789 Media’s Top Albums of 2019

Yea we know, we’re kind of late on this one. But, we know your 2019 music recap isn’t complete without our expertise!

The bad news? We all came to the conclusion that 2019 was pretty … shitty, so we’ll leave you with that before you digest our top 5’s. Yes, there were a LOT of good SINGLES, but can you really name a concrete list of 5 COMPLETE projects that spread across multiple genres? It’s harder than you think.

The good news? There’s a wide range of picks here. We’re all over the place.

Enjoy, discuss, comment, argue. Lets have at it:

Andy’s Top 5

5. Nibiru – Ozuna

2019 was another hot year for the reggaeton artist and releasing this 18 track album in November was the icing on the cake. This album includes appearances by Diddy, DJ Snake, Snoop Dog, Annuel AA, Nicky Jam, and Swae Lee to keep the star power at an all time high. While the middle portion of the album (which includes the songs with Swae and Snoop) loses some flare, I give him credit for working with artists outside of his own genre. To white girls everywhere, add this to your library.

Must Listen: Eres Top, Te Sone de Nuevo, Reggaeton en Paris

4. Épico – Lunay

Let’s be real, you probably don’t even know who this is or care who this is. Is Lunay better than Ozuna? I wouldn’t go that far. Is this album a heavy hitter? Absolutely. If you need some more spanish music to carry you through this winter season, please do me a favor and check this out.

Must Listen: Soltera, La Cama, 360, Aventura

3. Nothing Happens – Wallows

I’ve mentioned Wallows in my list of summer jams earlier this year, and as you can see, I’m still talking about them. Its first two tracks ‘Only Friend’ and ‘Treacherous Doctor’ have enough energy to completely capture you for the rest of the ride; it delivers catchy choruses, cali vibes, and a feeling of fulfillment when it comes to a close. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.

Must Listen: Only Friend, Treacherous Doctor, Remember When

2. Cool Year – Worst Party Ever

This band has only 25K listeners on Spotify. They LOW KEY, LOW KEY. And if you’re like me, who is constantly on the search of new and unique bands, I highly recommend Worst Party Ever. With the first track being titled 3:67AM, you can already imagine what kind of music you’re about to listen to. Each song, except one, is under two minutes so the 7 track project goes by quickly. The only reason it beat Wallows for the #2 slot was because of how many times I found myself coming back and listening to it.

Must Listen: 3:67 AM, Cool Year, Illinois

1. Safe and Also No Fear – Slaughter Beach, Dog

I liked this album and band so much I saw them perform it live in a basement of a church in the middle of Philadelphia. It was a sweaty one to say the least.

Must Listen: One Down, Good Ones, Black Oak

Honorable Mentions:

Shelby – Lil Skies

OASIS – Bad Bunny & J Balvin

Gangalee – Farruko

Hippo Campus – Demo II

Tyler’s Top 5

5. Avengers: Endgame Soundtrack – Alan Silvestri

Did I break the rules? I don’t care. This album is art. Listening to it after the movie puts you right back into the story. You feel what the Avengers are feeling after the loss of Infinity War, all the way up until the final battle sequence when the portals open. If you are an Avengers fan, listening to this after the fact is a MUST. It holds up just as well as the actual movie does.

Must Listen: Portals, Main on End

4. Big D.O.L.L.A. – Dame D.O.L.L.A.

This may be a bit of a take as well, I am a big fan of Dame Lillard the rapper. Obviously, he’s an All-NBA level point guard (though the Blazers record this year certainly wouldn’t show it.) He brought it on this album. That makes him 3/3 on legit albums. If you don’t believe he is legit. Check this album out, you’ll be surprised. With features by Lil Wayne and Jeremih, Lillard comes with big hitters, but outshines them all.

Must Listen: Baggage Claim (feat. Mozzy), Dre Grant (feat. Brookfield Duece), Track Meet (feat. Major Myjah)

3. Rap or Go to the League – 2 Chainz

I think we have reached the part of the program where 2 Chainz is rolling out hits and I am not really thinking twice about it, and I never thought we would get here. ROGTTL came out early in 2019 and it is still worth listening to this day. Whip is one of the best songs of the year, and there are some great surprise songs on there (like Ariana Grande being featured.) This album is a mainstay on this list. Easily.

Must Listen: Forgiven (feat. Marsha Ambrosious), Whip (feat. Travis Scott), Momma I Hit a Lick (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Rule the World (feat. Ariana Grande)

2. GIRL – Maren Morris

Those of you who know me know I am not a country music listener. I am not nearly as harsh as I was on it when I was young, but I am still not a big fan. I love this album. I don’t know why, but I love it. It is that good. I drove to Canada early in 2019 and listened to it the whole way there and the drive back. There is barely a miss on it, and it made me want for more from Maren Morris. If you are a music fan in general, do yourself a favor and listen to this album. Trust me.

Must Listen:  To Hell & Back, Great One’s, The Bone

1. Lover – Taylor Swift

This was the best one. Easily, and it wasn’t close. Whatever genre of music is your preference, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, it doesn’t matter. There is music on this album for every mood you could possibly be in, if you listen to it straight through, you get the full experience of it. I am not a “die hard” Taylor Swift fan, but I certainly consider myself a casual “Swiftie”, and I loved Lover. I still throw it on in the car when I’m driving, or in the shower, or when I’m working or writing. It is perfect for any situation. It is the best album of 2019.

Must Listen: Lover, Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince, Death by a Thousand Cuts, You Need to Calm Down

Honorable Mentions:

uknowhatimsayin¿ – Danny Brown

Wow…That’s Crazy – Wale

Port of Miami 2 – Rick Ross

CrasH Talk – Schoolboy Q

SHE IS COMING – Miley Cyrus

Mackenzie’s Top 5

5. 7 – Lil Nas X

The EP for this new artist certainly made a splash. While it’s only 8 songs (and most people can only name ‘Old Town Road’), this album makes my list because I believe it’s the first of a long career for Nas. When your first hit single bridges the gap between rap and country… the significance of that cannot be understated. I enjoy the fact that this young artist is already taking risks and being bold. This EP, if nothing else, got me excited to see what he’ll release next.

Must Listen: Rodeo ft. Cardi B

4. Iconology – Missy Elliott

A queen. An icon. A legend. When Missy Elliott releases new music, she will never NOT be on a ‘favorites’ list that I put out. This album got my attention immediately because it’s the first full body of work we’ve seen from Missy since 2005. On top of finally receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (she is the first female rapper to receive this award!!!!), be given an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, and this album has made 2019 a pretty great year for her.

Must Listen: Throw It Back

3. Happiness Begins – Jonas Brothers

Welcome back, Jo Bros. My assumption with this album is that I’d enjoy it strictly because of the nostalgia. Boy, was I wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this album for a lot of different reasons. While I was perfect super-fan age when they were first popular, I never really bought into the whole craze over these three. When this album came out, however, I found myself driving around with my windows down belting out “Sucker” in my best falsetto.

Must Listen: Sucker (strictly because Sophie Turner is in the music video)

2. Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande

Regardless of your personal feelings about Ms. Ponytail, this album was EVERYWHERE for a good portion of the year. Everyone from the superfans, to the casual listeners, to the haters could all agree that you couldn’t step foot outside of your house without hearing one of these songs. Any time you have multiples singles from the same album top the charts, you have to admit it’s impressive. Based on straight up impact alone, she earned a spot on this list.

Must Listen: Bad Idea

1. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

If this album didn’t have you feeling good as hell, I don’t know what will. The 31-year-old has been around for a while, but really exploded in terms of mainstream music this year. “Truth Hurts” spent seven non-consecutive weeks at the #1 spot on the charts – tying for longest for a female rap song. To top of the impressive radio presence, she’s also been an attention-getting live performer. From her flute playing, to slaying those high notes, to LITERALLY having the backdrop of her set design be a butt… iconic. And she’s just getting started.

Must Listen: Tempo ft. Missy Elliott

Honorable mentions:

Amidst the Chaos – Sara Bareilles

Center Point Road – Thomas Rhett

No.6 Collaborations Project – Ed Sheeran

Jake’s Top 5

5. Hollywood’s Bleeding – Post Malone

After a stellar 2018 that saw not only a number one album but two Billboard number one singles, most critics and fans assumed Post would take a break after dominating airwaves for three years. However, that wasn’t the case. In 2019, Post would release his most ambitious project yet, Hollywood’s Bleeding. Blending hip-hop, rock, and even 80s hair metal, Post continued to show everyone how virtuous his musicality is.

Must Listen: Enemies ft DaBaby, Take What You Want ft. Travis Scott & Ozzy Osbourne

4. Heard It In a Past Life – Maggie Rogers

With the seal of approval from Pharrell Williams and an infectious indie hit, Alaska, under her belt many fans couldn’t wait to see what Maggie Rogers was poised to deliver on her debut album. Roger’s debut is an explosion of joy, moving on, and carefree living but with a strong message: instances of despair are refreshingly human. Her debut delves headfirst into the grandest moments life has to offer when starting over. Roger’s songwriting doesn’t shy away from the bad things that have happened to her. Her true triumph is simply learning from each mistake and picking herself back up.

Must Listen: Light On

3. Frozen II Soundtrack – Various Artists

Having three nieces of course I’ve seen the billion dollar grossing film, Frozen, and of course I’ve had to listen to Let it Go, the title track of the film too many times to count. When Frozen 2 was announced I was excited to be living a thousand miles away from my nieces and having to see the sequel. However, my partner, he really wanted to see it and I didn’t. We compromised and saw Frozen 2. While my main complaint about the film was there being too many songs, I now find myself listening to the soundtrack daily. Featuring the actors recording as well as other famous musicians doing their own renditions, this album is filled with songs that will truly inspire you. From finding your own path and following your gut to navigating the fears of getting older. The soundtrack might be for a kids movie but the messages in the songs are timeless.

Must Listen: Into the Unknown

2. Fine Line – Harry Styles

Continuing to move away from his boy band image, former One Direction member Harry Styles second album is nothing short of pop perfection. Etching out his own image of what the 21st Century rock star is, Styles sounds more comfortable on his second go around. Taking a less serious tone than his debut album, Styles having proven he can stand on his own. This is an album built for road trips and long drives, this is the type of music that truly deserves to breathe.

Must Listen: Lights Up, Cherry

1. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

A classically trained flutist turned hip-hop lyricist, Lizzo has been around for a minute but in 2019, Lizzo took the ball and slam dunked it. On her major label debut, Cuz I Love You pulsates with realness and humor as the rapper/singer belts out life-affirming admissions of self-love and acceptance, which hit home for anyone regardless of size and color. Just as freeing and feel-good is the music itself, which glides from soul, gospel and rock to rap and pop. It took Lizzo 10 years to become a breakthrough sensation, but it was worth the wait. With her mainstream embrace in 2019, who’s to say Lizzo can’t be the face of pop music for the next decade to come.

Must Listen: Tempo Ft. Missy Elliot, Cuz I Love You

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