Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. Year-end lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, we make no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Albums

Robert Christgau: Dean's List 2019

27 January 2020

Robert Christgau: Dean's List 2019

[see also 2010s, 2018, 2017, 2012]

  1. Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  2. Todd SniderCash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3
  3. Chance the RapperThe Big Day
  4. Purple MountainsPurple Mountains
  5. Carsie BlantonBuck Up
  6. Kim GordonNo Home Record
  7. Danny Brownuknowhatimsayin¿
  8. Sonic YouthBattery Park, NYC July 4th 2008
  9. Kalie ShorrOpen Book
  10. The Paranoid StyleA Goddamn Impossible Way of Life
  11. Bruce SpringsteenSpringsteen on Broadway
  12. Salif KeitaUn Autre Blanc
  13. Stella DonnellyBeware of the Dogs
  14. Big ThiefTwo Hands
  15. 75 Dollar BillI Was Real
  16. Harriet TubmanThe Terror End of Beauty
  17. black midiSchlagenheim
  18. Tanya TagaqToothsayer
  19. The DelinesThe Imperial
  20. CHAIPunk
  21. Lee "Scratch" PerryRainford
  22. The Ex27 passports
  23. that dogOld LP
  24. Tyler ChildersCountry Squire
  25. Leyla McCallaCapitalist Blues
  26. Sleater-KinneyThe Center Won't Hold
  27. Jeffrey Lewis & The VoltageBad Wiring
  28. Alex ChiltonFrom Memphis to New Orleans
  29. Ezra FurmanTwelve Nudes
  30. LizzoCuz I Love You
  31. Diabel CissokhoRhythm of the Griot
  32. Miranda LambertWildcard
  33. Craig FinnI Need a New War
  34. Charly BlissYoung Enough
  35. Little SimzGREY Area
  36. Ariana GrandeSweetener
  37. RapsodyEve
  38. The NationalI Am Easy to Find
  39. Guy ClarkThe Best of Dualtone Years
  40. Youssou N'DourHistory
  41. Rachid TahaJe Suis Africain
  42. Taylor SwiftLover
  43. Hama SankaréBallébé
  44. Pedro the LionPhoenix
  45. Malibu Ken, Aesop Rock & TOBACCOMalibu Ken
  46. The CoathangersThe Devil You Know
  47. Chuck CleaverSend Aid
  48. Oumar KonatéI Love You Inna
  49. Epic Beard MenThis Was Supposed to Be Fun
  50. Jamila WoodsLEGACY! LEGACY!
  51. Derek SennHow Could a Man
  52. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni BaMiri
  53. Amber MarkConexão
  54. Nicki MinajQueen
  55. Big ThiefU.F.O.F.
  56. slowthaiNothing Great About Britain
  57. Tyler ChildersLive on Red Barn Radio I & II
  58. 100 gecs1000 gecs
  59. Sudan ArchivesAthena
  60. Thiago NassifTrês
  61. PriestsThe Seduction of Kansas
  62. SabaCare for Me
  63. MadonnaMadame X
  64. The SeedsPushin Too Hard (Original Soundtrack)
  65. Raphael SaadiqJimmy Lee
  66. KhalidFree Spirit
  67. Quelle ChrisGuns
  68. Daniele Luppi & Parquet CourtsMilano
  69. Lewis CapaldiDivinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
  70. Jealous of the BirdsWisdom Teeth
  71. Dua SalehNūr
  72. SneaksHighway Hypnosis
  73. Sharon Van EttenRemind Me Tomorrow
  74. Alex ChiltonOcean Club '77
  75. SerengetiDennis 6e
  76. Bob MouldSunshine Rock

Vibe: The 30 Best Albums of 2019

05 January 2020

Vibe Magazine: The 30 Best Albums of 2019

[see also 2018, 2017]

  1. Ari LennoxShea Butter Baby
  2. Benny the ButcherThe Plugs I Met
  3. BeyoncéThe Lion King: The Gift
  4. BeyoncéHomecoming: The Live Album
  5. Burna BoyAfrican Giant
  6. DaBabyKIRK
  7. Daniel CaesarCASE STUDY 01
  8. Danny Brownuknowhatimsayin¿
  9. Doja CatHot Pink
  10. DreamvilleRevenge of the Dreamers III
  11. Freddie Gibbs & MadlibBandana
  12. GoldLinkDiaspora
  13. GunnaDrip or Drown 2
  14. Jamila WoodsLEGACY! LEGACY!
  15. Jim JonesEl Capo
  16. KembaGilda
  17. Little BrotherMay the Lord Watch
  18. Lucky DayePainted
  19. Michael KiwanukaKiwanuka
  20. Raphael SaadiqJimmy Lee
  21. RapsodyEve
  22. Rick RossPort of Miami 2
  23. SiRChasing Summer
  24. Snoh Aalegra- Ugh, those feels again
  25. SolangeWhen I Get Home
  26. Summer WalkerOver It
  27. Tyler, The CreatorIGOR
  28. WaleWow... That's Crazy
  29. Young ThugSo Much Fun
  30. YBN CordaeThe Lost Boy

Robin Hilton: Best Albums of 2019

04 January 2020

Robin Hilton: Best Albums of 2019, as posted by NPR

[see also 2017]

  1. Sharon Van EttenRemind Me Tomorrow
  2. Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell!
  3. Holly HerndonPROTO
  4. MicrowaveDeath is a Warm Blanket
  5. Ada Leawhat we say in private
  6. Weyes BloodTitanic Rising
  7. Tiny RuinsOlympic Girls
  8. Great GrandpaFour of Arrows
  9. Molly SarléKaraoke Angel
  10. Kate DavisTrophy

Bob Boilen: Best Albums of 2019

04 January 2020

Bob Boilen: Best Albums of 2019, as posted by NPR

[see also 2018, 2017, 2011]

  1. Big ThiefTwo Hands
  2. Big ThiefU.F.O.F.
  3. Angel OlsenAll Mirrors
  4. Better Oblivion Community CenterBetter Oblivion Community Center
  5. Aldous HardingDesigner
  6. LankumThe Livelong Day
  7. Mdou MoctarIlana (The Creator)
  8. Kate DavisTrophy
  9. Joan ShelleyLike the River Loves the Sea
  10. The Good OnesRwanda, You Should Be Loved

Ann Powers: Favorite Albums of 2019

04 January 2020

Ann Powers: Favorite Albums of 2019, as posted by NPR

[see also 2017, 2016, 2011]

  1. Angel Bat DawidThe Oracle
  2. Adia VictoriaSilences
  3. MerebaThe Jungle Is the Only Way Out
  4. MekonsDeserted
  5. Philip BaileyLove Will Find a Way
  6. Jazzmeia HornLove and Liberation
  7. Hiss Golden MessengerTerms of Surrender
  8. Matthew HalsallOneness
  9. Erin EnderlinFaulkner County
  10. Joe HenryThe Gospel According to Water

A.A. Dowd: 100 Favorite Metal Albums of the Decade

02 January 2020

A.A. Dowd: 100 Favorite Metal Albums of the Decade, as posted to Twitter

  1. PanopticonKentucky
  2. AgallochMarrow of the Spirit
  3. Nux VomicaNux Vomica
  4. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind
  5. Bell WitchMirror Reaper
  6. GorgutsColored Sands
  7. KylesaSpiral Shadow
  8. ElderReflections of a Floating World
  9. Altar of PlaguesTeethed Glory and Injury
  10. High on FireDe Vermis Mysteriis
  11. PanopticonAutumn Eternal
  12. CarcassSurgical Steel
  13. DawnbringerInto the Lair of the Sun God
  14. Oranssi PazuzuVärähtelijä
  15. TorcheHarmonicraft
  16. LiturgyAesthethica
  17. ClericRetrocausal
  18. KvelertakKvelertak
  19. Zeal & ArdorStranger Fruit
  20. ShiningBlackjazz
  21. Mutoid ManBleeder
  22. Big BraveA Gaze Among Them
  23. AstronoidAir
  24. The ArmedOnly Love
  25. Blut Aus Nord777 - Sect(s)
  26. Blut Aus Nord777 - The Desanctification
  27. Blut Aus Nord777 - Cosmosophy
  28. Inter ArmaSky Burial
  29. Whores.Gold
  30. Fuck the FactsDesire Will Rot
  31. Wizard RifleSpeak Loud Say Nothing
  32. EvokenAltra Mors
  33. Power TripNightmare Logic
  34. PallbearerFoundations of Burden
  35. SvalbardIt's Hard to Have Hope
  36. ElderLore
  37. High On FireElectric Messiah
  38. WindhandEternal Return
  39. BrutusNest
  40. Planning For BurialBelow the House
  41. Between the Buried and MeThe Parallax II: Future Sequence
  42. NumenoreanAdore
  43. DeafheavenOrdinary Corrupt Human Love
  44. The Atlas MothAn Ache for the Distance
  45. Black BreathSentenced To Life
  46. LocrianInfinite Dissolution
  47. Napalm DeathApex Predator - Easy Meat
  48. KvelertakMeir
  49. Ex EyeEx Eye
  50. Cloud RatMoksha
  51. The SecretAgnus Dei
  52. GodfleshPost Self
  53. Inter ArmaParadise Gallows
  54. CobaltSlow Forever
  55. Burning LoveRotten Thing to Say
  56. IndianFrom All Purity
  57. Pinkish BlackBottom of the Morning
  58. Lingua IgnotaCaligula
  59. Wreck and ReferenceIndifferent Rivers Romance End
  60. Bosse-de-NageAll Fours
  61. Chelsea WolfeHiss Spun
  62. Glorior BelliGators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
  63. Big BraveArdor
  64. Russian CirclesEmpros
  65. SlugdgeEsoteric Malacology
  66. Lord MantisPervertor
  67. Demonic Death JudgeSeaweed
  68. DeafheavenSunbather
  69. The OathThe Oath
  70. NeurosisHonor Found In Decay
  71. ASGBlood Drive
  72. SkeletonwitchDevouring Radiant Light
  73. Glorior BelliThe Great Southern Darkness
  74. KEN modeEntrench
  75. Wreck and ReferenceWant
  76. Napalm DeathUtiltarian
  77. Elizabeth Colour WheelNocebo
  78. PanopticonRoads to the North
  79. Big BusinessThe Beast You Are
  80. In SolitudeThe World.The Flesh.The Devil
  81. AgrimoniaRites of Separation
  82. Eight BellsLandless
  83. Today Is the DayPain Is a Warning
  84. Cave InFinal Transmission
  85. BehemothThe Satanist
  86. YakuzaBeyul
  87. KylesaExhausting Fire
  88. Couch SlutContempt
  89. TribulationDown Below
  90. Early GravesRed Horse
  91. Christian MistressPossession
  92. JudiciarySurface Noise
  93. PyrrhonThe Mother of Virtues
  94. Cult of LunaVertikal
  95. OathbreakerRheia
  96. TestamentBrotherhood of the Snake
  97. FrontiererOrange Mathematics
  98. Spirit AdriftCurse of Conception
  99. MorneAsylum
  100. Falls of RaurosPatterns in Mythology
  101. The SwordApocryphon
  102. The Dillinger Escape PlanOne of Us Is the Killer

American Songwriter: Top 25 Albums of 2019

01 January 2020

American Songwriter: Top 25 Albums of 2019, listed alphabetically

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011]

Jordan Cronk: Top 30 Albums of 2019

01 January 2020

Jordan Cronk: Top 30 Albums of 2019, as posted to Twitter

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016]

  1. Purple MountainsPurple Mountains
  2. Lana Del ReyNorman Fucking Rockwell!
  3. Holly HerndonPROTO
  4. Oso Osobasking in the glow
  5. (Sandy) Alex GHouse of Sugar
  6. Kim GordonNo Home Record
  7. Default GendersMain Pop Girl 2019
  8. American FootballAmerican Football (LP3)
  9. FenneszAgora
  10. Carl StoneBaroo
  11. Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsGhosteen
  12. Strange RangerRemembering the Rockets
  13. Fire-ToolzField Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace)
  14. RapExport
  15. Jenny HvalThe Practice of Love
  16. black midiSchlagenheim
  17. FKA twigsMagdalene
  18. Great GrandpaFour of Arrows
  19. ClairoImmunity
  20. Mount Eerie feat. Julie DoironLost Wisdom, Pt. 2
  21. Black Belt Eagle ScoutAt the Party with My Brown Friends
  22. FloristEmily Alone
  23. Bill CallahanShepherd in a Sheepskin Vest
  24. 100 gecs1000 gecs
  25. Big ThiefU.F.O.F.
  26. Big ThiefTwo Hands
  27. Fontaines D.C.Dogrel
  28. Sandro PerriSoft Landing
  29. Sunn O)))Life Metal
  30. Sunn O)))Pyroclasts
  31. Floating PointsCrush
  32. LambchopThis (Is What I Wanted to Tell You)

Tyler Andere: Favorite Albums of 2019

31 December 2019

Tyler Andere: Favorite Albums of 2019, as posted to Medium in no particular order

XXL: 50 of the Best Hop-Hop Projects of 2019

31 December 2019

XXL: 50 of the Best Hop-Hop Projects of 2019