With how disastrous 2020 has been, it is refreshing to look back and think about something that is not COVID-19. This has been a solid year for music and picking only five albums was an arduous task. With that in mind, here are some of the best records from 2020.
“Man on The Moon III: The Chosen”: Kid Cudi
Easily the best album of 2020, Kid Cudi delivers a melodic hip-hop experience that will blow your mind. His vocal abilities, along with lyrical songwriting and dreamy production, made my year 100 times better. Tracks like “Tequila Shots” and “The Void” are not only some of the best songs on the album, but they also rank among the best Cudi songs of all time. Features from Trippie Redd and Phoebe Bridgers add character to an already colorful album. “Man on The Moon III: The Chosen” is a rarity of an album, as it features a mix of old and new Cudi without compromising either style.
“How I’m Feeling Now”: Charli XCX
If there was an album to describe the anxiety of 2020, it would have to be this record by British pop artist Charli XCX. The rambunctious nature of Charli’s music is usually reserved for packed venues or raves, and this album delivered on giving listeners a party. Charli was able to adapt her sound to the times and create an experience that feels haunting and lonely without compromising her usual pop formula. “Detonate” and “Enemy” are among tracks that best highlight the creative stylings of the album. Charli has always been an innovator in the world of pop, and her quarantine record shows how not even a pandemic can stop her from making a fantastic album.
Hearing “Ohms” for the first time reminded me of why Deftones is one of the best bands around. This album is in the same league as their magnum opus “White Pony” while also conveying the themes of 2020. Unlike other albums released this year, “Ohms” is a gritty experience that will leave you feeling distraught by the end. Songs like “This Link is Dead” and “Urantia” are examples of Deftones at their best. The band is the reason I have not given up on rock as a genre, and this album is a great start to anyone not accustomed to metal music.
“Visions of Bodies Being Burned”: clipping.
Experimental hip-hop has never sounded better than on clipping’s newest album, “Visions of Bodies Being Burned.” Everything from the cryptic bass drops and mysterious lyrics to the superb rapping from Daveed Diggs made this album a creepy listen. Tracks such as “Say the Name” and “Check the Lock” are among the grimiest of cuts on the record and they capture the disturbing nature of 2020. Listen at your own risk, as you will not find a more disturbing album than “Visions of Bodies Being Burned.”
“After Hours”: The Weeknd
After being snubbed by the Grammys in multiple categories, including Album of the Year, The Weeknd proved that he does not need award shows. “Blinding Lights” and “In Your Eyes” are some of the catchiest songs ever written and they, along with other tracks, help solidify The Weeknd as a generational talent. His slick songwriting and moody voice carry listeners through a dark experience in his life while also being poetic.