The Guardian's 50 Best Albums of 2020

The Guardian's 50 Best Albums of 2020

Original Source →

49.

January 31, 2020
Critic Score
78
25 reviews

Even at their poppiest, Destroyer remain an acquired taste. This time around, it’s one more than worth acquiring.

48.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

Color Theory is a glorious record: the lyrics, delivered in a plain uninflected voice by Allison – melodic, but not in the least showy – are paired with tunes and arrangements that leap out.

47.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
73
11 reviews

46.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
78
7 reviews

45.

January 10, 2020
Critic Score
71
10 reviews

44.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
78
22 reviews

All the Time is filled with tracks that get the delicate balance right between experimentation and a love of an uncomplicated pop tune; between nostalgia for the past and a dedication to sounding like the future.

43.

October 30, 2020
Critic Score
72
4 reviews

42.

November 6, 2020
Critic Score
73
20 reviews

41.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
75
10 reviews

40.

October 30, 2020
Critic Score
68
23 reviews

The tabloids are frothing about the R&B singer’s ‘steamy’ new direction, but her sixth album blurs into one long slow jam.

36.

May 22, 2020
Critic Score
71
40 reviews

It makes Notes on a Conditional Form a curious thing, an album whose flaws are inherent in what it sets out to do: music for the no-filter generation, with all the good and bad that entails.

35.

October 2, 2020
Critic Score
85
14 reviews
Stark electronics are undercut with funkier elements of Detroit techno, acid house squiggles and Italian house pianos to create a danceable sound that’s simultaneously austere and uplifting.

32.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
2 reviews

31.

March 6, 2020
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

30.

September 22, 2020
Critic Score
82
25 reviews

29.

January 17, 2020
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

Circles continues Miller’s searching musical journey, adding elements of soft rock, pop and more to emo-rap: the result is beguiling and natural.

27.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
87
30 reviews

Written to an imaginary child about ‘what it is to be a woman in this society’, the singer’s seventh album is alternately intimate, sneering and sad, and lavished with gorgeous melodies.

26.

September 4, 2020
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

25.

September 18, 2020
Critic Score
90
7 reviews

It manages to be as lyrically unflinching as the music is compelling – not the easiest balance to achieve, as acres of terrible protest songs historically attest. You’d call it the album of the year if its predecessor wasn’t just as good.

24.

August 28, 2020
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

23.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

Dan Snaith’s project returns after five years away to confront grief and family, beautifully warping songs that are drenched in melody.

21.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

Sean Bowie’s creative imagination is extraordinary: experimental, capable of any genre, with an internal logic powering its shifts in mood.

20.

February 21, 2020
Critic Score
75
32 reviews

It doesn’t add much to the climate change debate, but as a representation of what it’s like when fame turns dark, it is powerful and compelling.

19.

May 29, 2020
Critic Score
76
30 reviews
Returning to the sound of her maximalist electro-pop heyday, Gaga explores buried trauma, mental illness and the complexities of fame on this return to form.

18.

June 3, 2020
Critic Score
90
33 reviews

17.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
80
33 reviews
With poetry suffusing both lyrics and music, Fontaines DC capture being young in all its excitement and challenges, its confidence and despair: those years where it feels like you’re trying to find a foothold with your hands. It’s not easy, but then what great album, or life, ever is?

14.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
83
27 reviews
Without the burden of reinvention, Ware’s fourth album of defiantly sexy, plush post-disco is a flirtatious joy.

13.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
88
29 reviews

For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.

12.

June 12, 2020
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

Instead of pop sugar-hit or arresting experimentation, Ungodly Hour’s draw lies in the detail; not only the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it strangeness ... but in the slow-burn appeal of the pair’s vocal melodies, which are habitually inventive, ornate and hauntingly beautiful.

11.

October 2, 2020
Critic Score
83
19 reviews
Pop outsider and lockdown living-room star Murphy distils her disco expertise and musical idiosyncrasies in songs pulsing with dancefloor power.

10.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

9.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

Released with little fanfare this move to more muted songwriting is proof Swift’s music can thrive without the celebrity drama.

8.

January 24, 2020
Critic Score
84
10 reviews

The charts are currently packed with British rappers, but not all of them have their own niche quite as clearly delineated as his. Big Conspiracy leaves you wanting to hear even more.

7.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
By leaning into the lows, Haim open up bold frontiers.

6.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
84
34 reviews
Aided by unfussy, clean but never sterile production by Brad Cook – and perhaps the sobriety she has recently embraced – the haze has lifted and her songwriting can really be seen.

4.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
90
29 reviews
Whatever he’s doing, the results are uniformly fantastic: rich, fascinating and moving, packed with gorgeous melodies and arrangements that feel alive, constantly writhing into unexpected new shapes.

3.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

2.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
28 reviews
Britain’s biggest female star tightens her grip on the crown with a viscerally brilliant second album.

1.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
94
31 reviews
This seems not so much an album as a sudden glorious eruption; after eight long years, an urgent desire to be heard.
Original Source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/dec/01/the-50-best-albums-of-2020
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1mo
Funny how they gave 3.15.20 a 10 but didn't mention it once on this list.
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