Nightman Listens To The Best Albums Of 2020 (album list)!

No photo description available.
Yes, it’s another bad photo by me. But I like it.

Greetings, Glancers! I’ve had a bit of a think about how to best go about this new series. I’ve picked a number of ‘respectable’ publications and I’m going to pick their top FIVE albums of 2020 to listen to and share my thoughts. I’m also taking Billboard’s top five selling albums of the year. Where there is any overlap, I’ll move on to the 6th pick, or 7th pick etc. What that should leave me with is 25 new albums for me to listen to over the course of this year.

These are going to be different reviews from my usual posts. Typically in my Nightman Listens posts, I listen to the album once, frantically typing my thoughts before each song ends. It’s not the best way to gauge quality or solidify my own opinions. But it’s fast and allows me to get through a lot. In my Marillion posts, I’m listening to each album multiple times until I am happy to write something meaningful, or until I get sick of it – though I’m still going song by song. Writing an entry for each song feels like I’m constrained and forced into repetition or finding something to say about a song that I don’t have many feelings on or words to use. With these 2020 posts, I’ll be a little more loose and write only about the songs which stood out in a positive or negative way, with a summary about my feelings on the album as a whole. I don’t anticipate that I’ll due much journalistic due diligence around the album or artist details – what prompted the album, who the band members are, any of the surrounding context which a good reviewer absolutely should talk about. If I particularly enjoy an album I’ll do that naturally, or maybe I’ll be curious about a particular person or song and want to delve deeper. We. Will. See.

The publications I have chosen are:

NME: Because it was once upon a time the foremost in good British music journalism and opinion. Is it still? No idea.

BBC: Because I’m British and they probably will pick a mixture of commercial and curio.

Rolling Stone: Because it’s a mixture of BBC and NME, but with a US slant.

Kerrang: Because I wanted some Metal. Or rock.

Best Selling: Because critics and reviewers often disagree, and I want the popular vote too.

There are a lot of other publications I could have selected – Pitchfork, Metal Hammer, Metacritic, or been more genre specific. But these are the ones I’ve nailed down and am sticking with.

Below are the albums each publication has selected. I’m listing their Top Fives first. Where there is duplication I will follow up with a second list, adding one further entry from that publication’s chart. Then at the bottom, I’m giving the final list of what I will be listening to, in alphabetical order (and that’s the order I’m going to listen and post by) alongside my immediate brief thoughts on the artist.

NME:

5: Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher

4: The Strokes: The New Abnormal

3: Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

2: Taylor Swift: Folklore

1: Run The Jewels: RTJ4

BBC: They actually didn’t go with a Top five, just a rambling post mentioning some albums.

5: Fiona Apple: Fetch The Bolt Cutters

4: Chloe X Halle: Ungodly Hour

3: Bob Dylan: Rough And Rowdy Ways

2: Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine

1: Perfume Genius: Set My Heart On Fire Immediately

Rolling Stone:

5: Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

4: Bob Dylan: Rough And Rowdy Ways

3: Bad Bunny: YHLQMDLG

2: Fiona Apple: Fetch The Bolt Cutters

1: Taylor Swift: Folklore

Kerrang:

5: Enter Shikari: Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible

4: Ghostmane: Anti-Icon

3: Deftones: Ohms

2: Biffy Clyro: A Celebration Of Endings

1: Code Orange: Underneath

Best Selling:

5: Taylor Swift: Folklore

4: Fine Lines: Harry Styles

3: Roddy Ricch: Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial

2: Lil Baby: My Turn

1: Post Malone: Hollywood’s Bleeding.

And now, the list updated to remove duplicates:

NME:

5: Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher

4: The Strokes: The New Abnormal

3: Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

2: Taylor Swift: Folklore

1: Run The Jewels: RTJ4

BBC:

5: Fiona Apple: Fetch The Bolt Cutters

4: Chloe X Halle: Ungodly Hour

3: Bob Dylan: Rough And Rowdy Ways

2: Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine

1: Perfume Genius: Set My Heart On Fire Immediately

Rolling Stone:

5: Lady Gaga: Chromatica

4: Jessie Ware: What’s Your Pleasure?

3: Lil Uzi Vert: Eternal Atake

2: Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud

1: Bad Bunny: YHLQMDLG

Kerrang:

5: Enter Shikari: Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible

4: Ghostmane: Anti-Icon

3: Deftones: Ohms

2: Biffy Clyro: A Celebration Of Endings

1: Code Orange: Underneath

Best Selling:

5: Pop Smoke: Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon

4: Fine Lines: Harry Styles

3: Roddy Ricch: Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial

2: Lil Baby: My Turn

1: Post Malone: Hollywood’s Bleeding

And finally, the posting order with some basic pleasantries:

  1. Bad Bunny: YHLQMDLG (I have never heard of this person or thing)

2. Biffy Clyro: A Celebration Of Endings (I’ve seen them live a couple of times, and yet I’ve never cared to listen to a single album and I doubt I could name a single song)

3. Bob Dylan: Rough And Rowdy Ways (I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a full Dylan album run through. But I just can’t get past his voice)

4. Chloe X Halle: Ungodly Hour (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Code Orange: Underneath (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Deftones: Ohms (Was never a fan, always seemed to droning and moaning and, well, shit)

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia (She’s a Liverpool fan, right?)

Enter Shikari: Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible (Same with Biffy Clyro, except I don’t think I’ve seen this lot live).

Fiona Apple: Fetch The Bolt Cutters (I don’t think I’ve listened to a Fiona Apple song since the 90s. Except that one time on mushrooms one of my mates was trying to teach me to remember the full name of that really long album title she has. I failed, and ended up chatting to a scarecrow instead).

Ghostmane: Anti-Icon (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Harry Styles: Fine Lines (One of the boys from One Direction, right?)

Jessie Ware: What’s Your Pleasure? (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Lady Gaga: Chromatica (I’ve always viewed her as a B Grade Sia, without actually giving her the time of day. Maybe I’m wrong).

Lil Baby: My Turn (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Lil Uzi Vert: Eternal Atake (I have never heard of this person or thing – why do so many, I’m assuming, rappers have ‘Lil’ as part of their name? Is there a genuine story behind this? Because it makes you all sound like dicks. Lil Dicks.)

Perfume Genius: Set My Heart On Fire Immediately (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Pop Smoke: Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Post Malone: Hollywood’s Bleeding (I have heard of this person or thing, but don’t think I could name a single song)

Roddy Ricch: Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine (I may have seen her live, maybe with Moloko? A colleague of my wife has claimed that my wife looks like young Roisin Murphy. Yay?)

Run The Jewels: RTJ4 (I have never heard of this person or thing)

Taylor Swift: Folklore (It looks like I’m finally hopping on this bandwagon then. I’m aware that she’s meant to be this person that everyone can admit to liking – like, ooh I’m a hipster but Taylor Swift is cool, or ooh I’m a seven year old girl and want to be Taylor Swift, or ooh I’m a big scary metal guy but Taylor Swift is baddass. Based on the few songs I’ve heard by her, my opinion has been ooh, I’m not a fucking knob and Taylor Swift makes shite music. But again, maybe I’m wrong).

The Strokes: The New Abnormal (When these boys first hit the big time, I was a lone dissenting voice. Couldn’t stand the vocals, the lack of variety and creativity alarmed me to the point that I genuinely believed everyone praising them for such had gone insane. Maybe they have grown beyond hitting the same three chords with the same rhythm in the last 20 years).

Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud (I have never heard of this person or thing)

There you have it. Which of the above albums do my more musical followers approve of or recommend? Are there any albums from 2020 not included above that I should definitely hear? Let us know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Nightman Listens To The Best Albums Of 2020 (album list)!

    • carlosnightman January 27, 2021 / 12:28 pm

      Damn notification failures. He was nameless. Ageless

  1. annebutcher January 27, 2021 / 2:11 am

    Looking forward to some of your thoughts! Definitely a lot of stuff here that’s not really meant for rock/metal fans so it might be kind of a steep learning curve though. I know I found a lot of these to be the sort of “puzzling at first, but grows on you later” kind of albums (Fetch the Bolt Cutters and Punisher for example).

Tell it like it is!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.