PopMatters is 20 this year -- until October when we are 21 -- and a 2009 special section celebrates the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Today we kick things off with albums from January through March, highlighted by Eminem's debut and stellar pop from XTC and Blur.
Electronic music is a huge tent with so many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers, and a host of women changing the old boy's club of electronic music.
From forward-looking electronic and experimental to new approaches in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and punk to rock and pop, 2019 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.
To say Underworld's Drift Series 1 is an immersive experience is an understatement. It's an album that invites you to pitch a tent in it and hunker down for a month. Both Rick Smith and Karl Hyde sound inspired.
Some remnants of the age of "electronica" are even better than you remember. The deluxe treatment for Underworld's Beaucoup Fish is perfect for anyone ready to jump back into that era with both feet.