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10 Top Albums That Dropped in 2019

Our definitive list of the hottest albums and projects from 2019, in no particular order

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2019 was a hot year for music with outstanding debuts that launched some of our hottest new artists. With significant projects from artists like Solange, FKA twigs and Ariana Grande, along with highly anticipated releases from Tyler, the Creator and Lana Del Rey, 2019 was a year of promise and fulfillment in the world of music. Noteworthy debuts from newer artists like DaBaby, Billie Eilish and Megan Thee Stallion all put them on the map. Here are ten of our favorite projects: the albums that resonated with a broad audience, touched our hearts and transported us to a newer and more profound level of listening.

With IGOR, Tyler, the Creator continued to rebrand his original grimy and explicit sound of his previous album, Flower Boy. The project, which tells a story of heartbreak and forgiveness, is packed with revealing and vulnerable lyrics and it’s Tyler's most compelling expression yet. The combination of individually reflective songs and immaculately superb production makes for a very strong album.

Full of lush harmonies and poignant lyrics, FKA twigs’ second album is a step forward in the artist's theatrical sound. With bursts of operatic cries and soaring harmonies, twigs creates an emotional and heartfelt album filled with melodies that seep into your brain. Memorable love ballads that show her mastery of storytelling through lyrics, combined with soft, bass shudders, the English singer and songwriter created a work of instrumental genius that will last into the next decade.

In her fourth studio album, Solange does not hide her cultural and spiritual experience as a woman of color who grew up in Houston. An ode to blackness and her childhood home, When I Get Home transports listeners to a city where the cars are drenched in candy paint, the liquor is a dark purple and drivers blast music from their rides as a rite of passage. Written and sung with passion and emotion and soaked in warm, jazzy and soulful production, Solange has formed one of her most transcending albums yet—a successful follow-up from A Seat at the Table.

African Giant is the Nigerian singer’s fourth studio album, named after the continent’s cultural footprint, as well as the artist’s musical impact. The project is genre-fused, packed with Afrobeats and dancehall beats with features from varying artists, including Future, YG, Zlatan, Serani and Angélique Kidjo. Rich in complexity with ranging vocals of English, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin, African Giant is arguably Burna’s best, most satisfying album to date.

The debut album of 18-year-old pop singer Billie Eilish is one of the top releases of the year. Embroidered with spooky effects and blending dubstep with trap beats, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? proves to be a rousing showcase of the artist's range. Rich in topics like climate change and suicide, Eilish effectively creates a profoundly progressive project that resonates and is loved by a millennial audience.

Blending poetic vocals with hazy melodies, Lana Del Rey proves to be original and unmatched in Norman Fucking Rockwell! She croons like a ‘50s pop singer, generating classical music for modern-day consumption. A blend of old Hollywood charm, unsuccessful relationships, stereotypical masculine habits and the American Dream, Del Rey creates a relatable and dreamy album to easily get lost in.

Young Thug is effortlessly himself in So Much Fun, his best album to date. From start to finish, So Much Fun is a total Atlanta-infused debut and each track earns its place on the album. With features from other talents like Future, Lil Baby, Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert and Quavo, Thugger proves his versatility and talent, merging different sounds to create superb production.

Thank U, Next is the fifth studio album by Ariana Grande. The project was released shortly after the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the end of her engagement with comedian Pete Davidson. Top tracks like “thank u, next,” “7 rings” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” prove to be an exciting showcase of her range. Each track gets better with repeated listens, combining soaring harmonies and powerful lyrics.

DaBaby’s debut album, Baby on Baby, is the project that proved he has the endurance to be a long-lasting artist. The 13-track album is rich in quotable lyrics and energetic production, demonstrating the North Carolina rapper’s captivating creativity. With memorable hits like “Baby Sitter” and “Suge,” the project can remain relevant far into the new year, gearing him up for an invincible 2020.

In her debut album Fever, Megan Thee Stallion started a movement that would transcend into the rest of the year: real hot girl shit. With lyrics that focus on sex, female power and hustling, the album proved the Texas rapper’s marketability and range. Fever is a Southern-infused sound that will transport you to a dance party in Houston—a beautifully crafted debut. A few months before the album’s release, Megan lost her mother, a rapper and singer, to cancer. Leading her legacy, Megan’s Fever was just the introduction to a résumé of bops.

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