This might not have been the most ideal year, as we have been getting used to spending time with ourselves in isolation, dealing with the dread also known as the news media, and missing out on a lot of experiences as young people. However, I would like to draw attention to one area of our lives which did not disappoint this year: music! Whether you prefer pop, rap, indie, or R&B, there was truly something for everyone to enjoy.
We reached out to YOU to find out your favorite albums of the year, both old and new, were, so here are some of your picks!
- Folklore by Taylor Swift was a popular answer, and I agree entirely, it was easily one of my favorites too! One of your comments was, “So healing, nuanced and beautiful. Dropped at the perfect time during the year.” Could not have said that better myself! I think my personal favorites from the album are august, hoax, and betty! Comment below what yours are!
- Wonder by Shawn Mendes was another repeated response, and as one of you wrote, “It’s just all around amazing and brings me joy!” We love to hear about the positivity music brings! This is Mendes’ fourth studio album, premiering on December 4th of this year. He truly is a wonder, pun intended, in the pop genre!
- Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon by Pop Smoke! According to DailyRapFacts, this “is the biggest posthumous album release since Michael Jackson’s This Is It, released in the fall of 2009.” Songs like Mood Swings and What You Know bout Love are popular tracks this year, I definitely recommend them! His impact will never be forgotten, and may he rest in peace.
- Fine Line by Harry Styles was Styles’ second album as a solo performer and it has been incredibly successful between its debut release in December of last year through now! With hits like Watermelon Sugar and Adore You, the singer has truly stood out in the eyes of our audience. His role as a fashion icon is noteworthy as well, as he was the first male cover star of Vogue Magazine this December! Although he is not the first male artist to express his femininity and non-binary self expression, he is still important for what he has contributed to the music industry and fashion.
- Good News by Megan Thee Stallion was an album which came out just a few weeks ago on November 20th. I don’t think I will ever get body-ody-ody-ody out of my head and I’m not complaining! She is a star on the rise; her claim to fame being her hit song, Savage, as well as the remixed version with Beyonce!
- Fetch the Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple was Apple’s first album since 2012! Its debut was April 17th and according to The Guardian, this was their pick for the Number One Album of the Year! She was just what we needed during quarantine with her unique flair and her exploration of being confined was perfectly timed.
- Positions by Ariana Grande is her sixth studio album which was released this year on October 30th. Songs including the titular track, positions, and pov became popular quickly on TikTok and other social media platforms!
- Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle is the sister duo’s second studio album, which debuted June 12th. They are thought to be the next big thing with their popular R&B tracks including Do It and they have gotten much acclaim for their music! Halle Bailey is even set to be Ariel in a new film production of The Little Mermaid! How exciting is that? I hope she gets to sing some of the classic songs from the original cartoon version, I would love to hear it.
- Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers earned Bridgers her first Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Song for her track Kyoto on this album. One of my personal favorites, Punisher is her second studio album evoking emotions of loss, reflection, and purpose. Her songwriting has been described as “self-aware and wide ranging” by Pitchfork.
- Rose in the Dark by Cleo Sol is one of my favorite, and in my opinion underrated, albums of the year. Debuting on March 27th, it is her second album, following her 2018 Winter Songs. If you like soulful R&B, you will enjoy her music, as she is unafraid to express her emotions through powerful lyrics and light instrumentals. My personal favorite tracks off the new album are Butterfly and When I’m in Your Arms.
- Immunity by Clairo was her debut album which came out in 2019 on August 2nd. It is an expression of sexuality and relationships, both with the self and with others. You may have heard her song Sofia, which became really popular, and I really enjoy the songs Softly and North. Clairo was actually my number three artist on my Spotify Wrapped this year! Many of you seemed to enjoy her music too!
- Map of the Soul: 7 by BTS was an exciting new album this year! It came out on February 21st and was their seventh studio album. According to Forbes, it was the fastest selling album of 2020 internationally, breaking many records for pre-sales! Later this year, we were blessed with their hit single Dynamite, which came out on August 21st and has made them even more popular with English-speaking listeners.
- How I’m Feeling Now by Charli XCX is her fourth album which was released on May 15th of this year. It is a unique spin on her usual work as she collaborated with fans; creating lyrics and beats together, even zooming together to work on the album. She takes DIY to a new level by hatching together her new music from home with what seemed like limited resources, but she made it work by working with her listeners.
- After Hours by The Weeknd is an album I’m sure many of you are familiar with. Having the 80s vibes of Blinding Lights stuck in your head. Indulging in The Weeknd’s unique performances for various awards shows. He truly is an innovator. He was also robbed (Grammys— I’m looking at you). Let’s celebrate the amazing music The Weeknd has given us this year, when we needed it most.
- SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama is her debut album which came out on April 17th. She had me at Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys). She comes in third on The Guardian’s picks for top 50 albums of the year and it comes as no surprise with her stylistic risk-taking which truly paid off and became one of the most unique pop albums of 2020. She is last on this list, but certainly not least and the anticipation for what’s next for her could not be more riveting.
That’s it for today’s list of your favorite albums to indulge in this year! Did one of your favorites make the list? Let us know in the comments! I am quite excited for the new year of music ahead and can’t wait to see what new artists can come up with, and what our old favorites will do next!
Thank you for reading and enjoying music with us and be sure to stay tuned for even more content soon!