Top Ten Albums of 2019: Ian Thompson

Spinning Thoughts is proud of the music diversity found throughout the many contributors on our team. With each “Top 10 Albums of the Year” list shared, we hope to encourage a dialog that inspires the sharing of music with others. 2019 had some really amazing moments for new music. The beauty is in how these bands/artists impact us all differently, and even better, how they bring us together.

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Ian Thompson | Contributor

Oh man, this was hard. A lot of good music came out this year and picking my top 10 albums was just as hard as any of the finals I had to take this semester. And being limited to 10 makes it even harder because there are so many more albums (I’d also add in some EP’s as well) I wanted to add to this list, but then again, I’m not trying to stay up and/or keep you guys here all night. The following albums are the ones I listened to most this year and are effectively my top 10 albums of 2019, in no particular order.

GrayscaleNella Vita

Grayscale shows a lot of growth, maturity, emotional depth and dance sensibilities on their strong sophomore effort, Nella Vita. Musically, the band really surprised me here with a lot of the influences they pulled from for this new record. From the 80s and 90s vibes to the funky guitars and synths, I just couldn’t stop coming back to this record since its release.

Standout track: “Desert Queen”

The MaineYou Are Ok

The Maine just can’t make a bad album, can they? Even if they tried, they would still end up delivering something good. You Are OK is another solid entry in the band’s discography and confidently tackles the importance of mental health.

Standout track: “Flowers On the Grave”


Unleashed sees Kayzo team up with a multitude of scene heavyweights, as well as some of the most exciting up-and-comers in EDM for an awesome blend of electronic and rock.

Standout track: “Up In Flames” (ft. Alex Gaskarth)

WeezerWeezer (The Teal Album)

Following the massive success of their cover of Toto’s “Africa,” Weezer goes full meme with a covers album of largely 80s hits and it’s nothing but fun.

Standout track: “Mr. Blue Sky”

Denzel CurryZuu

To continue to call Denzel Curry underrated (or the rapper who made “the bottle flip song”) is just doing a disservice to him. He’s becoming one of the most respected young rappers in the game and the numbers don’t lie. While it might not be as strong as his previous album TA13OO, Zuu is still an incredibly fun listen and another reminder of why Curry is a force to be reckoned with.

Standout track: “Speedboat”

TinasheSongs For You

After being held back by RCA, Tinashe parted ways with the label and decided to go it alone with the release of her new record Songs For You, and delivered not only one of the best R&B albums of the year but also her best effort since her debut. Super happy to see Tinashe striving independently and can’t wait to see what she does next.

Standout track: “Cash Race”

Tory LanezChixtape 5

Whenever Tory Lanez releases a new Chixtape, I’m always excited to see what 2000s hits he’s going to sample. He definitely didn’t disappoint here as a wave of nostalgia knocked back to that period upon the start of the first song. Chixtape 5 is another solid entry in the series and the coolest thing about this one is that Tory took it a step further by getting the artists of the songs sampled to do new verses over the remixed songs, and everyone here killed it.

Standout track: “The Cry” (ft. Mario)

Rich BrianThe Sailor

Seeing Rich Brian’s progression has been amazing and The Sailor is proof he’s only going to get better. Brian not only delivered one of the best hip hop albums this year but also one of the most improved efforts as well.  The Sailor is nothing but improvement across the board. From the bars, to the flows, to the production, to the music videos it’s hard not to notice the massive spike in quality from his debut album Amen. I can’t wait to see Brian progress further.

Standout track: “Kids”

Jimmy Eat WorldSurviving

Jimmy Eat World is another band that just can’t seem to do any wrong and has delivered another incredible album with Surviving. What more can I say?

Standout track: “Diamond”

The Dangerous SummerMother Nature

The Dangerous Summer is back just a year after the release of their self-titled comeback album and has delivered their most experimental record to date.  Mother Nature not only is the band’s best effort since 2011’s War Paint, but also contains some of the best music in the band’s discography. If you’re still not up on The Dangerous Summer, you’re doing something wrong.

Standout track: “Where Were You When the Sky Opened Up”

What are your thoughts on Ian’s Top 10 Albums of 2019? Let him know on Twitter: @ict1099

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TAGS: Grayscale | The Maine | Kayzo | Weezer | Denzel Curry | Tinashe | Tory Lanez | Rich Brian | Jimmy Eat World | The Dangerous Summer

Ian Thompson

Twitter: @ict1099

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