So much about this year has confronted us with unusual, difficult and oftentimes frightening circumstances that have challenged the way we've lived and thought about our lives for so long. And while we await a return to something that vaguely resembles normalcy, we also know that in many ways, the old sense of "normal" is already long gone, and that for better and worse, this period marks the beginning of a brand new future for all of us. While it would be pat to suggest that our staff's favorite albums of the year so far have been what's gotten us through these times, it'd also be unfair to downplay the fundamental and undeniable role music has in giving our lives stability, comfort and joy during such an unprecedented period. These albums have distracted, they've confronted, they've enlightened, they've provided valuable solace and much-needed catharsis. They haven't made the world outside a less scary place, but in their own small but significant ways, they've helped fortify us to face it day after day after day. Whether you initially viewed 5 Seconds of Summer as a boy band, a pop-punk group or both, you have to admit they've aged nicely into one of the world's premier arena rock outfits. And not only has the band done their homework, but they're willing to acknowledge their teachers: Everyone from New Order to Donna Lewis get co-write credits for the album's thick web of nods to pop-rock history, which they expand into the s as well as any other outfit right now.
Microphones in 2020
This list been updated with July releases. Has already seen its best album well ahead of the typically busier spring and summer months? Below, New York music critic Craig Jenkins rounds up the standout albums the year has had to offer so far, to be updated monthly.
The album won't go down without a fight. As the algorithmic thinking of the streaming music era tightens its grip on the record industry and consumer listening habits, artists are still writing and recording collections of new material, releasing them as cohesive units on specific dates, and suggesting that you listen to them in a pre-established order. As a format for enjoying multiple songs and a way of thinking about creative development, it remains essential. Even with all its tumult, didn't change that.
Sort: Metascore Metascore User score. Metascore: User Score: 8. The first new studio release of new music for the singer-songwriter in eight years. User Score: 7. The second full-length release for the British punk rock band led by Will Gould was produced by Xandy Barry. User Score: 9. The double album released also as two separate EPs] for the experimental artist features a guest appearance from Jill Scott and elements of folk, jazz, indie rock, pop, and soul music. The seventh full-length solo release for the British singer-songwriter was produced with Ethan Johns and Dom Monks.