- Release date: June 19, 2020. Image via RCA Records. See more Metal Hammer features . - Metascore: 98 - Release date: April 24, 2020. There is no sophomore slump, as McBryde once again showcases her award-winning vocal tenacity and emotional storytelling. Coming from a musical father, new wave artist Ian Dury, Baxter has made a separate name for himself. With cameos by notable names such as Mindy Kaling, Mahershala Ali and Yara Shahidi, Ahmed compiles voicemails and musical tracks that speak about issues of xenophobia and identity under the guise of a romantic breakup. Clockwise from bottom left: BC Camplight, Fiona Apple, Jay Electronica, Carla Bley, KeiyaA. Los Angeles native Thundercat blends genres, incorporating jazz, funk, and R&B into “It Is What It Is.” His first single off the album, “Black Qualls,” features Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington. Composite: PR/Rex/Shutterstock/Chris Spivey/Getty. - Metascore: 83 There’s shaken-up pop from Rina Sawayama, searching rap by J Hus and Jay Electronica, and invention everywhere from KeiyaA’s soul to Beatrice Dillon’s electronics, Last modified on Wed 12 Aug 2020 06.01 EDT. Finally, after 45 years, Neil Young has released “Homegrown,” an album he initially chose not to share with fans because of its depressive energy. “Mutable Set” is a compilation of Blake Mills’ melodic ballads and intimate vocals, some co-written with Cass McCombs. So yes, it’s a bit past the halfway point when we would normally examine the “best so far” of anything, but we’ll allow it because, well, 2020. “The Long Goodbye” was released alongside a short film depicting a South-Asian family in the U.K. who are targets of a merciless hate crime. This came to be after Webb found that he had recorded enough songs for two albums after the initial recording sessions for “Drift Code.”, - Metascore: 83 This is her fifth studio album and has been highly acclaimed for her detailed lyricism and raw harmonies. Read this next: The 40 best tracks of 2020 so far. The 25 Best Albums of 2020 (So Far) By Paste Staff | June 8, 2020 | 10:35am. The best jazz recordings released in 2020. Perfume Genius’ latest installment navigates through different influences in each song, from soft-pop in “Jason” to alternative rock in “Your Body Changes Everything.” The voice behind Perfume Genius, Mike Hadreas, found the human body in its spiritual and physical form to be the inspiration for his music. Cher from Clueless would probably file this under “complaint rock”: there is such acute disquiet to singer-guitarist Dana Margolin’s voice. - Release date: June 12, 2020. Albums … The lyrics, meanwhile, triangulate the tension between her expectations, ambitions and reality, as well as confronting age, identity, family and friendship. The Pittsburgh hardcore/metal band leveraged a glossy yet fiendishly intricate kind of production for this masterpiece of heaviness, where big triumphant choruses are pummelled into tiny slivers of digital sound. After making appearances in multiple projects, from Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” and Talib Kweli’s “Radio Silence” to Curren$y’s “Pilot Talk: Trilogy,” “A Written Testimony” is Jay Electronica’s debut album. - Release date: March 27, 2020. “RTJ4” is the first of their four albums to be placed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. The nostalgia was triggered by the funk basslines and synths, while Dua Lipa faced to the future with her confidently horny/disdainful/celebratory pop patter. The former frontman of the Walkmen still has one of the best voices around, in a white-blues lineage with Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart. - Release date: March 13, 2020. - Metascore: 88 New music has added color to the haze that has been 2020. The London producer threads – and there really is no other word for the delicacy of her craft – a string of globe-spanning instruments like tabla, kora and pedal steel through dub-techno arrangements, resulting in elegant and visionary music. Between the Covid pandemic, Trump, police racism and violence, and continuing environmental disasters, there have been so many dark things going on that its hard to discuss or digest music at all. His libido remains rampant, but he searches his soul more deeply than ever. - Metascore: 87 Long a hero to indie heads, BC Camplight is justly getting wider attention with this rich and entertaining record, one of the best reviewed of the year. The highly anticipated album features Miller with a chiller and moodier vibe compared to his earlier, more lyrical hip-hop tracks. Site also contains reviews, ratings & more. The coronavirus pandemic has stopped live music in its tracks – aside from the online variety – and there haven’t been as many album releases as usual. - Metascore: 83 - Release date: June 19, 2020. Share them in the comments below. - Metascore: 89 After making their names during the ‘80s Paisley Underground scene with their alternative- and psychedelia-infused styles, The Dream Syndicate came together again to make experimental sounds of electric, psychedelic jazz. - Release date: April 24, 2020. - Release date: April 10, 2020. Katie Crutchfield, better known as Waxahatchee, fuses her indie style with a folksy cadence on her new release “Saint Cloud.” The Guardian's Ben Beaumont-Thomas compared this album to "peak Dylan" (referring to icon Bob Dylan). - Release date: March 6, 2020. - Metascore: 85 Released: March 22. Which albums have impressed critics the most during the first half of the year? It sits at the heart of these rackety character studies, which surge and balloon into beautiful anthems under the steam of his vocals. The duo decided to drop their album two days earlier than the original date following the protests that broke out against police brutality after George Floyd’s murder. - Metascore: 85 - Release date: March 27, 2020, Formerly known as the bassist for the band Talk Talk in the U.K. and co-creator of the duo .O.rang, Paul Webb shines with his vocals as Rustin Man. As we’re halfway through the year, we thought we’d break down the 25 best albums of 2020 so far! Here, it’s warm, spirited and even funny.” Read the full review. - Metascore: 84 Ambrose Akinmusire - on the tender spot of every calloused moment [Blue Note] by: UPROXX Music Twitter June 25, 2020. Working with Spacebomb Records, each song has its own inflections, borrowing from indie pop in “Other Side of the Wheel” and soft, alternative rock in “Best Thing.”, - Metascore: 83 In “We’re New Again,” McCraven transformed legendary soul and jazz artist Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 album “I’m New Here.” McCraven, who is lauded for his use of jazz samples, reinvigorated Scott-Heron’s original record. Among her successful singles, “Don’t Start Now” reached #1 on the iTunes worldwide chart. - Metascore: 91 - Metascore: 84 Known for being the frontwoman of Paramore, Williams reveals her vulnerability on her new indie pop tracks. - Release date: March 13, 2020. - Release date: Feb. 7, 2020. “U Kin B The Sun” is Frazey Ford’s third album. - Release date: April 24, 2020. - Release date: June 3, 2020. In his first-ever full-length album “All Things Being Equal,” Kember plays with spacy synth sounds and psychedelic pop. Scrapping a current project she was about to finish, Gately created a new album around “Bracer,” a 10-minute song that her mother favored, according to Pitchfork's Shawn Reynaldo. In her single “The Kids Are Having None Of It,” Ford passionately speaks on the hate that breeds throughout the world. by Jason Dietz, Metacritic Features Editor – July 8, 2020. On June 26, at the age of 79, Dylan was named the oldest male solo artist to have a #1 album in the U.K. charts, making this album his ninth chart-topper. 1. - Release date: June 5, 2020. A soul album that uses impressionism with great focus – one of the toughest paradoxes to conjure in music – and is coloured throughout with bright snatches of melody. Four years since her last release, “Color,” Katie Gately continues to share her experimental mixes and texturized flow with “Loom.” This album is dedicated to Gately’s mother, who died of cancer in 2018. What we said: “We’re all waiting for the beat to come back in, and Senni’s work inadvertently hymns this sad moment while encouraging us to look for the poignancy in it.” Read the full review. Album Charts, making it his first album to do so. Grimes, J Hus, The Big Moon, King Krule, Caribou, Childish Gambino and more – here's who's making 2020 not terrible. But today’s artists aren’t letting these aftershocks pause the show. There is so much repeat-button enjoyment to be derived from this UK rap supergroup, not only in the atmospheric trap backing them, but in how each of them is nimble in different ways: Young Adz is the appealingly plaintive foil to the front-foot confidence of grime stalwarts Chip and Skepta. What we said: “From a resolutely uncommercial background, they’ve somehow ended up making something that could be – and certainly deserves to be – big. So, before we get to the next six months, here are the 33 best albums of 2020 so far… The British indie-rockers advocate for political and social change on their new record—and in a timely manner, as protests against systemic racism and law enforcement are seen across the world. - Release date: June 19, 2020. - Release date: March 20, 2020. Also known for being a part of the musical groups Boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center, Bridger’s new project marks her second solo album. Share; Tweet; L il Wayne, Funeral. We’re at the halfway point of 2020 , one of the wildest years on record. For those feeling nostalgic for the earlier months of 2020 (when life hadn’t yet turned 180 degrees), and for those who are looking for new tracks to dance along to in their bedrooms, Stacker created a list of the best 50 albums of the year so far, collecting data on top albums of 2020 from Metacritic. Dua Lipa’s second studio release “Future Nostalgia” features a dance-inducing set of disco-pop tracks. We are a little more than halfway through the year. The result is a stunningly rich, beautiful tableau of personal and social liberation, that just keeps on unspooling. - Metascore: 94 on. At 82, Bley is playing with a spryness and intention that younger musicians could learn a lot from. Fiona Apple’s “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” reached the top of the Billboard charts and is currently Metacritic’s highest-rated album. With Matt Baty’s vocals echoing like a benediction from an altar built from burning tyres, the Newcastle band channel the righteous heavy metal thunder of Black Sabbath, with even deeper notes of sludge and doom underneath. - Release date: April 3, 2020. - Metascore: 84 By. - Metascore: 89 Subscribe. Label: RCA Records. Under the stage name Childish Gambino, Donald Glover experiments with funk, pop, and electronic sounds in “3.15.20.” This album is considered to be Childish Gambino’s “definitive” album, one in which he has perfected his craft and found his voice as a singer and rapper, according to Bryan Rolli of Forbes. The riffs will have you closing your eyes in sheer bliss. But then 2020 popped up like a Randy Orton sneak attack and RKO’d us … Baxter Dury filled his sixth album “The Night Chancers” with retro tempos and his trademark spoken vocals and spacy choruses. Published. Childish Gambino, ‘3.15.20’. “The Universe Inside” is the group’s seventh album and steers away from what’s conventional, with its first track running 20 minutes and 27 seconds. “We Are Sent Here by History” melds saxophone, trumpet, drums, percussion, bass, and piano notes to evoke images of South Africa’s traditions and culture. “Eternal Atake” has since garnered over 400 million streams and is certified platinum by RIAA. What we said: “A distinctive, sharp record that only these three UK voices could have made.” Read the full review. What we said: “In rock, technical brilliance can sometimes impede immediacy, but Code Orange use it to achieve total and thrilling omnipotence.” Read the full review. “Circles” is Mac Miller’s posthumous album. Produced by Sean Carey of the band Bon Iver, “The Avalanche” is Owen’s most self-reflective album. Brandy Clark makes you want to cry about a made-up lover who never existed or over that significant other you thought you’d already forgotten about years ago in “Your Life Is a Record.” Since it dropped, the album has been applauded for its intimate and well-constructed storytelling. - Metascore: 86 50. As well as post-bop and spiritual jazz, there are boom-bap beats, Tortoise-y doodles and various other singular moods. Behind the stage name, Mike Kinsella uses this project to show his range outside his 11-plus years in rock band American Football. “For Their Love” is Other Lives’ fifth album, including their 2006 debut “Flight of the Flynns” under their former name, Kunek. This is the seventh album by the British musical artist. Composite: PR/Rex/Shutterstock/Chris Spivey/Getty Known by many names, such as Hustler, The Fisherman, and Bouff Daddy, J Hus is a rapper, singer, and songwriter from London. Lil Uzi dropped 18 songs flaunting trendy trap beats and fast bars. You may also like: The richest country music stars, - Metascore: 83 Apple’s prettily meandering piano can at first seem benign, even whimsical, but this album – already being regarded by many as her masterpiece thus far – is full of thrilling nicks and cuts. In 2020, music is more than just entertainment. - Metascore: 89 For many of us, … Insider ranked the 20 best albums of 2020, weighing factors like critical acclaim, cultural impact, and listenability. What we said: “A warm, fresh intimacy that feels welcome in a world of Zoom meetings and FaceTime catch-ups.” Read the full review. The album debuted at #1 on the U.K. While reality seems to grow more chaotic by the minute, these new releases are perfect for those who want to temporarily escape from the real world through retro-pop tracks and trancy synth beats blasting in their ears. “Homegrown” has since received favorable reviews. NME’s best albums of 2020… so far. Named after and dedicated to the Tortoise guitarist’s mother, and with his daughter on guest vocals, this wide-ranging fusion record is relaxed in the way you can only be around your family. A list of the greatest jazz albums released so far this year, as chosen by BBC Music Magazine critics Garry Booth, Barry Witherden and Roger Thomas But today’s artists aren’t letting these aftershocks pause the show. - Release date: April 3, 2020. - Metascore: 84 Thirteen years after his breakthrough, Jay Electronica’s debut album was worth the wait, and then some. Bryant’s sonorous vocals are laid atop upbeat tracks and soft, melodic riffs in “You Make Me Feel.” Singles such as “Your Love is To Blame” and “99 LBs” are clear declarations of Bryant’s love for his wife of 50 years, soul singer Ann Peebles. Facebook Twitter Flipboard uproxx.it. But it’s put to such superbly squalling ends, resulting in the breakthrough of one of the best British indie-rock bands in ages. - Release date: May 15, 2020. Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far. 7 months ago. - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020. In no particular order, check out some our favourite albums from 2020 so far below. What we said: “Leithauser performs with his customary passion, and this marks a pleasing new direction for a singular talent.” Read the full review. Memphis great Don Bryant brings back classic soul and R&B to the contemporary stage, belting out catchy hits about love and heartbreak. - Release date: Feb. 14, 2020. - Metascore: 87 Marking her debut with this release, Dillion uses experimental sounds and complex, hypnotic beats. 20 essential albums from 2020 so far - as recommended by 6 Music To mark the halfway point of 2020, here are our 20 must-hear albums from the year so far… Posted: 16th June, 2020 by admin 2020 has not been a good year; that goes really without saying. BC Camplight’s synth-pop and indie-rock sounds are unmatched in “Shortly After Takeoff.” On the album, Brian Christinzio sings about mental illness and the experiences he’s had to face because of it, intimately communicating to his listeners through his lyrics. Uncertainties have rocked the start of 2020, crushing promises of live concerts at venues and festivals. You may also like: Best Emmy nominated shows of all time, - Metascore: 90 Produced by Roc Nation, Jay Electronica’s new release features Travis Scott, Jay-Z, and The-Dream. Moses Sumney packs 20 songs over 1 hour and 5 minutes on his electro-alternative album “græ.” Cut into two parts, Sumney removes all boundaries of genres and explores the gray areas in between. This project is everything but bad, having been widely acclaimed by critics. What we said: “The charts are currently packed with British rappers, but not all of them have their own niche quite as clearly delineated as his.” Read the full review. Ford, who is also a member of the folk band Be Good Tanyas, focuses on soul and groovy tunes on her solo project. - Metascore: 88 Young wrote the songs during his breakup with actress Carrie Snodgress, and the hurt he felt was embedded in the album. Music Lists Best Albums. ", - Metascore: 90 In a world of bland or – even worse – studiously oddball music, Yves Tumor is a foghorn blare of true originality. “Nick of Time” highlights James Hunter’s velvety voice as he weaves his lyrics with his band’s soul-blues orchestration. - Release date: March 22, 2020. Fans of J Dilla and Erykah Badu will fall in love with it, though the New Yorker very much has her own particular voice. The Best Albums Of 2020, So Far. Lilly Hiatt’s initial claim to fame was her 2017 album “Trinity Lane.” Now known for her country-inspired rock, Hiatt’s “Walking Proof” quickly peaked at #13 on the Billboard charts within two weeks. "Folkore" by Taylor Swift took the top spot. Using the persona Sonic Boom, Peter Kember makes music reminiscent of Beach House and STRFKR. We’ve rounded up some of the best pop albums 2020 has seen thus far, check it out. But without losing their strangeness.” Read the full review. Stereogum's 50 Best Albums Of 2020 So Far. You may also like: VMAs: Most popular music videos in 2019, - Metascore: 87 Get Stacker's best stories delivered right to your inbox. This album comes after her eponymous debut in 2017. - Release date: Feb. 14, 2020. The 50 Best Albums of 2020. - Metascore: 83 “A Billion Heartbeats” is Mystery Jet’s sixth album. ... A year which was terrible in so many respects proved that music has the power to soothe us when stressed, ... the best 50 albums … If any of these albums make you think, sing-along, scream, laugh, or dance, this list will have done its job. If it weren’t for the lockdowns, Ohmme would have taken the stage at SXSW in Austin. Contact me with news and offers from other Future brands - Release date: March 6, 2020. Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now. This new project is much different from previous releases, as the group trades in their usual uptempo house pulses for melancholy, eerie beats. Katie Crutchfield calms the indie-rock squall of earlier albums to ponder her life in the bright, clear light on the other side of rain, and, leaning more towards Americana, creates an instant classic of US songwriting. What we said: “Does what all good jazz does; it carries on a musical discourse which it invites you to follow. This set, with lungfuls of air in the spaces between Bley, bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard, is witty and warm with just a hint of bossa nova at times, plus a quiet political fervour in its presumably ironic snatch of Hail to the Chief. Electronic artist Beatrice Dillion plays with rhythm using a variety of instruments on “Workaround,” including but not limited to synths, drums, tidal bass, tabla, saxophone, electric guitar, cello, and clave. - Metascore: 86 What we said: “The best album of the year so far.” Read the full review. - Metascore: 85 [Pictured: Childish Gambino performing in 2019. This Japanese-British pop singer throws everything she has into this summer tentpole blockbuster of a record: hair-metal guitar solos, neo-Moroder synths, new jack swing, video-game mania, and melodies that demand a wind machine with variable settings. - Release date: March 13, 2020. “A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip” is the pop-rock duo’s 24th album, and on the day of it dropped found its place at #8 on the U.K. iTunes charts and #44 in the U.S. - Metascore: 84 - Release date: Feb. 7, 2020. The Soft Pink Truth’s haunting and expressive new album “Shall We Go on Sinning So That Grace May Increase” is a response to the political unrest in the world. Share Tweet Submit Pin. A list of the top albums of the year from Rolling Stone (First Half). - Release date: Feb. 28, 2020. Peruse this year’s best sounds—everything from sweet guitar licks infused with country twang, lyrical rhythm and blues, dreamy ballads, and the heavy distortion of hardcore punk. What we said: “Workaround is effervescent, full of swing and full of heart, and Dillon never compromises on the emotion and soul stemming from its dub roots.” Read the full review. Prev Page The best metal albums of 2020 so far Next Page The best metal albums of 2020 so far. The Best Albums of 2020 (So Far) These 20 albums reflect a reckoning with ourselves, the patriarchy, systemic racism, and our connection to the planet. ], You may also like: Best and worst Al Pacino movies, - Metascore: 83