The amount of amazing music released in 2019 was overwhelming at times. I was able to get my hands on 612 full length albums in 2019. Throw in EP’s and singles and the year was incredibly prolific for the synth-based scenes. I had the daunting task of narrowing those 600+ albums down to just 30. I released a Top 100 first (you can find that HERE) and now it’s the Top 30!
LISTEN TO THE TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2019 SHOW HERE!
I have several rules I use when narrowing down releases to my Top 30 Albums:
- In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it being given to me by the band, label, promotional team, or DJ distribution service. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them. This is one of many reasons why it is so important to get the music to DJs!
- To qualify, the release must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
- To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions of previous releases, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs. If an album has 12 songs, but only seven original songs, then the album qualifies, but only those seven songs are rated.
- All albums are rated using a weighted average so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album would only lose 8 points/song.
- Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus releases.
- Any genres represented in my show can make the Top 30.
- I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. I try my best to be objective using the weighted average rating system and when it comes time to delete albums with lower scores, I don’t look at the names of the bands I’m deleting so there’s no chance I’ll bump an album because I really like the band or I’m friends with the drummer, etc. I have no doubt given human psychology that no matter how hard I try or what rules I put in place, I do not eliminate all personal bias. But I guess that’s what makes these lists subjective.
I don’t rank them from 30 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly (given that I start from over 600), and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30.
I hope you give each album and band a chance. If you find something you like then support the band: follow them on social media, buy their music and merch, and definitely go see them on tour!
So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019 (in alphabetical order):