- Tomisin Sobande
Top Record Picks of 2020
Hello, everyone, this is my first post of 2021! Now that 2020 is over, I would like to recommend my favorite albums of 2020, in no particular order, and my favorite songs from those albums. Let’s get started!
Positions, Ariana Grande
This first recommendation comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Ariana Grande was my top artist of 2020, and I love all of her music. Her latest album, Positions, was so well done. Everyone knows that Ariana Grande has an amazing voice, and somehow she was able to top our expectations. For example, during the eight track, titled “my hair”, she sings one of the choruses entirely in her whistle register, something she has never done before. I really enjoyed this album, and I think that “pov”, the last song of the album, is one of the best songs she has ever released.
Favorite Songs: “six thirty,” “safety net,” “pov”
Ungodly Hour, Chloe x Halle
Ungodly Hour is Chloe x Halle’s second album, and they executed it so well! From start to finish, there are no bad songs, and their vocal abilities are incredible. In addition to their amazing vocals, they also produce and write all of their music. Nowadays, people who can write, produce and sing as well as Chloe x Halle do are somewhat hard to find in the music industry.
Favorite Songs: “Forgive Me,” “Tipsy,” “Don’t Make It Harder On Me,” “Wonder What She Thinks of Me”
Sawayama, Rina Sawayama
If you read my article on Grammy snubs, you already know a little about this album, but I wanted to talk about it here to give more of a personal opinion. This album is Rina Sawayama’s debut album, and it is amazing. I’ve basically said that for all of the albums on this list, but I really do mean it! What I think makes this album and Rina Sawayama as an artist so cool is that although she is a pop artist, she is not afraid to experiment with different genres of music. She uses different genres to enhance and elevate the quality of her music. For example, the third song on Sawayama, “STFU!”, is a head-banging rock song that expresses her anger towards racism and microaggressions towards Asians. The sixth song, “Paradisin’”, sounds just like video game music as Sawayama describes her rebellious teenage years and her push-and-pull relationship with her mother. Then the eighth song, “Bad Friend”, is a classic ballad where she laments over lost friendships. Rina Sawayama uses the diversity and variety of music genres to her ability in a way that not many people do.
Favorite Songs: “Dynasty”, “XS”, “Akasaka Sad”, “Bad Friend”
Jaguar, Victoria Monét
Victoria Monét’s album, Jaguar, simply had to be put on this list. She really outdid herself this year. Jaguar is such a cohesive album. The songs work together so well in their order, and the album cover and the colors used for it match perfectly with the vibe of the songs. There are lots of brass instruments (trumpets, saxophones, horns, etc.) in all of her music, something that I love. Her music gives a kind of jazzy feeling, and her vocals are always incredible. It’s a really short album, only 25 minutes long, which I think makes it all the more impressive because it feels and sounds really complete.
Favorite Songs: “Dive,” “We Might Even Be Falling In Love,” “Jaguar,” “Go There With You”
Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa
For some reason, I didn’t really take Dua Lipa seriously as an artist for a while. I think it was because I only knew of one song by her, and I didn’t like that song very much. Once I took the time to listen to her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, I realized that I had definitely been missing out. Future Nostalgia is the definition of a fun pop album, and I really liked it. Dua Lipa’s mid-range voice is not something I hear often in mainstream music, and I really appreciated it. From top to bottom, there isn’t a bad song! If you’re looking for something fun and light to listen to I would definitely recommend this one.
Favorite Songs: “Levitating,” “Pretty Please”
Of course, these are not the only good albums of 2020, but I just thought I should highlight some of my favorites. I’m sure 2021 will bring even more amazing music to us! Thanks for reading. :)
Cover Image: https://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2020/04/rina-sawayama-is-pops-past-present-and-future (Rina Sawayama)