2019 Top Twenty Album List

Year End Collage 2019

Last December, I lamented how difficult it had been to select my favorite twenty Canadian albums of 2018, and as we approach the end of 2019, it appears that the task is no bed of roses this year either.  Having noted a hefty number of album releases throughout the year in my trusty journal, a quick glance at the list right now tells me that another daunting task of choosing just twenty awaits.

I think that the hardest task for any music ‘critic’ is the separation of subjectivity and objectivity. The blogger in me wants to keep things professional, with albums selected based on their own merits and originality, while the music fan in me remains loyal to my playlist of favorite artists, thus hard to ignore when they put out new material.  Hopefully my final twenty selections find common ground between both entities.

To provide some consistency during the consideration stages, and not simply adding one into the mix on a whim, I decided early into the year that any album would not be added to the journal until having heard it on at least three separate occasions. Quite an easy task for those I reviewed here on GDW, but meant that a little more effort was required on my part with all of the others. In addition, full-length albums means that EP’s are ineligible for the list too. And, of course, there are going to be albums I’ve overlooked, missed completely, or only managed to hear once or twice, thus rendering them exempt by my own code of conduct.  I never implied that these circumstances made the task any easier, but hey, you have to give it the old college try, right?

So after plenty of head scratching, excessive amounts of caffeine, and a fair share of bourbon at times, here are my top twenty Canadian albums of 2019.  Make that my top twenty Canadian albums of 2019, plus one – I’m sorry, but there was a monumental album released by a US artist this year that cannot be ignored on any list, not matter what the criteria.  Don’t ask me to rank them in any kind of order (although my top four albums will featured in a supplemental article).  I am taking the same approach as last year, and simply listing alphabetically.

  1. Altameda – Time Hasn’t Changed You
  2. Amanda Rheaume – The Skin I’m In
  3. Black Suit Devil – A Matter Of Time
  4. Coco Love Alcorn – Rebirth
  5. Jay Gilday – The Choice and the Chase
  6. Jeremie Albino – Hard Time
  7. Jim Cuddy – Countrywide Soul
  8. Julian Taylor Band – Avalanche
  9. Justin Rutledge – Passages
  10. Leanne Hoffman – What Remains
  11. Lee Harvey Osmond – Mohawk
  12. Leeroy Stagger – Strange Path
  13. Lydia Persaud – Let Me Show You
  14. Miranda Mulholland – By Appointment Or Chance
  15. Murray A. Lightburn – Hear Me Out
  16. Saint Lo – We Could Be
  17. Terra Spencer – Other People’s Lives
  18. The Small Glories – Assiniboine & The Red
  19. Tim Baker – Forever Overheard
  20. VK – Charm

Non-Canadian album: The Highwomen – Self Titled (US release feat. Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris & Natalie Hemby)

 

Martin Noakes

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.