NME's 50 Best Albums of 2020

NME's 50 Best Albums of 2020

Original Source →

50.

December 4, 2020
Critic Score
75
17 reviews
The frenetic Maryland artist will not be retrained by any boundaries – genre, social or otherwise – as this thrilling, wildly charged and star-stuffed debut proves.

49.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
89
31 reviews
On his first original album in eight years, the master explores religion and war, music and civil rights, pulling at threads to see what unravels

48.

February 21, 2020
Critic Score
76
33 reviews
On ‘Miss Anthropocene’ Grimes proves herself once again to be the master of her own destiny, refusing to let any outside forces steer her from the course she’s chosen for herself, even if the album itself does deviate from the expected script.

47.

February 14, 2020
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
It’s an ambitious work full of scope, where Boyd continues to innovate and impress.

46.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
78
34 reviews
The Bristol punks’ third album is a juggernaut that roars through sarcasm, defiance, compassion and controversy. It's a bumpy ride, but one worth taking.

45.

February 26, 2020
Critic Score
68
8 reviews

Where ‘1992…’ was fresh and distinctly Princess Nokia ... ‘Everything is Beautiful’ feels a bit like a playlist of her favourite artists.

44.

February 21, 2020
Critic Score
73
13 reviews

This is an album full of big ideas, strong conviction and unguarded emotion, produced by a band who have every right to be proud of their journey.

43.

May 22, 2020
Critic Score
70
42 reviews

Instead of issuing another state-of-the-world album, The 1975 have somehow put out an album made for introspection and headphone listening and dancing around your living room, something deep and sprawling and occasionally silly to dig deep into over many listens, during which your favourite track will shift on a daily basis.

41.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
77
5 reviews

40.

January 17, 2020
Critic Score
74
23 reviews

By stripping back the stories to their very personal core, Halsey has made a record that is as thrilling as it is vulnerable, and her best effort yet.

39.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
56
7 reviews

The Florida star's debut album pays tribute to guitar heroes of the past while adding a fresh alt-pop edge.

38.

December 4, 2020
Critic Score
62
15 reviews

Taking everything that’s brilliant about Yungblud and amplifying it, album two is Harrison at his most extreme. It’s exactly where he belongs, too. Yungblud’s never seemed more inspiring or vital as he proves himself as one of the most important rock stars around. ‘weird!’ really is wonderful.

37.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

The jazz-fusion bassline don reins in the funk to honour his fallen friend, though also lets loose with the likes of Childish Gambino by his side.

36.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
79
8 reviews
This innovative debut album fuses urgent anthems with meditative moments to soundtrack the momentum of change.

35.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

As explorations of pain go, ‘Color Theory’ is as beautiful as it is brave.

34.

October 30, 2020
Critic Score
72
4 reviews

33.

September 4, 2020
Critic Score
76
16 reviews

The 21-year-old might be trying to shake off any unwieldy labels from critics this time around, but he’s doing so in electric, entertaining and thought-provoking form.

32.

November 27, 2020
Critic Score
73
27 reviews
While 2017 album ‘Younger Now’ found her heading out with a similar mission in mind, the brief didn’t quite come to fruition; there was newfound maturity on show, but not as much country-and-Western swagger. Fortunately, ‘Plastic Hearts’ possesses infinitely more grit – and, crucially, a freewheeling sense of fun.

31.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

Lorely Rodriguez conjures up half an hour of breathtaking avant-pop on her powerful third album.

29.

March 20, 2020
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
The Weeknd's comeback record splits the difference between his hedonistic and reflective personas.

28.

January 31, 2020
Critic Score
71
10 reviews

For the converts there’s enough familiarity and boundary pushing to justify continuing to invest in this band ... But for the doubters and sceptics still on the fence, this album might prove even more enjoyable and surprising. Only a fool would deny themselves this collection of big pop bangers.

27.

October 9, 2020
Critic Score
82
8 reviews
‘Edna’ is proof that he’s the unmistakeable, global ‘King of drill’, and much more besides.

26.

November 20, 2020
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
It may begin with a ‘Goodbye’, but ‘Night Network’ isn’t the sound of a run-down band staggering towards the finish line. Far from it – The Cribs have just embarked on a victory lap.

25.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
87
30 reviews

The folk singer's seventh album, a tribute to a figurative character, largely eschews percussion in favour of piercing words. It's a graceful ode to resilience.

24.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
83
26 reviews
Despite the crunching production, her knack for a killer pop hook permeates the entire record.

23.

August 14, 2020
Critic Score
74
8 reviews
The Nigerian hero has roped in Chris Martin and Sean 'Diddy' Combs to craft a collection that confirms his status as a contemporary great.

22.

October 2, 2020
Critic Score
85
14 reviews
A world away from their early work, the Todmorden group find chaos in the every day on their superb debut.

21.

October 2, 2020
Critic Score
83
21 reviews
The eccentric Irish icon’s dancefloor-ready record is her most euphoric yet, full of hedonistic singalong hits that will make you really, really miss the club.

20.

March 6, 2020
Critic Score
76
8 reviews
Inspired by Greek mythology, this sprawling record sees Uzi confirm his status as a modern great whose releases act as timestamps for rap.

19.

August 21, 2020
Critic Score
76
29 reviews
The Killers have made another dazzling statement of ultra-modern pomp, and one arguably even more in step with new generations of alt-rock. It’s a musical DeLorean: rooted in mainstream Americana but speeding into adventurous horizons.

18.

March 13, 2020
Critic Score
84
19 reviews

This is a bold, brilliant record.

17.

May 8, 2020
Critic Score
79
28 reviews
From a less skilled artist, such a disparate-sounding album might morph into a collage of loose touchstones. Hayley Williams, on the other hand, draws clearly from other artists but retains her voice at the centre. Her frankness cuts through across ‘Petals For Armor.

16.

February 14, 2020
Critic Score
78
42 reviews

Tame Impala’s first album in five years sees them move away from guitars and into mega-pop songwriting. The results are exhilarating.

15.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
80
35 reviews
Usually, when a band follows up their lauded, hype-building debut album in lightning-fast time, they do so to capitalise on the buzz and double down on any early promise. Fontaines D.C.‘s second album, the tense, often morose ‘A Hero’s Death’, feels like the antithesis of this approach.

14.

May 29, 2020
Critic Score
77
32 reviews
On ‘Chromatica’ Gaga has fully embraced creating a pure pop album. The record is littered with catchy choruses and glossy production – but it goes deeper than that.

13.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
85
28 reviews

The band's reunion with producer Terry Date results in an album that's as thrilling – and as emotional – as they have ever sounded.

12.

November 20, 2020
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

On her debut, the 25-year-old combines West Coast samples with the Southern sounds of her youth. The message: she's staying sunny, despite her setbacks.

11.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
93
32 reviews
‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’ will cut straight to the gut for Apple fans old and new, and leave behind indelible messages about her life and illustrious career, now spanning two decades. It’s an intoxicating listen – and one of her best.

10.

January 24, 2020
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

The growth and progression here is stunning.

9.

October 16, 2020
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

The leap from bedroom-dweller to teenage riot instigator has been a swift and fruitful one, and what could be considered derivative is genuine in every sense.

8.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
35 reviews
By breaking from what the world might expect from them and letting themselves do whatever the hell they want, they have produced a record that’s experimental, soothing and vulnerable; it’s a thing of great beauty.

7.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
85
24 reviews
From the raucous nu-metal to glittering R&B, ‘SAWAYAMA’ is an honest, genre-exploding self-portrait. Drawing on every aspect of her identity, Sawayama creates an expansive musical account of her personal history, all bolstered by her impressive experimental song-writing techniques.

6.

August 28, 2020
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

By allowing her songs to breathe, leaving space for contemplation, ‘Inner Song’ is a perfectly-arranged album where each track has a part to play: an emotive-yet-euphoric collection that’s made for late-night reflection, Kelly Lee Owens has made one of the most beautiful records of the year.

5.

June 18, 2020
Critic Score
88
41 reviews

The LA songwriter’s ability to paint this lingering feeling of dread so vividly is perhaps the biggest factor in her rapid rise to cultish indie household name; just look at the state of the world right now.

4.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
74
37 reviews

There’s plenty to praise on the record, even though the listener has been certified as a second thought. Like its cover, the Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork ‘Bird On Money’, it’s spiky but quite stunning. This is a cool album, the kind you begrudgingly grow to love, even if it never cared about you.

3.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

‘Future Nostalgia’ is a bright, bold collection of pop majesty to dance away your anxieties to… if only for a little while.

2.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
87
37 reviews

This rich isolation album boasts collaborations with Bon Iver and The National's Aaron Dessner, and might just feature Taylor's best song ever.

1.

June 3, 2020
Critic Score
89
34 reviews
The righteous rap duo take on police brutality and the fear-mongering media. If a hip-hop album alone could change the world, this might do it.
Original Source: https://www.nme.com/features/nme-best-albums-of-the-year-2020-2835612
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4mo
okay...okay
solid top 5 and some odd picks but i like
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