Exclaim!'s 50 Best Albums of 2020

Exclaim!'s 50 Best Albums of 2020

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50.

July 17, 2020
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Free I.H: This Is Not The One You've Been Waiting For is Illuminati Hotties defying the record industry while balancing purposefulness and playfulness at the same time.

49.

September 22, 2020
Critic Score
82
25 reviews

Shore is a return to the band's roots, but with a potent acknowledgment that much has changed in the interim — like visiting your hometown and wandering around the streets, taking in all the familiar sights, sounds and smells while pointing out all the differences.

48.

August 14, 2020
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Despite the underwhelming musicality of Total Freedom, many of these songs still pack some undeniable emotional force.

47.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

Back with arguably more certified bangers than before, clipping. throws caution to the wind with soul-rending sonics and elite-tier rapping.

46.

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.

45.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
85
24 reviews

Lenker's work continues to reimagine love and loss, and albums like songs are her way of turning those complex emotions into something timeless.

44.

March 13, 2020
Critic Score
84
15 reviews

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

43.

Khotin - Finds You Well
September 25, 2020
Critic Score
81
2 reviews

41.

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.

40.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
77
2 reviews

39.

October 16, 2020
Critic Score
81
9 reviews
Like a parcel of breakup roses compressed into a confetti cannon, Helena Deland's debut album is explosive, belaboured and totally intoxicating.

38.

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.

37.

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.

36.

TOBi - ELEMENTS Vol. 1
October 21, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

35.

August 21, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

34.

July 17, 2020
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

La Havas's third full-length record is fluid with feeling, and evidence that she has fully come into her own. Lianne La Havas is a masterpiece of vulnerability charting the path of a heart in the throes of new love.

33.

February 7, 2020
Critic Score
81
6 reviews

2017-2019 is the music we need in 2020: ambitious, fearless and provocative.

32.

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.

29.

Witch Prophet - DNA Activation
March 24, 2020
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

28.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

The conversation surrounding Jessie Ware's luxurious What's Your Pleasure? has been a tug of war between reinvention and return to form — is it a bold new frontier or a homecoming to the dance music of her debut? The answer, it turns out, is both and neither.

26.

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.

25.

August 7, 2020
Critic Score
85
13 reviews

This is Elverum's indelible stamp of style, distilled into a single track that flows like waves in the ocean or hills on the mountainside.

23.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
90
1 review

22.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

Where it ultimately stands within her catalogue will take more time to decipher, but folklore nonetheless feels like a watershed moment for Swift. It's proof positive that she's one of our better pop chameleons, and a palette cleanser after several intriguing, if sometimes questionable, sonic detours.

21.

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

20.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

It may very well be his most challenging and ambitious undertaking to date as well as a sign of the new era of Stevens to come.

19.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
85
28 reviews
This album offers 10 pummelling songs and though it may not have been written with the intent to do so, it serves as a perfect musical embodiment of this year: a seemingly endless vessel of dread, despair and existential crisis.

18.

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.

17.

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.

16.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

15.

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

14.

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.

13.

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.

12.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

It Is What It Is manifests as a beautiful ebb and flow of emotional states, philosophical musings and plain old comedy.

11.

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.

10.

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

9.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
88
29 reviews

Rough and Rowdy Ways is the work of a man in love with language and philosophy, and, at 79, he continues to take the pulse of the zeitgeist with unerring precision.

8.

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.

7.

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.

6.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
Through this lens, the record's title works on a number of different levels; as statement of fact, a reclamation of the term, or call to arms. It's as multifaceted as the music it encapsulates and the women who made it.

5.

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.

4.

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

3.

June 18, 2020
Critic Score
88
40 reviews

Bridgers gives you the moon on Punisher. Which is to say that she gives you everything that you are looking for in a Phoebe Bridgers album but still manages to make it feel miraculous and larger than life.

2.

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.

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/50_best_albums_of_2020
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1mo
okay...
interesting
1mo
hell yea!
1mo
PaH YEAHHHHH
1mo
pretty good
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