|StaffReviews 103Soundoffs 113News Articles 30Band Edits + Tags 56Album Edits 39Album Ratings 3149Objectivity 66%Last Active 01-18-21 11:13 pmJoined 08-27-12Forum Posts 765Review Comments 19,226
|Top 20 of 2020|
This year has unsurprisingly been the slowest for music and film yet, with none of my ratings going beyond 8.5/10. However, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been plenty of great music from a wide variety of artists, with genres like pop and indie rock, ambient electronic, and progressive rock/metal.
|20||Hayley Williams |
Petals for Armor
The Paramore frontwoman delivers a solid pop rock release.
The World As We Know It
Amon Tobin using an alias to make more good weird music.
The frontman of The National delivers a quality indie rock release.
Ed O’Brien from Radiohead delivers a quality indie rock release channeling Achtung Baby.
Fluid Existential Inversions
Quality progressive metal
A more fluid and cohesive release than Gore but not as strong to me as far as the songwriting is concerned. About half of the songs are excellent and I really like the album flow. They returned to having great production which is nice as well.
Have We Met
Pretty chilled out for them, with some great singles and a few other standouts too. This is an underrated 2020 release and deserves more attention, as most anyone can enjoy it.
|12||My Morning Jacket|
The Waterfall II
Not as strong as the original Waterfall, but a very solid part 2 that continues the psychedelic bliss.
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
Gorillaz are back and return to the experimentation and genre-bending of their classic releases.
Flowers of Evil
A laid back extension of their 1980s goth/synthpop style with more guitars and steady rhythms pretty much from beginning to end. While the unpredictable shifts in tone and experimentation from The Assassination of Julius Caesar is missed, this is still a solid effort.
|9||Oneohtrix Point Never|
Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
More fluid and psychedelic than his last few.
This is a sleeper of 2020, very ‘80s pop rock that reminds me of Everything But The Girl. Almost every track is very strong.
Late Night Laments
The prolific Tim Bowness keeps churning out great material, with this being a highlight of his solo career.
We Will Always Love You
Another quality release from them, despite too many tracks in general, some less than 10 seconds long.
The Eternal Resonance
It was sad news when the band responsible for the best death metal of the 2010s, Morbus Chron, called it quits a few years ago. Thankfully the main guy came back with this new project, and it’s even more progressive and ambitious than the first band.
A beautiful ambient electronic record from a musician that keeps getting better and better these past few years.
Simultaneously more subdued and adventurous than Stranger in the Alps, Phoebe Bridgers expands her songwriting talents and continued excellent lyrics for a sublime sophomore effort brimming with nocturnal atmosphere. Just look at that gorgeous album cover.
Fleet Foxes opt for a more rhythmic folk rock direction that pays off wonderfully, with off kilter melodies within traditional songwriting. Sound like an extension of Helplessness Blues.
The Slow Rush
Tame Impala surprised fans with the more R&B and disco-oriented pop album Currents in 2015, lessening the ‘60s classic rock influences and musically entering the 21st century. The Slow Rush does not represent a comparable renaissance for the Tame Impala sound, but continues with blissed out psych-pop and representing a fitting sequel to Currents. The production is of course excellent, and the middle run of songs are some of the best Kevin Parker has recorded to date. The Slow Rush feels expansive and optimistic, embodying a successfully escapist, sunnier mindset during such a challenging year like 2020.
|Folklore by Taylor Swift is just under my top 20. I quite like "Exile" and most of the odd-numbered tracks. Evermore is like a 5/10. The Ascension by Sufjan and Shiver by Jonsi were disappointments but had their moments, also around 5/10 for both of those. What were your favs of the year?|
|I'm really glad people have started to come around on TSR, I wouldn't say it's the best Tame Impala but I'd say it's his most consistent record.|
|Really good to see love for 1 and 15.|
|The Slow Rush deserves more love, only slightly below Currents for me. Its so consistent and addictive.|
|19 is honestly probably tobins best side project, so cool. 8 crept onto my aoty list which was very unexpected. 4 did as well, criticisms aside. Four tet is just a dude btw, not a group |
|Right, good catch. MagicOPN is better than Age Of for me now, didn't start that way but it's a grower.|
|Great list! A lot of these made my list as well. Deftones and Destroyer were my top 2 and Gorillaz was my #4. |
|"MagicOPN is better than Age Of for me now, didn't start that way but it's a grower."|
|The Avalanches grew on me more, bumped it up like six places in my ranking.|
|FYI, The Avalanches would've been in the staff top 10 if it had been released earlier.|
|the new FF is way better than crack-up.|
|I guess it's down to preference, Crack-Up is a more unpredictable and abstract which I like.|
|more unpredictable and abstract? probably. infinitely less engangig than the rest of their discog, too.|
|Those first 5 songs are stunning, and On Another Ocean is amazing. The t/t is really good too.|
|Most of these were relatively disappointing releases imo aside from Avalanches which imo would be on the Staff List if they actually had taste |
|Like I commented yesterday, The Avalanches would've been in our top 10 if it were released a little earlier. Ideally that would mean it could be eligible for next year, but I doubt it.|