Editors' Choice for October, 2019

Jagjaguwar
Risks pay off on a highly stylized album with lavish orchestral arrangements that only elevate the singer's trademark vulnerability.
- Marcy Donelson
4AD
Following the spacey, artful U.F.O.F. by only five months, this contrasting sister album opts for a crisper, rawer, more jagged approach.
- Marcy Donelson
Debemur Morti
Normandy's premier experimental black metal outfit enter a new exploratory musical phase without forsaking their origins.
- Thom Jurek
What's Yr Rupture?
The band shave off the rough edges of the dance punk sound, replacing it with newfound sonic power.
- Tim Sendra
Nonesuch
Composer Patrick Zimmerli's engaging, hybridized jazz and classical suite featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman and chamber ensemble Brooklyn Rider.
- Matt Collar
Concord
The follow-up to the super-trio's Grammy-winning debut features more vibrant concert performances.
- Matt Collar
Late August Records
A modest yet deeply felt album that showcases Jinks' strengths as a singer and songwriter.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Tapete Records
The long-running band have never sounded punker, sadder, or more alive than on this excellent album.
- Tim Sendra
ECM
Awe-inspiring performances reflect on the fugue and its continuing significance, with a blistering performance of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge.
- James Manheim
Captured Tracks
The band digs deeper into pain, addiction, and recovery on their grittily beautiful third album.
- Heather Phares
Polydor / Verve
Awash in the damp grays and socio-political malaise of Brexit, the veteran post-Brit-poppers navigate the brackish waters with empathy and steely acceptance.
- James Christopher Monger
Fat Possum Records
The excellent debut album from the Philly noise punks tempers chaos with vulnerability.
- Fred Thomas
Damaged Goods
The French singer's fourth album is her usual blend of obscure covers and string originals delivered in cool and reverent '60s style.
- Tim Sendra
Nonesuch
The gifted Guatemalan vocalist and the iconic American producer and arranger create an ornate, cross-cultural song cycle.
- Mark Deming
Hyperion
Soprano Harriet Burns impresses in her debut album, part of Hyperion's complete cycle of Brahms songs.
- James Manheim
Telarc Distribution
On the eve of her 40th birthday, the virtuoso pianist surveys what she's learned and integrated into her music over the last decade.
- Thom Jurek
Deutsche Grammophon
Beautifully rendered early Verdi arias augur well for Abdrazakov's new tenure at Deutsche Grammophon.
- James Manheim
Compass
Recorded live in the artist's home studio in Wales with local players, the expatriate American singer reaffirms his soul roots here.
- Thom Jurek
Chandos
Hugely enjoyable postwar works by Korngold effectively fuse symphonic and cinematic idioms.
- James Manheim
Hyperion
Gerald Finley and Julius Drake perform a compelling program of Schubert's Schwanengesang and Brahms' Vier ernste Gesänge.
- Blair Sanderson
Thrill Jockey
This multi-faceted and curious collection finds the noise rock institution still growing and developing nearly a quarter century in.
- Fred Thomas
Western Vinyl Records
Fourth album from Vancouver duo incorporates the best elements of their ever-shifting dark pop muse.
- Fred Thomas
Father / Father/Daughter Records
The second Lisa Prank album is a full-band affair that spices the garage punk rippers with some soft and sad pop songs.
- Tim Sendra
Decca
Crossover guitarist Karadaglić takes the genre into the new territory of alternative rock.
- James Manheim
FatCat Records
Ian William Craig and Missy Donaldson's otherworldly duo debut puts Craig's fractured sound experiments in the context of structured acoustic song.
- Marcy Donelson
Steinway & Sons
Superb recital emphasizing the continuing influence of the pianistic tradition beginning with Chopin.
- James Manheim
Omnivore
This marvelous collection of songs from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood resonates as deeply in the 2010s as ever.
- Timothy Monger
New West
Inspired by a collection of forgotten photos, the band, friends, and family celebrate the ties that bind with rocking Hill Country blues.
- Thom Jurek
A joyous, rowdy concert tailored to the history of the famed Ryman, home of the Grand Ole Opry.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Harmonia Mundi
Zippy, yet somehow intimate readings of Falla's evergreen hits.
- James Manheim
Shiiin / Sono Luminus
Pauline Kim Harris and Spencer Topel have created two ambient works that suggest the infinite through acoustic and electronic means.
- Blair Sanderson
Darla Distribution
The band's third album harkens back to their '90s indie pop glory while adding new tricks, nearly topping their brilliant debut.
Chandos
A delightful collection of British works, more sketches than tone poems, of the early 20th century.
- James Manheim
Capitol
A weighty box set filled with alternate takes, live performances, and other rarities.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Universal
The band's first album in 22 years is a near-flawless blend of experience and exuberance.
- Heather Phares
Tooth & Nail
A career-defining evolution for the Ohio metalcore crew that pushes genre boundaries and atmospheric scope.
- Neil Z. Yeung
dBpm
Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates return after a hiatus with brave, challenging music that searches for hope in dark times.
- Mark Deming
Harmonia Mundi
A vigorous live performance of Monteverdi's sleazefest, from the Salzburg Festival.
- James Manheim
Ropeadope
Accompanied by more than 30 players, the British-Bahraini composer and instrumentalist delivers a tribute suite to iconic women.
- Thom Jurek