It’s blissfully conscious and unconscious, and at times, they sound more like conjurers than musicians. Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2020 In a year filled with uncertainty and despair, heavy music provided a welcome diversion . Call it the most unpredictable and challenging year yet and our number of albums fits right in. “I have a gift, I’ve been told, for seeing what’s there,” she sings on “The Eye,” and her perspective has never sounded so clear. A list of all music releases for 2020. And then: “You don’t get this persona for free.” Fucking Hell plays with the distorted abstraction of no wave, the destabilizing aggression of Suicide, the deadpan howl of Kim Gordon. —Max Freedman, If Heavy Light were released five years ago, it wouldn’t be considered a political album. Blue Hearts unites that “In a Free Land”-era anger with the pop songwriting of peak Husker Du and the crunch of Mould’s recent solo albums, resulting in one of the most powerful records of the year. Category: Best Albums of 2020 Rock is the New Roll Best 100 Albums of 2020 (1-25) 025. Again. Updates Progressive Rock albums; ... Mark Kelly's Marathon Mark Kelly's Marathon 2020 $1.43. Author: RockOfBrian. Interpreting your own while trying to navigate the emotions of others is one of the hardest parts of being a human. Kontaktsperre, Corona, Quarantäne - die Rock-Republik sitzt zuhause fest. Her record Out in the Storm, which we named one of the best albums of that year, displayed a whole new side of the singer. “Hardly linear like narratives read,” Audet sings. But she tacks on an extra bit that contextualizes the rest of the song: “It’s 4 a.m. again,” she sings flatly, “and I’m doing nothing again.” And all of a sudden … you’re there. –Allison Hussey, From her early punk recordings alongside sister Allison to her quietly devastating solo albums, Katie Crutchfield is always steadfast in her truth. —Lizzie Manno, Although Soccer Mommy’s 2018 debut studio album Clean transformed her into a critical favorite, indie-rock leader and tour opener for Paramore, Kacey Musgraves and Vampire Weekend, anyone who’s grappled with mental illness knows that success isn’t a salve. Though avant-garde cellist Arthur Russell is the one reference he’s tagged with most—given their similar voices—there are hints of Devon Welsh, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake mixed in, too. “I don’t owe you or you or you,” Summer growls at one point. Meshing noise, art rock and post-punk, there’s a palpable sense of forward motion and doom, but it’s not a resigned doom—it’s a contemplative, purposeful doom that wouldn’t dare waste space on nihilism. See which albums made his Top! Glasgow’s Catholic Action are a case study in how to subvert those conventions while simultaneously making something seemingly fresh. On their fourth album, Tumor is smoldering and romantic, expressing their appetite through squalling guitar solos, slinky basslines, and an ensemble of guest singers who match their lusty fervor beat for beat. Every Bad is the nuanced album that indie rock has needed for years. Its gorgeous, artful nature and emotional maturity were impressive, but its pop effortlessness was even more impressive. Yet it’s different from anything she’s ever released before. A ton of music and a lot surprise releases, reunions, and more. Mirrorneuron Syrinx Call 2021 $1.96. Singer-songwriter Alex Stoitsiadis was supposed to be hollering his hooks over melodic post-hardcore guitars in roiling 250-cap clubs, and the scenes of heartbreak he described were supposed to be playing out for listeners in real life. Unmask Whoever is a beautiful, detailed LP of wonder. There’s no doubt it has suffered in the era of coronavirus. As ever with late-period Dylan albums, death lurks in every corner: as a prompt for bloody, Frankenstein-ish experiments in “My Own Version of You,” a red river to be traversed in “Crossing the Rubicon,” a body who shares his bed in “I Contain Multitudes,” a nameless rival in “Black Rider.” The gravity of Dylan’s voice and the clarity of his vision allow him to address these wraiths as an equal, one with intimate knowledge of the darkness they inhabit. “I don’t forgive you,” she sings as a horn arrangement crests over this mind-numbing scene, “but please don’t hold me to it.” Later, in “Moon Song,” Bridgers traces the blurry boundaries of a complicated relationship before laying it all out in the final verse: “You are sick and you’re married and you might be dying,” she sings over a small crescendo, “but you’re holding me like water in your hands.” —Ben Salmon, Emotions are not absolute. Top 20? The fact that Melee conjures a year so different from the one we got is part of why it leaves such a mark: The histrionics of emo aren’t just dramatic, they’re now science fiction. Five Finger Death Punch F8 (2020) Groove Metal, Alternative Metal, Hard Rock… “From My Bruise to an Island” is a soothing, horn-led ambient piece, “Flesh or Blood” is incisive post-punk at its best and “Words” drops a warped synth interlude alongside wailing brass. Even the more subtle numbers like “What I Wanted” and “Prism” will leave a cloud of exhaust smoke and tread marks. Not every song is so topical, but all are similarly burdened by history. –Noah Yoo, Touché Amoré crafted one of the year’s best punk records using unusual tools, like pedal steel guitar, and riffs that may seem more suited to post-rock. 142: 142. Share. –Allison Hussey, Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal. Shauf’s storytelling and uncanny realism have long been the linchpin of his appeal as an artist, though his previous release, The Party, showcased his talent on a whole other level. The Isolation Tapes Kadavar 2020 $1.50. Simon Phillips) DarWin 2020 $0.75. 2020 Alternative Rock album releases. Through it all, clearer-than-ever proof emerges not just of a great band in stride, but a cultural fact: women continue making the most vital rock music now. So far, 2020 has been shaping up to be a pretty great year for the darker side of rock music. It’s a moody, empathetic album, bolstered by repetition and the palpable scenes they create, whether that’s an imagined, heavenly gorge or the melancholy urban landscapes you traverse every day. Ordinary Madness may well be five-decade blues/rock survivor Walter Trout’s finest... Joe Bonamassa, Royal Tea. —Garrett Martin, Deeper know tragedy better than most. —Steven Edelstone, The twin masks of tragedy and comedy peering from the cover of Dehd’s third album are a fitting emblem of the band’s new songs themselves. Gordon’s howls are hell-bent and infatuated, with Tumor’s raspy pleas pushing them both closer to the edge of oblivion. Settlement Strawbs 2021 $1.35. “Inside myself is where I belong.” –Quinn Moreland, Shopping crafts dancefloor bops that make railing against consumerist capitalism sound like fun. –Andy Cush, A band’s impact shouldn’t be hypothetical, but here’s Dogleg, the debutants of Michigan emo, whose breakout year mostly took place in the imagination. Brighton, U.K. quartet Porridge Radio grapple with these questions on their new album Every Bad. It’s rare to find such thoughtfulness in a record so unabashedly tuneful. Largely, the album is a move to activism of consent: She isn’t making assumptions about what people want or how they feel; they have to want it, too, and need to get there in their own right. “You girls mean business,” he bellows to two “fleet-footed guides from the underworld” on the swaggering “False Prophet.” “And I do too.” –Andy Cush, Listen/Buy: Rough Trade | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal, Mixing gritty rock with high drama, in arrangements packed with organ, guitar, and soaring tenor sax, Letter to You feels more like a classic-era E Street Band record than anything Bruce Springsteen has released in at least a decade. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Only three tracks in, it’s obvious that Strange’s good-natured charisma and vocal warmth are something special. 2020’s best rock releases came from grizzled veterans and bold upstarts, resurgent cult-favorites and critical darlings, bedroom acts and Bob goddamn Dylan. Best Albums of 2020 by the More Fuzz Team . Through scratchy indie rock (“Don’t Ask Me Twice,” “Give/Take”), grand punk (“Lilac”) and even auto-tuned pop (“Something”), Porridge Radio take pop songs much further than listeners might’ve thought possible. –Evan Minsker, Sophie Allison paints with the shades of a bruise on color theory. Jack Rogers 22 December 2020 at 17.03. They make frequent diversions from their fast and chaotic signature sound, including the noise-rap sex jam “2K,” which arrives unexpectedly in the middle of the EP. Yves Tumor have long skirted the line between pop candor and experimental psychedelia, often landing somewhere far away from both in a wonderland of threatening, dagger-sharp guitar riffs and gossamer vocal production. They shout repeated lines like they’re therapeutically screaming into the void, but surprisingly, listening to it is just as therapeutic. Saint Cloud is Crutchfield’s country/Americana record. With their second album Juillet, they subvert listeners’ perception of them on nearly every track. On their 12 songs (with goofy, lowercase track titles) and less than half-hour run time, you’ll hear tinges of phat electro-rock, invigorating riot grrrl and delectable twee-pop. With shifting layers of don’t-wake-the-baby vocals over glinting acoustic guitar and honeyed Rhodes, these are ambling tone poems, their free-flowing wordplay and intermittent societal commentary more about evoking feelings than drawing conclusions. What do we mean by rock? Rock is a spectrum, and wherever your individual tastes fall on it, you’ll find something to love below. as a band in 2020. In 2020, for the first time, Taylor released a solo album, “CMFT.” What makes this record extra impressive is the range of genres it covers, from blues to country to hard rock to acoustics. The Chicago outfit’s second album contains the wide-eyed glare and off-the-wall energy of someone who’s close to the final straw and searching for the best way to cope. Here, we present our Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2020. There’s a clear reference to Bruce Springsteen (instead of being “Born to Run,” Remy would say she’s “Born to Lose”) throughout Heavy Light, with Springsteen’s current E Street Band saxophonist Jake Clemons interjecting a soul-rousing solo in lead single “Overtime.” It’s here, after the only two songs on Heavy Light that even slightly resemble Poem (“4 American Dollars” and “Overtime”), that Remy begins to build the conscience-focused rhetoric of the record.