AllMusic's 100 Favorite Albums of 2020

AllMusic's 100 Favorite Albums of 2020

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November 13, 2020
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

There's a depth of feeling to the levity on Power Up, as if the band decided that the best way to pay respect to what they've lost is by focusing on what they still have. They don't dwell upon the past, they barrel forward with a set of turbocharged blues and high-octane rock that doesn't merely sound good, it feels nourishing.

January 17, 2020
Critic Score
70
21 reviews

These tight, explosive songs combine a refined poetic lyric approach in songwriting and arranging that's every bit as urgent as the album's two predecessors, yet it's so emotionally charged, it leaves the listener breathless and exhausted, as well as compelled and excited.

August 28, 2020
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

Managing to be uniquely stylized and engrossing while stripped bare, Whole New Mess not only works in isolation, it deserves equal footing in Olsen's discography.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

With her sophomore album, 2020's magical and earthy Cha Cha Palace, singer/songwriter Angelica Garcia embraces her family's Mexican and Salvadoran roots, crafting an explosive collage out of her varied influences.

February 29, 2020
Critic Score
82
5 reviews

He turns the notion of the cohesive urbano statement into a sprawling 20-track mix of styles, production techniques, and completely accessible hooks in a work of peerless musical invention.

April 24, 2020
Critic Score
82
14 reviews

Written from the heart and dredged from pop music's boneyard, Shortly After Takeoff feels like the album Christinzio has been working toward his whole career.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
89
31 reviews

Rough and Rowdy Ways is akin to transformational albums such as Love and Theft, and Slow Train Coming. It's a portrait of the artist in winter who remains vital and enigmatic. At nearly 80, Dylan's pen and guitar case still hold plenty of magic.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Blue Hearts is a cry of purifying anger in a dark time, and its heat produces a truly necessary light; it's one of the very best solo albums Mould has given us to date.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
77
7 reviews
She and her fellow writers and producers have put together the type of album that drowns out the world and keeps giving with each play.

March 6, 2020
Critic Score
79
6 reviews

Subtlety is her strength and that skill is still evident in her witty, elegant turns of phrase, but the distinguishing characteristic of Your Life Is a Record is warmth. From its enveloping sound to its empathetic tales, the album feels openhearted and comforting, a sensibility that helps the record seem charmingly out of step with the times.

Brothers Osborne - Skeletons
October 9, 2020
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

March 22, 2020
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

Glover is fearless and definitely not afraid to fall flat in the quest for something new or real. 3.15.20 is both of those things and is the second classic, timeless and timely Childish Gambino record in a row.

June 12, 2020
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

While it evidently came together quicker and was shaped more by outsiders ... the Baileys' second album is really a refinement of and progression from The Kids Are Alright.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
89
11 reviews

Like its predecessor, Sex, Death, & the Infinite Void treats naval-gazing like a spectator sport, with each death-obsessed narrative resolving into a gang-vocal crescendo of stale cigarette smoke and beer-can-crushing outsider solidarity.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
85
28 reviews
Playing upon the concepts of resistance and polarity implied by the album's title, Deftones take their signature beauty-meets-brutality assault, searching for balance across a tightly focused ten tracks.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

Flipping her hair at detractors with a wink and a smile on "Future Nostalgia," she sings, "You want a timeless song/I wanna change the game." With this flawless effort, she manages to achieve both.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
93
32 reviews

It's rare to listen to a pop album and have no idea what comes next, and Fetch the Bolt Cutters delivers surprises that delight and bruise at a rapid pace.

September 22, 2020
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

As a collection, Shore emits a sense of coming through something and arriving anew with the welcome bruises that foster greater understanding and compassion.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
35 reviews

Sprawling and intimate, breezy and affecting, Women in Popular Music III is a low-key triumph.

May 8, 2020
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

While there's certainly an audible sense of collaboration on Petals for Armor, it's Williams' ability to turn her dark, personal moments into anthems of survival that stick with you.

October 9, 2020
Critic Score
82
8 reviews

Pulling out all the stops for an expansive statement of self, in EDNA the Tottenham great provides an impeccable portfolio of his varied sonics, concretizing his place among London's finest.

January 24, 2020
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
79
19 reviews

The fact these songs seem so telling in a strange and difficult time has a bit to do with coincidence, but more important is the excellence of Isbell's songwriting.

March 13, 2020
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
Jay-Z and Jay Electronica sound energized by each other, giving powerful performances at every turn. Bold production choices gel with this collaborative energy for an album that's inspired, driven, and sounds moved by the hand of unseen powers.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
28 reviews
Stylistic deviations are few, well-placed, and maintain lyrical continuity with references to the senses as they relate to emotional and physical connection.

Joel Ross - Who Are You?
Critic Score
90
1 review

John Anderson - Years
April 10, 2020
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

July 10, 2020
Critic Score
76
14 reviews

The vocalist and producer Juliana Barwick’s revelatory new album asks us to picture healing at a moment when the task feels impossible.

May 1, 2020
Critic Score
80
4 reviews

Much like its monochromatic predecessors, Descendants of Cain proves an exceptional listen. Pairing Ryan’s sublime lyricism with organic production and a precisely constructed concept, the MC’s fifth project is a superb statement piece from one of rap’s most ingenious poets.

February 14, 2020
Critic Score
78
9 reviews

A stunning achievement, with Loom Gately beautifully honors her mother as well as her commitment to uncompromising music.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
75
23 reviews

Khruangbin's music can still work as an ebullient, sun-baked soundtrack to daily activities, social gatherings, or cross-country road trips, but their songs have gotten more expressive and soul-searching, and Mordechai rewards closer listening more than any of their previous recordings.

Kidbug - Kidbug
May 22, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

February 14, 2020
Critic Score
81
9 reviews

November 6, 2020
Critic Score
73
22 reviews

Fifteen albums into her illustrious career, the pop chameleon shows no signs of slowing down, rebooting her catalog once again with what she does best: delivering joy and inspiration through the power of dance.

May 29, 2020
Critic Score
77
32 reviews

Maybe she's lost her appetite to be a weird provocateur, but she has learned how to sharpen and stylize her attack, and that focus makes Chromatica one of her most consistent and satisfying albums.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
87
30 reviews

If Laura Marling's Grammy-nominated standout, Semper Femina, signified a mid-career watershed, her 2020 follow-up, Song for Our Daughter, finds the Londoner moving through a subtler, though equally vital evolution replete with sharpened observations and a gripping sense of vulnerability.

July 17, 2020
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
La Havas makes it all flow and mesh by revisiting each moment like it's the present, using apt metaphors related to plant life and seasonal cycles, and most importantly, by not overselling a single emotion.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

There are many layers in Miss Colombia's 11 vivid tracks, all of which are well-worth exploring.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
79
9 reviews

October 13, 2020
Critic Score
77
7 reviews

Private Lives is the richest rock & roll Low Cut Connie have made to date and it's married to Weiner's most emotionally resonant set of songs, a combination that's both potent and moving.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
77
4 reviews

July 10, 2020
Critic Score
77
18 reviews

There's a confidence in her vocal performances that reflects the album's spirit: She's comfortable following her obsessions and idiosyncrasies to their logical end, resulting in a record that comforts and challenges in equal measure.

October 9, 2020
Critic Score
82
10 reviews

The wordless storytelling of Silver Ladders is one of its most intriguing elements, pulling emotional gravity from expert arrangement of minimal sounds.

May 8, 2020
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

While this volume of Canto por Mexico is offered as a benefit recording, it is wonderfully representative of Lafourcade's late-2010s work that has focused deeply on Mexico's musical traditions. Highly recommended.

August 21, 2020
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

White-Gluz controls her songs with a steady hand and a crystalline vision on Motherhood, and takes No Joy's always-restless creative spark to unimaginable new places.

August 21, 2020
Critic Score
80
12 reviews

Source, with its adventurous, kinetic, and sophisticated approach in wedding modern composition, improvisation, and production to rhythmic and harmonic traditions, is one of the very best.

October 30, 2020
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

Equally challenging and comforting, Magic Oneohtrix Point Never just might be the album that moves listeners who appreciated, but didn't fully embrace, his previous music.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
90
30 reviews

All the nuances of desire that Hadreas explores on Set My Heart on Fire, Immediately enhance the individuality of each song, as well as his own individuality -- and as he honors every part of his music and himself, he gives listeners another rich, densely packed album to savor.

June 18, 2020
Critic Score
88
41 reviews
It's an album of shockingly self-aware explorations of dark feelings and Bridgers is more willing than ever before to throw herself headlong into the darkness.

January 10, 2020
Critic Score
69
19 reviews

As both a symbolic avatar for her life changes and a strong empowerment statement, I Disagree celebrates Poppy's rebirth as a pop-metal alchemist and unabashed rule-breaker.

Prince Royce - Alter Ego
February 7, 2020
Critic Score
90
1 review

October 2, 2020
Critic Score
83
21 reviews

From start to finish, Róisín Machine is cohesive and spellbinding. Murphy truly is a machine in her consistent creativity, and this is a particularly well-oiled example of her brilliance.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
85
24 reviews

On this stunning debut, Sawayama captures Dua Lipa's future nostalgia and Poppy's metal-meets-pop savvy, rightfully making it her own with more depth, bigger thrills, and a limitless palette.

June 3, 2020
Critic Score
89
34 reviews

Much like reality, the raw and unflinching RTJ4 is a lot to take in, both a balm for the rage and fuel to keep the fire burning. Although eerily prescient, RTJ4 is less prophetic and more a case of deja vu, addressing the endemic issues of a broken country that sadly continue.

April 24, 2020
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

September 18, 2020
Critic Score
90
7 reviews
5, 7, Untitled (Black Is), and Untitled (Rise), issued within 16 months, amount to exactly three hours of exceptionally recombinant and enriching pro-black music with minimal excess. The rate and power of the output is stupefying

August 28, 2020
Critic Score
80
4 reviews

At once dazzling and heartfelt, Shabrang is an epic journey, and Sevdaliza is brilliantly in control throughout it.

March 13, 2020
Critic Score
83
13 reviews

We Are Sent Here by History is final proof that Hutchings is a modern jazz prophet; he sees the past as merely a jumping-off point for exploration, not only in music but in philosophical concepts, cultural theories, and spiritual precepts as an aesthetic.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
84
16 reviews

Heart's Ease goes further, revealing she's still a vital performer and an artist willing to explore new and unfamiliar territory, suggesting a more interesting future than listeners might have imagined.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

Though the songs here aren't quite as immediately infectious as Clean, its combination of deceptively warm surfaces, alluring melodies, and subtly distorted textures reward repeat listens with that sense of discovery.

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

Supercrush - SODO Pop
October 9, 2020
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

February 14, 2020
Critic Score
78
42 reviews

The album's a comeback that once again makes Tame Impala an artistic force equal to their commercial appeal.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
87
37 reviews

Combined, the moodier, contemplative tone and the emphasis on songs that can't be parsed as autobiography make folklore feel not like a momentary diversion inspired by isolation but rather the first chapter of Swift's mature second act.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
73
11 reviews
Almost 80 minutes in duration, this set even dwarfs the aggregate of the two preceding releases as if to leave no doubt that it's her definitive and unrestricted work.

August 21, 2020
Critic Score
76
29 reviews

Following years of ups and downs -- both as a unit and, for Flowers, as a supportive husband -- Imploding the Mirage feels like more than just one of their best albums, but a triumphant and invigorated rut-reversal that shines with a hard-won confidence.

August 7, 2020
Critic Score
85
13 reviews
Time has only made Elverum's music more transcendent, and anyone who loves the Microphones or Mount Eerie will find the album's fresh yet timeless perspective on it a fascinating and moving listen.

May 1, 2020
Critic Score
87
9 reviews

While it's just as thought-provoking as the Soft Pink Truth's other albums, there's something magical in how the emotional dimensions and deep beauty of Shall We Go on Sinning So That Grace May Increase? reaffirm that positivity and creativity are the most powerful weapons against hate and darkness.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
74
37 reviews

Full of passion, commitment, and creativity, The New Abnormal marks the first time in a while that the Strokes have made truly exciting music.

March 20, 2020
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
Some of Tesfaye's most vivid and piercing lines are herein.

Thibaut Garcia - Aranjuez
October 3, 2020
Critic Score
100
1 review

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
30 reviews
As on the earlier Thundercat LPs, outer space and homeboy escapades, comic courtship and elusive companionship, and philosophical insights also inform the material.

Vladislav Delay - Rakka
February 27, 2020
Critic Score
67
3 reviews

Winter - Endless Space (Between You & I)
July 24, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

January 24, 2020
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

Xavier Omär - if You Feel
October 23, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review

September 4, 2020
Critic Score
78
3 reviews

L'Ère du Verseau completes the process and then some with the result being the most streamlined, deepest sounding, and most powerful album they've made yet.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

Previously, Tumor has stated that they want to make songs listeners need to play. They more than achieve that on Heaven to a Tortured Mind, an album that suggests the easiest way to define Tumor is as an artist who consistently outdoes themself.

Zephaniah OHora - Listening To The Music
August 14, 2020
Critic Score
80
1 review
Original Source: https://www.allmusic.com/year-in-review/2020/allmusic-best-of-2020
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3mo
HAIM Woman In Music Pt. III is missing in the all music list 100 best albums 2020, so there are only 99 listed here
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