Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2019

I’ll always remember 2019 as the year I got married; however, it ended up being a pretty incredible year for music and entertainment as well. As we finish up this decade, I reflect back on just how many of these lists I’ve made. It’s a yearly tradition that I enjoy because it allows me to no only reflect on the past year and reevaluate everything I listened to and consumed, but it creates a little snapshot in time that I can re-visit in the future and remember what I was enjoying and listening to during that moment in time. I thought it was a good year personally, wrapped around a tough year globally. Thank you to everyone that reads this website on a daily basis; I hope you enjoy my list and maybe find something new to love.

The staff compiled best of 2019 list can be found here.

Favorite Albums of 2019

  1. Sigrid – Sucker Punch
  2. The Japanese House – Good at Falling
  3. Jimmy Eat World – Surviving
  4. Clairo – Immunity
  5. Noah Gundersen – Lover
  6. Somos – Prison on a Hill
  7. The Dangerous Summer – Mother Nature
  8. The Maine – You Are Ok
  9. Copeland – Blushing
  10. MUNA – Saves the World
  11. PUP – Morbid Stuff
  12. Charly Bliss – Young Enough
  13. Oso Oso – Basking in the Glow
  14. Tiger Army – Retrofuture
  15. Hatchie – Keepsake
  16. Holy Ghost – Work
  17. Strung Out – Songs of Armor and Devotion
  18. Grayscale – Nella Vita
  19. Strang Ranger – Remembering the Rockets
  20. Set it Off – Midnight
  21. Fidlar – Almost Free
  22. The Menzingers – Hello Exile
  23. Blink-182 – NINE
  24. Alex Lahey – The Best of Luck Club
  25. Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
  26. La Bouquet – Sad People Dancing
  27. Pronoun – I’ll Show You Stronger
  28. Bon Iver – I,I
  29. Better Oblivion Community Center – Better Oblivion Community Center
  30. Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury

It was my favorite album of the year at the mid-way mark, and it’s my favorite album at the end of the year. Sigrid’s Sucker Punch is a perfect combination of pop perfection melded with emotional connection. In the end, it was not just the album that I came back to the most often, it was the one I reached for during every season of the year and contains the songs I’ll most associate with 2019. This year also brought with it another incredible addition to Jimmy Eat World’s catalog, the budding genius of The Japanese House and Clairo, and a reintroduction to The Dangerous Summer’s pop-rock prowess. Looking at my list, at a high level, I see a variety of genres that span every inch of my current musical tastes. I see the thread of pop-punk and my continued love for a good hook. I see my expanding tastes into synth based pop, and a continued love for singer songwriters with a story to tell. All-in-all, I thought it was a great year for music and one that added new classics into the mix with some fresh gems from our old favorites.

Thank you to everyone that read this website this year, it’s because of you, and especially those of you that support the website, that we exist. Also, if you want to hear more from me throughout the year, specifically once a week as I write about music and entertainment I find interesting, sign up for my newsletter.

To make it easy to check out some music from everyone on my list, I put together a playlist containing two songs from each of these albums on Apple Music and Spotify.

Honorable Mentions

  • All Time Low – It’s Still Nothing Personal
  • Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
  • Bad Religion – Age of Unreason
  • Ben Platt – Sing to Me Instead
  • Betty Who – Betty
  • City and Colour – A Pill for Loneliness
  • Cub Sport – Cub Sport
  • Dave Hause – Kick
  • Floating Points – Crush
  • Good Riddance – Thoughts and Prayers
  • Great Grandpa – Four of Arrows
  • Hunny – Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
  • Josh Ritter – Fever Breaks
  • Lana Del Ray – Norman Fucking Rockwell
  • Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
  • Mannequin Pussy – Patience
  • New Found Glory – From The Screen to Your Stereo 3
  • Refused – War Music
  • Shredders – Great Hits
  • Sum 41 – Order in Decline
  • Taylor Swift – Lover
  • Tegan & Sara – Hey, I”m Just Like You
  • The Damned Things – High Crimes
  • Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
  • White Reaper – You Deserve Love

All of these albums were in contention for a spot on my top 30. Some great stuff here that just missed the cut, but I know all these albums will remain staples of my playlists for years to come.

Favorite EPs of 2019

  • Death Cab for Cutie – The Blue EP
  • Nightly – Talk You Down EP
  • Ruston Kelly – Dirt Emo Vol. 1
  • Simple Creatures – Strange Love EP
  • Thrice – Deeper Wells EP
  • WhoHurtYou – Stages EP

Movies I Enjoyed in 2019

  • Ad Astra
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Between Two Ferns: The Movie
  • Booksmart
  • Captain Marvel
  • Fighting With My Family
  • Happy Death Day 2
  • High Flying Bird
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World
  • Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  • Marriage Story
  • Parasite
  • Plus One
  • Shazam!
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Toy Story 4
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette

My favorite movie of the year was Parasite. I still think about it all the time. I also loved Booksmart and know that will be added into my regular rotation when I’m in the mood for a great comedy.

I watched over 163 films in 2019. You can find more of my movie watching habits and ratings on Letterboxd.

TV Shows in Enjoyed in 2019

  • 11.22.63
  • Below Deck
  • The Bold Type
  • Billions
  • The Boys
  • Carnival Row
  • Chernobyl
  • Cobra Kai
  • Derry Girls
  • Dickinson
  • Doctor Who
  • Doom Patrol
  • Fleabag
  • The Good Place
  • Looking for Alaska
  • Magic for Humans
  • The Mandalorian
  • Modern Love
  • Mr. Mercedes
  • The OA
  • Red Oaks
  • Pen 15
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Stranger Things
  • Superstore
  • Titans
  • Unbelievable
  • Watchmen
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • You’re the Worst

This was a pretty incredible year for TV. My favorites were definitely You’re the Worst, Fleabag, and Watchmen. However, everything on this list was “damn good” to “great,” and reading over it again now sort of blows my mind with how much great entertainment we’re getting on such a consistent basis.

You can find more of my TV watching habits and ratings on Trakt.

Books I Enjoyed in 2019

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • Batman (Comic) by Tom King
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (Comic) by Nick Spencer
  • The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  • The Outsider by Stephen King

I did not read nearly as many books this year as I wanted to. I ended up going in on comic book reading instead and have been loving the Batman and Spider-Man runs I’ve been reading. Maybe next year I’ll get back to working in novels on a more regular basis.

You can find more of my book reading habits and rating on Goodreads.

Apps I Discovered and Enjoyed in 2019

  • AirBuddy (Mac)
  • Apollo (iOS)
  • Banktivity (Mac and iOS)
  • Concepts (iOS)
  • Dark Noise (iOS)
  • Fission (Mac)
  • MusicHarbor (iOS)
  • NepTunes (Mac)
  • Sip (Mac)
  • Sketch (Mac)
  • Yoink (Mac and iOS)

I didn’t discover a whole lot of apps this year that I would consider “must owns,” but I did start using Sketch a whole lot more. I had dabbled in it, but finally went all in as I started using it to prototype my web designs. (The new prototype layout for Chorus has been built using Sketch.) MusicHarbor was also a great addition to my weekly workflow of making sure I find all the new releases, especially singles, from artists I want to check out.

And, with that, that’s a wrap on the year. 2020 has a lot of great music on deck, but our country’s looming election has me on edge. I always believed in futures, I hope for better in November.

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