Top 10 Best Albums Released in 2020, Ranked

Tags: #Halsey ,   #ArianaGrande ,   #MileyCyrus ,   #LittleMix ,   #BLACKPINK

Scarlett Goldstein

Scarlett Goldstein

Last updated:  2021-01-13 16:44:57

The year 2020 was a wild ride through madness, peace, lockdown, and slowing down after a long time of running. That year changed the way people do their chores, so it pretty much altered our routine. When it comes to musicians, they absolutely had to give up on touring and instead focus on making music in their intimate setting, without many people around them. After all, when we sum it all up, 2020 made many talented people in music shine like never before. So, here are the top 10 albums that were absolute highlights!

10. "Manic" by Halsey

"Without Me" is the only "huge" hit from "Manic," but it's not the only track you should check out

People simply don't talk enough about Halsey's third record. Her debut album, "Badlands," awoke a whole new aesthetic and Tumblr girls' trend. "Manic" is not as influential as that flawless release; however, it's so unique and Halsey-like! If you loved "Badlands," you'll fall in love with her poetry-like "clementine" and, of course, the hit "Without Me" that sums up her last relationship.

"I Hate Everybody" is quite relatable when you've been alone for too long, and you're anxious about yourself, and "killing boys" is also… So relatable when the revenge is everything you can think of. An absolute favorite from the album is also the rock banger "3am," which is so Avril Lavigne in every positive way!

9. "Plastic Hearts" by Miley Cyrus

"Prisoner" is a smash from the very first moment – a banger that will be played in so many clubs

Miley Cyrus is one of the contemporary main pop girls that aren't "really" pop – she's tried so many lanes to find her own. She's gone to her country roots, then got back to pop, and then made a break to figure it out. Right now, this girl is all about nostalgic 80s rock. And, honestly, this might be her best record yet.

"Plastic Hearts" feels so right because Miley finally seems like she is in her zone. Her strong vocals complement the rock sound much better than the bubblegum vibe, so her real talent shines in tracks like "Night Crawling." This is definitely the sound she has to keep! And, of course, there's that "Midnight Sky" vibe that is unforgettable and so convincing you'll never ask yourself who Miley really is. She explained it all this time!

8. "positions" by Ariana Grande

Grande simply knew "34+35" would be a smash

When Ariana Grande drops an album, it's undoubtedly her year. However, she didn't steal the show in 2020 until the very end of the year, a.k.a the autumn, when she surprisingly announced that she's dropping "positions." Her 2020 record is very sultry, sexy, and confident, and she's been singing so much more than on her previous hip-hop / R&B records.

Nevertheless, critics weren't sure about this album, stating that "thank u, next" did a lot better. "Pretty much lust, but where are the hits?" was a recurring question, with this album being a bit too "loose." However, there's no way this album is a skip, and as you get more into it and the time passes, we realized that its release was another 2020 highlight. Isn't "34+35" addictive, and isn't "my hair" the sexiest R&B release we got this year?

7. "Confetti" by Little Mix

"Happiness" sounds like finding an endless feeling of joy with yourself after a long time of pain

Little Mix are still praying for their US breakthrough, and it would be unbelievable if an album like "Confetti" wouldn't make it. It's a pop record with excellent production, honest stories about finding and empowering yourself. After all the pain, it feels like the girls found their lane. However, we bet you're emotional reading this now since Jesy Nelson officially decided to leave her beloved band. 

Yet, listening to "Confetti" will forever be a 2020 highlight, no matter what the future has in store for Little Mix. Also, just remember that Jesy co-wrote the title track of this album, "Confetti," showing that she's doing better as time progresses!

6. "Future Nostalgia" by Dua Lipa

"Physical" is an ultimate, unforgettable bop, and you won't ever stop dancing to it

From jokes about quarantine and "I should've stayed at home" lyrics from "Break My Heart" to the "sexiest bass line ever" from "Don't Start Now..." "Future Nostalgia" is a 2020 album that obviously stayed in focus for months. It's actually Dua's second album, and it's much more refreshing and exciting than her previous record.

There is something about "Future Nostalgia'' that is so addictive – it's the kind of an album that you'll be obsessed with since many songs aged like fine wine. "Cool" felt so amazing when the summer started, but even in the autumn, it still didn't get old. We shouldn't even mention "Don't Start Now" – from November 2019 until today, we still stan that bass line!

5. "Heaven & Hell" by Ava Max

"Kings & Queens" is Max's most significant contribution to women empowerment

Ava Max finally released her debut album in 2020 after the boom her hit "Sweet But Psycho" received. However, her record "Heaven & Hell" is filled with masterpieces that are even better than this ultimate smash! It's effortlessly sonically cohesive – all about pop, the pop we enjoyed at the very beginning of the 10s.

Just like The Guardian stated, Max's debut is "turbo-charged" and so entertaining you won't ever stop dancing and relating to the lyrics. We can't decide if the production dominates in the songs, or it's all about the stories, so they're the total package! Whether you prefer "Side A: Heaven" or "Side B: Hell" depends on your personality and preferences. Nevertheless, both are so skipless you won't ever stop listening!

4. "After Hours" by The Weeknd

"Blinding Lights" is undoubtedly The Weeknd's best work to date

The Weeknd, without any doubt, got snubbed at the 2021 Grammys since he didn't get any nominations. This moment was one of the most remarkable when it comes to music in 2020, so you can guess how vital his record "After Hours" is! However, don't feel bitter about it – "After Hours" is an almost flawless, nostalgic record heavily influenced by the dance songs of the 80s, and it owned the charts for months.

"Blinding Lights" is an anthem for any late-night drive, and "Heartless" and "Hard to Love" are about to face you with some real emotional issues. "Save Your Tears" is a gloomy, shining track about seeing your Achilles' heel in a club and shedding a teardrop. "In Your Eyes" is another absolute bop with the production you rarely hear today. What a shame it's not an album of the year, but we won't deny its potential! Still he did have a chance to promote it on Superbowl LIV.

3. "The Album" by BLACKPINK

The perfect track "Lovesick Girls" can easily be seen as the manifesto of the girls' whole work and ideas

The world of K-pop is so available nowadays – it seems like this genre found its way to global fame, and at this point, their bands such as TWICE are the most prominent in the world. This definitely applies to BLACKPINK, who released their debut album almost four years after the actual debut! However, this record was worth the wait. Short and sweet, with no skips, with no mistakes, a whole package!

The girls even collaborated with Selena Gomez on the bubbly "Ice Cream" you could hear everywhere during summer. Moreover, the "Pretty Savage" live version has more views than an average music video by anyone. If a side-track gets so much love worldwide, then you can't even imagine how BLACKPINK's singles effortlessly rule the world. As they should!

2. "Chromatica" by Lady Gaga

Gaga's duet with Ariana Grande is oozing quality, good vibe, and it has a fantastic story

Barely anyone does it like Lady Gaga. This woman is definitely the goddess of dance-pop tunes with a great message behind it! That's the real definition of her addictive singles, "Stupid Love" and "911," and obviously her duet with Ariana Grande, "Rain on Me." That duo literally swept all the categories on every award show – for a good reason.

"Chromatica" is also very well structured, with three chapters and an intro between them. However, picking a favorite chapter is a complete nightmare, so we recommend listening to the whole record. The big hits? Chapter one. The songs about women empowerment? Chapter two. And what if you'd love to dance and cry at the same time? Chapter three will steal your heart.

1. "folklore" and "evermore" by Taylor Swift

"willow "is the first single off "evermore," and it continues where "cardigan" from "folklore" ended

Inspired by William Wordsworth, Taylor Swift obviously has not one but two outstanding alternative and nostalgic albums released in 2020 – two masterpieces no one saw coming. It's hard to decide whether "folklore" or "evermore" stole the show this year, but it's safe to confirm that they both destroyed the other artists' chance to keep the first place on charts! Furthermore, "folklore" got introduced in summer when no one expected it, and "evermore" came out even more unexpected because who would think that such inspiration would go twice?

Swift had a habit of letting go of a particular concept after releasing an album and music videos. However, with "folklore" and "evermore," she kept the same idea and vibe in her head. Her endless inspiration made stories about high school love triangles, married couples that faced the death of their emotions, cheaters, and the ones being cheated... So the story with her new 34 songs never ends. So who knows, maybe the songstress has even more in store for us?

This was quite a whirlwind year, especially if we consider that artists had to work in an entirely different setting. Nevertheless, we can barely remember that any year was as successful for pop music as 2020. So many kings and queens of charts made their comeback, so looking back at these months of stress, music made everything so much better.

Which album from these stole your heart and all your playlists? Did we forget any album that is, in your opinion, absolutely remarkable, just like the albums we mentioned? Feel free to remind us!

Photo: YouTube Screenshot


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