The full album format often falls to the wayside in the world of pop music. Radio focuses on singles, and the advent of digital music services has enabled users to pick and choose their favorite songs, essentially cutting the fat often found on complete albums.
There are still plenty of music fans who appreciate the album format, however, and artists continue to release them. And while many modern records come across as “singles plus filler,” others prove to be cohesive works of art, adored by fans and critics alike.
The variety of musical styles featured across the best albums highlights the range of great music that was released in 2019. In addition to the pure pop stylings of superstars like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, country, rap, and a progressive metal album rank among the year’s finest.
The year’s best albums are not necessarily the most popular with regard to sales, streaming, and radio airplay. Rapper Lil Nas X’s EP “7” did tremendously well on the charts because of the inclusion of his viral hit “Old Town Road.” The release received mixed reviews from critics, however, with some outright lambasting it. The album’s big single does rank among the year’s best pop songs, however.
Some of the most popular albums this past year were also released in previous years. The Billboard 200 Year End albums chart — which tracks the most popular albums of the year — includes Ed Sheeran’s “÷” (2007), Queen’s “Greatest Hits” (1981), and The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” (1969). While these are undoubtedly great albums, we strictly considered music released in 2019. Here are the 100 greatest albums of all time.
To determine the best albums of the year, 24/7 Tempo identified the Metascore for each album listed on the Billboard 200 Year End albums chart for which it was available. A Metascore is the weighted average of numerous professional critics as formulated by entertainment review aggregator Metacritic. The Billboard 200 Year End albums chart is a ranking of the year’s most popular albums across all genres based on album sales, streaming activity, and digital sales as compiled by Nielsen Music. All albums had to be released in 2019 in order to be considered.