Cy’s 100 Favorite Albums of 2019
5. SiR – Chasing Summer
If you are sleeping on SiR… WAKE THE HELL UP!!! This man is the epitome of everything beautiful, wavy, and luscious in this world. His music is an experience, something to live in. Lyrically he touches on very intimate moments in love, life, and the human experience. Magic. Pure magic. (Also, A+ use of Bob Marley classic No Woman No Cry in track LA.) Honestly, why does any other label even try? When you have both Jamla and TDE ruining everyone’s lives it’s almost like what’s the point?
4. Anderson .Paak – Ventura
There is nothing more glorious than an artist diving headfirst into his element, music thick and rich from the gut, pouring unapologetically from the soul. There’s a level of emotional loveliness running a hard line through Ventura. There’s a different slant and lean to the sound than with Oxnard or even Malibu, something smoother and more in line with classic love songs a la Motown (thus it makes so much sense that one of the most poetic songwriters of all time, Smokey Robinson, made an appearance on the album). A gorgeous piece of work! In my estimation, Anderson’s best, most focused, and most truly full of his spirit.
3. Willow – WILLOW
What can I say about Willow that hasn’t already been said before? She’s got an energy, a spirit, a synergy with both earth and the cosmos that elevates her musically with every single release. She’s become a woman naturally and without rush, meaning her music has been allowed to mature as she has. Still in the questioning years of youth, you can hear in her music, and particularly in her perfectly appointed self-titled third album, that she’s still questing for her truth, still unearthing her voice and giving herself room to make mistakes, question, and live through love, pain, struggle, ignorance, and a rare sort of brilliance that comes only from those who’ve been allowed to experience existence without hindrance. Her parents have raised her elegantly, and that elegance seeps into every artistic endeavor she pursues. Gorgeous piece of music, this!
2. Solange – When I Get Home
From the first note, Solange has reimagined herself in the fashion of Stevie Wonder’s reinvention in the ’70s (Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Innervisions), but also Marvin Gaye at his most introspective (What’s Goin’ On). Solange is a visionary in the sense that all of her music has vision and scope. There are images that cascade through the psyche that may not have been her own, but that she’s able to share through the osmosis of sound.
If her brilliance was at all doubted with the monumental Seat at the Table, there can be no doubt that she’s used sound as a vehicle to paint the ever-expansive scope of blackness and art, and art in black spaces, with not only great success, but with great care, foresight, and fearlessness. Already one of my favorite albums from the first few seconds! THIS is what it means to take influence from the musicians of the past without turning it into a gimmick!
1. Rapsody – EVE
Where does one even begin with Rapsody’s ode to feminism? Not only is it going to be hailed as one of the most important pieces of music for women in history, it pretty much put a hurting on 98 percent of the rap albums that came out this year. Her bars are undeniable. Her use of musical iconography is respectable and fearless. From her debut album to now, Rapsody has proven she’s one of the biggest forces in the game for the last decade. EVE is a testament to a woman who’s both serious about the craft and about the necessity for the female in world history. All one can do is applaud and praise the ground she walks on!
And there we have it! Perhaps the most difficult list I’ve had to create in the past five years! There was so damn much brilliant music from all over the world last year! All I can say is I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for us!
What were some of your favorite albums in 2019? Did some of them make my list?