Top 100 Music Albums of 2020 by DommeDamian (2021)

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90/100

Punk revivalism at its finest

Rock music is dead, so let it rest. But sub-cultures and the spirit lives on. That you can catch in the punk album of the decade, Less Life by Died. This is actually a "rock" album worth writing home about.
[First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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Rank Score:
79
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90/100 [First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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Rank Score:
354
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90/100 [First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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1,040
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85/100

Eminem has finally looked past his haters and internet critics and made an album where he is having a lot of fun with what he do best; supremely masterful rhymes, unpredictable flows, cocky uncle-attitude without loosing potency.
[First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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8
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85/100

Phil Elverum philosophizing over his life and musical career for 44 minutes, surprisingly intimate and mature, yet reminiscing of the childlike playfulness that made it all so worth it.

"Elverum resurrected the moniker Microphones for the 45-minute long song of Microphones in 2020 (2020), a profound and introspective analysis of his own life, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The song takes forever to begin, repeating the same chords for several minutes, as if to create a state of trance. After 13 minutes, the drums kick in, and after 16 the electric guitar unleashes a spasmodic glissando, and after 22 it emits a tidal fuzz; but the song continues, with the same calm and austere melody. When the vocals finally stop, a sea of tinkling keyboards takes over, perhaps signaling a pause of nostalgic recollections that cannot be expressed with words. Then Elverum resumes the same guitar chords and continues his story, with more interruptions but stubbornly anchored to his melody, until the last whisper." - Scaruffi, 7/10; apparently one scale higher than The Glow Pt 2.
[First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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359
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85/100

Gorillaz are back, baby!
[First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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Rank Score:
547
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85/100 [First added to this chart: 07/13/2021]
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2020
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Rank Score:
71
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80/100

Shawn broke the cycle. In two ways. For one, he broke the cycle of either making completely fiery bangers or disgraceful hellish pop music, by having at least a few "average-good" songs here. And two, he broke the "white-guy-with-acoustic-guitar" archetype by trying to compose a bit more of an artistic record with Wonder. Now it isn't too artistic may I say, but I need to state that by October 2021, I have been listening to this album at least once a week in all of 2021. At least 60 times in total; it's my go-to album at the moment. And I actually don't have an idea to why. But I'll get into the songs now.

Intro - atmospheric beginning with an extraordinary piano-reverb and Shawn singing pretty. When the synthesizer comes on, it's hard not to think of it as misplaced in sound, but just as hard not to get eerie feels.

Wonder - some people might call this song cheesy, but I reject that as something negative. The concerns Mendes wonders about is very humane, and he delivers the verses with them conversationally smooth. As the chorus comes on (WONDER what it's LIKE to be loved by YOU), it's the opposite of over-produced; the instruments that could have done that, are swimming through the ocean of the choir. After the second chorus, the instrumentation feels like jumping from star to star.

Higher - ooooooouuuggghhhhh MAAAAAAN. Higher. Fucking Higher. This song. Yeah. This song here is special. To put it in perspective (although it still doesn't do justice imo), this song literally scaled my entire journey of listening to music. After experiencing everything about this song (the rhythm, the lines, the subject matter, the voice, the harmony, the structure, the melodic organization, the production, the beginning and end, the vocal range, the groove, the song length), I've re-ranked 85% of my listened music, and 80% of my perfect scores (100/100s) are gone. I've heard this song at least 50 times a month since the album dropped.
Song of the decade (alongside Gorillaz' Desole), and one of my favorite songs of all time.

24 Hours - took me a while to like, but now I think it's one of his better ballads. I just really dig the lyrical portrait of marriage.

Teach Me How To Love - a little lighthearted attempt at being sexy in a sugary way, but some elements of the song (like the staccato guitar or the "teach me teach me teach me how to looove" refrain) are unskippable. Also, instead of saying "Effing me up" he should say "messing me up", maybe that's too much a detail but I always think of it when I hear it.

Call My Friends - this song reminds me of some of the best tunes of M83's Hurry Up We're Dreaming, in terms of relationship, wall of synth, and 80s aesthetic. I really like it.

Dream - this is atmospheric dream pop at its most sophisticated. The flow of the instrumentation is top freaking notch. The misty introduction and the synth in the chorus actually fits greater than in the intro track. And those drums are something else, especially with the emotional solo on top of it at the end, right before the otherworldly finger-picked guitar that closes out this ear-blesser.

Song For No One - now this is somewhat lackluster. The songwriting is a little unfocused, the musicianship isn't fleshed out, melodiousness is virtually drowning itself, and the sleigh bells in the supposed "gun punch" of the song, reeeallly undersells it. The third verse as well as the relatable "Ten missed calls, a couple texts / None of them are who I'm lookin' for" [albeit, it's a very bad idea to check your phone once you wake up, or just before going to sleep], saves it from utter embarrassment and being adverse, but this is filler. Shouldn't have been on here.

Monster - I can totally see why Spectrum Pulse consider this the absolute worst song here, both in terms of musicality and the marketing behind it. However those lyrical merits, and the catchy hook, and Bieber shockingly not being underwhelming on his feature, does enough for me.

305 - this was my first favorite song on the album. And I still love it very much, especially the soothing background choir in the chorus is magical. Mendes, being in his lower range, both brings the songwriting an authentic, and the overall joint (in contrast to the remaining of Wonder) an outstanding longevity.

Always Been You - the one big disaster on Wonder. None of the lines are memorable, Shawn undersells the performance, the hook is weak, and worst of all, that unlistenable synth that is both completely unnecessary, very try-hard, and on of top of that, mixed too loud. I have deleted that song off my iTunes/iPod.

Piece of You - this song also took me a while to get into, but I find the concise rhythm in the groove and Mendes' verses too well-written to unlove.

Look Up At The Stars - a mixture of a sweet lullaby, a top-class pop ballad and a potent song expressing a majestic state of mind. It's indie folk bracing, until the rest of the musicianship comes in and it's just as wholesome (normally when the remaining instruments kick in, it will damage the vibe, but no no no not this time at all). "Somehow you always seem to understand / So let me spend the night in wonderland with you" is obviously referring to his tour with fans, but I also look at it as meeting a potential significant other and having the best night of your lives together, any possible way. It simultaneously contains one of the greatest melodic turns in Mendes' catalog, which is really saying something.

Can't Imagine - a pleasant ender to the album. It's aiming at Beatles' Blackbird and it doesn't touch it at all, as well as the repeated lyrics makes it seem a little lost, but I still prefer listening to this lullaby than most singer songwriter stuff of these years.

Great album! I hope the concert in March will be too.
[First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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5
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80/100

Ride a horse in the moon of your dreams.
This reminds me a bit of Rise of The Guardians movie, dream sweet dreams.
[First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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Rank Score:
510
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80/100

Neat aquatic stuff, surreal to meditate to at times.
[First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Year of Release:
2020
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Rank Score:
230
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Total albums: 100. Page 1 of 10

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Top 100 Music Albums of 2020 composition

Artist Albums %


Jack Harlow 2 2%
Taylor Swift 2 2%
Eminem 2 2%
The Avalanches 1 1%
Fiona Apple 1 1%
Redveil 1 1%
Laura Marling 1 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 63 63%
United Kingdom 13 13%
Canada 7 7%
Mixed Nationality 4 4%
Denmark 3 3%
Australia 3 3%
New Zealand 1 1%
Show all

Top 100 Music Albums of 2020 chart changes

Biggest climbers
Climber Up 1 from 6th to 5th
Microphones In 2020
by The Microphones
Climber Up 1 from 5th to 4th
Music To Be Murdered By Side B
by Eminem
Biggest fallers
Faller Down 2 from 4th to 6th
Song Machine: Season One
by Gorillaz

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Top 100 Music Albums of 2021 by DommeDamian (2021)

Top 100 Music Albums of 2020 ratings

Average Rating: 
86/100 (from 1 vote)
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10/10/2021 21:58 Rhyner  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,29199/100

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