PopMatters' 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

PopMatters' 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

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Amnesia Scanner - Tearless
June 19, 2020
Critic Score
68
6 reviews

Tearless hones their typically obscure modes into their most precise concept yet

Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
June 19, 2020
Critic Score
88
28 reviews

If Rough and Rowdy Ways is his valedictory statement to us, it's certainly in keeping with his traditionalist spirit.

Car Seat Headrest - Making A Door Less Open
May 1, 2020
Critic Score
73
32 reviews

Car Seat Headrest push their lo-fi signature into newly polished (and labyrinthine) space on Making a Door Less Open. The result is a glittering look at our everyday fantasies, our patterns of style and denial.

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

Suddenly is Caribou's most willfully experimental album to date, his soft, distinctive vocals flow through every track, binding the whole thing together.

Céu - APKÁ!
September 13, 2019
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

On Céu's APKÁ!, blissful interpretations of late-night dance music styles and high-heat MPB make for a multidimensional album of soulful energy, replete with her effortless sophistication.

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

Bolt Cutters would be praised for its rawness and its bloodletting were it not for the fact that it is also charming, so considered, and so unapologetic for being the rattling, risqué record that it is.

Four Tet - Sixteen Oceans
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
67
8 reviews

Four Tet's 10th album, Sixteen Oceans, begins on the dancefloor, travels to the woods, and ends becalmed, invoking, and bestowing peace and tranquility.

Georgia - Seeking Thrills
January 10, 2020
Critic Score
77
25 reviews

Full of energizing rhythms, buoyant beats, and memorable vocal melodies, Seeking Thrills is more than just a set of late-night bangers.

Greg Dulli - Random Desire
February 21, 2020
Critic Score
75
13 reviews

HAIM - Women in Music Pt. III
June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
32 reviews
Our flaws are what make us more experienced, relatable individuals, so by learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, HAIM have created their best work to date.

Helen Money - Atomic
March 20, 2020
Critic Score
83
3 reviews

Horse Lords - The Common Task
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
81
6 reviews
Experimental rock's Horse Lords release their first album in four years, and it's meticulous and complex, but also undeniably joyous and celebratory.

Ital Tek - Outland
May 1, 2020
Critic Score
77
6 reviews

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Reunions
May 15, 2020
Critic Score
79
19 reviews

Overall, Reunions doesn't quite achieve the heights of Southeastern or The Nashville Sound, but that's only because Isbell has set the bar so damn high for himself. This is an excellent album in its own right, and I can't imagine any Isbell fan being disappointed by it.

Jehnny Beth - TO LOVE IS TO LIVE
June 12, 2020
Critic Score
79
28 reviews
Like a good book, this album is hard to put down, and one listen does not quite satiate; a second and third is necessary.

Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure?
June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
26 reviews

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.

Les Amazones d'Afrique - Amazones Power
January 24, 2020
Critic Score
82
5 reviews

Marla Hansen - Dust
March 6, 2020
Critic Score
60
1 review

Mute Duo - Lapse in Passage
March 20, 2020
Critic Score
75
2 reviews

Myrkur - Folkesange
March 20, 2020
Critic Score
72
8 reviews

Nicolas Jaar - Cenizas
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
84
7 reviews

ONIPA - We No Be Machine
March 20, 2020
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

Pearl Jam - Gigaton
March 27, 2020
Critic Score
78
32 reviews

Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
May 15, 2020
Critic Score
90
29 reviews

There's only so much you can say about how Set My Heart sounds. It's excellent. I don't know how it could really be better. Sometimes melodies will crawl out of nowhere and make you think, "is this the catchiest thing Perfume Genius has ever written?"

Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
June 18, 2020
Critic Score
87
39 reviews

At 25, Phoebe Bridgers is, by all metrics, an artist at the beginning of her career, though Punisher sounds more like the work of a time-tested veteran perfecting a style she's been honing for years.

Pokey LaFarge - Rock Bottom Rhapsody
April 10, 2020
Critic Score
75
4 reviews

Sam Doores - Sam Doores
March 13, 2020
Critic Score
75
2 reviews

Son Little - aloha
January 31, 2020
Critic Score
75
6 reviews

Squarepusher - Be Up a Hello
January 31, 2020
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

Squarepusher's Be Up a Hello asserts that what some would consider an outmoded sound palette can still be mined for fresh ideas, that IDM in its golden-age variety has yet to reach its zenith.

Sunny Jain - Wild Wild East
February 21, 2020
Critic Score
79
3 reviews

TENGGER - Nomad
June 12, 2020
Critic Score
79
4 reviews

Tennis - Swimmer
February 14, 2020
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

Tennis' Swimmer is a distillation of everything they do so well, and it further establishes them as a dynamic, sophisticated pop act worthy of even bigger stages.

The Dustbowl Revival - Is It You, Is It Me
January 31, 2020
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
May 1, 2020
Critic Score
87
9 reviews

Matmos' Drew Daniels rebrands his solo work to meet the trying times, offering up an ambient techno classic for the ages under his Soft Pink Truth moniker.

TORRES - Silver Tongue
January 31, 2020
Critic Score
76
20 reviews

TORRES' Silver Tongue is her most mature release to date. Its nine songs, all evocative and transporting, strive toward a new vocabulary for connection, confidence, and queer love.

Trees Speak - Ohms
March 6, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

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

Saint Cloud, like Car Wheels, finds an artist operating at the top of her game, embracing, as Crutchfield put it, "the contradictions and the unknown" to produce a thrilling and inspirational work.

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

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.

Original Source: https://www.popmatters.com/50-best-albums-2020-sofar-2646289494.html
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