The Independent's 40 Best Albums of 2020

The Independent's 40 Best Albums of 2020

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40.

February 28, 2020
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

She has pulled off the difficult trick of developing a new signature sound, without losing the personal perspective that separated her from the pack in the first place.

39.

August 7, 2020
Critic Score
79
8 reviews

With just eight tracks, JAGUAR makes for a short yet thrillingly sexy listening experience.

38.

May 8, 2020
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

Petals for Armor doesn’t offer up an easy redemptive arc towards happiness; it is a Herculean effort to pull yourself out of depression. But in letting us in on that effort, Williams has created something special.

37.

March 13, 2020
Critic Score
84
15 reviews

Underneath is a glitchy, industrial wasteland.

36.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

35.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
83
26 reviews
A high-voltage assault on the senses – an entrepreneurial experiment that fits her avant-garde spirit.

33.

January 10, 2020
Critic Score
77
25 reviews

Drawing heavily on the Chicago house and Detroit techno of the Eighties, Seeking Thrills is a heady dose of sonic nostalgia.

32.

January 10, 2020
Critic Score
77
18 reviews

Walking Like We Do is an album about the will to keep moving forwards – regardless of whether you know exactly where you’re going.

31.

November 13, 2020
Critic Score
77
10 reviews
As ever, Stapleton's songwriting is economical, and he tackles favoured themes with a weathered sensitivity; production from his long-time collaborator Dave Cobb, another of Nashville’s finest, is never over-embellished. Even among the country music gems already released this year, Stapleton’s feels like a small miracle.

30.

June 19, 2020
Critic Score
88
29 reviews
His first new material since 2012’s ‘Tempest’ is a soothing fit for the lockdown mood in which time and meaning feel strangely stretched and untethered.

29.

August 28, 2020
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

Throughout is a sense of wonderment at being alone. Perhaps solitude is an underrated pursuit, but with Inner Song, Owens makes a highly convincing case for it.

28.

May 29, 2020
Critic Score
76
30 reviews

Chromatic is an extravagant, sometimes even overblown album – but I suspect it will keep revealing itself over time. And by that point, she’ll be onto the next era.

27.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

What’s Your Pleasure? reveals the magic that happens when an artist feels truly free.

26.

Everything Everything - Re-Animator
September 11, 2020
Critic Score
77
16 reviews

Re-Animator packs global anxiety and paranoia into exquisitely crafted songs. A superb album.

25.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Rina’s mini album may have marked her out as one to watch, but SAWAYAMA stakes her claim as one of the boldest voices in pop today.

24.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
30 reviews
What’s impressive is how Thundercat makes this music, with its complex structures and zigzagging rhythms, so human.

23.

April 3, 2020
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

I’m Your Empress Of is a bold statement of her individuality, nodding to her Honduran heritage but also her clear love of electronic music and Chicago house.

22.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

For those missing the electricity of live music, the seasoned connectivity Letter to You delivers something very close.

21.

June 18, 2020
Critic Score
88
40 reviews
Punisher has the effect of a particularly pummelling massage.

20.

November 20, 2020
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

19.

July 31, 2020
Critic Score
80
33 reviews
The Irish band aren’t scared of admitting their own insecurities on this impressive follow-up to their Mercury Prize-shortlisted debut.

18.

December 11, 2020
Critic Score
80
29 reviews
On a 25-track album with remarkably little filler, Robbie Chater and Tony de Blasi have forged a mature, miasmic exploration of their concept of ‘forever voices’.

17.

January 24, 2020
Critic Score
84
10 reviews

Big Conspiracy is Hus’s second chance – an album that proves he’s just as essential a part of UK music today as he was three years ago.

15.

February 21, 2020
Critic Score
75
32 reviews

It is an elastic, often beautiful work that finds glory in chaos.

14.

September 4, 2020
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

For the most part Gold Record is a deftly woven and cosily feathered little nest of songs.

13.

June 3, 2020
Critic Score
90
33 reviews

Killer Mike and El-P have long-since learnt how to turn their words into ammunition, but this is a distillation of all their anger and elation, hurt and love.

12.

January 17, 2020
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

Like its predecessor, ‘Swimming’, the album is drenched in languorous grooves and buzzy synths – only here, Miller sounds more at peace with himself.

11.

February 29, 2020
Critic Score
82
5 reviews

10.

July 24, 2020
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

This is an unconventional record – at least for the world’s biggest pop star. It’s also brilliant.

9.

October 23, 2020
Critic Score
85
24 reviews
It’s excruciating in its honesty – even for Lenker, who’s hardly known for shying away from her feelings. Now she bares her pain with complete abandon. It’s quite extraordinary.

8.

September 25, 2020
Critic Score
80
33 reviews

Though some might find the odd track a bit noodly, I was rendered wonderfully weightless by a journey that delivered whole galaxies of nuance in a universal context.

7.

June 26, 2020
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
Haim take us through a dark place and they do it frankly. But they never let the momentum dip. And they never lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.

6.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
90
29 reviews

With trusted producer Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Laura Marling), the artist born Mike Hadreas ensures that each and every note on his new album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, lands with devastating precision. These 13 tracks are finely wrought works of art that draw as much influence from Purcell and Mozart as they do scuzzy Nineties post-punk.

5.

May 15, 2020
Critic Score
87
25 reviews
When pinned down, Sumney defines his music as “experimental folk-soul-jazz”, but it’s more complex than that. Under his masterful production, it sounds as though there are 20 musicians in the room with him.

4.

April 10, 2020
Critic Score
87
30 reviews

More subtle than her previous works, these new songs are as fragmented and beautiful as stained glass.

3.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
84
34 reviews

On the American singer-songwriter’s fifth album, Saint Cloud, luscious melodies are undercut by a lingering unease, sentimentality by steeliness.

2.

March 27, 2020
Critic Score
86
28 reviews

It’s a sheer bliss that she can deliver these hard truths to a soundtrack that’s ridiculously leotard and leg warmers. Honestly, there isn’t a duff track on here. Every beat is elastic, every note and sample bold and shiny. Future Nostalgia is 37 minutes of pure sonic spandex.

1.

April 17, 2020
Critic Score
94
31 reviews

Manic descants, discordant pianos and abrupt changes in time signature at once complement and compete with each other in a carefully crafted clatter.

Original Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/best-albums-2020-greatest-ranked-b1775582.html
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