Top Albums of 2019

This is the fun part. A lot of these songs were alluded to in some previous days discussions, and are just here as examples of those albums, so I won’t retread old topics there. I’ll just touch on the stuff that wasn’t mentioned elsewhere.

  1. The Get Up Kids – “Satellite”
    Read my Day 2 review of this album.
  2. PUP – “Kids”
    Read my Day 1 review of this album.
  3. Much the Same – “You Used to Have a Garden”
    Yes, that same Much the Same from over a decade ago. This is an extremely catchy melodic punk song, and even though it’s conveyed in a metaphor, it’s pretty clearly a song about struggling with divorce. Their album is pretty short, it’s only nine tracks, and one of them (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”) is a goddamn LOST reference.
  4. Jetty Bones – “Bringing it Up”
    Read my Day 1 review of this album.
  5. Dashboard Confessional – “Vindicated (Re-record)”
    Dashboard Confessional is one of the artists I get on my high horse about. It was at its best when it was just Chris Carrabba and a guitar. Over the summer, Chris released “Now is Then is Now” versions of three of the full-band era Dashboard albums that are now just him and an acoustic guitar. They are great, and got me to listen to albums I previously ignored completely. “Vindicated” has always been one of my favorite Dashboard songs, so I am very glad to hear the stripped down version of this song.
  6. Ruston Kelly – “At Your Funeral”
    I hate the in-studio bits at the beginning and end of this song, and several other tracks on this album. On this album he does a collaboration with Chris Carrabba, and also does a cover of blink-182. This was one of my Honorable Mentions on Day 1.
  7. blink-182 – “Pin the Grenade”
    Read my Day 3 review of this album.
  8. New Found Glory – “The Power of Love’
    This was one of my Honorable Mentions on Day 1.
  9. Free Throw – “The Corner’s Dilemma”
    This was one of my Honorable Mentions on Day 1.
  10. The Early November – “Ave Maria”
    This was one of my Honorable Mentions on Day 1.
  11. Save Face – “Bummer”
    This was my favorite Weezer song this year.
  12. Judah and the Lion ft. Kacey Musgraves – “Pictures”
    Judah and the Lion can best be described as “bro rock”, and for some reason, I like some of their stuff. This track is very different than anything else I had heard from the band, with alt-country sweetheart Kacey Musgraves. It’s a somber, emotional song
  13. Simple Creatures – “Drug”
    As I mentioned on Day 3, Mark Hoppus is a pop music machine, and Simple Creatures, his side-project with All Time Low’s Alex Garskarth is just another example of this. This is an electro-pop-punk mashup, and overall it’s not bad. It’s a fun listen, but the whole EP wasn’t my cup of tea.
  14. City Mouth – “For a Second”
    You remember Hellogoodbye? This is what they should have turned in to as they matured, but they never matured.
  15. Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties – “Runnin’ Toward the Light”
    This was my favorite Bruce Springsteen song this year. This was one of my Honorable Mentions on Day 1.
  16. The Dangerous Summer – “Where Were You When the Sky Opened Up?”
    I know some people fucking love The Dangerous Summer, so when I enjoyed this song, I thought maybe I’d pull a PUP turn and like their next release. Nope, still sounds like everything else they’ve done. This track is pretty solid though, it gives me legit goosebumps because it’s got a lot of raw emotion.
  17. Hitch & Go – “So Far, So Good”
    Spotify knows I like a good, poppy punk rock song every once in a while, so it throws stuff like this at me. I don’t know if this is leading to an album or what, I never saw anything else from them this year aside from another single.
  18. Heart Attack Man – “Fake Blood”
    This was one of my Disappointments on Day 2.
  19. Kayak Jones – “Lonely Codependent”
    This should have made an honorable mention. I fucking love this track, but never gave the full album enough time. The guitar intro on this song gets stuck in my head like once a week. It may be next year’s slow burn album for me.
  20. Signals Midwest ft. Sincere Engineer – “Your New Old Apartment”
    This should have made the disappointments list. This track is fantastic. It’s very catchy, and the addition of Sincere Engineer adds a little grit to the chorus. It’s a shame because the rest of the album it’s on is fairly middle of the road. It’s not bad by any means, it just didn’t jump out at me.
  21. Jimmy Eat World – “Delivery”
    This was my second biggest Disappointment on Day 2.
  22. Origami Angel – “The Title Track”
    Read my Day 3 review of this album.
  23. Future Teens – “Frequent Crier”
    Of all the songs I could have picked for this album full of “bummer pop”, I wanted to pick the one I thought was the most fun. I really enjoyed seeing them play this one live. Read my Day 2 review of this album.
  24. Oso Oso – “Impossible Game”
    If this song doesn’t catapult this band into the stratosphere, I don’t know what will. Read my Day 3 review of this album.
  25. American Football – “Heir Apparent”
    On this album, I couldn’t avoid bummer songs, so I decided to use the one that has a goddamn middle school choir in the outro. Read my Day 2 review of this album.
  26. Willie Nelson – “Cruel World”
    Most of you are asking, “Where the hell did this come from?” OK, I get that, so stay with me here. In early 2019, I finished Red Dead Redemption II, and I am not lying when I say that it is, to me, one of the greatest video games ever made. It is one of the greatest pieces of storytelling ever made. Arthur Morgan is one of the most well written characters not only in video games, but is great as a fictional character overall. I immersed myself into that game, and lived as a goddamn cowboy for about four months. I rode across the hills and plains, I hunted for animals, I brought criminals to justice, and I listened to Dutch every time he told me to have faith. I put over 170 hours into RDR2, and loved all of it.
    This particular song was written by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme for the game (and he has his own version as well on the official soundtrack), but they also got fuckin’ Willie Nelson to do a version for the game. The Willie version plays right after a particularly heated moment in the epilogue, which I won’t spoil here, and it brought a smile to my face. It’s just you, riding your horse along the terrain, and this song. It’s one of the best pieces of set dressing in a video game.

That’s it for 2019, let’s see what kind of rad music 2020 brings!