And the last episode of my 2019 in review series is finally here! Yes I released all four parts on the same day… I have A LOT of posts that need to go up before January is already HALF OVER so it couldn’t be helped. Hopefully it has been a nice welcome back to my blog after my LONGGGG hiatus? Like with my top 5 books post, these aren’t in any particular order, but just a collection of my favourite albums and songs of the year!
Firstly, a quick honourable mention to MAX’s Hell’s Kitchen Angel that I loved this year, but was released previously and therefore doesn’t count!
BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
Catfish and the Bottlemen- The Balance
It wasn’t until I was struggling to decide which song from this album deserved to be a song of the year that I realised it was hopeless, I loved this album and the whole thing had to be here. So here it is.
Catfish and the Bottlemen are a Welsh rock band who were formed in 2007 and have been releasing stunning albums ever since. As they are a rock band, naturally, this is a rock album.
Jus2 is a 2-member sub-unit of boygroup GOT7 and is made up of two Korean vocalists: JB and Yugyeom. This is the duos debut album, although Yugyeom has been around since 2014, and JB since 2012.
Both have released songs on Soundcloud before, and their personal sounds are very evident in this R&B-meets-House album. A sprinkle of pop and K-Pop production magic makes this the perfect in-between album to appeal to fans of both their solo and group work.
Songs to listen to include the chic title track, FOCUS ON ME, the brighter track Touch, and the seductive Toiki (Sigh), which was released on the Japanese edition of the album (wait to the end for the best part).
IU- Love Poem
IU is one of my favourite Korean solo artists. She’s been around since 2008 and is incredibly beloved in Korea, although she doesn’t receive nearly as much attention in the West. Her voice is gorgeous, her songs are well produced and have an IU-quality that make them incredibly special.
I always look forward to IU’s work and this is my favourite album from her since 2013’s Modern Times. In fact, this album brings back some of the jazzy sounds of the 2013 album, along with a mix of slow R&B and emotional ballads, for a varied but perfectly cohesive album.
Songs to listen to include Blueming and above the time, both of which have music videos, as well as Love Poem, which is incredibly beautiful and was released as a single prior to the album coming out.
BEST SONGS OF THE YEAR
The Night of Seokyo- Dancing In The Moon (ft. Dawon)
The Night of Seokyo are a K-Indie production crew that have been around since 2016. They often work with vocalist Dawon, who is featured on this track, and her vocals make the song even more expressive with her dreamy vocal colour. Dancing in the Moon is my favourite of their songs to date and really encompasses the sound and dreaminess that I have come to associate with their work.
Lee So Ra- Song Request (ft. SUGA)
Lee So Ra is a beloved singer in Korea. She first debuted in 1993 as part of a jazz group, and released her first solo album in 1995. As an artist she is incredibly versatile, having sung everything from heavy rock to soft ballads, and this latest song is definitely towards the ballad side. Suga’s rap here is soft and heartfelt, adding to the heart-warming and comforting atmosphere of the song. I highly recommend watching the music video above with English captions on as the lyrics are particularly beautiful.
GOT7 are a boygroup with 7 members who debuted in 2014. PAGE is a b-side track off of their album Spinning Top: Between Security & Insecurity and was written and produced by member JB (of Jus2, above) in collaboration with other producers. The group initially wanted this to be the title track, but it was passed up for the more marketable ECLIPSE, but I can see why they wanted this to be the title track: it’s full to the brim with personality and catchy hooks.
And those were my favourite releases of 2019! Feel free to discuss your own favourite music in the comments, I would love to hear what you have been listening to!
- What were your favourite albums of 2019?
- What were your favourite songs of 2019?
- Were there any songs here you didn’t know?
- Did you like any of these songs too? Or do you disagree with me?