Top Albums of the Year

If there’s any year that a full compilation from one artist matters most, it’s 2020. At the start of the pandemic, artistes postponed release dates with only a few risk projects sticking to theirs in the first few months (and I’ll have you know, those were some of the best albums of the year). When it was clear that we are all in this together, it’s been an onslaught ever since. Some artistes dropped more music than they have in their entire career in the space of nine months. Yes, I’m exaggerating but two Taylor Swift albums in one year? Whew. There’s nothing like too much music but with 2020, maybe we should start putting that into consideration, as we now have a new Billboard Hot 100 Number One song every week. No wonder the Grammys forgot about The Weeknd.

Musical albums are a sacred art for me. It’s not just about putting all of an artist’s best songs in one drive. Beyond having an obvious narrative arc, it should really feel like a body of work (complete or not) that conveys the artist’s state of mind throughout the duration of its recording, highlight the growth from their last effort and tell a cohesive story. And mostly, make you feel good.

These are my 4 favorite Musical Albums of the Year

Dua – Future Nostalgia

(an excerpt  from a review published only on Twitter)

Dua Lipa’s goal to make “timeless music” and “change the game” makes sense. She only achieves the former but making an eleven-track keep-you-on-your-feet strictly pop album that has absolutely no bad songs is sort of revolutionary for a sophomore effort.

The production – with heavy shades of electro-pop, immersive guitaring, and whatever it is those geniuses do with the keyboard that numbs you like the monster’s whispers in Bird Box – is life on its own and Dua Lipa’s singing (for lack of a better word) is the resounding centerpiece that ties it all together. That seamless back and forth between vocal intelligence and indelible production presents a sweet, beautiful dance that seats this album up there with the classical pop pieces that influenced it. 8.5/10.

Fireboy DML – Apollo

Fireboy’s second album is a force. Partly because it’s his second studio album. The level of growth from the first one which was released nine months earlier is astounding. Apollo is likely referencing the Greek god, Apollo, who’s sometimes known as the God of Poetry and Dance. An apt title for an experimental album that has sort of birthed Afro-Funk and Afro-Dance. Fireboy plays with many genres and still leave many emotions unsettled. This album not only immerses you in itself, it situates your heart for the next one. 7/10. Full review here.

Niniola – Colours and Sounds

I knew I was goin to like this album just listening to a few songs on the radio. She gave Colours and Sounds that feel-good vibe that makes the album suitable for almost all moods. The Queen of Afro-House infects you with positive feelings and leaves you choiceless to bop, dance, or make weird faces, whatever way you express happiness. A complete fun ride. 8/10

Justin Bieber – Changes

This album is guilty of having half of the songs sound alike. But its repeatability is next level. Everyone is currently debating what genre this is but like I wrote in the full Future Nostalgia review “Pop Music is the only type of music that can maintain a mood throughout a compilation and never sound boring: basically, a themed party…” This is a pop album (with RnB intentions nonetheless). It’s the most pop you’ll get in 2020 with its repeatable hooks and cohesive beats. Bieber’s lyricism is average here but his ability to make hits is unbridled. 7/10

Okiki Adeduyite

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