MMM Staff Picks: Richard John Cummins’ Top Ten Favorite Albums of 2019

#10. Sports Team – ‘Making Hay’ (EP)

Sports TeamFollowing the playbook of bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs, these rookie rockers from Cambridge, England are almost as exciting as their name is boring. 


#9. Lana Del Rey – ‘Norman F*cking Rockwell’

Lana Del ReyGiving her sixth album a title which can’t actually be said or posted on most platforms (including this one) isn’t even the boldest aspect of Del Ray’s 2019 offering: the lyrics are so deeply personal they loop all the way back to universal on her slow-but-infectious piano-heavy songs. 


#8. Liam Gallagher – ‘Why Me? Why Not.’

LiamOn his second full-length solo release the former Oasis frontman answers his own question with an album of well-crafted and thoroughly enjoyable Sixties-inspired tunes which should make virtually anyone happy (except maybe his brother Noel). 


#7. Gary Clark, Jr. – ‘This Land’

Gary Clark JRClark is a modern guitar god with no regards for image, trends or bullshit, only pure and sincere blues, soul and rock. Knowing that a major label (in this case Warner Brothers) would still sign and promote an artist like Clark in 2019 should help us all sleep a lot better. 


#6. The Ranconteurs – ‘Help Us Stranger’

RacsAfter eleven years Jack White and Brenden Benson help each other once again, with the final result being a collection of classic-rock inspired tunes which are crisp and quirky but also doesn’t shy away from addressing issues like gun violence. 


#5. Vampire Weekend – ‘Father Of The Bride’

Vampire WeekendNo matter where you stand on their previous releases (or even still feel about Ezra Koenig’s voice), there’s no denying that this new eighteen-track chapter in the band’s marriage of folk and pop is worth celebrating (the song “Harmony Hall” alone should win just about anybody over). 

#4. Lizzo – ‘Cuz I Love You’

LizzoMelissa Jefferson’s bold and versatile third album of soul, R&B and hip-hop brings forth even more evidence as to why she promises to become one of the major forces in music in the 2020s. 


#3. The Who – ‘WHO’

The WHoWell over a half-century into their history, one of rock’s all-time greatest and most influential bands take us on one more – possibly final – amazing journey, with surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey forging a fine addition to the group’s already indispensable catalogue. 


#2. Dinosaur Pile-Up – ‘Celebrity Mansions’

Celebrity MansionsThe best band of pizza-chomping, Budweiser-guzzling all-American party dudes ever to come out of… Leeds, England spins a grunge-punk yarn about fame and fortune today told from the perspective of both the haves and the have-nots, for an album most indie rock fans will definitely want to have. 


#1. Ex Hex – ‘It’s Real’

ExHex_ItsRealSinger/guitarist Mary Timony, the 49-year-old veteran of bands like Helium and Wild Flag, leads a power pop three-piece which exudes the energy and passion of a high school garage band circa 1982. Fun, raw, and instantly memorable, the appropriately titled ‘It’s Real’ is everything rock and roll should be (again) in the 2020s.

Written by: Richard John Cummins

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