With the end of the year quickly approaching, it is time to look back at what was released this year. Despite this year’s hardships, 2020 has been a great year for albums. Many artists have been able to portray the emotions of the collective, whether it be anger, sadness, helplessness, or joy – music was there to help us process the craziness around us.
Here are some albums that have been on repeat throughout this quarantined year. They are not necessarily the best albums to have come out, but they are immensely enjoyable and catchy to me.
Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor (May 8, 2020)
Hayley William’s debut album Petals for Armor is a true display of William’s raw capability to be a chameleon of an artist. This album shattered any former boxed idea of William’s only being capable of “pop-rock.” Williams successfully experiments with funk, disco, and indie rock. Petals for Armor is not only a display of her capability in music but also in insight into who Williams is and the brooding heartbreak she went through and the celebratory healing as she embraces her femininity.
Favorite songs: “Over Yet,” “Dead Horse,” “Simmer,” “Taken,” “Cinnamon,” “Pure Love,” and “Crystal Clear.”
Chloe X Halle – Ungodly Hour (June 12, 2020)
This year was their year. Chloe X Halle were everywhere. They worked the heck out of their songs “Forgive Me” and “Do It,” but despite possibly overperforming it, every performance was fresh and new. The album was a revamp of R&B. Chloe X Halle kept the sound fresh despite blending the best of the different eras. Ungodly Hour “demonstrated Chole x Halle’s immense talent both lyrically and artistically as every song was written and produced by the duo.”
Favorite songs: “Do It,” “Forgive Me,” “Baby Girl,” “Ungodly Hour,” and “Lonely.”
Ariana Grande – Positions (October 30, 2020)
Ariana Grande’s Position is probably her most open album to date. Grande discusses her explicit giddy romance, heartbreak, and the search for peace and tranquility with herself. Although it isn’t as much of a classic as Sweetener and Thank U, Next, it is still an enjoyable album.
Favorite songs: “34+35,” “positions,” “shut up,” and “pov.”
Poppy – I Disagree (January 10, 2020)
Poppy’s I Disagree was a transformative nu-metal album for her character. Previously her music was very bubblegum pop, as was her character until this point. I Disagree is very much heavily influenced by the evolution and change to the “Poppy” identity. It is much more grimier as a huge focus of the album is on vengeance, rebirth, and freedom.
Favorite songs: “BLOODMONEY,” “Don’t Go Outside,” and “I Disagree.”
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (March 27, 2020)
Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia is full of sophisticated pop-funk and disco tracks. It came out at the weirdest time, at the peak and start of COVID-13. It was such a celebratory album full of guiltless dance anthems at the peak of quarantining. It was strangely timed but an enjoyable album. Dua Lipa herself hinted with the name that it is an instant classic, and I can’t disagree.
Favorite songs: “Good In Bed,” “Break My Heart,” “Pretty Please,” Future Nostalgia,” and “Don’t Start Now.”
Deftones – Ohms (September 25, 2020)
“Ohms is easily one of the best sounding albums of the year. Moreno’s voice is alluringly dreamy and romantic while Stephen Carpenter brings in the metallic sludge. There is a balance between the tension of the two that brings out a raw and crooning atmosphere. Ohms tussles between metal, post-hardcore, and experimental. Yet, it’s still very familiar to fans of Deftones despite the fully transcending genre. There is a clear balance of experimenting while staying true to their longtime fans.”
Favorite songs: “Ohms,” “The Spell of Mathematics,” and “Genesis.”
Allie X’s Cape God, Miley Cyrus’s Plastic Hearts, Rina Sawayama’s SAWAYAMA, Ashnikko’s Daisy, Santino Le Saint’s Rage of Angels, Roses & Revolution’s Under the Spell, and artists, Tate McRae, Girl Ultra, and YENDRY.