Although many can concur that 2020 has been a dumpster fire music and art has prevailed. Below are our picks for Best Albums of 2020.
Giselle, “Bring the Curtain Down”
Hauntingly beautiful vocals, a retro-alternative EP, Giselle’s “Bring the Curtain Down” pays homage to classics like, “Unchained Melody,” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” The singer-songwriter is no stranger to our “Best of” list with her beautiful 2017 release, “Not Ready to Grow Up” still a favorite and was a contender for Best album of 2017. “Bring the Curtain Down,” showcases a softer and vulnerable side, making each track her own.
Alejandro Fernandez, “Hecho en Mexico”
Mexican Latin singer and superstar Alejandro Fernandez 16th album, “Hecho en Mexico” (Made in Mexico) marks the return of Fernandez’s roots, ranchera music. The singer has made a career of toggling between traditional Mexican music and Latin pop. His latest album displays his vocal chops and is full of charm. “Hecho en Mexico” is the album we needed this year.
Mariah Carey, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” (Audiobook)
Musical legend and pop goddess Mariah Carey bares it all in her autobiographical retelling of her upbringing and musical career. The songstress briefly sings as she highlights the meanings behind certain songs and what she was going through during that period in her life. Although not a music album, audiobook of “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” deserves recognition for its bravery and musical journey the stories takes you through.
The Rayes, “Two Legs”
Formally known as Charlie and the Rays, The Rayes showcases sisters Rebecca and Jordan Stobbe’s beautiful harmonies and songwriting in a folk/rock 3-track EP that deserves the spotlight. Released on December 11th of 2020 the sister-act managed to captivate our ears with “Two Legs” so much so that they were able to make our best of list. It’s all in the songwriting and vocal performances as best showcased in their hopeful “You’re Not Alone.”
Mary McGuinness, “Prodigal”
Rooted in country music Mary McGuinness’ “Prodigal” is a magical and enticing experience. With her smoky vocals and thoughtful lyrics as beautifully showcased in “Butterfly,” and title track, “Prodigal” the album is charming and one that will make you hit replay over and over again.
Iggy T and the Crazy Makers, “Just Can’t Get Enough”
“Just Can’t Get Enough” is a thought-provoking album full of anthems. Best described as retro pop, members Sara Todd and David Franz deliver a diverse and enticing album. From their socially conscious single, “I don’t know your pain” in reference to racial injustice to their uplifting pride anthem, “Cake” that explores bisexuality. You simply can’t go wrong with this record and just can’t get enough.
The Chicks, “Gaslighter”
The veteran country music trio formally known as The Dixie Chicks released their first album under their new moniker, The Chicks (their 8th studio album overall), to much anticipation and delight. “Gaslighter” is a tour de force album about reclaiming a sense of self after turmoil. Lead singer Natalie Maines is kicking ass and taking names with very personal lyrics referring to the dissolution of her marriage. The songwriting is inspired making “Gaslighter” the perfect breakup album.
Rachel Lynn, “Warmer”
Rachel Lynn returns to our “Best of” list with her charming EP, “Warmer.” Her leadoff single, “Didn’t I” asks if she wasn’t enough in regard to a relationship gone awry. Her single, “Look to Me” is a charming midtempo tune that will make you bop your head and put a smile on your face.
Released on October 2, 2020 “Gray” is a melodic indie/folk 10-track delight. Byland showcase their vulnerability beautifully in this record. Vocally and musically the album is breathtaking. The Albuquerque natives have tapped into something special. It’s the type of record you can vibe to on a lazy summer day. It will transport you to a calmer environment sonically.