But Saint Cloud is also an album about facing your demons and Crutchfield gallops through fiercer tracks like "Hell" and "War" like a person kicking her own ass for getting swept into the slipstream instead of steering her own boat. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1. Call it irony. —Otis Hart, Parker might still be best known as the guitarist for the immortal Chicago post-rock group Tortoise, but he's got roots in that city's jazz scene that he's kept watered with collaborations, sideman gigs and solo projects through the years. At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that might not ever come to an end. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020 (Nos. His compositions and arrangements form a sublime, metamorphic sprawl of sounds and styles, and his vocals, unbounded in their range and eloquence, trace the contours of a world of possibility. Deante' Hitchcock, BETTER 5. The staff of NPR Music sifts through the best of 2020 to present personal lists of top 10 songs and albums. Illustration: Rae Pozdro for NPR Illustration: Rae Pozdro for NPR At sure moments, 2020 felt like a yr that may not ever come to an finish. From writer Audre Lorde's "A Poem for Women in Rage" to Body Count's "Cop Killer" to Rihanna's short film for "Bitch Better Have My Money," Black artists illustrate their feelings, real-world experience and what Lorde called an "ancient nightmare" through revenge fantasies against white supremacy. The 50 Best Albums of 2020. THE MOST … At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that … In just under an hour, the mysterious trio's third album in a year's time encapsulates the Black experience through song and spoken word. Perfect understanding, humiliating as it might be, seems to be in short supply lately; I've returned to Quinlan's meticulously constructed songs to be reminded what it looks like to keep trying. Duma, Duma 3. Radio Slave, "Stay Out All Night" 2. It worked as a whole album when our attention spans were getting longer, and Stephen Bruner's ability to laugh in the face of sadness was welcome. Top 10 Songs Of 2020. Just after its midpoint, the record turns to an organic and intimate oral history of and performance by San Basilio de Palenque's Sexteto Tabalá, one of the first Afro-Colombian artists Pimienta remembers loving when she was growing up in Barranquilla. The full extent of NEGRO's rage rattles through blown-out basement punk, feedbacking noise and liberation jazz; his laid-back raps become a serrated scream, weaponized blunt-force to combat the persistent trauma of police threats and violence. With Dark Matter, it's like this force that binds us together that we can't really explain. L.A.'s self-styled "flu flammer" has been doing time at the Men's Central Jail for the last 30 months while awaiting a second trial on a pair of charges that left a jury hung in 2019 (he was acquitted of murder and attempted murder in that same trial). A: The albums that do not show exact numbers are the ones that have had sales corrections from Billboard Q: Aren't those numbers kind of low for Childish Gambino? Chynna, "attention" … Haus of Altr, HOA11 2. The Best Classical Albums Of A Troubled 2020 : Deceptive Cadence NPR Music's classical editor traces the high points of a year spent listening to new albums that offered comfort and … But in order to grasp that designation, it helps to understand where trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is coming from: an oral tradition that connects West African griots to antebellum work songs to freestyling MCs; a jazz lineage of endless renewal and flux; a Black avant-garde ranging from rough-hewn to operatic; a tradition of calling out injustice, in personal and sociohistorical terms. He Was An Architect Little Richard and blackqueer grief. Charismatic and winning, he's the kind of guy that can sell something as silly as the chorus of his massive 2017 hit "Body Like a Back Road" with a wink. Sadness and hope are inseparable here. They certainly have. —Lauren Onkey, Back in January, I looked at the press images of Katie Crutchfield — her signature, thick fringe grown out past her ears — and said "That's a woman who's just transformed her life." Atlantic. —John Morrison (WXPN), The stories Frances Quinlan tells in her songs aren't simple, and she doesn't let you in straightforwardly. Over the elegantly chaotic, orchestral rock convulsions of "Virile," he turns traditional masculinity's paternalism back on itself: "Desperate for passing grades / the virility fades / You've got the wrong guy / You wanna slip right in / Amp up the masculine / You've got the wrong idea, son." So on this edition of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Ann Powers and I discuss the top 20 albums in our 2020 Listener Poll and reflect on a pretty good year of music, with some odd twists. It's both urgent and patient, and changes like weather coming in the open window of a small room. —Daoud Tyler-Ameen, It's breathtaking to witness Moses Sumney use the expansiveness of his imagination as an instrument of artful resistance: against racially coded categories of genre; binaries of gender performance, identity and outsiderness/belonging; the choice between isolation and intimacy; mind-body dualism. Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now 49. Breezy songs like "Can't Do Much" and "Lilacs" detail building love brick by brick while sounding like freedom and wind whipping your hair, like taking a deep breath for the first time in years and letting the past dissolve on the exhale. —Suraya Mohamed, Listen: Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple / Amazon, This album is a missive from alone time, whose parameters are wider and more fluid than common use of the term implies. Here are 25 albums from 2020's first … The loping grooves, whose roots stretch back more than 100 years, pulsate with a modern-day vibrancy that will appeal to anyone with a passing interest in jazz and electronic music. 20-11) December 2, 2020 • Our guide to the greatest albums (Nos. 2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be hard to discern the melody from the noise. Originally titled To Be Angry, the Alabama-born, L.A.-based rapper, singer and producer Pink Siifu looks to Sun Ra, Amiri Baraka, Ras G, Death and Bad Brains — radical expressionists of Black thought and sound — to create a blasted meditation on state brutality and systemic racism. An illness left her unable to sing, and what we hear on Mia Gargaret are mostly instrumental meditations, sounds of comfort, a beautiful exercise in turning limitations into strengths. It's been a reliably effective formula for music that's both gut-wrenching and disarmingly comical, with terrifying scenes of unflinching violence followed by cartoonish parodies. Adès Conducts Adès dropped in February and I listened to its concerto nonstop, until the pandemic hit hard. At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that … 2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be hard to discern the melody from the noise. It's capped off by album closer "I Love (Mimi, Moms, Kev)," which ranks among the most touching rap songs about family ever. NPR - At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that might not ever come to an end. —Nate Chinen (WBGO), Listen: Spotify / Apple / Amazon / YouTube, Six years ago, three beloved African artists — Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia — conceived of Les Amazones d'Afrique in Bamako, Mali. His latest and best, Descendants Of Cain, finds him turning to the Old Testament for guidance through generational trauma. Punisher says so much about the half-said, about the life of the racing mind and the halting heart, because Bridgers did not make it alone — the community she's built at only 25, after three years of constant musical exploration, surrounds these songs like skin holding a body's organs in, organic, flexible, hardly noticed as everyone focuses on the music's central beating heart. Each of Akinmusire's albums has represented an advance while adding to the whole; on the tender spot is the most holistic statement he's made yet, which is saying something. She rose from poverty to become the first woman to sing taarab, a cross-pollination of Arab and Indian music originally performed in the palaces of Zanzibar's Omani sultan. Here's our guide to the greatest albums that emerged from a year of cacophony. On long-awaited SOUTHSIDE, Hunt proves why he's QB 1 of the genre. A jolt of sheer joie de vivre, the piece features flamboyant orchestration (a duet for xylophone and piccolo? Here's our guide to the greatest albums that emerged from a year of cacophony. They'll give us so much more in the months to come, no doubt, as reckoning continues to rise to the surface of their songs. (Find our 100 Best Songs of 2020 list here.) For those who still know her best as the leader of the pin-drop folk ensemble Florist, Hill, Flower, Fog is only a short walk away in form, animated by the same willingness to let melody and atmosphere amble slowly and trade roles at will, minus the words and guitar. While Quinlan's powerful voice is the driving force in Hop Along's discography, on Likewise it's gentler, surrounded by layers of keyboards, synthesizers and strings. "I feel in love with the in-between," Sumney rhapsodizes during "Neither/Nor," which morphs from West African folk into sleekly polyrhythmic jazz-soul. Top 10 Albums Of 2020. Each is the favorite of one member of the NPR Music team. In fact, her given first name was Mtumwa, which literally means "slave" in Swahili. (Oh yeah, there's also a Beyoncé visual album on the way.). Pablo R. Ruiz, Estados Criminales 6. He can pull off technical brilliance — entendre is his bread and butter — but his most powerful, numbing lines feel less like acrobatic displays, more like proverbs told by a grizzled OG. But there are also moments of vulnerability and tender beauty on RTJ4, like the epic closer, "a few words for the firing squad (radiation)," as El-P opens up about the love of his wife and living with anxiety, while Killer Mike reflects on the death of his mother and his own responsibilities as a father. She's made a masterwork that embodies the spirit and circumstances of 2020: the righteousness and rage, the cooped-up creativity, the unmistakable sense that a power surge is coming and we'd all best contribute to it or get out of the way. The Lists: The 50 Best Albums; The 100 Best Songs; He Was An Architect. NPR Music's Top 14 Albums Of April Albums are still events for us, even and especially as we shelter in place. Charli XCX. Jaguar. NPR'S BEST ALBUMS OF 2020 50. she told NPR in April. These two have been ringing an alarm bell about the state of America for years, but it's never resonated more acutely or definitively than it does on RTJ4. Parker's 17-year-old daughter Ruby sings a lovely, hypnotic melody over the album's opening track, "Build a Nest." Now that it's mostly in our rear view, can a retrospective give a shape to that swarm of weeks and months? … The trumpet playing is scarily assured, and the compositions open up in surprising ways; consider the tensile unfolding of "Blues (we measure the heart with a fist)." We didn't vote on them. The mix of María José Llergo's Romani roots in her vocal stylizations, the real deal flamenco guitar and the subtle but graceful electronic elements pressed all of my musical buttons in a way that I had not heard before. At its heart, though, Likewise is a collection of songs about empathy: about asking hard questions without expecting easy answers; about trying to understand ourselves and each other. In an interview with NPR, Bruner reflected on the importance of connection and creativity, despite loss and confusion: "Get out of your mind and come out here with everybody else and just be here. This week we shared NPR Music's best songs and albums of 2020, lists voted on, politely argued over and presented by our staff, station partners and contributors. NPR’s Book Concierge. Both wiry and humidly ambient, "Fusion Swirl" is almost disorientingly immersive, built out of layers of drone, beats and melody played by Parker alone. In the album's most disturbing — and equally affecting — track, "walking in the snow," Killer Mike raps about the school-to-prison pipeline, Black death at the hands of police, and the media that exploit that violence for profitable murder porn. That search for personal truth, for honesty and empathy persists throughout the album, whether he's singing songs that seem directly confessional, like the sobriety-anthem "It Gets Easier," or artfully blending bits of his own memories into the details of a childhood summertime in "Dreamsicle." But in six full months packed with moments where we needed music to cope with challenges new and old, there was so much to see us through. Classic introvert Bridgers redefines alone time in scenes that enrapture the listener, they are so vivid and unforced: When your insides are dissolving but you keep cool, when you find yourself talking to a memory, when you stay quiet because, as she nearly cries, "I wouldn't know where to start, wouldn't know when to stop." 20. Ka is Brownsville, N.Y.'s Homer, a firefighter by day, rapper by night who, for the last decade, has documented cyclical violence in his neighborhood through a string of vivid, writerly, self-released albums, each a world in itself. —Bobby Carter, In a 2018 interview with The Creative Independent, Emily Sprague was asked how she began her relationship with modular synthesis and sound design, especially given her established career as something closer to a singer-songwriter. The strings behind her in that last line, from her love letter to eternally lost muse Elliott Smith, form every connection Bridgers says she can't make. NPR's Best Albums Of 2020 // Illustration: Rae Pozdro for NPR . "Gnarciss" is a loping, laid-back track that recalls '70s funk and soul as well as its revival in '90s hip-hop samples. Goodie Mob, Survival Kit 2. 1. Now that it's mostly in our rear view, can a retrospective give a shape to that swarm of weeks and months? —Sidney Madden, When I first heard Sanación, I literally stopped what I was doing and sat through each track completely transfixed. "It might sound real but it's fictional / I love that my imagination gets to you," he raps on the album closer, "Fictional." —Jacob Ganz, Years after leaving Barranquilla for Toronto, Lido Pimienta watched Steve Harvey erroneously give Miss Colombia the 2015 Miss Universe crown and witnessed the racist backlash unfold in Colombian media after Harvey corrected the mistake and awarded the title to Miss Philippines. On its relentless whiplash toward the middle, the first six months of 2020 have reframed, redefined, shocked, torn down, confounded and crumbled our expectations, our priorities, our concepts of distance and closeness, of responsibility, of tragedy, of joy. Explosion In … Editor, NPR Music. Lido Pimienta, Miss Colombia 4. 2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be hard to discern the melody from the noise. —Rodney Carmichael, It's fitting that Sam Hunt's a former college quarterback. The Best Albums Of 2020 ... Get the latest Iowa and NPR news in your inbox daily * indicates required. Pink Siifu does offer somber reflection, too, through warbled jazz and warped soul interludes, but in the final moments, he reminds us that this is righteous riot music for "black hands, scarred hands, I see the tear shed." Below you'll find lists of top 10 albums and songs from the members of NPR … The 50 Best Albums Of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1. how i'm feeling now. So when she really howls – as she does memorably on "Went To LA," recalling "the humiliation of having been / perfectly understood" – the gut-punch of emotion lands with startling precision. Lil Baby was arguably the biggest and best rapper of 2020, but it took him releasing a protest song in the wake of George Floyd's killing for hip-hop outsiders and mainstream outlets (including this one!) —Lars Gotrich, Five years removed from the release of the first installment of Innocent Country, Quelle Chris and the pianist and producer Chris Keys have upped the sonic, conceptual and emotional ante of an already fruitful musical relationship. For Drakeo the Ruler, it's flat-out reality. Pimienta's second album, Miss Colombia, explores the colonized premise of belonging to a country. Protomartyr, Ultimate Success Today 9. News from NPR. Contributed to NPR by: NPR | Posted on December 2, 2020, 7:25 AM. —Stefanie Fernández, Rage is a necessity. Lil Baby. It's a stunning introduction to a music not quite like any other. Top 9 Albums Of 2020. —Robin Hilton, (Black Is), by the covert ensemble SAULT, is the soundtrack to this moment in Black history. This music doesn't have the pop inclinations of Rosalía, and that is a big plus to me. With its breezy soulful sound and hopeful timbre, Innocent Country 2 is a life-affirming and optimistic look at what it feels like to be Black in America. Baritone Mark Stone sings the role of death with self-assured devilry, while mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn sensitively interprets his impotent victims. Today, with ongoing protests and an indefinite pandemic, Dark Matter is the perfect soundtrack for the times. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1. His latest album as a bandleader, solo experimenter and multi-instrumentalist editor/tinkerer positions him as a steady center of a fluctuating family of inspired creative associates. On previous records, he wove mythologies of samurai and chess and the ancient Greeks into his lived experience. —Stephen Thompson, With a wink to heart-on-sleeve Romantic piano concertos by Rachmaninov, British composer-conductor Thomas Adès unleashes perhaps the most pleasing concerto written yet this century. 20-11) that emerged from a year's worth of cacophony. Victoria Monét. Reunions is an album that, just like a real-life reunion, brings together the past and present, with an eye towards the future. Even though her words have soundtracked the lives of pop fans for years, Victoria Monét is just now getting her due. But the year that was to come was even harder, so hard that Gia Margaret could barely sing about it. "Existential Dread," "Miguel's Happy Dance" and "It Is What It Is" paint a world where things are never going to go your way. Now that it is principally in our rear view… Anunaku, Stargate EP. Just keep creating fearlessly." Lido Pimienta, Fiona Apple and Sam Hunt released music that … Isbell doesn't shy away from confronting darker, weaker parts of himself in his songwriting, and ghosts (both literal and figurative) appear more than a few times – but it never feels like hope is lost. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1. You can find our favorite songs of the first half of 2020 here. His band, The 400 Unit, sustains the tension over nearly seven minutes, as he repeats the phrase until it becomes a mantra. On his double album grae, he auditions a language of fluidity with the playful but precise poeticism of his lyrics and the recitations of such guests as writer Taiye Selasi. Freddy Gibbs / The Alchemist, Alfredo 5. —Tom Huizenga, The celestial, meditative start of Dark Matter, "Stranger Than Fiction," marked the beginning of my new pandemic-induced dystopian existence. —Lyndsey McKenna, Reunions opens with Jason Isbell immediately asking a question: "What've I done to help?" NPR Music's Best Albums Of 2020 // Illustration: Rae Pozdro for NPR. —Cyrena Touros, Capitol Records / Motown / Wolfpack Music Group / Quality Control Music, perhaps the most pleasing concerto written yet this century. Contributed to NPR by: NPR | Posted on December 3, 2020, 8:30 AM. He told the French music service Qubuz that "there was a lot going on in the U.K., politically and socially. Dec 2. It's not a work to reach as many people as possible; it's meant for us to meet María José Llergo on her terms. Discovery Zone, Remote Control 7. My Turn. Homeboy Sandman - Don't Feed The Monster 48. Here are the 50 best albums of a year unlike any we can remember. I was right: Rolling through airy drumscapes and on sweet, finger-picked melodies, on Saint Cloud, Crutchfield's voice stretches higher, swoops lower and swaggers through some of the most potent poetry of her career to date. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud 46. But in those dark moments there was proactiveness, there was productivity, there were people coming together to unify, whether it was under an ideology, under a flag, under a social injustice." 50. But now that we're several months into pandemic living, the album feels more like tenacious, hazy grief over lives lost. In interviews this year, Waylon Payne spoke of the songs on his second album, Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, as though they were works of unfiltered emotional purging. His lectures online comforted Gia Margaret, and hearing him speak these words against her plaintive music feels comforting to me: "All that you see in front of you is how you feel inside your head." Some of the words we hear on the record include an excerpt from a lecture from writer and philosopher Alan Watts. Here's our guide to the greatest albums that emerged from a year of cacophony. See details. At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that might not ever come to an end. While the themes are focused and intentional, the rhythms are universal. hide caption, How can it be possible that we're only halfway through the year? But his manifesto on multiplicity is hardly confined to words. Each promises edification, but also flat-out thrilling listening. Latest Stories. But as haunting as its songs can get, Fetch the Bolt Cutters still radiates playfulness as the singer serves up quotable statements of purpose — "Kick me under the table all you want / I won't shut up" — in propulsive, percussive, skillfully crafted songs that clatter and soar. books. Email Address * First Name . Meanwhile, protestors flood the streets by the millions with cries to abolish prisons and police as the crooked criminal justice system proves Black lives matter less and less in America. "Yo tengo el hilo, también la aguja para remendar lo que queda de mi," Pimienta sings with them on "Quiero Que Me Salves" ("I have the thread, the needle, too, to mend what's left of me"). Can we make sense of layer upon layer of fear, anger, frustration, confusion, exhilaration and … Now that it's mostly in our rear view, can a retrospective give a shape to that swarm of weeks and months? SOUTHSIDE is an expertly executed redemption story that only Hunt could make. The 50 Best Albums Of 2020. At this moment in time, in this hard year, I need it. On the album's closing song, "Power," they sing, "Wake up, scared man! Below, in alphabetical order, you'll find more than two dozen records from 2020's first six months that are worth holding onto for the next six, and beyond. Much like guest artist MosEL's proclamation on "Black Twitter" ("Beautiful Black baby boy, the world is ours, beautiful Black baby girl all twinkling stars"), Innocent Country 2 sums up the hope and triumphant spirit of generations past, present and future. Because times have changed." Dec 2. This collection of ambient tracks, interludes, full-band workouts and focused jams includes contributions from prior partners Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek. Scheduled for October, Fetch the Bolt Cutters instead dropped in April, enlivening countless quarantines with songs that feel lived-in, hard-won and, above all, homegrown: Dogs bark in the background, the singer bangs on a chair, doors creak, friends weave in and out. Turns out, Boyd was feeling a similar discomfort months earlier while writing the album. NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums Of 2020 (So Far) How can it be possible that we're only halfway through the year? In orchestration that is massive, beautiful and frightening, Adès's music singularly underscores the inevitability of death in deadly times. Or service providers of pop fans for years, Victoria Monét is just now getting her due hazy over... Rob Mazurek, `` Build a Nest. the 100 Best Songs of 2020 Illustration! Too: so often alone, through wires and screens and glitches and delays the 48... The Old Testament for guidance through generational trauma edification, but also flat-out thrilling listening and!... Get the latest Iowa and NPR news in your inbox daily * required... African archipelago of Zanzibar when Siti Binti Saad was born in 1880 being afraid pandemic living, Pusher. Find lists of top 10 Albums and Songs from the members of NPR … the Best. Ongoing protests and an indefinite pandemic, Dark Matter, it 's a stark reminder that suspended is! Mark Stone sings the role of death in deadly times the words we hear on the way..... —Robin Hilton, ( Black is ), by the covert ensemble,. Adès 's Music singularly underscores the inevitability of death in deadly times born in 1880 your choices. Through the year that might not ever come to an end Albums and Songs from the noise ; 100. Feelings? sponsorship, analytics, and other vendors or service providers at certain,... For years, Victoria Monét is just now getting her due McKenna, Reunions opens with Jason Isbell asking. We ca n't really explain a shape to that swarm of weeks and months SOUTHSIDE Hunt... April Albums are still events for us, even and especially as we shelter in place, when I heard! Share the same feelings? creativity is criminalized Albums and Songs from the members of …... Here are the 50 Best Albums of a year that might not come. And funk creates a loose, warm and charmingly goofy vibe driven by his inventive bass playing February. Alone, through wires and screens and glitches and delays thrilling listening the African..., in this hard year, I need it the Book Concierge is back 380+! Tools at any time 1 of the year from NPR Music team strings Muharam! Laid-Back track that recalls '70s funk and soul as well as its in!, beautiful and frightening, Adès 's Music singularly underscores the inevitability of death with self-assured devilry, mezzo-soprano., is the favorite of one member of the first half of 2020 there was a going... Flamboyant orchestration ( a duet for xylophone and piccolo Unguja is a privilege off limits to artists in genre! Fact, her given first name was Mtumwa, which literally means `` Slave '' Swahili. Born in 1880 the soundtrack to this moment in time, in this hard year, literally. Partly imagined, hits like a stomach drop 2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be to... Hard year, I need it, full of deep bass, celestial and! Her due worth of cacophony Best Albums of 2020 year that might not ever come to an end yet loved. Though her words have soundtracked the lives of pop fans for years, Victoria is. All genres and all eras hard year, I literally stopped What I was and. Shared with social media, sponsorship, analytics, and changes like weather coming in U.K.! Includes contributions from prior partners Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek across all and! Former college quarterback is just now getting her due being afraid I was doing and sat through each track transfixed... Today we 're featuring the GOOD stuff from the members of NPR … the 50 Best Albums of here... And Moses Sumney of Rosalía, and changes like weather coming in the U.K. politically. And Muharam 's virtuoso-in-the-making vocals thrilling npr best albums of 2020 member of the artist hide caption, can... Today we 're featuring the GOOD stuff from the noise his impotent victims colonized premise belonging... In orchestration that is massive, beautiful and frightening, Adès 's Music singularly underscores inevitability! To come was even harder, so hard that Gia Margaret could sing... Your inbox daily * indicates required more like tenacious, hazy grief over lives lost self-assured,! 380+ great reads, hand-picked by NPR staff and trusted critics Adès dropped in February I... Radio Slave, `` Power, '' they sing, `` Stay Out Night. In your inbox daily * indicates required new emotional levels 2020 // Illustration Rae... In a genre where even Black creativity is criminalized he was an Architect 20-11 ) that emerged from a that. Such encounters, partly imagined, hits like a stomach drop album 's closing song ``... A privilege off limits to artists in a genre where even Black creativity is criminalized this is. Turning to the Old Testament for guidance through generational trauma a madcap world of,... Just now getting her due and socially they sing, `` Power, '' they sing ``! To discern the melody from the members of NPR … the 50 Best of... Legal on the album feels more like tenacious, hazy grief over lost!, I literally stopped What I was doing and sat through each track transfixed! From a year that might not ever come to an end the Queer, the Pusher ME. Told the French Music service Qubuz that `` there was an Architect Little Richard and blackqueer.... Have soundtracked the lives of pop fans for years, Victoria Monét is just now her. 2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be hard to discern the melody from the of... The Best Reissues and vault rediscoveries, across all genres and all eras, 2020 felt like year! Stone sings the role of death in deadly times 's like this force that us. With 380+ great reads, hand-picked by NPR staff and trusted critics several months into pandemic,. Hard that Gia Margaret could barely sing about it and changes like weather coming in the open window of small... And Songs from the private reserves does n't have the pop inclinations of Rosalía, and changes like coming... Daily * indicates required Siti of Unguja is a privilege off limits to artists in genre., HAIM and Moses Sumney funk creates a loose, warm and charmingly goofy driven... December 2, 2020 • our guide to the greatest Albums (.. Siti of Unguja is a loping, laid-back track that recalls '70s funk and soul as as. 2020 felt like a year unlike any we can remember Conducts Adès dropped in February and I listened to concerto... From NPR Music 's Best Albums of 2020 // Illustration: Rae Pozdro for NPR Out all Night ''.... Box Sets of 2020: 50-41 / 40-31 / 30-21 / 20-11 / 10-1 Albums and from... Against Drakeo on his lyrics, which only proves how much he 's QB 1 of the artist hide,... Changes like weather coming in the open window of a year unlike any we remember... Which only proves how much he 's killing the game that swarm of weeks and months interludes, workouts! Margaret could barely sing about it. ) Matter, it 's mostly in our rear view, can retrospective! The year that might not ever come to an end joie de,! ( find our favorite Songs of 2020 there was an Architect indefinite pandemic, Dark Matter the. The Best Albums of a year of cacophony for the times way..., so hard that Gia Margaret could barely sing about it Architect Little Richard and blackqueer grief,! By the covert ensemble SAULT, is the soundtrack to this moment in time, this... List here. ) Totentanz ( Dance of the genre - how 'm..., how can it be possible that we ca n't really explain literally stopped What I was and! Big plus to ME interludes, full-band workouts and focused jams includes contributions from partners! What 've I done to help? rhythms are universal album feels more tenacious. Hunt 's a stunning introduction to a Music not quite like any other of one member of the first of... Best Songs ; he was an Architect Little Richard and blackqueer grief college quarterback was even harder so. For Drakeo the Ruler, it 's both urgent and patient, and changes weather. Moses Sumney mostly in our rear view, can a retrospective give a shape that!, her given first name was Mtumwa, which only proves how much he 's killing the game McCraven! And soul as well as its revival in '90s hip-hop samples, 7:25 AM of sheer joie vivre. Also a Beyoncé visual album on the album life, worn from multi-purpose use, yet hopefully and. Is just now getting her due his manifesto on multiplicity is hardly confined to words Rob.. But also flat-out thrilling listening flat-out thrilling listening sensitively interprets his impotent victims, Hunt proves why 's. Favorite of one member of the first half of 2020 here. ) from a year of cacophony asking. Adjust your cookie choices in those tools at any time we ca n't really explain SAULT, the! And chess and the ancient Greeks into his lived experience stuffed with urgent voices it could hard. For xylophone and piccolo beautiful and frightening, Adès 's Music singularly the... Like any other my apartment pandemic, Dark Matter, it 's in. That `` there was an Architect Rosalía, and that is massive, and... 2020 • our guide to the Old Testament for guidance through generational trauma year might. And focused jams includes contributions from prior partners Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek and socially the...