"After listening to dozens and dozens of albums this year, Jim and Greg have narrowed down their favorites from the first six months of 2019."

Why wait until December, let alone January of the next year? Lists are too helpful and too much fun, and mid-year "Best of So Far" lists have quickly become the norm, helping us keep track of all the great music that's been released since last year, and what we may have missed. Renowned Chicago (via NJ & NY) music critics Greg Kot and Jim Derogatis ran down their favorite albums of 2019, so far, on the latest episode of their 'Sound Opinions' podcast (available wherever you get podcasts).

Like most people at BrooklynVegan, they both agree that Sharon Van Etten belongs in the top 10, but some of their choices are a bit surprising (including to each other -- Sharon is just one of two they agree on). Listen to the hour long episode to hear them talk about and play Sharon and 13 other choices, including rock, rap, punk and jazz (but no metal). For an instant spoiler, their full list of 20 is pasted at the end of this post, after Sharon's new video for "No One's Easy To Love," and her older one -- also off the new album -- for "Seventeen."

Jim D's new book Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly is out now.

Greg Kot's Best of 2019 So Far
1 Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!
2 The Comet Is Coming, Trust the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
3 Yugen Blakrok, Anima Mysterium
4 Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow
5 Shana Cleveland, Night of the Worm Moon
6 Dave, Psychodrama
7 Fontaines D.C., Dogrel
8 Julia Jacklin, Crushing
9 Pip Blom, Boat
10 Jenny Lewis, On the Line

Jim Derogatis's Best of 2019 So Far
1 Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
2 Tacocat, This Mess Is a Place
3 Ex Hex, It's Real
4 Jenny Lewis, On the Line
5 Artists of the Paisley Underground, 3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O'Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade
6 Solange, When I Get Home
7 Priests, The Seduction of Kansas
8 Sneaks, Highway Hypnosis
9 Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow
10 Bob Mould, Sunshine Rock

Read our Sharon Van Etten review in the January 18 edition of Notable Releases.

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