My Favorite Albums Released in 2020

Anyone who knows me gets that music has always been the way to my heart. Whether I just want to vibe, feel super stressed, or need to relax, listening to music gives me an outlet to express how I'm feeling. Although 2020 has been a confusing year overall, I am glad that many of my favorite artists released albums that I can enjoy during these hectic times.

1. Rare by Selena Gomez

Gomez started off my 2020 with the release of Rare. Lyrically, this is a more personal and vulnerable album overall. Gomez is showing her fans a side of herself that she started to explore in her previous album Revival. My favorite songs off this album are “Vulnerable,” and “People You Know.”

2. Manic by Halsey

In her third studio album, Halsey released Manic. Although it's another personal album for a female artist, she demonstrated herself as a powerful songwriter with her lyrics. Halsey has never been afraid of being honest in her music. She has a talent for creating beautiful imagery in her lyrics, as well as conveying what she feels when she sings about her personal life. I highly would recommend listening to “Finally // beautiful stranger,” and “3am” if you have not checked out her music yet.

3. Walls by Louis Tomlinson

January 31 was such an amazing day for me. I do not recall what I had in terms of homework or readings that weekend, but I do remember that Louis Tomlinson released his debut album that I had been waiting for literal years to listen to. In case you were living under a rock, Louis Tomlinson was a member of One Direction, one of the biggest boy-bands of our time. Until their indefinite hiatus in 2016, he had the most song-writing credits out of any other member in the group, making his debut album feel very special.

A year before Walls was released, Tomlinson posted on his Instagram account that he would “make music [he] loves and make [his] fans proud to say they’re a fan.” He wasn't just chasing a radio record, but actually wanted his music to be appreciated by his fans, a very different thought process compared to other artists in the industry. If you have not listened to any of his songs before, I can assure you that Walls has a song you will love. My favorites of the album are the title track “Walls,” “Only the Brave,” and “Defenceless.” I have had this album on repeat since it was released, and I would highly recommend checking it out.

4. Heartbreak Weather by Niall Horan

If you could not tell from the previous album, I love One Direction. All the members are now solo artists, and I love listening to the different types of music they are all creating their post-band days. At the beginning of March, Niall Horan released Heartbreak Weather right when quarantine started. I remember listening to this album while I packed up to come home for spring break, not knowing what would happen next.

This album takes you throughout the journey of a relationship. Horan emphasized on a release statement from Capitol Records that the album is, “is nearly a concept album. [Horan] wanted to write these songs from the start of a relationship through to the end — and from different sides — instead of every song being quite sad and all about [him].” In my opinion, this album flew under the radar due to its release date and continues to be very underrated. Regardless, if you want to discover some new songs, I would tell you to check out “Black and White,” “Everywhere,” and “Cross Your Mind.”

5. CALM by 5 Seconds of Summer

Another album that was released during the beginning of quarantine was CALM, by 5 Seconds of Summer. As their fourth studio album, in my eyes, it is the best they have released yet. I did not know what to expect before listening to it, because the singles prior to the release of the album all had different sounds. In their previous three albums, all the other members also had singing parts, but this album focuses on Luke Hemmings, the lead vocalist of the band. With the exception of "Wildflower," (entirely sung by bassist Calum Hood) Hemmings is the lead, but he fantastically conveys all the emotion behind the lyrics. 

Personally, I would say CALM is another underrated album that deserves so much more love, and is one to check out if you have never listened to 5 Seconds of Summer before. If you want to feel particularly nostalgic about your childhood, I would recommend “Old Me,” as well as “Red Desert,” and “Lover of Mine.”