I decided to split the “Best music” postings of 2019 into two parts: while I already published my personal Best Songs of 2019, split by country and non-country, this posting deals with the underlying long-players. I also decided to have a separate section for EPs, just because their limitation turn them into a very special category of music as well.
My Favorite EPs in 2019
I am not too much a fan of EPs. Just due to their limitated capacity, they are very often more a single with an add-on to me than telling a short story instead of a novel you would tell in an album. Thus, I limit the number of EP reviews on the website.
3. The One by Olivia Lane
I happened to run into Olivia Lane at the CMA Fest 2019. The more I got in touch with her music, the more I liked her. With six tracks, this EP is already close to a small album and gives some really great songs. So good it hurts is one of the longest running tracks on my Country Music Playlists, but others like The Cape are so much worth listening as well.
2. Now You Know by Jon Langston
You just recognize that Jon Langston is supported by Luke Bryan: despite being a young and upcoming artists, this EP already fees so complete, so perfect, so clean. Great modern country music from Nashville.
My Favorite EP in 2019:
Superhero by Sylvia Aimee
I was fascinated by the Superhero EP by Dutch Sylvia Aimee when she released it in November. This EP really got what I wrote about EPs before: four different stories, telling you in total quite a lot about the artist and her current situation. The EP is great, not just the very personal title track. Absolutely worth listening!
My Favorite Non-Country Albums in 2019
Like in the singles section, I will start with non-country entries first.
3. Gott of Schlager by Christian Steiffen
Maybe that album will not pop up in any other best of list you are reading. Sometimes my lists are just very personal (which may feel like strange from outside) – but Christian Steiffen just influenced my year 2019 so much that he deserves to be in here. I happened to run into the album because it made it to the charts up to place #17. It is trash schlager, very often with a lot of sexual irony (one of the songs which made him big is Sexualverkehr meaning “Sexual Intercourse”), but it is extremely well produced and just keeps its line. To me, it stays entertaining and never turns out to become too foolish. By the way, Christian Steiffen is an alias – if you speak it out quickly in German, it sounds like “You are getting a boner”. Just great stuff, which makes me dance and feel good any time I listen to it.
2. Moonglow by Avantasia
After I praised the title track as my personal best non-country song of the year already, it is not that surprising that the Moonglow album by Avantasia is popping up in that list. Tobias Sammet, the head and mastermind behind the metal superband, is likely one of Germany’s best songwriters and musical storytellers – and he proofs it again on this masterpiece. So great that he still manages to get all the people together – if you happen to have the guys around in your city live on stage, you just have to go for them!
My Favorite Non-Country Album in 2019:
Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen
Yes, I have to give in – Western Stars has a lot of country touch. It just deserves to be on top – “The Boss” has produced a great album again, which makes you travel into so many different stories – love it!
My Favorite Country Albums in 2019
Country music is just the genre which I by far most listen to – so I decided to go for a Top 7 here.
7. While I’m Livin’ by Tanya Tucker
While I’m Livin’ is maybe one of the huge surprises of the country music world to me. Tanya Tucker has so much power in her songs, she does excellent songwriting and I just love to listen to her. And old country lady doing the same boring stuff as she did in the 1970s already? Not at all! Straight, honest, rocking modern country made by a legend!
6. Fire & Brimstone by Brantley Gilbert
Power and rocking modern country sounds are two words which describe the music of Brantley Gilbert perfectly as well. The album’s key track may be the duet with Lindsay Ell, What happens in a small town – but there are so many different songs on Fire & Brimstone that you will just any of the 51 minutes. One of these 2019 albums you should buy (if you haven’t done already).
5. Old Dominion by Old Dominion
Honestly, Old Dominion was never one of my very favorite bands – but her third album, the self-titled Old Dominion is just too good. So many great songs, so many emotions, just so good.
4. Wonderland by Sarah Darling
My review of Sarah Darling’s Wonderland was likely the biggest mistake of all 2019 reviews. I just assigned 4 out of 5 stars to it. The full rating would have been the only deserved one. The more I listened to it, the more I loved it – not just because it contains my personal song of the year with Call Me. Her first album fully recorded in the UK, just an amazing person and artist.
3. Real Friends by Chris Janson
First of all, Chris Janson is an amazing artist on stage. He was one of the most enjoyable artists in Nissan Stadium at the CMA Fest 2019. His latest album Real Friends is a real treat. Good Vibes is the overwhelming single, The title track is a duet with Blake Shelton, which already tells you that Chris Janson is just an amazing artist. Very versatile album with a lot of different tunes, all worth listening to.
2. No Saint by Lauren Jenkins
I already wrote in my posting about my favorite songs of the year that Lauren Jenkins’s No Saint changed my life. Lauren is just such an impressive artist. I feel that this album really does not have a weak spot – and on top of that, you have to keep in mind that it is her very first album release. If Lauren Jenkins can keep up that level with her second longplayer, I feel she is right en route to the top of country music.
My Favorite Country Album in 2019:
What You See Is What You Get by Luke Combs
There is just no argue – Luke Combs is just the most amazing artist of the country music scene that year. He had so many hits in parallel with his first album This One’s For You, but his 2019 one What You See Is What You Get even got me more. 17 songs, all top country music or very close to it and a huge variety of songs and emotions as well. Combs just gave a statement with that late in the year publish. He deserves my top ranking just that much!
Flyctory.com Media Reviews
Here are all CD, book and movie reviews: