While there are other movies and games that I still need to see and play until the end of the year, I’m super confident in saying that my choices for best album and song of the year will not change.
Music isn’t my favorite type of media out there. My tastes are fairly simple and I tend to stick to the same artists and rarely look around for outside artists that have a lot of buzz or hype around their new music.
My Top 3 favorite artists are Taylor Swift, AJR and Weird Al.
In a year that had new music for 2 of those 3 musical acts, it was a great music year for me, but it makes it super hard to figure out which songs, albums and artists are my favorites for the year.
The winner of each category will either from AJRs album or Taylor Swifts album because that’s what my year consisted of.
It was a tough decision to make, but I have my results.
Best Album of the Year
In March of 2019, AJR released Neotheater.
It consisted of 12 tracks that when listened to in order, told a story about growing up and facing different fears and lessons in the world.
Whether those fears were having ‘100 Bad Days’ but having them turn into 100 good stories, the terrors of moving out of your home and having to leave that security blanket of your family and your Legos behind in ‘Don’t Throw Out My Legos,’ and being the best person you can be but not having the universe reward you in ‘Karma’, AJR went deeper into their music and gave us an album that will make you feel so many different things while being composed on a unique beat.
In August of 2019, Taylor Swift released Lover.
After MONTHS of teasing and single releases, Taylor finally released her highly anticipated album and it was incredible.
Taylor Swift will either make you sing out loud like nobody is watching, cry to yourself thanks to her beautiful lyrics, or both at the same time.
This album is no different.
Songs like ‘Paper Rings’, ‘Cruel Summer’ and ‘Me!’ are complete bops that will make you dance in your car and just scream out “He looks up grinning like a devil” will bring you into a whole new mood that you will not be able to escape.
If you want a more emotional song, look no further than ‘Lover.’
Just like all Taylor albums, there is a perfect mix of upbeat and sad songs, each one composed with a beautiful melody and wonderfully crafted lyrics.
After listening to both albums on repeat for the majority of the year, my Album of the Year choice is Neotheater by AJR.
Each one of the songs on this album is a song that I will listen to over and over again. The opening and closing songs are a great opening and conclusion to an album including one of my favorite lines from the album: “If it’s my final album and if I am forgotten, I hope I made you smile, that’s all I ever wanted.”
That one quote alone just gives me chills each time I listen to it and I want it engraved on my grave whenever that time comes.
Best Song of the Year
Thanks to these two incredible albums, there are SO MANY songs that have made me sing out loud, dance to, rock my head to and even cry to. There is a song of the year, but there are two runner ups:
3. ‘Paper Rings’ by Taylor Swift
This is the upbeat song that I love. Listening to this song made it clear that Taylor was fully in love and that is clear through her lyrics.
“Went home and tried to stalk you on the internet, now I’ve read all of the books besides your bed.”
“I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this.”
“I want to drive away with you, I want your complications too. I want your dreary Mondays, wrap your arms around me, baby boy.”
This song is full of quotes that make you want to find that certain someone so you can have these feelings for them too.
2. ‘Karma’ by AJR
“I’ve been so good, I’ve been helpful and friendly. I’ve been so good, why am I feelin’ empty. I’ve been so good, I’ve been so good this year.”
“I’ve been so good, but it’s still gettin’ harder. I’ve been so good, where the hell is the karma? I’ve been so good, I’ve been so good this year.”
The opening verse sets the tone for the rest of the song.
You can do so many good things over the course of a year but you don’t feel as if the universe reciprocates it back to you.
If you believe in karma, this song will resonate with you because you may feel this everyday. Whether it’s just being your best self, or going out of your way to do extra nice things to strangers or loved ones, people like to see that same respect shown back to you in some way, shape or form.
The incredible verse at the end of the song will give you chills as you try to sing it without taking a breath.
“The universe works in mysterious ways, but I’m starting to think it ain’t working for me. Doctor, should I be good, should I be good this year?”
And my Song of the Year is ‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift
As someone who prefers the more upbeat songs, ‘Lover’ took me on a trip. The first time I listened to ‘Lover’ was the minute it was released on YouTube. I was in Disneyland and I left my friends, who were watching the Main Street Electrical Parade, to run into a quiet corner of the store and listen to the song. After my first listen, I knew this was one of her best songs.
I listened to this song and it made me believe in love again. It sounds insane but it is a beautiful song accompanied by a incredible pleasing music video.
The song just talks about the things a couple can do together that just sound so simple but that’s what makes love great.
It isn’t about the larger moments in life that you experience together. It’s about the small things like leaving the Christmas lights up til January and letting friends crash in the living room.
Lyrics like “have I known you twenty seconds, or twenty years” are either something you have, or something you want in a relationship. Just having that connection from the start will make everything else in your life feel a little bit brighter.
The original mix of ‘Lover’ is credible, the Shawn Mendes mix is one that I don’t recognize, but it’s the First Dance mix that made me feel even more than I thought I could.
There are not many slower songs that really speak to me nowadays but ‘Lover’ changed that and you will be hearing the ‘First Dance’ mix of the song at my wedding. Non-negotiable.
Artist of the Year
This category was probably the easiest one for me.
Taylor Swift is one of my favorites of all-time. She keeps bringing incredible music that I know I will love and she keeps changing it up so it’s always fresh and amazing.
AJR has been rising in my favorites for the past few years.
I saw them in concert last year on The Click Part 2 tour, they performed an acoustic set at a record store near me when Neotheater was released, and I saw them at Radio City Music Hall for Neotheater Part 1.
The Neotheater Part 2 tour was one of the best shows I have ever seen. I loved it so much that I bought tickets for the second part of the tour in Connecticut.
AJR easily won 2019 for me.
Neotheater came out in full force with each song hitting at a different level for me. Their music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard and each song brings a new meaning and you can take something from each song.
Nothing made me happier than watching the trailer for the Pixar movie Soul and hearing their song ‘Overture’ from The Click be the main song played.
AJR is on the rise and yet they still aren’t that main stream. They have quickly joined my top artists of all time and that is why they are my Artist of the Year.
Music has the ability to impact a persons life. The music from the two artists I mentioned above did exactly that for me this year. Some of my favorite songs were released on these two albums. I’m so excited to see where these artists go next and I can’t wait to listen to whatever they make next.