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Albums of the Year: Staff Picks

As we start to countdown the final hours of 2020, our staff reflects on the their favorite albums released this year.

Ryan Miller says…

Ungodly Hour by Chloe & Halle

Chloe & Halle’s Grammy-nominated second album Ungodly Hour truly transcended 2020’s music catalog to the next level. From the smooth title track to the infectious “Busy Boy” and single, “Do It,” this album definitely showcases the talent, range and – breathtaking harmonies – these sisters have.

It Was Divine by Alina Baraz

With the beginning of the pandemic in full swing, I was definitely in need of some music to help me refocus and find my strength. In that, I found Alina Baraz’s It Was Divine. Her rich vocals and gorgeous lyrics are just some of the many reasons to give this record a serious listen (or 20!). With guests like 6LACK, Nas, Khalid and Smino, this album is perfect for your night in with the candles lit.

Positions by Ariana Grande

Fresh off the release of the mega-hit “thank u, next,” Ariana Grande decided to slow things down with the R&B-laced Positions album – and it is all for the better. Standout tracks like “obvious,” “nasty” and “safety net” not only showcase Grande’s impressive vocals, but show her Arianators (and critics alike) that she’s only getting better.

Apolonio by  Omar Apollo

One of my best friends had gotten me into Omar Apollo’s music a summer ago and now here we are with his stunning new EP Apolonio. Tracks “Kamikaze,” “Bi Fren” and Ruel-assisted “Want U Around” meld his stirring vocals with some thoughtful and daydream-provoking lyricism.  

After Hours by The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye (famously known as The Weeknd) brought one of the year’s most successful, provocative and stirring albums, After Hours. “Blinding Lights” and its lack of Grammy nominations aside, this record is the perfect fusion of the old R&B and recent pop escapades of The Weeknd’s discography. The title track, “Escape from LA” and “Faith” are just some of the reasons you’ll fall deep into the nightmarish – and danceable – landscape he has created.  

Hannah McWhorter says…
  1. Notes On A Conditional Form by The 1975
  2. Chewing Cotton Wool (EP) by The Japanese House
  3. Folklore by Taylor Swift
  4. Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus
  5. Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams
Janelle Santacruz says…

Swingin’ Swords, Choppin Lords by Mindforce 

There’s not one song on this that I won’t fully blast through the speakers of my car. Amazing. 

California Cursed by Drain

What an incredible band, this debut album was such a crowd pleaser. I can’t wait to see drain live 

Sunami by Sunami

Three words : “sunami style, bitch.” 

No Blame… Just Facts by Pain of Truth

A new band that came under my radar this year! Can’t wait to see where they go. 

A Truth We Still Believe by Ecostrike

Some songs that made the summer that much better.

Robert Sherman says…
  1.  A Beautiful Place to Drown by Silverstein
  2. The Death of Me by Polaris
  3. To Better Days by Slaves
  4. Afterburner by Dance Gavin Dance
  5. GLUE by Boston Manor
  6. Distance by Boys of Fall
  7. Into the Raging Sea by Broadside
  8. No Good Left to Give by Movements.






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