These are great albums that I failed to appreciate earlier in the year.
Beyoncé — Homecoming: The Live Album
Say what you want about Beyoncé but there’s no denying the fact that she’s a masterful performer and entertainer. Condensing her entire career into a stretch of 1 hour and 49 minutes, HOMECOMING is a victory lap by one of music’s leading ladies as Queen B jumps from song to song without missing a beat, proving to everyone that her talent is undeniable.
Wilma Vritra — Burd
Burd is nerd rap in its purest form. Comprised of rappers Wilma Archer and Vritra, their chemistry is inimitable as they effortlessly trade bars about inane topics that honestly make no sense. However it’s a forgivable offence as the true star of Burd is its production. Splicing elements of neo-soul, jazz and lo-fi hip-hop, both emcees are right at home on the foundation they’ve set for themselves.
beabadoobee — Loveworm
Genre: Indie, Pop
UK singer beabadoobee could easily have been typecast as a generic bedroom pop singer. Her soft, whispery vocals are a perfect fit for lo-fi production. However, on Loveworm, she backs herself up with stellar guitar playing and fulfilling bass lines. It’s an album that smoothly sets itself apart from many other indie-pop albums today.
Kyle Dion — SUGA
There’s been a lack of powerful voices in the modern R&B landscape, and Kyle Dion is one of the singers that separates himself from the pack purely off of his vocal deliveries. Dabbling in sultry ballads, upbeat dance tracks and chart-chasing pop hits, SUGA is a showcase of Kyle’s versatility and an intriguing look at his potential.
Angelo de Augustine — Tomb
On first listen, it would be easy to write off Angelo De Augustine as a Sufjan Stevens clone. Musically, the parallels to Sufjan’s Carrie and Lowell are unmistakable. The hushed singing, breezy string sections and melancholic atmosphere are all here. Yet, Tomb separates itself through Angelo’s distinctive writing. ‘Touching’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Lewis Capaldi — Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
UK funnyman Lewis Capaldi has had a hell of a year, with his most recent success being “Someone You Loved” reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Following in the footsteps of Adele and Sam Smith, Lewis’ voice is the star of Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent as he croons his way throughout the entire project, breaking one heart at a time while he does it.
Swain — Negative Space
Negative Space features a brand of melodic rock that Swain hasn’t exactly been privy too in the past. There’s no blood-curdling screams or energy-inducing aggression, instead, there’s only melodic singing and expansive production that makes this album an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Baby Keem — DIE FOR MY BITCH
Genre: Trap, Rap
Baby Keem represents the best of what 2019 trap has to offer. Equal parts melodic and abrasive, Keem’s penchant for ear-worm hooks is his strongest suit. Though he lacks the quality to craft a well-balanced album, DIE FOR MY BITCH proves that there’s still room for innovation in trap this year.