I’ve been trying to think of something profound to say about 2020 as an introduction to this post, a wrap up of the rest of my month-by-month album reviews of the year, something I started during the first lockdown, and in synergy to how this pandemic has gone; those posts started with much fluster, meandered, and has now come back with renewed enthusiasm, and a new string (strain) to its bow. The new strings in this post are simply a more rushed approach to getting these album reviews done, or simply sharing what albums I enjoyed listening to each month, much like the UK governments approach to getting the Pfizer vaccine approved, or quickly hashing out a last minute trade deal with the EU.
In truth, there’s a reason why these album review posts have stopped and started, and I’m now doing a multiple month wrap up post… I’ve struggled. I’ve never felt as lost and unsure about my future as I have done now, and as 2020 gave me more opportunities to reflect and refocus, it also left me with plenty of anxiety. I’ve gone through waves of feeling positive and productive, to just giving up. Periods where I’ve enjoyed my own company, as I always have done, to hating it and wanting nothing more than ever to go to a gig with friends, or to be back in a busy office chatting to now former colleagues.
Some things will never be the same, but I’ve learnt that you cannot control the situation, but only how you react to it. I’ve learnt to appreciate what I have in my life more, and as the new year comes around, a new sense of optimism has lurked its unlikely head. Whatever you think of new year resolutions, or ‘new year, new me’ social media posts, any opportunity, whether that be a new week, month or year, where you set out intentions to be a better person should be celebrated; just be realistic with them.
I’m not sure if that’s the profoundness I was looking for, or simply covering the basics – sometimes I need to remind my partner to drink more water, as she teaches me how to load a dishwasher correctly.
As previously mentioned, I’d started to look back through my five favourite albums in each month earlier in the year, and worked my way through from January to May – you can check out those posts at the bottom of this one. It became apparent to me that writing reviews wasn’t something that I enjoyed doing – in short form anyways. I felt like I was regurgitating the same words I’m sure hundreds of journalists and bloggers had said already. So instead, and by nature of doing seven months in one post, I’ll just pick out some albums from each month from June to December that I really enjoyed, and therefore wrapping up my full month-to-month albums of the year list – I’d hate to leave something undone.
2020 brought about so many challenges to each and everyone one of us, and in music we were given a brief respite to the events surrounding us. In the albums that I’ve picked in previous months, and the ones listed below – each one offers something to the context in which they were delivered. Whether that be escapism, poignancy or a brief reminder that beautiful things still exist. Check out my favourite albums month-by-month, from June until December below;
Run the Jewels – RTJ4
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
Lamb of God – Lamb of God
Phoxjaw – Royal Swan
Juice WRLD – Legends Never Die
The Streets – None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive
Taylor Swift – folklore
Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
Creeper – Sex, Death & the Infinite Void
Willie J Healy – Twin Heavy
BRONSON – BRONSON
Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings
PVRIS – Use Me
Everything Everything – Re-Animator
Doves – The Universal Want
Marilyn Manson – WE ARE CHAOS
Movements – No Good Left To Give
Idles – Ultra Mono
Deftones – Ohms
Touche Amore – Lament
Nothing But Thieves – Moral Panic
Fairhazel – I Sold My Soul For Fairhazel
Bring Me the Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror
Puscifer – Existential Reckoning
Aesop Rock – Spirit World Field Guide
Fever 333 – Wrong Generation
Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts
grandson – Death Of An Optimist
YUNGBLUD – weird!
Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon III: The Chosen
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and let me know some of your favourite albums of the year in the comments. Check out my picks from previous months, January to May, below;
January – Poppy, Mac Miller, Mura Masa, J Hus, Dune Rats
February – Loathe, Tame Impala, The Amity Affliction, Grimes, Ozzy Osbourne
March – Code Orange, Porridge Radio, The Weeknd, Pearl Jam, Milk Teeth
April – The Strokes, Enter Shikari, Fiona Apple, Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes, The Used
May – Boston Manor, Hayley Williams, Perfume Genius, Yung Lean, Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist