Embedded Player Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X dominated the headlines this year, but 2019 was much more than that. We look back at the music we'll remember most and the marks it left on our cultural landscape.

As we listened back to the past year in music we heard a lot of the cultural and political angst you'd expect in a turbulent (and relentless) news cycle. But the albums that seemed to resonate the most in 2019 were more personal and inward looking, overflowing with love and defiant optimism. Sharon Van Etten reflected on motherhood, Amanda Palmer shared stories of survival and David Bazan, back as Pedro the Lion for the first time in 15 years, returned to his childhood, making the personal universal. Brittany Howard wrote songs of healing on an album she named after and dedicated to her sister who died at the age of 13, while the members of the Rwandan group The Good Ones sang songs of forgiveness in the wake of unspeakable genocide.

For other artists, 2019 was a year of renewal. Angel Olsen, Michael Kiwanuka, Sleater-Kinney, Raphael Saadiq and more all reinvented their sound, pushing themselves in dramatic new directions as a testament to the resilience and restlessness of the creative spirit.