As rough as this year was there was some good music to come out of it. Sad songs to cry along to in the tough times and dance tracks to move to when you were trying to forget about everything going on.
From Due Lipa's electronic grooves to Tame Impala's cool tunes here's our list, in no particular order, of the best albums 2020 had to offer.
"Evermore" - Taylor Swift
“Evermore” is definitely the most unexpected album of the year. Taylor Swift released her second full length album in sixth months putting her tirelessness on display. Do not mistake the quantity for lack of quality. She usually has one album for each era of her music, but Swift decided to go deeper into the folk forest that was “folklore” for this slightly darker, winter version of its sister album. The last two minutes on the final song with Bon Iver were the best two minutes in music this year. Swift put a ribbon on the gift that is her illustrious career with two exceptional albums in one year.
"Notes On A Conditional Form" - The 1975
Fans long awaited the band's fourth studio album, and the boys did not disappoint. There's a lot of mixed reviews from critics and fans alike on this album, but like a typical The 1975 record, the genre-crossing allows everyone to find something they like on the album. Techno beats, country influence and classic The 1975 ballads, "Notes On A Conditional Form" has it all. The band often makes bold statements, and this album itself is one of them and a staple soundtrack to the year of 2020.
"Positions" - Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande is another artist who surprised us with a chart-topping album this year. The "Positions" era started with the lead single of the same name, and then Grande gave us bop after bop when the full album released. Her newest single "34+35" is a fun track from the project and miss (soon to be Mrs. since Grande switched out one of her 7 rings for a wedding ring) Grande gave us stunning visuals in the video for the song. With her new movie showing her last tour "excuse me i love you" now on Netflix, it's safe to say the pop star has won 2020.
"Future Nostalgia" - Dua Lipa
The funky cool album of the year, "Future Nostalgia" added some much-needed fun to 2020. If you wondered if Dua Lipa was worthy of her pop stardom status before, there should be no doubt that she deserves it now. She started off the year strong, riding off the success of her single "Don't Start Now," and she never turned back. She gave us exciting visuals, fun performances and looks all year long. Dua Lipa is the pop princess who saved 2020 and we're forever grateful.
"Circles" - Mac Miller
“Circles” by Mac Miller was one of those albums that I really just kept in rotation this year. It’s the last album Miller worked on before he passed in 2018, and I think it’s truly one of his best and most beautiful albums. It gives me all the chill vibes, and I love listening to it when I need a break. This album literally feels like a dream. It makes me think about drifting through the clouds. The peaceful tone could not be more perfect considering the circumstances surrounding this album’s release. “Circles” gives a kind of closure to Miller’s career. I think it’s one of those albums I’ll always go back to even years from now.
"Plastic Hearts" - Miley Cyrus
Everyone say, “thank you” to Miley Cyrus for her album “Plastic Hearts.” Cyrus has embraced her rock 'n' roll side and I couldn’t be more grateful. Like a modern-day Debbie Harry, Cyrus proves herself as a true rockstar with powerhouse vocals. This album is iconic and full of legendary features like Dua Lipa, Joan Jett and Billy Idol. Cyrus burst out onto the rock scene after covering songs by Blondie and Led Zeppelin, but I never expected her to go full on rock. I’m absolutely living for this new phase and I think it’s her best move yet.
“How I’m Feeling Now” is a piece of work that generations from now will look back on as a reflection of how we felt during the first half of 2020. Charli XCX’s fourth album combines the artist’s experimental production with her impeccable songwriting talent. This project also took a DIY route as Charli XCX and fans collaborated on tracks.
Charli XCX worked on the album in a self-isolation environment during the peak of the global pandemic without a full studio. “How I’m Feeling Now“ is unpredictably honest with futuristic pop hooks and choruses, especially on songs such as “Anthems” and “Claws.” This project is what music will sound like in 2-3 years. Charli XCX is the glue holding up the pop genre, from her songwriting credits on numerous hits and even to her own discography, and this album proves it.
"In A Dream" - Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan blooms beyond his blue neighborhood’s aesthetics by taking a gab at storytelling and a new sound. In under 20 minutes, Sivan sets a wistful setting for his listeners. After traveling back home to Melbourne, he met nostalgia, regressing to his younger self. The nostalgia is in between the tracks, yet the sound also carries a feeling of maturity.
Synths narrate the productions alongside ballads. Songs such as “Easy” and “Take Yourself Home” are midtempo love stories. “STUD” is my personal favorite because its storytelling brought me into a different perspective and told a story about Sivan's body image. Troye Sivan’s EP is one of the best this year because of its compelling nature is in the narration and authenticity. It truly takes you into a dream.
"Folklore" - Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift reigned in a new era of heavy folk instrumentation with the storytelling masterpiece “folklore.” Fingerplucking guitars and strong piano melodies carry this Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner produced project. Swift tells stories of old love, betrayal and self-improvement in only a way that she could. Regardless of genre, raw emotion is her specialty and this album is one that I took an exceptional liking to due to her step away from pop. Early Swift fans can catch a glimpse with the teenager they fell in love with, but everyone can enjoy the good stories.
"After Hours" - The Weeknd
A masterpiece and possibly one of the biggest Grammy snubs of all time, The Weeknd dominated 2020 with his fourth studio album "After Hours." Between the vibes, the visuals and the epic quarantine award show performances, The Weeknd truly owned this year. "Blinding Lights" is no doubt one of the biggest songs of the year and will remain a classic.