Exclaim!'s 33 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Exclaim!'s 33 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

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33.

Jon McKiel - Bobby Joe Hope
April 24, 2020
Critic Score
90
1 review

32.

Cleo Sol - Rose In The Dark
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
70
1 review

31.

Wares - Survival
April 24, 2020
Critic Score
74
5 reviews

29.

Andy Shauf - The Neon Skyline
January 24, 2020
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

The Neon Skyline is a crystallization of everything Shauf has been working meticulously to perfect throughout his rise to international acclaim — his characterization, world-building and ear for arrangements.

28.

Owen Pallett - Island
May 22, 2020
Critic Score
84
7 reviews

Island represents a tender, more melancholic chapter in Pallett's repertoire, but one that offers a refined perspective.

27.

Nap Eyes - Snapshot of a Beginner
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

26.

Westside Gunn - Pray for Paris
April 17, 2020
Critic Score
77
6 reviews

Though Gunn's vintage sound might not work for everyone, Pray for Paris is a total delight for those who want to reminisce without feeling stuck in the past.

25.

Boniface - Boniface
February 14, 2020
Critic Score
84
7 reviews

24.

Mac Miller - Circles
January 17, 2020
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

However difficult it might be to ingest his candour, there is also a maturity about Miller in which to take solace. There's a sense of growth and lessons learned.

23.

Code Orange - Underneath
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
84
15 reviews

Their fourth LP, Underneath, has every nuance they have ever dabbled with shifted into overdrive.

22.

Charli XCX - how i'm feeling now
May 15, 2020
Critic Score
83
26 reviews

Though it lacks the alien opalescence of Charli's best record, how i'm feeling now contains a different sort of thrilling delirium. It's fun and sometimes silly, made on the fly and under a tight deadline.

21.

Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

As welcome as JAY-Z's frequent appearances on A Written Testimony are, it's clear that his purpose here is to serve as Electronica's human security blanket. That's forgivable for a first run, but if Electronica is to reach his full potential, he'll need to get comfortable with standing on his own two feet on future albums.

20.

Wake - Devouring Ruin
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
90
1 review

19.

Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
84
34 reviews

Saint Cloud is a refreshing listen from an exceptional singer-songwriter that shatters the myth of hard-living artists and proves that great artists can make great art without a drink.

18.

William Prince - Reliever
February 7, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

Prince offers himself as an anchor for those feeling rudderless. This is the artist at his most inspirational, thankful and powerful.

17.

Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
28 reviews

The feel-good nature of Future Nostalgia is enough to momentarily divert our attention from the stress-inducing state of the world.

16.

The Weeknd - After Hours
March 20, 2020
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

While the Weeknd's sound has veered off track from his early feel in the past, After Hours gives fans the closest taste to Trilogy that they will get.

15.

Lido Pimienta - Miss Colombia
April 17, 2020
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Miss Colombia displays an artist who has a clear vision combined with a desire to experiment with sounds.

14.

Destroyer - Have We Met
January 31, 2020
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

Despite its digressions, Have We Met is rich and varied enough to offer more than just throwback thrills. It's further proof that amid both destruction and devotion, Bejar's voice remains compelling.

13.

U.S. Girls - Heavy Light
March 6, 2020
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

Heavy Light, the remarkable new record from Meg Remy's U.S. Girls project, is a scavenger hunt for these elusive pasts — music devoted to reflection and retrospection.

12.

Soccer Mommy - color theory
February 28, 2020
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

A darker and more complex record, it displays a newfound maturity in Allison's arrangements and a decidedly higher set of stakes.

11.

Porridge Radio - Every Bad
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

It's a thorny and ferocious record that beats emotional complexities into their most elemental form, each simple mantra or thunderous guitar containing mountains of unspoken meaning.

10.

Aquakultre - Legacy
May 8, 2020
Critic Score
90
1 review

9.

Grimes - Miss Anthropocene
February 21, 2020
Critic Score
75
32 reviews

This sounds like the logical followup to 2015's Art Angels. It's a little darker and heavier than that prior record's vibrant palette, but it still has everything we've come to expect from Grimes.

8.

Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - Alfredo
May 29, 2020
Critic Score
85
10 reviews
Freddie Gibbs proves yet again why he is the one of the best rappers right now.

7.

Pantayo - Pantayo
May 8, 2020
Critic Score
79
4 reviews

6.

Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
April 3, 2020
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

It's the sound of a new kind of warped pop star — an artist capable of weaving the unending unknown of space and the throb of blood and skin, willing to take us and destroy us and create something wholly new from what remains.

5.

Moses Sumney - græ
May 15, 2020
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

4.

Caribou - Suddenly
February 28, 2020
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

Suddenly is a fresh perspective shift that encourages listeners to examine the bigger forces at play that act as a catalyst for change.

3.

Run the Jewels - RTJ4
June 3, 2020
Critic Score
90
32 reviews
Run the Jewels capture our troubled times brilliantly with 'RTJ4' — but police brutality is sadly always relevant.

2.

Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
April 17, 2020
Critic Score
94
31 reviews

The scope of Fetch the Bolt Cutters' meaning, its infinite feeling, will likely take years to fully absorb. An album like this doesn't come often, and an artist like Apple will never come again — she's given us an invaluable piece of light, a reminder to stay alive and awake and angry and kind.

1.

Backxwash - God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
May 28, 2020
Critic Score
88
4 reviews
With most songs clocking in at under three minutes, this release has a real sense of immediacy and urgency while still managing to weave a compelling larger story.
Original Source: https://exclaim.ca/music/article/exclaim_33_best_albums_of_2020_so_far
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