The Flaming Lips love grand concepts. This is El Conejo Malo’s world domination — and now we’ve had front-row seats. “Ooh La La” and its accompanying video showcased Killer Mike and El-P’s fun side, whereas “JU$T” battled injustice. The ingredients of Alfredo are familiar, but they’ve never been as potent or well-matched. But the Grammy-nominated album is the greatest distillation to date of these two singular talents, with their collaboration enhancing one another’s strengths. In essence, it’s been the band’s ultimate challenge for decades: seamlessly melding their arty atmospherics and eight-string metal intensity. This year was an exercise in being dressed up with nowhere to go, but Jessie Ware edged us toward the dance floor anyway with her mirrorball-blessed fourth album, started her career in dance music, Ware swapping power ballads for beats isn’t a totally unexpected side-step. Apple’s lighthearted yet confrontational songs made a terrible year a little easier to process. LS Read the full review. Our Love was Caribou’s most commercially successful album to date, even landing a Grammy nomination. Plus, it’s likely the only 2020 rap album that builds a haunting loop around a sample from the ’70s Swedish prog-rock band Zamla Mammaz Manna. LS Read the full review. - L.S. This time, No one’s ever accused Samuel T. Herring of being unfeeling, and the, L.A.’s bassist extraordinaire has done it all — hardcore, yacht rock, jazz, soul, you name it. LS Read the full review. That could also be said for dusting off previous collaborator and notorious recluse Zack de la Rocha. Perfume Genius and Dua Lipa had us dancing in our homes, Thundercat and Angelica Garcia dug deep to reach new heights, and long-running acts like the Strokes, AC/DC, and Stephen Malkmus reminded us that rock isn't dead. Apple’s lighthearted yet confrontational songs made a terrible year a little easier to process. A little bit of Nashville and Southern rock seems to have been good for her soul. The standout track, the anthemic Wildfire, is pulled from the headlines – with George Floyd’s death and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests haunting every line. The album emerged out of Daniel’s anger with the Trump presidency and his desire to avoid creating “‘angry white guy’ music in a purely reactive mode.” What he created instead is a luxuriant deep house odyssey, percolating and humming with drones, bells, murmuring voices, twinkling piano and even some live saxophone. Dylan turns 80 next year, but he’s still raising the bar for American song. Savage’s voice is still one of the best in contemporary rap: withering, jaded, but slicked with dark humour. “Less of who I am for you in case I offend you,” she rued on the song LINE, pledging to be alone instead. Robin Pecknold surprise-released the sweeping Shore as the seasons turned, with his music at its most assured and his lyrics touching a newfound optimism. Nothing could’ve swept this monumental release under the rug. 19. – R.R. But the response to. The stakes become entirely her own. Having started her career in dance music, Ware swapping power ballads for beats isn’t a totally unexpected side-step. Paramore’s Hayley Williams has been inching toward a solo career for nearly a decade. Released in March, Colores won best urban album at the 2020 Latin Grammys, and scored the Colombian superstar a No. The mafia-themed, isn’t a radical departure from anything either has done before. – Daniel Kohn. –, Bartees Strange finally broke through, earning universal acclaim in a terrible year where artists struggled more than ever. On the fluttering “bloodstream,” Sophie Allison grapples with an inexplicable inability to remain happy. If that means facing the apocalypse, as Bridgers does over the cacophonous apex of closing track “I Know the End,” rest assured that there’s no artist better suited to burn it down and start again. 2 on the, 200, but it’s also a creative leap for reggaetón itself. The 50 Best Albums of 2020: Staff Picks. (Find our 100 Best Songs of 2020 list here.) It’s as much fun hearing him sing about the powers of headgear on “Dragonball Durag” as it is watching him try to charm the pants off folks in the video. The Best Indie Albums Of 2020. by: UPROXX Music Twitter December 4, 2020. Dead bodies are largely swapped out for more bands and women, as homicides are in the rearview. LS Read the full review. On Descendants of Cain, his storytelling remains gruff and rich with detail, his matter-of-fact lyricism full of unflinching wisdom (“Never marinate on beef you don’t plan on finishing,” he growls on “Patron Saints”) and his grainy production more complex than ever. 2 peak on the Top Latin Albums chart. Calling to mind the insularity of John Carroll Kirby’s work with Solange and Eddie Chacon, Forever, Ya Girl spirals around murky thickets of R&B, harmonised incantations and stilted beats that mustered a sense of off-kilter propulsion. A mix of innocence and sophistication distinguishes this R&B gem, their vocal rhapsodies catching on coy bass lines and barbed percussion. LS Read the full review. Many songs were played at the protests, but none summed up that time (and 2020 as a whole) quite like RTJ4. BBT Read the full review. If that means facing the apocalypse, as Bridgers does over the cacophonous apex of closing track “I Know the End,” rest assured that there’s no artist better suited to burn it down and start again. Those expecting another Paramore album were thrown for a loop —, ) all over again. LS Read the full review. Nigerian pop continued to establish itself more firmly on the international stage in 2020 with successful albums by Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Tems and more. There are frequent pleas for better communication and reciprocity, likely to comfort anyone gaslighted into thinking, “Is it just me?” But when the connection works, it really works, as evinced by the numerous rapturous slow jams. Ammar Kalia Read more. Following the 2018 death of his close friend Mac Miller, Stephen Bruner channeled grief into his music. On their third album and first masterpiece, Haim sound like a band who took their eyes off the prize and found it at their feet. – Tatiana Tenreyro, The Flaming Lips love grand concepts. Savage Mode II is the aural equivalent of watching black Air Forces step out of a Wraith. couldn’t be anything but a cheeky wink. Near-loss becomes as harrowing as outright loss: “Tired of Tears” (which most directly addresses his daughter’s struggle) is Stainthorpe growing weary of gloom and mourning, despite it being his very group’s life force. We count down to number one, with entries from Soccer Mommy, Run The Jewels, HAIM and Moses Sumney. From the singsong chorus of Tomorrow to the twanging riff of John Cooper Clarke, the melodies are insistent and prodding, set to unleash a poorly coordinated army of robot dancers when indie discos reopen. feels like a pre-pandemic fever dream. Yet this is not weary resignation: for an artist who has been in constant metamorphosis, such acceptance feels revelatory. He blends his bleeding-heart baritone with delicate synth washes and New Order-worthy bass lines, compelling us with sheer charisma to consider the weight of each word as he delves into heady topics like body dysmorphia, romantic refuse and self-worth. When it does, it’s not to recalibrate the fractured relationships with helpless lovers and fathers, but in more fleeting escapes: the tender country hum of Graceland Too narrates a story taking MDMA, looking at the moon and driving to Graceland, finding salvation in the illusion. Darren Cunningham cements his place as one of the great poets of club culture, spanning glacial ambient, UK garage, Larry Heard-ish deep house, bumping techno and high-speed rave, all rendered in monochrome, dirtied watercolours. Lyrically, it’s steeped in imagery drawn from the present moment. And so Róisín Machine turns the thrill of the chase into a generator for self-sufficiency. The Soft Pink Truth – Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? As the pandemic turned the world upside down nine months ago, many musicians and their livelihoods were heavily impacted. Guest vocals can be either gnomic (“destiny is stuck in heaven blowing nitro”, Zsela intones) or collapsing (Sampha’s corrupted cries), though Loveless’s chorus of “don’t you want to know me better?” makes for his best earworm since 2010’s Maze. Facebook Twitter Flipboard uproxx.it. But that doesn’t account for the skill with which Sawayama picks her way through her formative musical loves, and how adept she is at arranging them as dynamically explosive contrasts. Me & You Together Song vibrates with naivety, a vision of uncomplicated romance and unrelentingly Tiggerish indie-pop that remains insistently in the moment, swapping introspection for admiration. Calling on heavyweights like industry favorite Jeff Bhasker and mega-producer Stuart Price, Lipa found escapism through dance-friendly jams. It takes a good 20 minutes to offer its first bout of release (the flirtatious boogie of Shellfish Mademoiselle), priming the pumps for Murphy to enter her formidable euphoric stride: industrial funk trailing seedy lounge fantasies, pizzicato strings and screaming disco house. Soft rock’s poet laureate returned with one of his strongest sets yet, with the coldwave chill that arrived on Ken (2017) now getting right into his bones. Calling on heavyweights like industry favorite Jeff Bhasker and mega-producer Stuart Price, Lipa found escapism through dance-friendly jams. The album emerged out of Daniel’s anger with the Trump presidency and. The suburban iconography in her songs takes on a supernatural aura – going to the store “for nothing” while high on speed; being wasted on someone’s front lawn – and her keen sense of irony is undercut by the yearning to believe in something. Bad Bunny turns bossa-nova classic “The Girl From Ipanema” into ‘90s Nintendo trap; blasts eardrums with the rock ending of “Hablamos Mañana;” gets dirty with Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow on sonic mash-up “Safaera;” and dresses up in drag for women’s autonomy in the “Yo Perreo Sola” video. Considering the dramatic origins of her third album – lupus, a kidney transplant, splitting from Justin Bieber and the Weeknd, rehab for her mental health – Gomez could justifiably have released an hour of equally high-intensity bloodletting, but Rare abides by the maxim “when it’s hot, write it cold”. – R.R. The Lemon Twigs - Songs For The General Public, Long Island siblings Brian and Michael D’Addario were born in the late ‘90s but have mastered the ornate, melodic sound of ‘70s rock so well that they’ve earned the approval of Todd Rundgren and Elton John.