2019 In Review: Day 1 – Introduction And Best Album Art

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2019 In Review

1. Introduction + Best Album Art
2. Song of the Year
3. Album of the Year
4. R&B and Soul
5. Rock and Alternative
6. Rap and Hip-hop
7. Dance and Electronic
8. Pop and Ballad
9. Folk and Country
10. Jazz and Blues
11. Crossover and World
12. Best Collaborative Work
13. Rookie Artist of the Year
14. Artist of the Year
15. Other Recognition
16. Concluding Remarks

As 2019 draws to a close, it’s high time to revisit the year in music. Though 2019 will be remembered in part for its turbulence – far-reaching controversy as well as tremendous loss – it was also packed full of music that gave us indelible joy, beauty, and strength.

Coming soon is the ninth annual Year In Review series at Hellokpop, where we celebrate the artists and works that made the year shine, and we’re glad to have you join us.

We do kick off a little later than usual this time – the Day 2 post goes up on January 15, 2019.

Series Structure

Starting on the 15th, we will follow the schedule at the top of this page, with one post every day highlighting one musical genre or category. As always, each genre post will feature twelve albums and twelve songs, including the best pick, a “runner-up” pick, and the next-best ten.

We also list honorable mentions of varying counts (we try to keep each genre under ~80 songs or albums). The general posts follow a similar format, but “Artist of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, and “Album of the Year” have no honorable mentions.

In order to recognize as many works as possible, the Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and respective runner-ups will not show up in the genre categories.

We are keeping with the change made in 2018, which was to put the “Song of the Year” and “Album of the Year” posts at the beginning of the series; this ensures that we can include the Song and Album of the year in the Spotify playlists that we provide with the genre-specific results, without preemptively spoiling those picks.

On Day 15, we’ll have some fun and present dozens of whimsical “awards” that recognize works and artists for non-traditional or intentionally cherry-picked accomplishments.

Finally on Day 16, we’ll summarize what other publications have been picking in their own year-end lists.

The coverage period is December to November: works released between December 1, 2018 and November 30, 2019 are eligible to be included here.

Best Album Art

As has become tradition, we begin the series by recognizing 100 notable pieces of album art from the year. I pick these across a flexible set of criteria: some of them are aesthetically pleasing, others are evocative or meaningful, and still others are just striking.

They also serve as a prelude of what’s to come: many of the albums and singles represented below will also show up in the “award” categories in the main series.

The gallery is organized by alphabetical order of artist name. Original high-res covers can be found at most major Korean streaming sites, and these particular images are sourced from Bugs Music.

Gallery: Best Album Art 2019 (click for larger image)

Read our past series:

2018 In Review

2017 In Review

2016 In Review

2015 In Review

2014 In Review

2013 In Review

2012 In Review