Top 10 Albums of 2020

By Sergio Niblett-Morales


As 2020 comes to a close, an abundance of music was released this year (albeit in an untraditional manner) and I will be ranking my personal Top 10 Albums of 2020 that you can sing, dance or cry your heart out to! But first, here are some honourable mentions that didn’t quite make it into the Top 10 but still deserve praise and are well worth a listen to:

In A Dream – Troye Sivan (Top 3: IN A DREAM, Easy, Take Yourself Home)

Wonder – Shawn Mendes (Top 3: 305, Wonder, Piece Of You)

Good News – Megan Thee Stallion (Top 3: Savage Remix (ft. Beyoncé), Don’t Stop (ft. Young Thug), Freaky Girls (ft. SZA)

Confetti – Little Mix (Top 3: A Mess (Happy 4 U), Breathe, Holiday)




10. Chromatica – Lady Gaga (Top 3: Rain On Me (ft. Ariana Grande), Sour Candy (ft. Blackpink), Alice):

Full of nothing but electropop and house dance tracks, Chromatica is the perfect album to just let loose and have fun to. The lyrics of the album are very much centred around Gaga’s own mental health and the different battles she had to face within herself in order to heal, which is covered with the constant up-tempo production (except for the interludes Chromatica I, II and III which are beautiful and are not skips by any means).



(image courtesy of theartsdesk.com)


9. After Hours - The Weeknd (Top 3: Heartless, Blinding Lights, In Your Eyes):

The Weeknd was everywhere you looked in 2020. With one of the best performing songs of the year ‘Blinding Lights’, it was inevitable that ‘After Hours’ would be a very good album. Combining R&B, Pop and 80’s synths in its production, After Hours was one of the most defining albums of the year, helping to establish the trend towards nostalgic sounding productions.


(image courtesy of theweekndshop)


8. Folklore- Taylor Swift (Top 3: seven, the 1, cardigan):

Surprise dropping the album in July, followed by its sister record Evermore in December, Taylor Swift released Folklore to both critical and commercial success with multiple Grammy nominations being attributed to it. Marking a step away from Pop, ‘Folklore’ takes Swift into the realm of alternative, folk sounds to great success, with tracks such as ‘seven’ and ‘the 1’ capitalising on Swift’s soft and breathy vocals. The result of this breaking away from Pop gives Swift a refreshing change of pace in her songs, with the song writing being of excellent quality throughout.


(image courtesy of BBC)


7. Ungodly Hour - Chloe x Halle (Top 3: Don’t Make It Harder On Me, Forgive Me, Ungodly Hour):

Following their debut studio album The Kids Are Alright, which was nominated for a couple of awards at the Grammy’s, the R&B sister duo return with Ungodly Hour. Themes of growth, maturity and empowerment punctuate the album, with both of their gorgeous, angelic vocals in strong supply throughout (with particular emphasis on their harmonies which never fail to captivate the listener). Signed to Parkwood Entertainment after being recognised by Beyoncé, they have proven themselves to be powerhouses in the music industry, with multiple Grammy nominations for this album as well, noting their artistic growth. This album is not one to be missed.


(image courtesy of Pitchfork)


6. THE ALBUM – Blackpink (Top 3: Bet You Wanna (ft. Cardi B), How You Like That, Pretty Savage):

After numerous EP’s and four years since their debut, Blackpink released their first full-length project titled THE ALBUM in October. THE ALBUM uses a variety of Pop, EDM and trap sounding productions, combined with the beautiful vocals of its members Rosé, Jennie, Jisoo and Lisa, to great success. THE ALBUM also tackles themes of relationships and empowerment with the opening track ‘How You Like That’ setting the tone for the rest of the album with its fun and fast production. The only slow song on the album ‘You Never Know’, is also a relaxing, emotional way to end. There is not a single skip on this album, and it is perfect for dancing to your hearts content!


(image courtesy of APKPure.com)


5. Positions - Ariana Grande (Top 3: love language, positions, my hair):

After the record-breaking success of her previous albums Thank u, next and Sweetener, Grande surprised fans in October by detailing the release of her sixth studio album Positions. Grande, who has always toyed with R&B and trap influences in her music, released Positions with mostly R&B and trap sounding productions which is utilised well alongside her acrobatic vocal capabilities. The highlight of which is on the track ‘my hair’, where she dazzles with her whistle tones on the outro. Even the slower tracks, such as ‘off the table (ft. The Weeknd)’ and ‘pov’, do not falter in showcasing the dynamic nature of her vocal ability, which is reason enough alone to listen to this album again and again.


(image courtesy of Valley Ventana)


4. What’s Your Pleasure? - Jessie Ware (Top 3: Spotlight, Mirage (Don’t Stop), In Your Eyes):

Laced with funky, disco and house productions, What’s Your Pleasure? is an intoxicating experience from beginning to end. What’s Your Pleasure?, Ware’s fourth studio album, is one that only appeared on my radar about a month ago but was released back in June and was met with widespread critical acclaim. The opening track, ‘Spotlight’ is a captivating song, mixing strings (which are a common theme on many of the songs) and a groovy beat reminiscent of the 80’s disco production that has returned with full force this year. Having only heard of Jessie Ware this year, this album is a very strong introduction into her discography.


(image courtesy of Pitchfork)


3. SAWAYAMA - Rina Sawayama (Top 3: Fuck this world (interlude), XS, Tokyo Love Hotel):

As I described in my review of this album, SAWAYAMA is a renaissance in modern music, fusing many different genres into one entertaining and cohesive body of work. After releasing her debut EP ‘RINA’ back in 2017, Rina Sawayama released SAWAYAMA to critical and international success. From the Britney Spears-esque ‘XS’ to the heavy metal ‘STFU!’, SAWAYAMA covers a vast array of styles, meaning there is a song for everyone on the album. Although it may seem jarring at first, the album has aged like fine wine since its release in April. It is well worth a few listens.


(image courtesy of Pitchfork)


2. Jaguar - Victoria Monét (Top 3: Jaguar, Experience (ft. Khalid & SG Lewis), Touch Me):

After establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in her songwriting for other artists like Ariana Grande, Victoria Monét excels and takes the spotlight in her release of Jaguar. Being only part one of a three-part project, Jaguar combines R&B, soul and funk into one smooth and sensual album. From the lush and orchestral strings in the opening track ‘Moment’ to the disco-infused dance track ‘Experience’, Jaguar does not fail in any capacity. The songwriting, production and vocals exuded on all of the tracks are immaculate, cementing Monét’s place as an artist who shows longevity with her creative brilliance.


(image courtesy of Pitchfork)


1. Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa (Top 3: Levitating, Break My Heart, Love Again):

Alongside The Weeknd, Dua Lipa was one of the artists who helped to propel the trend of 80’s sounding productions with her second studio album Future Nostalgia. In my eyes, this album is the definition of perfection. Each song, from the titular track ‘Future Nostalgia’ to the anthemic ‘Boys Will Be Boys’, keeps to nostalgic themes throughout the album whilst also bringing Lipa’s own spin. The production, lyrics and vocals are also seamless, with no skips at all present on this album. It was also impossible to avoid its singles ‘Don’t Start Now’, ‘Physical’, ‘Break My Heart’, ‘Hallucinate’ and ‘Levitating’, which are all stellar tracks. The strongest track ‘Levitating’ is a hit by its very definition, with catchy lyrics, funky production and Lipa’s vocals making it one of the best songs released this year. It also spawned remixes with the likes of Madonna, Missy Elliott and The Blessed Madonna with another remix that featured DaBaby. This album is a must for pop and disco fans that can be played on repeat.


(image courtesy of Vogue)


All of the albums that I have mentioned above are worth listening to and hopefully you have as much fun with these works as I did! Have an amazing New Year 2021!

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