top 10 albums OF 2020
This was the year of the global pandemic, the world shut down. Unless you were in a critical field of work like the medical field, you were most likely confined to your home in 2020.
With all that downtime, 2020 saw a huge amount of album releases. A lot of folks have been posting their Top 60 or Top 100 albums of the year. Well, that's just listing all the albums that came out, it's not helping to say which ones you liked best, which ones fans should buy.
Not many folks can afford to buy 60 or 100 albums, so they look to lists to highlight the albums they might like to own. While listing 100 albums ensures that you don't hurt any (Of your friends) feelings, it also doesn't help to reward the best music of the year. At least we narrow it down a bit by limiting it to full albums (Sorry EP's) and Power Pop music.
But, just like the Academy Awards, they have to narrow it down. They don't list every movie that came out last year and say, Here's They Are...The Best Pictures of last year!
At Hop On Power Pop, we have always picked our Top 10 Albums, and recently our Top 10 Songs.
How do you pick 10 from hundreds of albums released this year?
Well, first, for a site like HOP ON POWER POP, they have to fit into the Power Pop genre.
Must be a full album containing more than 6 songs (TRT must exceed 30 mins) EPs aren't full albums but are eligible for the Best Songs List
It must have been released during 2020*
Most of the songs on the album need to fall into the Power Pop genre
Power Pop / another genre albums are acceptable (Example: Power Pop / Indie)
It should not be on a major record label, or promoted by a huge industry. Weezer, Green Day, those guys don't need our help.
Bands or Solo Artist albums only, no compilations
AND MOST OF ALL!
Positions on this list cannot be purchased!
* Re-issues / Re-masterings count especially if the album was not widely known upon it's initial release, or the quality has been markedly improved upon.
Here are the Top 10 ALBUMs of 2020 list!
Hop On Power Pop
(In Alphabetical order, Not Rating order)
We wish we could list every song we liked this year, but there were hundreds of albums, and there's no way to list them all.
Here are some other Favorite Albums of 2020:
(Alphabetical Order by Artist)
DO THE SOB! (Nite S.O.B.) -
It killed us to not include this album in our Top 10 of 2020 list. In fact it would've made it if The Farrington album didn't cross the finish line in the Nth hour. It's so good, fun, happy and poppy especially for an album called Do The Sob! (Complete with tears). This album is a lot like Woke Up In Hollywood, where it's more of a modern take on Power Pop and it wouldn't be hard to see these guys opening for The Killers. Great album.
Favorite Track: I Could Tell You
HEAD ON A SWIVEL (Gary Ritchie) -
First off it should be a crime that a guy like Gary Ritchie not only has the best taste in music, but a huge wall of albums that would make the ending of Raiders Of The Lost Ark look like a closet. But the guy also writes some fun, familiar sounding pop songs too. Really fun album by the nicest man in showbiz.
Favorite Track: Four Letter Word
TOGETHER (The Vapors) -
These guys may take it back to the 80's but they're still delivering great music. It's like blending Power Pop with a retro New Wave vibe, and it feels both regresssive and new at the same time. It probably would have made the Top 10 if it was more Power Pop. Still, highly recommended and I've already turned Japanese.
Favorite Track: Wonderland
THE GET GOS ACTION HOUR! (Paul Melancon) -
A fun album that is very aptly titled, as it feels like one of those old variety shows, The Paul Melancon Variety Hour! The album runs the gamut from Power Pop, Comicon Nerd Music, to slow dramatic pieces. A full variety of moods and emotions.
Favorite Track: Robot World
WISHING ON A DARK STAR (Greg Pope) -
More proof that a lot of good music was released in 2020. Doesn't mean it's all Power Pop, but Greg Pope never disappoints and he's been releasing solid albums since 2011. The aptly named Vacation (From My Vacation) is such a perfect theme for 2020, not that I'd call "mandatory quarantine" a vacation.
Favorite Track: Vacation (From My Vacation)
POP FOSSIL (The Click Beetles) -
Their CD sold out very quickly and it's no surprise since this is their first album since 2014's Wake Up To Music! album. If you put the word "Beetles/Beatles" in your name, no matter how you spell it, you better be ready to deliver some British sounding rock, and Power Pop music and these guys do just that. This album was barely edged out by the lack of spaces in our overpacked Top 10 of 2020 list, but you can be sure it got our attention and love.
Favorite Track: Don't You Call My Name
FACTORY SETTINGS (Pop Co-Op) -
Full of heavy Emitt Rhodes vibes, especially the early years, and 'sthat's a high compliment because it's not from the 70's, it's current. When so many bands are releasing EPs, these guys pump out a 17 track album! Yes, 3 tracls are extras. but I'm looking forward to hearing what else they can bring. Their last release was back in 2017, and this one is even better. I also wonder if the next album will have a Track #3 that starts with talking, and a three word song title, beginning with F and O?
Favorite Track: No Man's Land
SOAK UP THE GRAVY (Emperor Penguin) -
The Emperor Penguin's know how to have fun. From the Go Guitargonauts! comic drenched tune, to the surf vibe of Katie's Only Trending they make sure everything is thoroughly soaked with rich penguin groovy gravy. And if the Lucy In The Sky vibes on Flaming June doesn't trip you out, the rest of the album's got retro vibes a plenty and will have you pressing repeat to soak up every drop.
Favorite Track: You'll Be The Death Of Me
3 (The Weeklings) -
These guys are so Beatle-ley, and that's usually a good thing. But, I also like it best when the songs aren't such obvious nods to The Beatles, like on Change Your Mind. Other than that, it's heavy driven, 60's guitar rock that's a solid soundtrack to accompany a weekend with friends.
Favorite Track: Change Your Mind
DON'T BLAME YOURSELF (Duncan Reid And The Big Heads) -
You know those brands that you buy at the grocery store because there's no surprises, you always know what your going to get? That's exactly like a Duncan Reid & The Big Heads' album, you know what you're getting: high octane, palm muted, Power Pop Rock songs. In this day and age, there's something to be said for consistency.
Favorite Track: To Live Or Live Not
Congratulations to all the musicians who made the list and helped all of us get through the infamy of 2020. If we overlooked your album or song, it's not personal. We tried to distribute the songs on this list across the board, not focusing on one label or one artist in particular, but mainly to shine some light on some of the great music that was released in 2020. You all deserve applause and sales.
Stay safe everyone and KEEP ON POWER POPPING!
Hop On Power Pop