Year-End Lists

A browsable archive of notable year-end lists. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its author, at the source.

Albums

Robert Christgau: Dean's List 2020

27 January 2021

Robert Christgau: Dean's List 2020

[see also 2010s, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2012]

  1. various artists — Hanging Tree Guitars
  2. Run the JewelsRTJ4
  3. Cheveu & Group DouehDakhla Sahara Session
  4. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters
  5. Lucinda WilliamsGood Souls Better Angels
  6. BackxwashDeviancy
  7. Billy NomatesBilly Nomates
  8. DramaramaColor TV
  9. Lori McKennaThe Balladeer
  10. WussyGhosts
  11. Black ThoughtStreams of Thought, Vol. 2
  12. Peter Stampfel And The Bottle CapsDemo '84
  13. The Human HeartsDay of the Tiles
  14. Martin CreedThoughts Lined Up
  15. Sam HuntSouthside
  16. Bob DylanRough and Rowdy Ways
  17. Young M.AHerstory in the Making
  18. BktherulaNirvana
  19. Public EnemyWhat You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
  20. Taylor SwiftEvermore
  21. Sad13Haunted Painting
  22. Guiss Guiss Bou BessSet Sela
  23. Ashley McBrydeNever Will
  24. McCarthy TrenchingPerfect Game
  25. 75 Dollar Bill Little Big BandLive at Tubby's
  26. Kirby HeardMama's Biscuits
  27. Black ThoughtStreams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able
  28. EminemMusic to Be Murdered By
  29. HindsThe Prettiest Curse
  30. Les Amazones d’AfriqueAmazones Power
  31. Yonic SouthTwix and Dive
  32. The ChicksGaslighter
  33. Black ThoughtStreams of Thought, Vol. 1
  34. Elizabeth CookAftermath
  35. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  36. XAlphabetland
  37. SerengetiWith Greg from Deerhoof
  38. HaimWomen in Music Pt. III
  39. Brandy ClarkYour Life Is a Record
  40. Princess NokiaEverything is Beautiful
  41. various artists — On The Road: A Tribute To John Hartford
  42. KehlaniIt Was Good Until It Wasn't
  43. Phoebe BridgersIf We Make It Through December
  44. Will ButlerGenerations
  45. Sunny SweeneyRecorded Live at the Machine Shop Recording Studio
  46. various artists — New Orleans Mambo
  47. Dream WifeSo When You Gonna...
  48. Hamell On TrialThe Pandemic Songs
  49. Low Cut ConniePrivate Lives
  50. Mukdad Rothenberg LankowIn the Wake of Memories
  51. City GirlsCity on Lock
  52. Clem SnideForever Just Beyond
  53. Chicago FarmerFlyover Country
  54. Justin FarrenPretty Free
  55. Munson​-​Hicks Party SuppliesMunson​-​Hicks Party Supplies
  56. Fontaines D.C.A Hero's Death
  57. KaDescendants of Cain
  58. Toots and the MaytalsGot to Be Tough
  59. Open Mike EagleAnime, Trauma and Divorce
  60. Drive-By TruckersThe Unraveling
  61. No AgeGoons Be Gone
  62. Lil WayneFuneral
  63. Etran de L'AïrNo. 1
  64. Westside GunnPray for Paris
  65. Hayes CarllAlone Together Sessions
  66. Dawn Oberg2020 Revision
  67. Serengeti and Kenny SegalAjai
  68. Grrrl GangHere To Stay
  69. Chad MathenyUnited Earth League of Quarantine Aerobics
  70. Al Bilali SoudanTombouctou
  71. Mannequin PussyPatience

Jeremy D. Larson: Favorite Albums of 2020

30 December 2020

Jeremy D. Larson: Favorite Albums of 2020

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015]

  1. The MicrophonesMicrophones in 2020
  2. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters
  3. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  4. Nubya GarciaSOURCE
  5. H.C. McEntireEno Axis
  6. DoglegMelee
  7. DestroyerHave We Met
  8. Moses SumneyGræ
  9. Special InterestThe Passion Of
  10. KMRUPeel
  11. Beatrice DillonWorkaround
  12. Alabaster DePlumeTo Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1
  13. Rio Da Yung OGCity on My Back
  14. Bartees StrangeLive Forever
  15. Kate NVRoom for the Moon
  16. Jeff ParkerSuite for Max Brown
  17. The Soft Pink TruthShall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
  18. Soul GloSongs to Yeet At The Sun
  19. Angel Bat Dawid & Tha BrothahoodLIVE
  20. Roc MarcianoMt. Marci
  21. LomeldaHannah
  22. The KillersImploding the Mirage
  23. Chris Forsyth / Dave Harrington / Ryan Jewell / Spencer ZahnFirst Flight
  24. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  25. Oneohtrix Point NeverMagic Oneohtrix Point Never
  26. Country WesternsCountry Westerns

Jordan Cronk: The Top 30 Albums of 2020

30 December 2020

Jordan Cronk: The Top 30 Albums of 2020 as posted to Patreon

[see also 2010s, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016]

  1. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  2. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  3. The MicrophonesMicrophones in 2020
  4. PinegroveMarigold
  5. Touché AmoréLament
  6. HaimWomen in Music Pt. III
  7. Perfume GeniusSet My Heart on Fire Immediately
  8. GrimesMiss Anthropocene
  9. Young JesusWelcome to Conceptual Beach
  10. The 1975Notes on a Conditional Form
  11. Ana RoxanneBecause of a Flower
  12. Cindy LeeWhat's Tonight To Eternity
  13. A.G. CookApple
  14. A.G. Cook7G
  15. Porridge RadioEvery Bad
  16. Stay InsideViewing
  17. Trace MountainsLost in the Country
  18. DestroyerHave We Met
  19. Special InterestThe Passion Of
  20. Ben SeretanYouth Pastoral
  21. The Soft Pink TruthShall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
  22. HumInlet
  23. Bill NaceBoth
  24. CaribouSuddenly
  25. AutechreSign
  26. AutechrePlus
  27. The AvalanchesWe Will Always Love You
  28. Beatrice DillonWorkaround
  29. KMRUPeel
  30. Empty CountryEmpty Country
  31. Lyra PramukFountain
  32. ProtomartyrUltimate Success Today

Brooklyn Vegan: Top 55 Albums of 2020

29 December 2020

Brooklyn Vegan: Top 55 Albums of 2020

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016]

  1. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters
  2. Freddie Gibbs & The AlchemistAlfredo
  3. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  4. Run the JewelsRTJ4
  5. Perfume GeniusSet My Heart on Fire Immediately
  6. Moses SumneyGræ
  7. SaultUntitled (Black Is)
  8. SaultUntitled (Rise)
  9. HumInlet
  10. Róisín MurphyRóisín Machine
  11. Jeff RosenstockNo Dream
  12. Adrianne Lenkersongs
  13. Adrianne Lenkerinstrumentals
  14. Yves TumorHeaven to a Tortured Mind
  15. Jason Isbell and The 400 UnitReunions
  16. Westside GunnPray for Paris
  17. Bonny Light HorsemanBonny Light Horseman
  18. Conway the MachineFrom King to a God
  19. Porridge RadioEvery Bad
  20. Boldy James & The AlchemistThe Price of Tea in China
  21. Boldy James / Sterling TolesManger on McNichols
  22. Bartees StrangeLive Forever
  23. Teenage HalloweenTeenage Halloween
  24. Benny the ButcherBurden of Proof
  25. DeftonesOhms
  26. Megan Thee StallionGood News
  27. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  28. Jarv IsBeyond the Pale
  29. Pop SmokeMeet the Woo 2
  30. Bob DylanRough and Rowdy Ways
  31. Infant IslandBeneath
  32. Armand HammerShrines
  33. Stay InsideViewing
  34. Napalm DeathThroes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
  35. Fleet FoxesShore
  36. GulchImpenetrable Cerebral Fortress
  37. The MicrophonesMicrophones in 2020
  38. Hayley WilliamsPetals for Armor
  39. The 1975Notes on a Conditional Form
  40. CaribouSuddenly
  41. Record SetterI Owe You Nothing
  42. Kelly Lee OwensInner Song
  43. Lido PimientaMiss Colombia
  44. Nubya GarciaSOURCE
  45. DestroyerHave We Met
  46. Touché AmoréLament
  47. SvalbardWhen I Die, Will I Get Better?
  48. Oranssi PazuzuMestarin kynsi
  49. Code OrangeUnderneath
  50. Code OrangeUnder the Skin
  51. Mary LattimoreSilver Ladders
  52. SwevenThe Eternal Resonance
  53. Dua LipaFuture Nostalgia
  54. UlcerateStare Into Death And Be Still
  55. Flo MilliHo, Why Is You Here?
  56. ProtojeIn Search Of Lost Time
  57. Billy NomatesBilly Nomates
  58. Beverly Glenn-CopelandTransmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland
  59. Moses BoydDark Matter

No Depression: Favorite Roots Music Albums of 2020

28 December 2020

No Depression: Favorite Roots Music Albums of 2020

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017]

  1. Bonny Light HorsemanBonny Light Horseman
  2. Jake BlountSpider Tales
  3. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  4. Jason Isbell and The 400 UnitReunions
  5. Tami NeilsonCHICKABOOM!
  6. Bob DylanRough and Rowdy Ways
  7. Taylor SwiftFolklore
  8. Sarah JaroszWorld On The Ground
  9. Lucinda WilliamsGood Souls Better Angels
  10. Lilly HiattWalking Proof
  11. Kathleen EdwardsTotal Freedom
  12. S.G. GoodmanOld Time Feeling
  13. American AquariumLamentations
  14. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  15. Katie PruittExpectations
  16. David RamirezMy Love Is A Hurricane
  17. Sturgill SimpsonCuttin’ Grass - Vol​.​1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions)
  18. Elizabeth CookAftermath
  19. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters
  20. Clem SnideForever Just Beyond

Hip Hop Golden Age: The Best Hip Hop Albums of 2020

28 December 2020

Hip Hop Golden Age: The Best Hip Hop Albums of 2020, posted with an extensive list of honorable mentions and EPs

  1. Run the JewelsRTJ4
  2. Aesop RockSpirit World Field Guide
  3. Marlowe (L'Orange & Solemn Brigham)Marlowe 2
  4. Apollo Brown & Che' NoirAs God Intended
  5. KaDescendants of Cain
  6. Sa-RocThe Sharecropper's Daughter
  7. Blu & ExileMiles
  8. ElzhiSeven Times Down Eight Times Up
  9. Jorun Bombay & Phill Most ChillJorun PMC
  10. Moor Mother & billy woodsBRASS
  11. R.A. the Rugged ManAll My Heroes Are Dead
  12. Freddie Gibbs & The AlchemistAlfredo
  13. Arrested DevelopmentDon't Fight Your Demons
  14. Armand HammerShrines
  15. Killah PriestRocket to Nebula
  16. Roc MarcianoMt. Marci
  17. Boldy James & The AlchemistThe Price of Tea in China
  18. Killah Priest & Jordan River BanksThe Third Eye in Technicolor
  19. clipping.Visions of Bodies Being Burned
  20. Quelle Chris & Chris KeysInnocent Country 2
  21. One Be LoBaby (Being a black youth)
  22. Third RootPassion of the Poets
  23. Conway the MachineFrom King to a God
  24. Boldy James / Sterling TolesManger on McNichols
  25. CambattaLSD: Lunar Solar Duality
  26. Royce da 5'9"The Allegory
  27. Jamo GangWalking With Lions
  28. KRS-ONEBetween Da Protests
  29. SerengetiWith Greg from Deerhoof
  30. Homeboy SandmanDon't Feed The Monster
  31. Spillage VillageSpilligion
  32. ShrapKnelShrapKnel
  33. Busta RhymesExtinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God
  34. Public EnemyWhat You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
  35. Cut BeetlezWhat Beetlez?
  36. PreservationEastern Medicine, Western Illness
  37. Recognize AliRecognition
  38. R.A.P. Ferreirapurple moonlight pages
  39. FeltFelt 4 U
  40. ANKHLEJOHNThe Face of Jason
  41. The Koreatown OddityLittle Dominiques Nosebleed
  42. Benny the ButcherBurden of Proof
  43. The Leonard Simpson Duo (Guilty Simpson x Leonard Charles)LSD
  44. QuakersII - The Next Wave
  45. Stove God Cooks & Roc MarcianoReasonable Drought
  46. Jahi & ConfigaForward Future
  47. The Four OwlsNocturnal Instinct
  48. Kid Abstrakt & EmapeaJazzy Vibes
  49. Small Bills (E L U C I D & The Lasso)Don't Play It Straight
  50. NasKing's Disease
  51. ETOThe Beauty Of It
  52. D SmokeBlack Habits
  53. CJ FlyRUDEBWOY
  54. Vinnie PazAs Above So Below
  55. ANKHLEJOHNAs Above So Below
  56. ParisSafe Space Invader
  57. Open Mike EagleAnime, Trauma and Divorce
  58. Westside GunnPray for Paris
  59. CommonA Beautiful Revolution (Pt 1)
  60. Jay ElectronicaA Written Testimony

Tony Fantano: 50 Best Albums of 2020

26 December 2020

Tony Fantano: 50 Best Albums of 2020, as aired on The Needle Drop

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017]

  1. Jessie WareWhat's Your Pleasure?
  2. clipping.Visions of Bodies Being Burned
  3. Black DressesPeaceful as Hell
  4. Blu & ExileMiles
  5. Ichiko AobaWindswept Adan
  6. Laura MarlingSong for Our Daughter
  7. Moor JewelryTrue Opera
  8. MatmosThe Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form
  9. Natalia LafourcadeUn Canto por México, Vol. 1
  10. Code OrangeUnderneath
  11. The Koreatown OddityLittle Dominiques Nosebleed
  12. GorillazSong Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
  13. Chris StapletonStarting Over
  14. Mac MillerCircles
  15. BackxwashGod Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
  16. SevdalizaShabrang
  17. The Flaming LipsAmerican Head
  18. Charli XCXhow I'm feeling now
  19. Lianne La HavasLianne La Havas
  20. R.A.P. Ferreirapurple moonlight pages
  21. Lido PimientaMiss Colombia
  22. HMLTDWest of Eden
  23. Imperial TriumphantAlphaville
  24. Run the JewelsRTJ4
  25. Rina SawayamaSawayama
  26. Against All Logic2017 - 2019
  27. Meridian BrothersCumbia Siglo XXI
  28. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  29. BorisNO
  30. Perfume GeniusSet My Heart on Fire Immediately
  31. Quelle Chris & Chris KeysInnocent Country 2
  32. Jeff RosenstockNo Dream
  33. Adrianne Lenkersongs
  34. LiturgyOrigin of the Alimonies
  35. The StrokesThe New Abnormal
  36. Conway the MachineFrom King to a God
  37. Dorian ElectraMy Agenda
  38. IdlesUltra Mono
  39. Freddie Gibbs & The AlchemistAlfredo
  40. HaimWomen in Music Pt. III
  41. UndeathLesions Of A Different Kind
  42. PoppyI Disagree
  43. Horse LordsThe Common Task
  44. DeerhoofFuture Teenage Cave Artists
  45. Chloe x HalleUngodly Hour
  46. Dan DeaconMystic Familiar
  47. Boldy James / Sterling TolesManger on McNichols
  48. King KruleMan Alive!
  49. Denzel Curry & Kenny BeatsUnlocked
  50. Dope BodyHome Body

Steve Erickson: The Best in 2020 Music

24 December 2020

Steve Erickson: The Best in 2020 Music, as published by Gay City News

[see also 2019]

The Wild Honey Pie: Top 30 Albums of 2020

23 December 2020

The Wild Honey Pie: Top 30 Albums of 2020

[see also 2010s, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016]

  1. Phoebe BridgersPunisher
  2. WaxahatcheeSaint Cloud
  3. Sylvan EssoFree Love
  4. Andy ShaufThe Neon Skyline
  5. HaimWomen in Music Pt. III
  6. AnjimileGiver Taker
  7. SamiaThe Baby
  8. GrimesMiss Anthropocene
  9. Fleet FoxesShore
  10. Half WaifThe Caretaker
  11. The StrokesThe New Abnormal
  12. Adrianne Lenkersongs
  13. Fenne LilyBreach
  14. orion sunHold Space For Me
  15. Becca MancariThe Greatest Part
  16. Laura MarlingSong for Our Daughter
  17. Perfume GeniusSet My Heart on Fire Immediately
  18. Frances QuinlanLikewise
  19. Christian Lee HutsonBeginners
  20. Taylor SwiftFolklore
  21. ela minusacts of rebellion
  22. Dan CrollGrand Plan
  23. Car Seat HeadrestMaking a Door Less Open
  24. Lido PimientaMiss Colombia
  25. Fiona AppleFetch the Bolt Cutters
  26. BeneeHey u x
  27. PorchesRicky Music
  28. Empress OfI'm Your Empress Of
  29. Charli XCXhow I'm feeling now
  30. Told SlantPoint The Flashlight and Walk

Magnet: Top 25 Albums of 2020

23 December 2020

Magnet Magazine: Top 25 Albums of 2020

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. The StrokesThe New Abnormal
  2. Porridge RadioEvery Bad
  3. Guided By VoicesSurrender Your Poppy Field
  4. Guided By VoicesMirrored Aztec
  5. Guided By VoicesStyles We Paid For
  6. Adrianne Lenkersongs
  7. Adrianne Lenkerinstrumentals
  8. Jeff ParkerSuite for Max Brown
  9. Drive-By TruckersThe Unraveling
  10. Drive-By TruckersThe New OK
  11. Thao & the Get Down Stay DownTemple
  12. The Flaming LipsAmerican Head
  13. Lydia LovelessDaughter
  14. The BethsJump Rope Gazers
  15. Old 97’sTwelfth
  16. ActressKarma & Desire
  17. Kathleen EdwardsTotal Freedom
  18. The MicrophonesMicrophones in 2020
  19. SaultUntitled (Black Is)
  20. SaultUntitled (Rise)
  21. Nada SurfNever Not Together
  22. ColoramaChaos Wonderland
  23. Courtney Marie AndrewsOld Flowers
  24. Fontaines D.C.A Hero's Death
  25. Cut WormsNobody Lives Here Anymore
  26. Jehnny BethTo Love Is to Live
  27. The Mountain GoatsSongs for Pierre Chuvin
  28. The Mountain GoatsGetting Into Knives
  29. Bill CallahanGold Record
  30. The Lees Of MemoryMoon Shot
  31. Rolling Blackouts Coastal FeverSideways to New Italy