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

This Week’s Music Video Round Up

A busy week filled with new music videos, eh?! Lil Nas finally dropped his visuals for Panini, Camila Cabello released two new songs, and Billie Eilish gets even weirder. Check out that and more below! Ya’ll already KNOW which one is up first….

…best song of the year, btw…

A week after teasing her fans with a series of promos via social media, the singer finally dropped two new singles, “Shameless” and “Liar,” on Thursday.

I’m just going to let you do you, Billie. This track appears on Eilish’s debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

‘Hot Girl Summer’ may finally be over (we hope), but Megan Thee Stallion reels us back in with her new music video to the summer anthem.

Posty blessed his fans this week with not only a music video to his single “Circles,” but a whole ass album, too! His third studio album, Hollywood’s Bleeding is out now. Catch him on tour here.

Ten Songs That Are Overplayed on the Radio

Don’t get me wrong here, I love some of the songs on this list. I also am one of those people that plays the same song on repeat until I hate it. But for the sake of this article, here’s ten songs that are overplayed on the radio.

Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

I don’t have this song on my phone, and only ever hear it when driving and the radio tuned to anything but rock. And that’s only when I’m even using the radio. But I’ve heard this song so many times regardless.


Source: US Weekly

Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi

Okay, so this song would play at least three times in a span of like five hours. I don’t know if that’s just the station I’m on, but that’s just insane. Granted, I did end up downloading the song because it’s actually pretty good.

I Don’t Care by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber

I’m just minding my own business, driving down the road, and I wonder…what’s playing? The answer is usually this song. I never liked Justin Bieber, and I got sick of Ed Sheeran after Shape of You came out and played on every station constantly.

Truth Hurts by Lizzo

My sister loves this song. I can’t stand it.


Source: Entertainment Weekly

Old Town Road by Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

This is one of those songs that combine different genres of music and make something new and interesting. It, and the remix, plays all the time. One time, the original was playing and then right after was the remix. See, stunts like that is what makes me not listen to the radio.

Hey Look Ma, I Made It by Panic! At the Disco

One of my favorite bands, not gonna lie. I love this song, too. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s on the radio constantly.


Source: Youtube

Talk by Khalid

My mom loves this song a lot. I’m pretty sure it’s her favorite song of the summer. It’s not bad, either. I downloaded it, too.

Cool by The Jonas Brothers

I’ve been listening to The Jonas Brothers since they were on Disney. Cool is a great song and I’m listening to it as we speak. Good song, overplayed.

Goodbyes by Post Malone feat. Young Thug

I’m one of those people that you would think only listens to like…Norwegian death metal, but no! I love a lot of genres and Goodbyes is a really good song. As far as I can tell, it’s not played as often as other songs on this list, but I really hope I don’t hear it so much that I get annoyed by it and stop listening to Post.

Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

Eilish has a very interesting sound. Moody beats, chilling melodies…I love her. I’m glad I accidentally found out about her when I was broadening my music horizons. New respect for alt-pop music, but let’s hear more of Eilish’s songs besides only, like, two.


Source: Billboard

That’s what I got for you guys. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I love some of these songs, and I love hearing songs I like playing on the radio. I’m just saying that the same mix of music is often played on a repeat cycle.

Jams for your summer playlist

Whether you’re on the back roads of your hometown or dealing with city traffic, few things are better than good ol’ summer tunes with the windows down and your friends in the car.

I’ll soon be heading down to Ocean City, Maryland, to be a degenerate for a couple of days and found myself with a crate full of songs I know will accompany the early morning jams, afternoon “pick-me-up” tunes, and hopefully I’ll survive the day to play late night heartbreakers. So while we desperately await for Drake to drop another summer hit (duhhhhh), I’ve collected some songs from my personal library that I think can compliment any summer playlist. Some are throwbacks, some are more low key, but all are songs I’ve recently come across and I guarantee you’ll fancy at least one of them (listed in no particular order).

Nowadays – PnB Rock

Genre: Rap

Not really a huge PnB Rock fan, but (given the many benefits of having Spotify) I saw a friend listening to this song in my feed, so I decided to give it a try. TrapStar Turnt PopStar, the rapper’s sophomore album, dropped in early May of this year.

Don’t Tell Me It’s Over – Neck Deep

Genre: Punk Rock

Shortly after announcing they’ll be supporting Blink 182 and Lil Wayne on tour this summer, ND decided to release their cover of Blink’s “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over.” As we await their fourth album, I’ll take this in the mean time!

Soltera – Lunay

Genre: Reggeaton

Wanna impress your Caucasian friends and claim to be cultured? Fear not! Play this. Lunay has only been around since 2018 and with Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee hopping on his new remix, he’s bound to blow up. You can say you heard it first.

Tap Ft. Meek Mill – Nav

Genre: Rap

If there’s a rap single in the Spring of 2019 that should float above the rest, it’s this one. Nav delivers one of his best choruses on his album and Meek shows up with baarrrsssss.

How Does It Feel – M-22

Genre: EDM

Here’s hopping that even if you hate EDM, you open your mind to this one.

Paid In Full Ft. PlayBoi Carti – Safe

Genre: Rap

I love all things Carti. Although he only features on this track, he compliments it perfectly. His self-titled debut album Playboi Carti in 2017 was all I listened to that summer. Glad I get a little bit of him this year.

Lose My Mind Ft. Mr. Gabriel – Jai Wolf

Genre: Indie-Electronic?

This song is f****** sick. The chorus transports you to whole another place.

Better Not – Louis the Child

Genre: EDM

One of their most recognized songs, ‘Better Now’ always gets me in a good mood. Check out their 2018 EP “Kids at Play” if you end up adding this to your playlist.

Ex – Your Neighbors

Genre: Alternative Rock

I recently discovered this band and even though this came out last year, it’s a FUNKY track with warm vibes. Like Suuuuper funky. I’ve sent this song to a lot of people.

Shoutout to all my ex’s that live in Texas like I’m George Strait.

Treacherous Doctor – Wallows

Genre: Alternative Rock

This whole album is amazing, but this is my favorite track on Wallows’ debut album. If you’re a fan of Arctic Monkeys, this is a band for you. Fun Fact: 13 Reasons Why‘s Clay Jensen, real name Dylan Minnette, is the lead singer and may surprise some of you.

Ms. Jackson – Party Pupils

Genre: EDM

This always gets heads turning. A beautiful, even more up beat, remix of Outkast’s song of the same name.

Hi Tops – M.A.G.S

Genre: Punk Rock

If you’ve made it this far into this playlist, you’re bound to have some “sunday scaries.” This is your remedy. Carry on.

No Scrubs – TLC

Genre: R&B, Hip-Hop

This song makes us all feel like an empowered single woman. Nothing more manly than a squad full of your best bros perfectly collaborating on the chorus. Ya’ll really surprised I have this on here?

Neck Deep’s Ben Barlow on their upcoming fourth album – no more heartbreak :/

Anyone who knows me is aware Neck Deep holds a special place in my heart. 2015’s Life’s Not Out To Get You is an immaculate album. It carried me through my senior year of college filled with wallowing due to heartbreaks and the sad realization that the four year party was officially over.

‘Gold Steps’ is the fifth track off Life’s Not Out To Get You

The Peace and The Panic was released as the follow-up project in the summer of 2017 and while I personally wasn’t a big fan of it at first, seeing it played live changed my perspective.

Well folks, we are almost mid way through 2019 and as summer approaches, we Neck Deep fans would hope there’s something in development, right?

After wrapping up an early 2019 Europe and UK tour, lead singer Ben Barlow caught up with Press by Bad Seed to talk fashion, tattoos and revealed it’s time to focus on the fourth album.

From Neck Deep

“The record [The Peace and The Panic] really took us to a new place and maybe proved a point to a few people that we could actually write a diverse record and weren’t just a one trick pony pop punk band. From here, I think we’ve set ourselves up to do whatever we what, or at least expand our horizons a bit. It could’ve been a risky record for us to make, but it actually turned out to be the record we needed to make. After a Europe and UK run in February, it’s pretty much fourth album time. “

While Ben and the band know it’s time to put pen to paper, he also explains there is no rush to deliver.

“It’s fucking terrifying when you have nothing done for it and you don’t know how things are going to come out sounding. I’ve sat at home and I’ve written stuff but I rely on the other guys a lot to bring stuff forward and I just don’t know what everyone else is writing yet. We’re going to take our time with this record, essentially. We’re going to take up to a year to write it, if it happens sooner then cool, if it happens later then that’s fine too. We’re putting no pressure on ourselves with it.”

Heartbreak and the struggles of life have always been interwoven in any ND song. Although, there was a change in tone, particularly in ‘Happy Judgement Day’, in which one can see the early seeds of politics influencing the band:

 Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this could be farewell?
Oh, we almost had it then we pissed it all away
Building walls, dropping bombs
Stop the world, I'm getting off
Oh, we almost had it
Never thought I'd see the day
When the world went up in flames

“I think politics is important, but rather than making ‘political songs’, maybe make songs that define the time, rather than a specific social or political situation. Ultimately everyone is sick of hearing about politics so you can’t talk about it without pissing some people off, but you can make enough of a statement about the time that we’re in without going too far either way. It’s shit like this that you have to consider. I want to say something and I want to talk about the times that we’re living in, but at the same time, I don’t want to alienate a group of people. Fuck Trump, but there are perfectly normal, nice people who listen to our music who support Trump. I’ve learnt from it, it’s murky water and it’s tough.”

Ben continues, “I think The 1975 did a fucking good job on their last record [‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’] of being politically and socially aware, without overstating a certain message. I think it’s about getting that balance right from here. It’ll be a challenge but without a doubt, that’s the biggest pressing issue in the world now. You can’t ignore it and I don’t want to write songs about ex-girlfriends. I strayed away from that quite a long time ago and now I’ve got to look around me and there are certain things you can’t ignore. You’ve got to do it in a way that’s not going to alienate people. It’s tough.”

From Press by Bad Seed

…”and I don’t want to write songs about ex-girlfriends. I strayed away from that quite a long time ago and now I’ve got to look around me and there are certain things you can’t ignore.”

Ben Barlow