This Japanese-born British musician who studied politics, psychology and sociology at Cambridge University is responsible for 2020’s most dazzling debut. Who will top our 12th annual list? To the end of a year that has already gone down in infamy as one of the weirdest (and worst) in decades. The best music of 2020. Where Lipa's 2017 debut was a creditable attempt to cover all the bases, this follow-up benefited from a strong overarching concept and sharp execution. Above is Metacritic's list of the 40 best-reviewed albums of 2020, ranked by Metascore. And if you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called The Essential List. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game - Complete Edition. The fruits of Guns N' Roses' long-awaited return to the studio, maybe. This album is her best and most accessible since 2007's Overpowered – and possibly ever – because every beat is driven by Murphy’s deep-rooted love for and innate understanding of club culture. https://www.popmatters.com/best-world-music-albums-2020-2649030252.html “Let’s go to the corner store and buy some fruit,” Parks sings on the twinkly chorus. In June, the Grammys finally decided to remove the reductive word ‘urban’ from their awards categories. Still, the key to its enduring popularity could lie in its ambiguity. Release date is Friday, January 11, 2021. Dylan’s first album of original songs in eight years is a richly poetic meditation on life, death and his own mythology. Collaborations between A-list artists have become more commonplace in the streaming era, but Rain on Me still feels like an event record. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. One half of eccentric electronic duo Moloko until 2004, Ireland's Róisín Murphy has since proven herself to be a consistently inventive solo artist. Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming, Music title data, credits, and images provided by, Movie title data, credits, and poster art provided by. Executive produced by Beyoncé, who discovered the duo on YouTube and signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label, it’s a coolly self-confident affair that doesn't confuse restraint with monotony: amid the syncopated beats and seamless vocal harmonies, you’ll find winks to classic blues and UK garage. Released in March as pandemic panic tightened its grip, this stellar pop album helped fans to party the pain away – within the socially distanced safety of their own homes, of course. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a good year in terms of world music releases. Below, the 10 albums we’ve loved living with in 2020. Half-a-billion streams later, WAP continues to pack a massive punch because rap superstars Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion outline their desires in a way that’s not just unapologetic, but also staggeringly graphic. View Charts Legend. Whether you call it world music, global music, ethno, Trad, or folk music, there was plenty of excellent material to choose from. Co-written and co-produced with Swedish songwriting genius Max Martin, its synth-pop shimmer manages to feel retro and contemporary at the same time – a tricky thing to pull off. For more of our mid-year coverage, check out our Best Albums and Songs Of 2020 So Far . the AU review is proud to announce The 40 Best Albums of 2020, from Australia and around the world. And for us in the U.S., it’s been a year with almost no live music. Best Reggae Album For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new reggae recordings. Explore our list of The Best Albums Of 2020, World at Barnes & Noble®. – The instrument that aided espionage. While some of his peers chase TikTok trends to reaffirm their relevance, Styles is going his own way, making effortless-sounding bops that really stand out. 2020 was set to play host to a new Deftones album, but in February – before the world fell apart – underground UK metallers Loathe released a collection of baritone-fuelled anthems so brutally beautiful that the collective guitar consciousness briefly forgot about the long wait for Stef Carpenter and co's latest opus. Whether she's calling out racial microaggressions on STFU!, celebrating her queer support network on Chosen Family, or subverting traditional gender roles on Comme des Garçons (Like the Boys), Sawayama is a uniquely captivating artist who demands (and deserves) your full attention. If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. The result: an uncommonly thought-provoking and rewarding listen. Whole Life is a swelling ballad with echoes of Roy Orbison, while the skittering beats of Your Body Changes Everything recall 1980s Kate Bush. The Best Albums of 2020 From Bob Dylan, to Taylor Swift, Run The Jewels, and BTS—these are the releases that transcended the noise of a horrible year. San Cisco – Between You & Me Seattle’s Mike Hadreas says he wanted his fifth album to be “warm, thoughtful and comforting”; he succeeds by creating music that marries a stark emotional intimacy to production choices informed by classic rock. When Gaga sings “I'd rather be dry, but at least I'm alive”, she's nodding to a period of her life when she used alcohol to “numb” herself. Many of those selections appear above in his top 10 picks. The Weeknd and Dua Lipa topped the charts with appealingly modernized versions of vintage styles. Despite that, the first half of 2020 was still led by a bountiful crop of all-timer albums. Clockwise from bottom left: BC Camplight, Fiona Apple, Jay Electronica, Carla Bley, KeiyaA. This list only includes new albums receiving at least 15 reviews from professional critics (though you'll find a quick list of the top albums with a smaller number of reviews at the end of the gallery.). As the pandemic turned the world upside down nine months ago, many musicians and their livelihoods were heavily impacted. As on his previous LPs, Hadreas’s queer perspective sparks songwriting that feels utterly unique: standout track Jason is a devastatingly frank account of a sexual encounter with a repressed straight man. Described by Lady Gaga as a “celebration of tears”, its barnstorming house beats are charged with emotion. Some seem to reflect or comment on these turbulent times; others serve as a very welcome distraction. “Shave my legs, freeze my eggs, will you want me when I am old?” she sings savagely on Trad. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the … When she sings “I was born to run, I don't belong to anyone,” you really believe her. Along with five tracks that dominated radio and streaming platforms, here’s a guide to the best LPs that this testing year had to offer. “I would do anything to get you out your room.” No wonder it struck a chord during a year when feelings of loneliness and isolation were increasingly tough to suppress. Her beguiling songwriting explores thorny issues such as depression, sexual violence and bullying, but Apple never loses her humour. "The Waterfall II" is the perfect follow-up album to its 2015 predecessor.. My Morning Jacket's "The Waterfall II"... 2. 54. Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) has partnered with Arc Music to celebrate its 5th anniversary with the first ever compilation album. ... Best albums of 2020: Otherwise, all full-length studio albums (or mixtapes) released between January 1, 2020 and … Accompanied by a gently strummed acoustic guitar, 20-year-old Parks extends a musical hug that’s both winningly specific – she name-checks The Cure’s Robert Smith – and universally moving. Where previous LPs from 2012’s Red to 2019’s Lover saw her embrace pop and grapple with a fluctuating public image, Folklore feels more self-contained and introspective. The second album from sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey offers modern R&B at its most sleek and serene. Read about our approach to external linking. “Now I send their babies presents.” A stunning album that surely seals her status as an all-time great songwriter. Named after a line delivered by Gillian Anderson in BBC miniseries The Fall, it’s a thrillingly idiosyncratic art-pop album that Apple mostly recorded at home; she even uses the bones of her dead dog for percussion. Throughout 2020, Craig Jenkins maintained a “Best Albums of the Year (So Far)” list. Your 10th best album of the decade was 1.3 decades in the making. In the past, Cyrus has recorded everything from party-time R&B to psychedelic rock, but Midnight Sky ranks among her best reinventions yet. If you'd picked up a pen at the end of last year and listed the things to look forward to in 2020, you'd have been spoiled for choice. In a confounding and overwhelming year, music has allowed us both to reflect on the state of the world and escape from it with equal brilliance, writes Nick Levine. It’s not difficult to tell that Swift wrote and recorded her eighth album in Covid-19 isolation. Plus a plethora of releases from rock's rising stars. © 2021 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. When Walking in the Snow references the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, who was placed in a lethal chokehold by a policeman, it tragically foreshadows the barbaric murder of George Floyd just nine days before this album came out. The 10 best rock albums of 2020, ranked 1. It’s a classy accompaniment to the super-addictive original. “I will never shut up.” For that, we should all be thankful. Sales Data = WORLD ALBUMS. From the lavish disco of Murphy’s Law to the banging acid house of We Got Together, she and producer Richard Barratt create an electrifying, sweat-drenched headrush that never lets up. We’ve rounded up some of the best pop albums 2020 has seen thus far, check it out. Bab L' Bluz - Topic Lil Uzi Vert was among the many artists who achieved their first top 10 album in 2020. KEVIN COFFEY/THE WORLD … A week after Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike delivered an impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter rally in Atlanta, the hip-hop duo dropped this year’s essential protest album. Whispers suggested the big names were back: A new AC/DC album, perhaps. Music reviews, ratings, news and more. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. This year more than ever, it feels desperately needed. Fittingly enough for such a confounding and overwhelming year, there’s no unifying theme to this year's best albums. Overall, forty different albums have peaked at number-one so far in 2020, with Taylor Swift (2) having the most albums hit that position. A new Deep Purple album, definitely. The Best Albums of 2020 (So Far) At the midway point of 2020, Complex counts down the 50 best albums of the year so far. With so much good music, it was very hard to decide the best recordings of 2020, but jeer it is. Thankfully, this deceptively peppy disco-pop song lives up to its billing. This year has been incredibly challenging for the music world. Equally inspired by Sawayama’s pop heroines Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit, it's a hard-hitting, genre-hopping delight that's teeming with ideas. Showing off the songwriting chops that have already been tapped by Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding, the British rising star makes us root for her over a romantic rival who “walks in like a model”. The title track’s name-check for modernist architect John Lautner isn’t the only smart touch: Break My Heart cleverly lifts the guitar riff from INXS's Need You Tonight, while Physical’s thumping power-pop sounds like the greatest 1980s movie song you've never heard. This highlight from Styles’ second album Fine Line shows exactly why he’s managed to leave One Direction behind. WORLD ALBUMS … Watermelon Sugar’s sultry breeziness was enormously appealing when the album arrived in December 2019, but became even more soothing as global stress levels rose throughout 2020. December 07, 2020 For many people around the world, 2020 has been a year like none other—a year of ever-shifting norms and realities. When you describe your latest track as a “modern-day Jolene”, it’s got to sparkle like one of Dolly Parton's rhinestones. Grande’s angelic vocals complement Gaga’s grittier tones exquisitely, making Rain on Me a perfect pop song about accepting life’s less than perfect moments. Insider ranked the 20 best albums of 2020, weighing factors like critical acclaim, cultural impact, and listenability. By. RAPTURE - WINNER Koffee AS I AM Julian Marley THE FINAL BATTLE: SLY & ROBBIE VS. Best World Music Album The Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album is an honor presented to recording artists for quality albums in the world music genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. The inspired use of Apple’s early single Criminal in last year's hit crime film Hustlers primed the world for a Fiona Apple comeback, but Fetch the Bolt Cutters would have been rapturously received anyway. In a confounding and overwhelming year, music has allowed us both to reflect on the state of the world and escape from it with equal brilliance, writes Nick Levine. These are Complex’s picks … No concerts, no touring, album release dates postponed, restricted studio access, and let’s not forget the dangers of actually … On opening salvo I Contain Multitudes, Dylan even compares himself to Anne Frank, Indiana Jones and “them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones”. This list only includes new albums receiving at least 15 reviews from professional critics (though you'll find a quick list of the top albums with a smaller number of reviews at the end of the gallery.). … In fact, Natalie Don’t is executed with such self-confidence that Raye even slips in the canny line “like Dolly begged Jolene...” On this evidence, she’s definitely an artist to bookmark. “Cold was the steel of my axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart,” she sings knowingly on Invisible String. The No. Capaldi’s 2019 debut topped 1 million chart sales in the UK in September, including 456,000 from 2020. Get your order fast and stress free with free curbside pickup. Though it includes the 17-minute epic Murder Most Foul, on which he intricately explores the cultural impact of JFK’s assassination, there are also moments of levity. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday. Also read TIME’s lists of the 10 best fiction books, nonfiction books, YA and children’s books, … Though it dropped at the end of 2019, Blinding Lights would go on to dominate 2020, eventually spending a record 33 weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. The 10 best albums of 2020 (so far) Kevin Coffey Jul 24, 2020 Jul 24, 2020 Updated Sep 24, 2020; 2 ... a few select covers and their wonderful new album. CLOSE. “Kick me under the table all you want,” she sings on Under the Table, a song about a terrible dinner party. The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far Including Bob Dylan, Lil Uzi Vert, Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa, and more. Inspired by a close friend’s experience with depression, Black Dog could be this year's most tender and affecting song. By Matt Miller , Madison Vain and Dave Holmes Though Blinding Lights’ explosive chorus is one of the year’s most familiar and uplifting, there’s a dash of darkness baked in that keeps things interesting. Albums are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding based on scores as of December 23, 2020. We made it. The Best Albums of 2020 This year was highlighted by projects from artists like the Weeknd, 21 Savage, and Megan Thee Stallion. WAP’s naggingly catchy hook already sounds built to last, so let's hope its chart-topping success creates space for many more female artists to write unselfconsciously about what they want. But if you were holding out to hear Tool in a long-form exploration of their sound, to hear Adam Jones ration the riffs for use only when it really mattered (i.e. The album, which logged 10 weeks at Number 1 – including four in 2020 … "Folkore" by Taylor Swift took the top spot. You can also browse our Top 100 Albums and listen to the Rough Trade Edit Podcast Albums of the Year 2020 Special. Cyrus has since cannily acknowledged the song’s obvious debt to Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen by releasing an Edge of Midnight Remix featuring the Fleetwood Mac legend herself. To call the results timely and vital feels like an understatement. Then over the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement prompted long-overdue conversations about systemic racial oppression that the music industry had to confront head-on. This year’s most talked-about single is an X-rated celebration of female sexual agency. 40. It goes without saying, every single record in our list is outstanding and it is a privilege to share and shine a light on such exciting music. Jon Dolan & Brittany Spanos & Jonathan Bernstein & … Largely produced by Aaron Dessner of popular rock band The National, it’s a wistful indie-folk record that features some of Swift’s most wrenching melodies and poignant lyrics. The 10 best albums of 2020: Taylor Swift, Fiona Apple, Waxahatchee, more Albums recorded in quarantine ranked as some of the best of this or any other year. From the clattering post-punk of Ladies for Babies (Goats for Love) to the melancholy atmospherics of Prayer Mat, Shah’s music is as compelling as her lyrics. The first new number-one album of the year was Heavy Is the Head by Stormzy. When Cardi B brags “I don’t cook, I don’t clean, but let me tell you how I got this ring,” it's one of the few printable couplets. Read on to find out, and enjoy streams of the records as you scroll through. Most excitingly of all, Ungodly Hour signposts a stunningly bright future for the Bailey sisters: Chloe especially shows off serious production chops here, while Hailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid. He makes no attempt to disguise the weariness in his 79-year-old voice, which only heightens the power of his beautifully wrought laments: these songs are sometimes folky, sometimes bluesy, and often downright transcendent. The massive success of Eilish's debut record continues on into 2020 as it has sold 194,000 units in 2020. Previous albums from this British singer-songwriter have explored mental health issues and the Syrian refugee crisis, but Kitchen Sink feels like her most righteous work yet. Driven by shimmering synths and ‘80s new wave beats, it’s a brilliantly defiant break-up song that shows off the full dramatic power of Cyrus’s husky voice. In a world … ... Now his follow-up, Weight of the World… Fiona Apple's "Fetch the Bolt Cutters," The Weeknd's "After Hours," Phoebe Bridgers' "Punisher," … As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, artists found themselves unable to tour and – in some cases – unsure whether to release albums that were completed and ready to drop. Partly inspired by conversations with her female friends, it’s a spiky and insightful indictment of the reductive assumptions that society imposes on women as they reach their thirties. December 8, 2020 • Radio Milwaukee's Tarik Moody leads a discussion on NPR Music's number one album pick and why it's one of 2020's most important and potent releases. Above is Metacritic's list of the 40 best-reviewed albums of 2020, ranked by Metascore. We count down to number one, with entries from Soccer Mommy, Run The Jewels, HAIM and Moses Sumney. The 50 Best Albums of 2020. The best albums of 2020 so far. Featuring well-judged cameos from Pharrell Williams and legendary singer-activist Mavis Staples, RTJ4 is an incendiary call-to-arms that rails against ingrained racism, police brutality and America’s rigged class system. Otherwise, all full-length studio albums (or mixtapes) released between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 are eligible, though reissues, live albums, box sets and other compilations are excluded. The illuminating collection titled The Best of Transglobal World Music Chart 2020 features top ranking artists from each month’s chart in 2020. 53. 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