This year is a wild ride. In times where the music industry at large is struggling to navigate the murky waters of the fallen event industry, social distancing and cancelled tours, musicians still managed to put out quality and catchy albums in 2020.
From beloved feminist icons putting out long-awaited LP’s, to fresh faces dabbling in new sounds, here is a list of just five of the best albums in 2020 so far. Naturally, the list of the top 2020 LPs goes on much longer, so never close off your ears to fresh and new sounds!
Fiona Apple, ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’
Longtime fans were breathlessly waiting for another release from the art pop queen Fiona Apple. Thankfully, her newest LP arrived almost unexpectedly after nearly a decade of wait. The fearless Apple is as capable as ever in telling off everyone who wronged her – from partners to detractors. Through all of this, the intricate thoughts of her frantic mind are woven through. Yet what really makes this 2020 pop album stand out is that the more-mature-than-ever Apple doesn’t steer into agony as much as into resilience.
Tame Impala, ‘The Slow Rush’
It’s hard to believe that this is Kevin Parker’s second album, arriving as a follow-up for 2015’s ‘Currents’. With a voice that Rolling Stone delightfully described as a Bee Gee with the spunk of Bowie’s Major Tom, Tame Impala fused disco, funk and trip-hop, lacing the result with synths and oceanfront-evoking melodies. No matter how he layers his tracks or how many mini-movements are placed into the same tune, everything seems to have its place and it’s obvious that the crazily talented Parker spends more energy on one LP number than some artist spend on whole records.
Dua Lipa, ‘Future Nostalgia’
The breakout star of the last few years, Dua Lipa, ventured into the dance-pop waters that every pop name needs to attempt once in their careers. ‘Future Nostalgia’ is a 2020 album we needed – shamelessly fun, cohesive and evoking the disco queen Robyn. Just what we needed for these pandemic times. There are Daft Punk influences, zingers in lyrics like ‘I can’t teach your man how to wear his pants’ and campy moments. The main single, ‘Don’t Start Now’ turned into a huge hit for a reason – the catchy tune makes you get up and dance. If not at an open-air concert, amid thousands of sweaty strangers, then at least in your living room, using your reluctant pet as a dance partner. All hail this fun pop 2020 album.
Lady Gaga, ‘Chromatica’
The queen is back, as big as ever, even if the charts aren’t reflecting it. This is a bold return to Lady Gaga’s dance floor roots. ‘Stupid Love’ and ‘Rain on Me’ evoke her older hits, taking cues from genres like house and New Wave, yet it still feels like a step in the right and new direction. How? The grown-up singer tells about overcoming bad romances and her visions of future times. She invited the megastar Ariana Grande to lend a helping hand, as well as the sensational girl group Blackpink, and her ultimate hero Elton John. Just take a listen and you’ll have no doubt as of why we included this LP into one of the best albums of 2020 so far.
The Weeknd, ‘After Hours’
Abel Tesfaye’s newest album is a display of sonic bravery. Sure, he dabbled before with synths (he did a collab with Daft Funk, after all), but still ‘After Hours’ feels like venturing into new waters for the famed singer. The Weeknd delivered an album full of eclectic numbers full of introspection and new directions. This is something the R&B crooner wanted to do for a while – position himself as a self-deprecating villainous character and weave that persona into a cinematic storyline bursting with dreamy pop and new wave.
Like we have said in the beginning – this year has been a wild ride. But one thing we can be thankful for are the top-notch albums released in 2020. And the year still isn’t over, so be ready for more ear-catching LP’s to top the charts!