TalonsOfFire
Benjamin Kuettel
Staff

Reviews 103
Soundoffs 113
News Articles 30
Band Edits + Tags 56
Album Edits 39

Album Ratings 3149
Objectivity 66%

Last Active 01-18-21 11:13 pm
Joined 08-27-12

Forum Posts 765
Review Comments 19,226

 Lists
12.15.20 Top 20 of 2020 10.28.20 3000 Album Ratings
12.23.19 50 Best Albums of the Decade Ranked 12.14.19 Ben's 25 Favorite Albums of 2019 Ranked
01.15.19 50th Anniversary of King Crimson 12.20.18 Top 25 Records of 2018
12.19.17 Talons' 2017 Favorites 09.13.17 Top 100 albums since - 2000 - Ratings f
08.26.17 Talons' 5 Year Sputversary 03.30.17 Concerts I've Attended
12.08.16 Talons' 2016 Favorites 02.08.16 Snow day jams
11.07.15 Talons Turns 21 Years Old05.22.15 Recent CD Purchases/Last.fm Scrobble/Co
05.08.15 Mad Men (spoilers)01.05.15 10,000 Comments
10.30.14 Halloween08.21.14 Arcade Fire Concert, Xfinity Center, MA
More »

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.
20Hayley Williams
Petals for Armor


The Paramore frontwoman delivers a solid pop rock release.
19Figueroa
The World As We Know It


Amon Tobin using an alias to make more good weird music.
18Matt Berninger
Serpentine Prison


The frontman of The National delivers a quality indie rock release.
17EOB
Earth


Ed O’Brien from Radiohead delivers a quality indie rock release channeling Achtung Baby.
16Intronaut
Fluid Existential Inversions


Quality progressive metal
15Caspian
On Circles


Quality post-rock
14Deftones
Ohms


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.
13Destroyer
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.
12My Morning Jacket
The Waterfall II


Not as strong as the original Waterfall, but a very solid part 2 that continues the psychedelic bliss.
11Gorillaz
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez


Gorillaz are back and return to the experimentation and genre-bending of their classic releases.
10Ulver
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.
9Oneohtrix Point Never
Magic Oneohtrix Point Never


More fluid and psychedelic than his last few.
8Tennis
Swimmer


This is a sleeper of 2020, very ‘80s pop rock that reminds me of Everything But The Girl. Almost every track is very strong.
7Tim Bowness
Late Night Laments


The prolific Tim Bowness keeps churning out great material, with this being a highlight of his solo career.
6The Avalanches
We Will Always Love You


Another quality release from them, despite too many tracks in general, some less than 10 seconds long.
5Sweven (SWE)
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.
4Four Tet
Sixteen Oceans


A beautiful ambient electronic record from a musician that keeps getting better and better these past few years.
3Phoebe Bridgers
Punisher


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.
2Fleet Foxes
Shore


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.
1Tame Impala
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.
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