Rock is the New Roll: The Top 100 Albums of 2019 (70-61)

Here it is, the long-awaited list of the best albums of 2019. It has been a really great year for music. We heard from a couple of deceased legends in Harry Nilsson and Leonard Cohen, were treated with new records from Texas Honky Tonk legends Jack Ingram, Corb Lund, and Dale Watson, and bright lights shone for the first time with a bevy of new artists to discover including the one name wonders Lizzo and Yola.

Rock is not dead with White Reaper, Drugdealer and Balck Country Communion all inviting us to a party like it’s 1979. And of course, the singer-songwriter is back. The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, is back and better than ever and Rock is the New Roll favorite Tom Russell gave us a history lesson in 11 songs with October in the Railroad Earth.

This year we will be releasing our top 100 list 10 tasty gems at a time, so sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy the ear-pleasing top 100 records of the year.

70. Angel Olson – All Mirrors

A bit of a Swiss Army Knife sort of artist, here, Angel Olson mostly shreds her country-inflected Indie-Folk for a more lavish and expansive sound. Bolstered by a 17 piece orchestra, this record should be a master class in how to do Symphonic Pop the right way. From the title track to the moody and expansive “Impasse” your ears will take you on a journey that would make The Moody Blues proud.

69. Twin Peaks – Lookout Low

Famous for their live shows in their home town of Chicago, on Lookout Low the band channels 70’s FM Rock. Produced by Ethan Johns, the setting is Big Star in places and Basement era The Band in others. “Dance Through It” has a Jackson Browne by way of Simple Minds flavor to it and is worth the price of admission alone.

68. Dianne Coffee – Internet Arms

If Prince and David Bowie had a love child he probably would sound like Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming and his swaggering oddball alter ego Dianne Coffee. Mining the same Glam Psychedelic territory that he favors with his main gig, Internet Arms features mostly mid-tempo synth numbers with “Stuck In Your Saturday Night” a real banger, and “Like A Child Does” dances to the beat of a thoughtful dance tune. This record is the one to put on when you are ready to go out on a Saturday Night.

67. The Plott Hounds – Damn The Wind

This time we mean it! The Plott hounds are definitely one of our new favorite bands. With the first introduction to these guys coming from a live version of “Get High (Down Town Anoka),” the first blast to the ears is courtesy of that voice, the one that belongs to Noah Alexander, the lead singer and guitar player for the group. It’s not only the whiskey-soaked, deep from the bowels of pre-“McArthur Park” Waylon Jennings Outlaw Country hades that overcomes you like the last call at closing time, but it is mostly the passion that the entire band that is what makes The Plott Hounds special.

66. Austin Meade – Waves

This denizen of the Texas hill country lays down a template of 70’s outlaw inspired country-influenced songwriting with more than a touch of Rock as well as Roll.

65. The Yawpers – Human Question

If you could only listen to artists from one single record label then Bloodshot Records should be your jam, and The Yawpers are right up there as show horses in their stable. A little more on the Rock and Roll Side than their last album, “Earn Your Heaven” will Rock your ears off and on “Dancing on My Knees” the rhythm section shows the musicianship and energy worthy of Stevie Ray’s Double Trouble.

64. The Regrettes – How Do You Love

Their Pop driven Punk songs are a must-hear. If the Go Go’s were actually cool they might have sounded like The Regrettes. Their sophomore record is full of Ramones worthy ear blasts.

63. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

Believe the Hype. Behind the Lizzo-Mania is a serious talent. On her break out record she blends Pop, Soul, R&B with a touch of Hip Hop for good measure. Listen to her get funky on “Cry Baby,” a little frisky on “Better in Color,” and downright bombastic on the stellar “Juice.” Lizzo is one of the best talents to come down the road in a long time.

62. Kyle Craft – Showboat Honey

This dude is a bit genre-defying, this dude is. A bit Kinks, slightly Brit Pop, some Power Pop and Badfinger, but it’s all pretty cool. This one is a nifty follow up to the equally excellent Full Circle Nightmare from all the way back in 2018.

61. Beth Hart – War in My Mind

Beth Hart has never been one to bury her darkest secrets, and on her latest record, she continues to peel away the layers of her soul. This is one of those rare artists that you feel you really know and appreciate simply by listening to her songbook.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (October 4, 2019)

The Darkness – Easter Is Cancelled

On their latest record, The Darkness, tight-pantsed heroes on a mission to save the world with the power of Rock, don’t make any apologies as they turn the proceedings up to 11 as they gloriously build on their Queen, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy foundation of glorious Glam.

Angel Olson – All Mirrors

A bit of a Swiss Army Kinife sort of artist, here, Angel Olson mostly shreds her country inflected Indie-Folk for a more lavish and expansive sound. Bolstered by a 17 piece orchestra, this record should be a master class in how to do Symphonic Pop the right way. From the title track to the moody and expansive “Impasse” your ears will take you on a journey that would make The Moody Blues proud.

Angel – Risen

Even back in the day, Legendary Glam Rock band Angel never really amounted to anything above cult status. But, as huge fans of the band, we here at Rock is the New Roll are bordering on giddy with the release of their first record in 19 years that features original members Punky Meadows and Frank Dimino. Thankfully, the band doesn’t stray far from the sound they were laying down when they were opening for Motley Crue, Poison, Van Halen, and the rest of the hair band crew back in their Sunset Strip glory days.

Old Crow Medicine Show – Live at The Ryman

Weighing in a lean 42 minutes, Old Crow Medicine Show pays tribute to the iconic palace of Country music on this joyously vivacious live set. From the opening 1-2 punch of “Tell It To Me” and “Shout Mountain Music” the template is laid down for the evening as the band weaves hee-haw nostalgia with contemporary coolness. Margo Price joins in on the fun playing Loretta Lynn to Ketch Secor’s Conway Twitty on “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” with Molly Tuttle and Charlie Worsham jumping on stage for the showstopping and show ending “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”

GospelbeacH – Let It Burn

Much like he did with his former band Beachwood Sparks, with GospelbeacH, lead singer Brent Rademcker, channels Tom Petty and the Laurel Canyon sound with a Country Rock vibe that is timeless. Adding even more to the Pop credentials laid down on the highly excellent 2017 release Another Summer of Love, “Dark Angel” could have been a long lost Heartbreakers song, and even when the band goes low and slow like they do on “Get It Back” there is a cool nostalgia that can be traced back to The Long Run era Eagles. The late Neil Casal, who was a member of Beachwood Sparks, contributes searing solos throughout the record and is a bittersweet presence on an uplifting record.