Top Albums of 2020

Story by Katie Lennon, Arts and Culture Editor

  1. Mac Miller – Circles

In 2018, Mac Miller passed away from an overdose. Before he passed, he had been working on an album to compliment his most recent one, Swimming. He played a few songs for singer-songwriter Jon Brion and they both got to work to finish this album. Unfortunately, he passed before the album was finished, but Brion decided to finish the album and release it. In January 2020, the album of twelve songs came out. Each song is a heartfelt ballad to his journey battling addiction, getting clean, and depression. Each song has its own ambience that creates a perfect tribute to Miller’s passing.

 

2. The Strokes -The New Abnormal 

Their first album in seven years, The New Abnormal beautifully lives up to the Strokes’ early 2000s albums. The album kept true to their style while still adding in new techniques that make the album stand out from their past songs. Although not able to live up to their masterpiece of the album, Is This It, The New Abnormal is not a cash-grab album, and each song has a bit of lead singer Julian Casablancas’s soul written into it.

 

3. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush 

Being Tame Impala’s fourth album, The Slow Rush is an album filled with a more psychedelic and smooth sound. This album was released five years after their last album, Currents. It is easy to listen to this album and get lost in the music. Although nothing compared to their past album, the synth-filled songs of this album makes for an exciting experience while listening. 

 

4. Ariana Grande – Positions

Positions is Ariana Grande’s third album in only two years, but is her best out of these releases. The album is filled with catchy, upbeat songs that gives listeners a deeper glimpse into her love life. The mix of R&B with her dreamy but soft voice makes for an album that you hope never ends.

 

5. Peach Pit – You and Your Friends

Peach Pit never fails to create perfect indie pop songs to listen to when driving with friends, and this album is just more evidence of that. When listening, You and Your Friends is an escape from reality and is filled with catchy, upbeat songs. The wishful tracks match perfectly with Neil Smith’s vocals, and not one song fails to make the listener feel like it is a warm summer day again.

 

6. Megan Thee Stallion – Suga

As her first of two albums in 2020, Megan Thee Stallion’s Suga takes the cake as the most memorable. Although a bit repetitive, the nine song album clearly reflects Megan’s strengths: vocals, lyrics, and making a catchy song. Being a female rapper, Megan catches a lot of heat about her song lyrics and simply being a woman in the rap industry. But when really listened to, her songs are hard to stop putting on repeat, and the lyrics make women feel more comfortable in themselves. Putting what the lyrics mean aside, the beats in her songs are catchy and her voice is impeccable.

 

7. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

For only being her second full album, Bridgers creates a heartbreaking array of songs filled with beautiful guitar progressions. Although not too different from her first album, Punisher is rooted in emo-folk and rock influence. The album shows Bridgers’ growth and strength, and serves as a soundtrack to people going through rough patches, especially in relationships. 

 

8. Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters

After eight years, Fiona Apple released her album titled Fetch the Bolt Cutters. The album name, which Apple heard while watching a crime show, is a metaphor to convince people to liberate themselves from whatever is holding them back, and to “set themselves free.” This album is unlike any others, and each song has its own original spin. The album creates a series of songs that take the listener through a spiral of the hardships of life. The hand clapping, feet stomping, and chanting makes Fiona Apple’s music so original and game changing for the industry. 

 

9. Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways

After sixty years of songwriting, Dylan released yet another beautifully mixed and sung folk rock album. Even as his thirty-ninth album, Rough and Rowdy Ways describes relationships as a pact between two people rather than a fight for power. Through the years, Dylan has never lost his touch and continues to be a major influential artist in the music industry. 

 

10. Kali Uchis- Sin Miedo

This album, sung completely in Spanish, is an amazing compilation of songs that includes new techniques from Uchis’ previous albums. Uchis’ voice is unlike others in the way that it is dreamy, yet powerful, and lullaby-like. The slow jams make it a perfect album to listen to in the car with the windows down, driving through an empty city at night. 

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