©2019 by Massimo Usai.

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The Best Record of 2019

Here it is, as usual, my ranking of the best records of the year.

I've always done this ranking, even before the Internet. I did it on a personal diary; now I do it on every blog I manage and, of course, on Facebook, Twitter, and I send it as a link to friends.

It is not the ranking of the best album "technically" released in the year, but it is my ranking.

These are the records I have listened to, loved, and have left a personal mark on me.

Here it is, the Top10, plus another twenty records that have been basic in the soundtrack of my life in 2019.

It was not a great year in so many aspect for myself, and here the ranking reflects the moods , the joys, and sorrows.

The year is over, time to start again for a new 365-day adventure (366 this year ..).


No. 1:

"Ghosteen" by Nick Cave

An extraordinary record. Full of the power of love, honesty, and faith. The record also comes out on a particular day of my life, and that makes this album closer to me.

Integrity, faith, hopes, real values are part of this record that will be next to me till I will be alive. No doubt it’s now just my album of the year, but when I will write down the best album of the decade, it will be so high.

“Waiting for you” makes me cry every time I listen to, but “Ghosteen,” “Sun Forest,” and “Hollywood” leave me speechless every time I play the record.


No. 2:

"Anima" by Thom Yorke

It’s always like that when you are writing down your top music, the connection is not just the quality of the music or the lyrics, but what this record means to you.

“Anima” means me a lot for this year. It’s essential to listen to the record but also to see the short movie on Netflix.

Both together (video and record) make a great sense. “Down Chorus” is one of the “songs of the year.”


No.3:

"I’m easy to find" by The National

My daughter said, “Dad, have you heard the new National’s album? It looks like they are talking about you”.

Yes, the new album from Matt Berninger and his mates have written down lyrics that I could have written by myself If ever had the luck to be a genius like Matt.

The majority of the songs are calm and quiet, but “Where is her head” mean a lot to me, and I found myself dancing again like I was 20 under a stage at the first concerts I saw it in my life.

I saw them live in Warsaw last November and was an outstanding concert.


No.4

"Saints and Sebastian Stories" by Konradsen

A duo from Norway. Classical folk-electro-indie. If you are looking for something cool to impress a new girl or to be the coolest in the middle of a bunch of with grey beard and they, think they are cool just because they called themselves “Hipsters”?

Well, you got the right record for this year to shout down them and bring back them to the earth.

Play “Red to Rhyme,” and everyone will listen with attention, and you will be at the top of the table of the people “who (thinks ) knows about music.”


N.5

"Assume Form" by James Blake

So far, I have never been disappointed with the young Londoner. Another masterpiece from James. A lot of guests in this new record that maybe so many will forget to put at the top of the year because they went out on the last 15th of January.

Again, the record reminds me of a cold and wet winter in London, trying to figure out how to come out from so many personal issues.

“Power on” has been the inspiration track of my long personal winter.


No.6

"Magdalene" by FKA Twigs

There is something magic in the cover of this second album of FKA Twigs, after for years from her first album. The album touch different issues, from the difficult to manage the popularity she is having and the pain of the end of a relationship. She turns these issues in a beautiful lament, and the distortion of the cover of the album gives everyone the image of what she is talking about inside her lyrics.


No.7

"Norma F***g Rockwell!" By Lana Del Rey

Something is strange in Lana Del Rey. I saw her live a few years back, and I almost slept after twenty minutes. She didn't put out an excellent performance, but maybe her music isn't right to be played in a big venue, and this last record proves my point.

Intimate, good lyrics, a perfect soundtrack to reflect and be ready to make crucial decisions in your life. I liked a lot this album.


No. 8

"I, I" by Bon Iver

He is one of the artists of the decade. I buy Bon Iver records regardless of whether I've heard them before or not. So I did the same for this new record, and once again, I was not disappointed. The surprise "Bon Iver" is no longer present on his albums, but the quality of his songs is always high, and so this new work of 2019 also ends up in the Top Ten of my records of the year.


No. 9

"BRM" by Big Red Machine

Well, well, well… I don't know what I was doing between August 2018 and January 2019, but I had ignored the existence of the record for four months. When I read that Aaron Dessner of The National and Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) had made a record together under the name Big Red Machine, I thought: what do I do? Do I commit suicide in shame, or do I ignored and pretend it's 2019? I did this, and here is the reason why it is in my ranking this year.


No. 10

"Good at Falling" by The Japanese House

Every year there is a need for the Pop record that accompanies me when the flowers bloom, and you leave your jackets at home to go out in the evening.

The album was released in March and is the synthesis of the genius of Amber Bain, who has no chance and is English and comes from the countryside, and you feel from the first track.

Try either now in January, working so well as well.



These above were my top ten of the year. Those below are the records I listened to a lot this year anyway.

Discs that I consider beautiful, often beautiful, like the ones above.


Hyperspace by Beck

Two Hands by Big Thief

Shepher in a Sheepskin Vest by Bill Callaham

Altid Sammen by Efterlang

King’s Mouth by The Flaming Lips

Crush by Floating Points

Song Society / Taller by Jamie Cullum

Legacy! Legacy ! by Jamila Woods

Ode to Joy by Wilco

Thanks for the Dance by Leonard Cohen

No Words Left by Lucy Rose

Miss Universe by Nilufer Yanya

Atlas Internet Café by Pablo Nouvelle

Sasami by Sasami

Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten

Titanic Rising by Weyes Bookd

Jaime by Brittany Howard

Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen

All Mirrors by Angela Olsen

Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka

Immunity by Clairo

Better Oblivion… by Better Oblivion Community Center






HAPPY NEW YEAR !




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