Top 10 of 2020: Albums

Aafreen Ali, Team Leader

2020 was tough, to say the least. If I’m being honest, it was a train wreck. A dumpster fire. You name it, that’s what 2020 was. It was hard to find positives to look forward to every day. On the bright side, though, all that extra time during quarantine helped musicians get productive, and each of those new releases brightened my day a little bit more. There were so many new albums dropped last year, but here are my ten favorites.

10. “Calm”- 5 Seconds of Summer

This pop-rock album from Australian boy band 5SOS was an exploration of the band’s sound, going deeper into more mature sounds in their music. While some tracks still had that boy band sugarcoating, others like “Old Me” and “Wildflower” were highlights for their new organic rhythms.

Calm (album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

9. “folklore”- Taylor Swift

The first of two albums Taylor Swift dropped in 2020, “folklore” is part of Taylor Swift’s transition from mainstream pop into more of an indie folk or alternative genre. I loved the songwriting featured in the album, but as someone who prefers more upbeat music this wasn’t a perfect fit for my music taste.

Folklore (Taylor Swift album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

8. “Future Nostalgia”- Dua Lipa

Future Nostalgia - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Dua Lipa’s songs are a bit formulaic, but her strong alto vocals on them somewhat redeem her. When they’re combined with energetic rhythms and catchy choruses, they make the tracks on “Future Nostalgia” impossible not to dance to.

7. “Manic”- Halsey

After songs from her last album, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom,” hit the Top 10 in the U.S., Halsey had a lot to live up to on her next release. “Manic” skyrocketed past those expectations and served us an album full of songs that were top chart worthy. My favorite songs on it include “3am” and “Forever…”

Manic (album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia



I only recently started listening to PARTYNEXTDOOR’s music, but this was a great album to start with. The subtle beats and interesting sound effects added even more depth to each track, and the collabs were particularly well done— my personal favorite was “BELIEVE IT,” a joint effort with Rihanna.

Partymobile - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

5. “Women in Music, pt. III”- HAIM

I didn’t love HAIM’s previous releases, but “Women in Music Pt. III” changed my mind. Something about the sleepy relaxation of early quarantine connected me to the soothing voices of the Haim sisters. Songs like “Don’t Wanna” and “Man from the Magazine” were immediate additions to my playlist.

HAIM Announces New Album, 'Women In Music Pt. III,' Shares 'The Steps' : NPR
Courtesy of NPR

4. “THE ALBUM”- Blackpink

Am I a K-pop stan? Not really. But did I love this album? Absolutely. “The Album” was full of really catchy songs and vibrant energy, two things I really needed after seven months of quarantine.

The Album (Blackpink album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of WIkipedia

3. “After Hours”- The Weeknd

Pretty much everyone’s heard “Blinding Lights” by now and obsessed over it. If you, like myself, were one of the people desperately looking for more songs by The Weeknd after listening, “After Hours” is full of great songs with a similar vibe. “Save Your Tears,” “Hardest To Love,” and the eponymous “After Hours” were my favorite tracks on the album.

After Hours (The Weeknd album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

2. “Rare”- Selena Gomez

I feel like all the songs on “Rare” belong in a movie soundtrack– that’s the level of quality they exude. The four years it took to make this album were some of the most emotional years of the artist’s life, but each experience over this time ended up contributing something great to the album. “Lose You To Love Me” takes us into the mental health recovery process Gomez faced, while “Dance Again” and “Look At Her Now” celebrate the end to that stressful journey. And somehow, the songs are both deep and catchy, which is pretty fantastic.

Rare (Selena Gomez album) - Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia

1. “No Pressure”- Logic

I love this album way too much. The only way I could love it even more is if Logic hadn’t used its release to announce his retirement from rapping. Each song brings something new to the table musically, whether it’s brass notes in “man i is,” the imaginative storytelling of “Soul Food II” or the dramatic beats in “Perfect.” Hopefully, this isn’t the last we hear from Logic, but man, is it a good album to go out on.

Courtesy of Hypebeast