pouya and Smokepurp. He just dropped his best album yet, with huge songs like ‘Speedboat’ and ‘Automatic’ you get the classic Curry sound. Yet tracks like ‘Zuu’ and ‘Wish’ show him trying out different sounds that make for a very fun listen.
- Solange- When I Get Home
She came, she sang, she conquered. Solange continues to be an outstanding voice in RnB with another well done album. My full thoughts on the project are here https://micdropmusic.com/album-review-solange-when-i-get-home/
- DaBaby- Baby on Baby
DaBaby got big off of a viral story with him, a murder, and a Walmart. His single ‘Walker Texas Ranger’ started to blow, followed by this project. The album isn’t necessarily very deep, but you can tell its authentic and everything he raps about is real. ‘Suge’ is the song that cracked the top 10 on Billboard, but ‘Pony’ might be his best work.
- SWMRS- Berkeley’s On Fire
This is by far my favorite alternative album of the year. The band based out Oakland, California is far from new on their fourth studio album. I fell in love with this project. ‘Trashbag baby’ and ‘Berkeley’s on Fire’ are both stand out tracks and some of my favorite songs I’ve heard all damn year.
- Toro Y Moi- Outer Peace
My favorite dance album of the year and an overall wonderful listen, my full thoughts are here https://micdropmusic.com/album-reivew-toro-y-moi-outer-peace/
- Tyler the Creator- IGOR
This man has had one of the most interesting careers in recent memory. From Odd Future, to love albums and RnB he continues to reinvent himself with each release but IGOR takes the cake. The sounds are vibrant and musically his best work, ‘EARFQUAKE’ and ‘A BOY IS A GUN’ both show how far his production skills have come and ‘I THINK’ will be on repeat for years, Tyler continues to show why he is one of the best artist of our time.
- Goldlink- Dispora
Goldlink has always been an on the cusp artist for me, good albums that just need a little something more. This album hits all the marks, the sounds and styles he jumps from flow beautifully, with standout features from Khalid, Tyler the Creator, and Pusha T. The album holds my song of the summer, ‘Joke Ting’.
- Freddie Gibbs and Madlib- Bandana
What doesn’t this project have? Amazing beats, amazing raps, and phenomenal features. My favorite release of the year, my full thoughts are here https://micdropmusic.com/album-review-bandana-freddie-gibbs-madlib/