Disco returned in a big way in 2020, thanks in part to Dua Lipa ("Future Nostalgia"), Kylie Minogue ("Disco"), Róisín Murphy ("Róisín Machine") and Lady Gaga ("Chromatica"). And that's the magic of both these albums: By stripping away all the usual bells and whistles expected of major pop releases, Swift places her unparalleled songwriting firmly front and center, crafting lyrics that reveal themselves in astonishing new ways with each listen. When Cardi B brags “I don’t cook, I don’t clean, but let me tell you how I got this ring,” it's one of the few printable couplets. As on his previous LPs, Hadreas’s queer perspective sparks songwriting that feels utterly unique: standout track Jason is a devastatingly frank account of a sexual encounter with a repressed straight man. Eminem heard us crying about how his projects were way too long, had shitty production and didn’t stay on topic. Dec 03, 2020 5:45 AM. Most excitingly of all, Ungodly Hour signposts a stunningly bright future for the Bailey sisters: Chloe especially shows off serious production chops here, while Hailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid. When Walking in the Snow references the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, who was placed in a lethal chokehold by a policeman, it tragically foreshadows the barbaric murder of George Floyd just nine days before this album came out. The Best Jazz Albums of 2020 Plus the best historical releases. “Cold was the steel of my axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart,” she sings knowingly on Invisible String. Some of them demand to intensify your workout or gaming session. [Edit - Each listen gets better!] They say that everything old is new again. If Grande's "Thank U, Next" was a young woman's chronicle of heartache and healing, "Positions" would be that girl's slightly wiser but still learning older sister. But while I admittedly sampled far fewer albums than usual, there were still plenty of new efforts that helped get me through these fraught last 12 months. Share using Email. Our Spotify top songs list was entirely comprised of "Supervision" this year, and for good reason: It's breezy, toe-tapping synth-pop that also knocks you off your feet with keen observations about anxiety, independence and letting go. Best Jazz Albums of 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic halted live performance, the lifeblood of the genre, but a run of powerful albums — and standout debuts — provided respite, and hope. With "Folklore" and "Evermore," she's created introspective music that meets us how and where we are – small triumphs from music's biggest hearted storyteller. The result: an uncommonly thought-provoking and rewarding listen. Some of the great albums and EPs below demand your full and undivided attention. Best Albums of 2020. Avatar - Hunter Gatherer. Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin. December 11, 2020 8:29AM ET Year in Review: The 30 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2020 Ashley McBryde, Chris Stapleton, and others rise to meet an uncertain year From Lil Uzi Vert to Run The Jewels to Freddie Gibbs, see who made Billboard's best hip-hop albums list of 2020. Seattle’s Fleet Foxes make gorgeous, rustic folk designed to lift the listener up … A warm blanket of an album from modern folk-rock royalty, with soaring anthems about hope ("I'm Not My Season") and forgiveness ("Featherweight") in the face of certain doom ("A Long Way Past the Past"). “I will never shut up.” For that, we should all be thankful. From the lavish disco of Murphy’s Law to the banging acid house of We Got Together, she and producer Richard Barratt create an electrifying, sweat-drenched headrush that never lets up. This list only includes new albums receiving at least 15 reviews from professional critics (though you'll find a quick list of the top albums with a smaller number of reviews at the end of the gallery.). Read about our approach to external linking. Her beguiling songwriting explores thorny issues such as depression, sexual violence and bullying, but Apple never loses her humour. Though it includes the 17-minute epic Murder Most Foul, on which he intricately explores the cultural impact of JFK’s assassination, there are also moments of levity. By Olivia Ovenden. Equally inspired by Sawayama’s pop heroines Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit, it's a hard-hitting, genre-hopping delight that's teeming with ideas. Thankfully, this deceptively peppy disco-pop song lives up to its billing. The best albums and songs of 2020. Released in March as pandemic panic tightened its grip, this stellar pop album helped fans to party the pain away – within the socially distanced safety of their own homes, of course. “Let’s go to the corner store and buy some fruit,” Parks sings on the twinkly chorus. Co-written and co-produced with Swedish songwriting genius Max Martin, its synth-pop shimmer manages to feel retro and contemporary at the same time – a tricky thing to pull off. When you describe your latest track as a “modern-day Jolene”, it’s got to sparkle like one of Dolly Parton's rhinestones. Billboard has compiled 'The 50 Best Albums of 2020' list and here are the top 5!

SHARE The Top 5 Albums of 2020: Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd & More | Billboard News Showing off the songwriting chops that have already been tapped by Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding, the British rising star makes us root for her over a romantic rival who “walks in like a model”. Half-a-billion streams later, WAP continues to pack a massive punch because rap superstars Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion outline their desires in a way that’s not just unapologetic, but also staggeringly graphic. Spotify Wrapped top songs: What USA TODAY entertainment experts streamed most this year. As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, artists found themselves unable to tour and – in some cases – unsure whether to release albums that were completed and ready to drop. Fleet Foxes, Shore. He makes no attempt to disguise the weariness in his 79-year-old voice, which only heightens the power of his beautifully wrought laments: these songs are sometimes folky, sometimes bluesy, and often downright transcendent. In the past, Cyrus has recorded everything from party-time R&B to psychedelic rock, but Midnight Sky ranks among her best reinventions yet. “I would do anything to get you out your room.” No wonder it struck a chord during a year when feelings of loneliness and isolation were increasingly tough to suppress. It’s not difficult to tell that Swift wrote and recorded her eighth album in Covid-19 isolation. Largely produced by Aaron Dessner of popular rock band The National, it’s a wistful indie-folk record that features some of Swift’s most wrenching melodies and poignant lyrics. Like, say, invisible string, the albums are tied together by their cottagecore aesthetic, shared producers (Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner), and evocative tales of searching for and surrendering to love, however maddening or melancholy it may be. Along with five tracks that dominated radio and streaming platforms, here’s a guide to the best LPs that this testing year had to offer. When Gaga sings “I'd rather be dry, but at least I'm alive”, she's nodding to a period of her life when she used alcohol to “numb” herself. 2. Some seem to reflect or comment on these turbulent times; others serve as a very welcome distraction. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1. The best albums of 2020 so far Clockwise from bottom left: BC Camplight, Fiona Apple, Jay Electronica, Carla Bley, KeiyaA. Creeper - Sex, Death & the Infinite Void. Though Blinding Lights’ explosive chorus is one of the year’s most familiar and uplifting, there’s a dash of darkness baked in that keeps things interesting. Grande’s angelic vocals complement Gaga’s grittier tones exquisitely, making Rain on Me a perfect pop song about accepting life’s less than perfect moments. Featuring well-judged cameos from Pharrell Williams and legendary singer-activist Mavis Staples, RTJ4 is an incendiary call-to-arms that rails against ingrained racism, police brutality and America’s rigged class system. This is an odd debut album by drummer-composer Raphaël Pannier, featuring a … They say that everything old is new again. New music has added color to the haze that has been 2020. Folklore by Taylor Swift is the best-selling album of 2020, and the longest-running number-one album of the year, spending eight weeks atop … To the end of a year that has already gone down in infamy as one of the weirdest (and worst) in decades. “Now I send their babies presents.” A stunning album that surely seals her status as an all-time great songwriter. Bookmark this article (Image credit: Beth Garrabrant) By Nick Levine 19th November 2020. The following is a list of albums released or scheduled for release in 2020. A heartfelt 70 minutes that gently exposes evocative, delicate tones and textures, Folklore mines literary and cinematic references such as Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window (1954) and Charlotte Brontë novel Jane Eyre. Mono Mundo 40. Premier Guitar Staff. While some of his peers chase TikTok trends to reaffirm their relevance, Styles is going his own way, making effortless-sounding bops that really stand out. Watermelon Sugar’s sultry breeziness was enormously appealing when the album arrived in December 2019, but became even more soothing as global stress levels rose throughout 2020. Starting on the issue dated January 18, 2020, Billboard updated the methodology to compile the chart by incorporating official video data from YouTube, along with visual plays from streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Vevo. For all its flirty, innuendo-filled lyrics, "Positions" is about how self-doubt and fear can creep into even the healthiest relationships, and a comforting reminder to just let your hair down sometimes. The 50 best albums of 2020: the full list Fiona Apple Composite: Gary Miller Our countdown is complete, topped by a mercurial work of sprawling … By Fred Kaplan. One half of eccentric electronic duo Moloko until 2004, Ireland's Róisín Murphy has since proven herself to be a consistently inventive solo artist. Recorded during the first few months of lockdown, Swift’s surprise eighth album topped many best of 2020 lists. Above is Metacritic's list of the 40 best-reviewed albums of 2020, ranked by Metascore. Whether she's calling out racial microaggressions on STFU!, celebrating her queer support network on Chosen Family, or subverting traditional gender roles on Comme des Garçons (Like the Boys), Sawayama is a uniquely captivating artist who demands (and deserves) your full attention. Then over the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement prompted long-overdue conversations about systemic racial oppression that the music industry had to confront head-on. July 31, 2020. Collaborations between A-list artists have become more commonplace in the streaming era, but Rain on Me still feels like an event record. Find the best music on Album of the Year. Share on Twitter. The Covid period has been strong for albums, streaming and vinyl, but catastrophic for live events and clubs. Though it dropped at the end of 2019, Blinding Lights would go on to dominate 2020, eventually spending a record 33 weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. “Kick me under the table all you want,” she sings on Under the Table, a song about a terrible dinner party. This year’s most talked-about single is an X-rated celebration of female sexual agency. A week after Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike delivered an impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter rally in Atlanta, the hip-hop duo dropped this year’s essential protest album. The title track’s name-check for modernist architect John Lautner isn’t the only smart touch: Break My Heart cleverly lifts the guitar riff from INXS's Need You Tonight, while Physical’s thumping power-pop sounds like the greatest 1980s movie song you've never heard. Friday, November 27, 2020 The ultimate guide to the year's best new jazz albums as voted for by Jazzwise's peerless panel of reviewers – including the complete original Jazzwise reviews. To call the results timely and vital feels like an understatement. Avatar are an odd, ambitious bunch. Best albums of 2020 in a mixed year for pop. They're deeply avant-garde for Swedes who make heavy metal, but 2020's Hunter Gatherer saw them take music seriously again after the carnival antics of 2018's Avatar Country.Melodic, chug-a-lug riffs are peppered with squealing solos and gut-ripping roars that lyrically tackle anxiety, detachment and alienation with … These are Complex’s picks for the 50 best albums of 2020. Fittingly enough for such a confounding and overwhelming year, there’s no unifying theme to this year's best albums. What can I say? The 50 Best Albums of 2020. The 10 best albums of 2020, including Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers and Chloe x Halle. A lot of artists created isolation albums, but it was Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’ that felt like the perfect accompaniment for the weird loneliness that’s permeated 2020. WAP’s naggingly catchy hook already sounds built to last, so let's hope its chart-topping success creates space for many more female artists to write unselfconsciously about what they want. We count down to number one, with entries from Soccer Mommy, Run The Jewels, HAIM and Moses Sumney. Few sophomore efforts in recent memory have been as effortlessly confident as "Ungodly Hour," whose polished vocals and R&B production are matched by hypnotic visuals. The second album from sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey offers modern R&B at its most sleek and serene. iTunes. The genre-smashing newcomer throws a grenade into early 2000s pop, gleefully pulling elements of nu metal, electro house and arena rock from the glitter-covered rubble. Prince sang about partying like it was 1999. Pick up the December 2020 issue to discover the Top 20 reissues/archive albums of the year. Whole Life is a swelling ballad with echoes of Roy Orbison, while the skittering beats of Your Body Changes Everything recall 1980s Kate Bush. This year more than ever, it feels desperately needed. But the undisputed queen of the dance floor is still Ware, whose scintillating, sensual fourth album showed a captivating new side of the British torch singer. While "Folklore" finds Swift going deep into the woods and her own heart, she emerges on "Evermore" with renewed confidence and clarity, having mined myths and tragedies to convey relatable personal stories. In June, the Grammys finally decided to remove the reductive word ‘urban’ from their awards categories. His 2020 album of original compositions is a radically different proposition: a 43-minute ambient suite meant to counter fascism’s global spread with joy rather than despair. Composite: PR/Rex/Shutterstock/Chris Spivey/Getty The Best Albums of 2020 This year was highlighted by projects from artists like the Weeknd, 21 Savage, and Megan Thee Stallion. The 10 best albums of 2020: Taylor Swift, Fiona Apple, more Thundercat, Taylor Swift and Fiona Apple. From the clattering post-punk of Ladies for Babies (Goats for Love) to the melancholy atmospherics of Prayer Mat, Shah’s music is as compelling as her lyrics. And if you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called The Essential List. It was a year when many of us gravitated toward comfort music, and revisiting our familiar favorites from college and childhood felt way more therapeutic than sifting through endless Spotify "New Music Friday" playlists. But all these albums were something to celebrate in 2020 — and a reason to look ahead to the future. As the pandemic turned the world upside down nine months ago, many musicians and their livelihoods were heavily impacted. Critic Score 89 11 reviews. A list of all music releases for 2020. Dylan’s first album of original songs in eight years is a richly poetic meditation on life, death and his own mythology. The Mavericks En Español. Executive produced by Beyoncé, who discovered the duo on YouTube and signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label, it’s a coolly self-confident affair that doesn't confuse restraint with monotony: amid the syncopated beats and seamless vocal harmonies, you’ll find winks to classic blues and UK garage. 2020 album releases. A primal scream in these lonely, isolated times, Bridgers achingly captures our collective pandemic gloom with vivid metaphors ("ICU") and startling introspection ("Savior Complex"). 2021 Grammy nominations: See the complete list of artists up for an award. Seattle’s Mike Hadreas says he wanted his fifth album to be “warm, thoughtful and comforting”; he succeeds by creating music that marries a stark emotional intimacy to production choices informed by classic rock. We dare you to find a dreamier run of songs this year than "Need Your Love," "How to Forgive" and "Runner.". 'Evermore' review: Taylor Swift returns to the woods for a spellbinding 'Folklore' companion, "Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions": Six things we learned from Taylor Swift's new Disney+ film, From Taylor Swift's albums to Billie Eilish's 'My Future,' the top music releases of 2020, many of us gravitated toward comfort music, See the complete list of artists up for an award, What USA TODAY entertainment experts streamed most this year, Taylor Swift returns to the woods for a spellbinding 'Folklore' companion, Six things we learned from Taylor Swift's new Disney+ film, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. More than ever, “Have you heard this?” is the best way to begin any conversation. Amazon. If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. Driven by shimmering synths and ‘80s new wave beats, it’s a brilliantly defiant break-up song that shows off the full dramatic power of Cyrus’s husky voice. Billboard picked out our 50 best albums of 2020, but we want to know which album from this year was your favorite!. “Shave my legs, freeze my eggs, will you want me when I am old?” she sings savagely on Trad. These are notable albums, defined as having received significant coverage from reliable sources independent of the subject. This album is her best and most accessible since 2007's Overpowered – and possibly ever – because every beat is driven by Murphy’s deep-rooted love for and innate understanding of club culture. When she sings “I was born to run, I don't belong to anyone,” you really believe her. Previous albums from this British singer-songwriter have explored mental health issues and the Syrian refugee crisis, but Kitchen Sink feels like her most righteous work yet. Among my favorites: Comparisons to David Bowie are well-trodden for the still-young McKenna, who does his idol proud on the theatrical and thoughtful "Zeros.". Or listen on the streaming platform … This highlight from Styles’ second album Fine Line shows exactly why he’s managed to leave One Direction behind. (Photo illustration by Ross May / Los … That couldn't have been truer in 2020, when disco infiltrated pop, Fleetwood Mac became viral stars, and Glen Campbell and The Andrews Sisters joined my vinyl collection on heavy rotation. Just as we were about to hit publish on our "best albums" list with "Folklore" at No. Where previous LPs from 2012’s Red to 2019’s Lover saw her embrace pop and grapple with a fluctuating public image, Folklore feels more self-contained and introspective. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday. Where Lipa's 2017 debut was a creditable attempt to cover all the bases, this follow-up benefited from a strong overarching concept and sharp execution. Cyrus has since cannily acknowledged the song’s obvious debt to Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen by releasing an Edge of Midnight Remix featuring the Fleetwood Mac legend herself. I don't think anyone will ever want to party like it was 2020. 21. Taylor Swift — Folklore. A lot of the music that ended up on our list of the 20 best albums of the year already made an appearance at 2020’s halfway point, showing up on the list of our favorite music thus far. Accompanied by a gently strummed acoustic guitar, 20-year-old Parks extends a musical hug that’s both winningly specific – she name-checks The Cure’s Robert Smith – and universally moving. Described by Lady Gaga as a “celebration of tears”, its barnstorming house beats are charged with emotion. This Japanese-born British musician who studied politics, psychology and sociology at Cambridge University is responsible for 2020’s most dazzling debut. 11/12/2020 Esquire … Still, the key to its enduring popularity could lie in its ambiguity. Each album is ranked according to its Metascore as of June 23, 2020, with ties being broken by the number of reviews. This year has been incredibly challenging for the music world. Partly inspired by conversations with her female friends, it’s a spiky and insightful indictment of the reductive assumptions that society imposes on women as they reach their thirties. 1, Swift went and surprised us with "Evermore," its sweeping and even more adventurous companion. It’s a classy accompaniment to the super-addictive original. –      The instrument that aided espionage. Not since Billie Eilish's arrival some four years ago has a pop artist emerged with a sound as distinctive and fully realized as Sawayama's debut. On opening salvo I Contain Multitudes, Dylan even compares himself to Anne Frank, Indiana Jones and “them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones”. 2020 is truly over, Eminem has dropped...a decent album? Taylor Swift's Folklore takes the cake for being our staff's No. No one does more convincing throwbacks than Tennis, who sound as if they were plucked straight from Fleetwood Mac circa 1977. A A We made it. The inspired use of Apple’s early single Criminal in last year's hit crime film Hustlers primed the world for a Fiona Apple comeback, but Fetch the Bolt Cutters would have been rapturously received anyway. Well, here we go again. Named after a line delivered by Gillian Anderson in BBC miniseries The Fall, it’s a thrillingly idiosyncratic art-pop album that Apple mostly recorded at home; she even uses the bones of her dead dog for percussion. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY. … Inspired by a close friend’s experience with depression, Black Dog could be this year's most tender and affecting song. Languid and lightly funky, it’s instantly infectious and doesn’t really sound like anything else on the radio. In fact, Natalie Don’t is executed with such self-confidence that Raye even slips in the canny line “like Dolly begged Jolene...” On this evidence, she’s definitely an artist to bookmark. December 22, 2020. Sleek and serene story, sign up for the 50 best albums of the weirdest and. Has added color to the end of a year that has already down... On Trad features newsletter, called the Essential list times ; others as! With emotion What USA TODAY entertainment experts albums of 2020 most this year was highlighted by projects from artists the... The subject that Swift wrote and recorded her eighth album in Covid-19 isolation Styles ’ second album Line. On Trad anything else on the streaming era, but catastrophic for live and. 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