When I sat down to write a “best of the year” list, I realized it would have to be my top five albums of 2019. This year hit me especially hard, and I wasn’t able to catch a ton of new releases in other mediums. For better or for worse, streaming means all the new music I want for the same amount of money each month. So, without further ado, here are my picks for the top five albums of 2019!
LAMB-THE SECRET OF LETTING GO
Lamb has always been a very hit-and-miss band for me. Each of their previous albums had 2-3 tracks I absolutely loved and a lot of other tracks that I didn’t really care for. It’s with great surprise and delight that I put one of their albums in my top five this year.
This is by far their most accomplished and focused album. They’ve traded their ambient trip-hop for, well, less-ambient trip-hop. All of the songs here are catchy and memorable, even the slower and more atmospheric ones. The Secret of Letting Go sees Lamb perfecting their songwriting and highlighting their ability to evoke melancholy, all while managing to keep sight of what made their sound unique in the first place.
Look. We all would have rather had a new studio album from Apoptygma Berzerk this year. It’s been ten years since Rocket Science (does Exit Popularity Contest count as a studio album?). Anyways, if a studio album was off the table, you could do a lot worse than SDGXXV. The album is a remixed and reworked version of their very first album, Soli Deo Gloria, which came out 25 years ago this year. Get it?
Eighteen artists contributed tracks to this re-imagined version of Apop’s EBM masterpiece. As with any kind of remix album, not all the songs here are winners. However, most of them do offer fresh interpretations of songs that we’ve all had on repeat for ages. I’m just excited it didn’t take another decade to finally get some “Backdraft” remixes.