Albums of the Year 2020

In 2020 I have reviewed sixty albums/EPs and listened to many more. The albums I have chosen to review have all connected with me on some level, so picking a favourites list feels almost cruel to those I have left out. Despite this I still think a ranking list is also a satisfying way to reflect on the year in music, as a writer and a fan.

In the end I have chosen twenty favourite albums and the order was decided on a combination of time spent listening and gut instinct. Some of these artists did not appear on my favourite songs of the year as their albums work as a collective whole rather than having one individual brilliant song (and vice versa). For me that total immersion into an artist’s vision makes albums still my preferred way of listening to music.

Please note that this list only includes albums I have reviewed so there will be some omissions. This list includes links to my original album reviews, rather than risk repeating myself. Please let me know your favourites in the comments.

20) Bettye LaVette – Blackbirds

19) Laura Veirs – My Echo

18) Malin Pettersen – Wildhorse

17) Natalia Lafourcade – Un Canto Por Mexico

16) Adrianne Lenker – Songs/Instrumentals

15) Shemekia Copeland – Uncivil War

14) Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman

13) Emma Swift – Blonde on the Tracks

12) Ashley McBryde – Never Will

11) Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels

10) The Chicks – Gaslighter

9) Emmy the Great – April / 月音

8) Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas

7) Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter

6) Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers

5) Margo Price – That’s How Rumors Get Started

4) Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud

3) Whitney Rose – We Still Go To Rodeos

2) Brandy Clark – Your Life is a Record

1) Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross

A playlist with a choice from each album can be found here:

Thank you to everyone who has read/shared my posts this year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

8 thoughts on “Albums of the Year 2020

Add yours

  1. Great list as usual. Agree on Number 1! In addition to Shemakia, Lucinda, The Chicks, Courtney, Margo and Brandy from yours, my personal list would include Kat Riggins, Larkin Poe, Gretchen Peters, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tanya Tucker, Saskia Griffiths-Moore, Brennen Leigh, Native Harrow (not sure if they qualify as only 50% female!), and above all Kelsey Waldon (even though I don’t have a ‘hard copy’ yet). Sure I have forgotten some and of course mine would include artists/groups who do not qualify (although not many – just Drive-By Truckers and Allman Betts Band spring immediately to mind).

    Many thanks for all your work over the past year. I listen to everything you review and even if, inevitably, some artists/albums are not for me, it is still always a pleasure to read such considered and knowledgeable writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! It is so hard to pick an end of year list especially when you listen to so much. I always try to cover a wide range of artists in the interest of scope so I appreciate you giving them a chance. Can’t wait for 2021’s releases now. Merry Christmas x


  2. What a great list. I’m so happy to see
    Waxahatchee up top. I LOVE Lilacs. Top 5 favorite song of the year. Katie and sister Alison spent time playing in Philly, Pa, where I’m from. Sad they went their separate ways but wow! I love Katie Crutchfields work. Shemeika Copeland is another amazing blues singer and great choice. I’ve seen her countless. What a powerhouse.
    List wouldn’t be complete w/o
    Miss Margo Price! I’ll have to check out the rest
    Cheers to a Happy New Year of music⚡️🖤⚡️. Love following you on Twitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Thanks for your best of lists and reviews. Your reviews are always refreshingly “real”, interesting and from a different perspective from many on the internet.

    I’ve not listened to everything on your lists, so that gives me some albums and songs to explore whilst coping with lockdown.

    Two I have enjoyed this year, which would seem to chime with your tastes:

    Karen Jonas – South West Skies and Other Dreams

    Melody Moko – Two Kids and a Radio

    Oh, and Sarah Siskind – Modern Appalaitia, is also great.

    Have you listened to those? Hope you enjoy them if not.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very tasteful top 20! So many overlaps with my favourites…except for Lori McKenna, Gretchen Peters and Hailey Whitters who all ended up in my top 10…and am I really the only one who thinks Nashville Tears (Rumer) is a stunningly Beautiful album? It’s my (female) n° 1 album but didn’ t find it in any year-end-list…. (Best Male album: Waylon Payne). Always a pleasure reading your reviews. Greetings from Belgium.

    Liked by 1 person

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