Year in Review: 2020 Music

2020 was a rough year in many aspects, but one area that was not lacking was all the music that came out. Maybe it was all the extra free time musicians had during quarantine or maybe the stars just happened to align perfectly, because many of my favorite artists released new music this year.

In honor of all the excellent albums released this past year, I will by ranking my top seven albums of the year.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a music expert, nor have I listened to every album that came out this year; this is simply my opinion on the music I did listen to and enjoy.


7. For Abby by JAWNY

Top tracks: “Sabotage,” “Super Bad Mantra” and “Honeypie”

If I could use one word to describe this album, it would be ‘fun.’ I would describe the genre of his music as indie/funk. It is the kind of music you want to listen to while driving around with your friend on a summer day – windows down, shades on, feeling cool. The only reason it ranks so low on my list is that there are a few songs I would skip, but overall, I think it is a very good album. I am excited to see what music he comes out with in the future.


6. Notes On A Conditional Form by The 1975

Top tracks: “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know),” “Roadkill” and “Guys”

I think I am a little biased because I love The 1975, but I really enjoyed this album. This album crosses genres multiple times. It goes from punk to folk to rock and then back again, but it manages to do so in a smooth, seamless way. Every artist featured on this album seems like the perfect match for the song they are in. My personal favorite featured artist is Phoebe Bridgers in the song “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America.” Overall, this is not my favorite album from the group, but it is definitely worth a listen.


5. The Slow Rush by Tame Impala

Top tracks: “Borderline,” “Instant Destiny” and “Lost in Yesterday”

It has been five years since Tame Impala released its last album, and it was well worth the wait. The Slow Rush offers a 57-minute-long transportation into an alternate universe. While I have never done any psychedelics before, I imagine closing my eyes and listening to this album would provide the same experience. This is not the kind of music that you just have on in the background; this is the kind of music that completely sucks you in, in the best way possible.


4. What Could Possibly Go Wrong by Dominic Fike

Top tracks: “Why,” “Chicken Tenders” and “Vampire”

I have noticed Fike being featured in many of my favorite musician’s songs over the past year, so when I saw that he released an album, I was excited to listen to it. The album did not disappoint. Listening to his music instantly lifts my mood. I do not think that he is an “underground” artist by any means, but I do think he is about to blow up soon. With his playful approach to lyrics and his danceable beats, he is bound to be a household name someday.


3. Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus

Top tracks: “Night Crawling” (feat. Billy Idol), “Plastic Hearts” and “Hate Me”

I have been a fan of Miley’s for a while, and with every album she releases, comes a completely different genre than the one before it. This album is happened to be hard rock, and I could not have been more pleased with that genre selection. Listening to this music makes me feel confident and powerful. This album has everything you could want from a rock album; it is a good mix of powerful ballads and more down-to-earth songs. Nobody else could manage to get legends, such as Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett and Billy Idol, on one album except for Miley. This is a no-skip masterpiece of an album.


2. Dreamland by Glass Animals

Top tracks: “Heat Waves,” “Hot Sugar” and “Melon and the Coconut”

Glass Animals does not miss. I do not think they are capable of making bad music. Their music is described as alternative/psychedelic pop. I feel very cool when I listen to this album, kind of in a pretentious way, but that is not always a bad thing. The instrumentals, vocals and lyrics are all immaculate, and I cannot think of any other group that makes music comparable to theirs. I think these songs will stand the test of time. I could come back and listen to this album 10 years from now, and it would be just as good.


Honorable mentions:

  • Zeros by Declan McKenna
  • Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers
  • Folklore by Taylor Swift


1. evermore by Taylor Swift

Top tracks: “long story short,” “dorothea” and “no body, no crime” (feat. HAIM)

I could talk about this album forever. Taylor Swift simply does not make bad music. She released two albums in one year, and each one was perfect. That is unheard of. I am a big fan of hers, so this is a big claim for me to make, but I think this is my new favorite Taylor Swift album. This is a no-skip album. It is most similar to her album Folklore, but it is like she built off all the drastic style changes she made with that album and improved upon them. I could listen to these songs forever and never get tired of them.

2020 proved to be a wonderful year for music, and I can only hope that 2021 will measure up to it. I encourage everyone to listen to the albums on this list and to step outside of their musical comfort zone in the coming year. I have never regretted listening to a new artist, but I have regretted not listening to some artists sooner.