All Articles

Top albums of 2020.

I listen to a lot of music, always have. At some point in 2019, I started a Google Doc to capture quick reviews and my thoughts on new-to-me albums. This became a positive feedback loop as I found myself actively seeking albums I hadn’t listened to yet. In 2020, I listened to 230 albums that were new to me. 70 of those were released 2020.

So, with that, here are my top 5 of 2020:

  1. Daniel Romano. All of his 2020 releases. I can’t pick just 1 out of the 10 (+?) releases he’s had in 2020. If I gave each album a shot at my top 5, they’d fill at least 4 of the spots. I’ll just list a few here: How Ill They World Is Ordered, Dandelion, White Flag, Content To Point The Way, Okay Wow.
  2. The Nude Party - Midnight Manor. Kind of brash, kind of punk rock, kind of Americana. These guys have a couple other really great albums as well.
  3. Joey Alexander - Warna. I’m still in awe of this kid. And I say kid, he won his first Grammy at 13! This album is released at age 17 and is on rotation in our household.
  4. Brent Cobb - Keep ‘Em On They Toes. This is comfortable southern music. My other favorite of his is Shine On Rainy Day, and this one is well in line.
  5. Cordovas - Destiny Hotel. Groovin’ Americana. I totally get the Grateful Dead references. This feels like a well produced, commercial output of seasoned jam band, a-la the Dead’s American Beauty.

And to round out the year, here are my top 5 non-2020-but-new-to-me-in-2020 albums:

  1. More Daniel Romano. Seriously. I first heard about this guy in 2020 and he’s got an epic catalog.
  2. Caleb Hawley - Side 1 / Side 2 (2014). Great tracks, great voice, great production. Dude’s got some other good stuff, but this pair is the winner for me.
  3. Robert Ellis - Texas Piano Man (2019). I may be biased growing up in Texas, but some of the tracks on this album totally hit it. As the title suggests, there are certainly some Elton John vibes mixed into this Americana rocker.
  4. Willie Colon - The Hustler (1968). This style has been foreign to me, but it quickly captured my attention when I first heard it, and I’ve been digging it ever since.
  5. The Dip - The Dip Delivers (2019). Soul, funk, groove, galore. I hate to say I’ve been less than enthusiastic about their other releases, but this one really flows.

Happy listening!