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The Best Of 2019

I’ve spent most of 2019 hearing a lot of Seventies funk music, I’ve had little time for contemprary records and it’s only in May 2020, well into this disgraceful Covid 19 era, that I can post my favourite albums.
The best has been the amazing return of Massimo Volume (who wrap up the decade just like they started it, winning this chart), then a live album of New Order with a 12 synths ensemble (while ShadowParty, featuring two New Order memebers, released a live album too).
But, even if I’m rediscovering music from the past century (and hearing new records by classic favourites like Delta V, Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti, Incognito, Morrissey‘s covers of the less remembered American classics, Franco Battiato‘s last masterpiece before retiring and JJ Cale‘s last effort before leaving us), there’s plenty of great contemporary music too: the excellent collaboration of reggaton heavyweights Bad Bunny and J Balvin (second third place in a row for Balvin), the innovative sounds of the emerging underground by DARRN from Rome, the new Italian pop of Dimartino, Giorgio Poi, Canova and Cosmo (who released radical remixes of last year’s masterpiece).
Once again Italian urban pop was the scene to follow. Mahmood even won the Sanremo festival and enjoyed massive chart success, apparently winning followers all over Europe after singing at the Eurofestival. Machete did a collective masterpiece bringing hip hop further ahead. Elettra Lamborghini teamed with the best urban producers for an excellent debut, while Achille Lauro chose to leave the trap scene to explore a diversified view of pop. Accidentally discovered Bladverk Band‘s elegand and emotional jazz. Here’s the full Top 30 with the Spotify playlist below.

mvnuotatore01 MASSIMO VOLUME – Il Nuotatore

02 NEW ORDER – (No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes..


04 DARRN – Musica Da Camera

05 Dimartino – Afrodite

06 Delta V – Heimat

07 Cosmo – Cosmotronic Remixed

08 Mahmood – Gioventù Bruciata


10 J.J. Cale – Stay Around

11 Franco Battiato – Torneremo Ancora
12 Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti – Sindacato dei sogni
13 Incognito – Tomorrow’s New Dream
14 Bladverk Band – Laponia
15 ShadowParty – The Town Hall Sessions
16 Elettra Lamborghini – Twerking Queen
17 Achille Lauro – 1969
18 Morrissey – California Son
19 Giorgio Poi – Smog
20 Canova – Vivi Per Sempre

21 Chadia Rodriguez – Avere 20 anni
22 Fred De Palma – Uebe
24 Izi – Aletheia
25 Brian Culbertson – Colors of Love Tour (Live in Las Vegas)
26 Frenetik&Orang3 – ZEROSEI
27 Drone126 – Cuore Sangue Sentimento
28 Laïoung – Rinascimento
29 Gianni Bismark – Re Senza Corona
30 Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

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The Best Of 2018

In 2018, I’ve had even less time, unfortunately also for hearing new music. It’s just now, in April 2019, I can post my favourite albums. Shame because it has been a great year for music. But I spent time hearing a lot of old music from the Tulsa and swamp rock scene, as you may have noticed from some of my posts. The only contemporary record from Tulsa in my Top 20 comes from Jim Byfield.
Still, new music has never been so exciting in this century, especially in Italy. So, while pretty unusual, it shouldn’t be a complete surprise my favourite album of 2018 comes from Achille Lauro who, with producer Boss Doms, created a fresh and contemporary sound mixing trap and latin music. A close second is Cosmo‘s album, a masterpiece of electro pop. Then comes reaggaeton genius J Balvin.
Not that I’ve abandoned the “classics”. Johnny Marr, Mark Knopfler and Subosnica made amazing returns, as did local hero Antonio Benassi. Elio E Le Storie Tese closed their wonderful career with fantastic concerts and a live album. ShadowParty is a great band with members from New Order, while Dunk are a truly promising band with a member from Verdena.
The new Italian pop scene emerges with the songwriting talent of Calcutta. The movie Black Panther had a superb soundtrack while Travis Scott did the international trap album of the year.
But it was the Italian trap kids who did the most of the albums in the Top 20. Not only Achille Lauro, but also Sfera Ebbasta (who had a well deserved enormous success in terms of sales and critical reception), Capo Plaza, Dark Polo Gang, Cromo, Gemitaiz and Drefgold. Here’s the full Top 30 with the Spotify playlist below.

ALpla01 ACHILLE LAURO – Pour l’amour

02 COSMO – Cosmotronic

03 J BALVIN – Vibras

04 Johnny Marr – Call The Comet

05 Gli Antonio Benassi – Putost che star in ca / Dal film “Quartiere Pablo”

06 ShadowParty – ShadowParty

07 Mark Knopfler – Down The Road Wherever (Deluxe)

08 Dunk – Dunk

09 Sfera Ebbasta – Rockstar (Popstar Edition)

10 Various Artists – Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By

11 Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD
12 Elio e le Storie Tese – Arrivedorci
13 Subsonica – 8
14 Capo Plaza – 20
15 Dark Polo Gang – Trap Lovers
16 Cromo – Oro Cromato
17 Gemitaiz – Davide
18 DrefGold – Kanaglia
19 Calcutta – Evergreen
20 Jim Byfield – Real

21 Papik – Little Songs for Big Elevators
22 Jimmy Markham – Get Ya Head Right
23 Drake – Scorpion
25 Bungaro – Maredentro: il viaggio
26 Tony Joe White – Bad Mouthin’
27 Baustelle – L’amore e la violenza vol.2
28 Rik Rey – Martire
29 Swing Out Sister – Almost Persuaded
30 Ben Böhmer – Dive EP