Ethan’s Top 10 Albums of 2020

Image by Ethan Jackson

It’s that time again.

2020 sucked in a lot of ways, but it was also an awesome year for new music whether you like Pop, Rock, or Country, this year was one for the record books. Let’s get into it.

  1. Tickets To My Downfall by Machine Gun Kelly – This record really surprised me. MGK decided to make a Pop Punk/Alternative/Rap fusion record and it ended up being my favorite album of the year. This is a record without a song that you can’t sing along to. Every song is catchy and lends itself to long car rides with friends to sing along with. Machine Gun Kelly teamed up with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker to create one of the best records of 2020 and I can’t wait to see what they do together next. My favorite tracks on the record are “title track,” “forget me too,” and “concert for aliens.”
  2. POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR by Bring Me The Horizon – BMTH spent their downtime during the pandemic writing and recording this killer metal record inspired by the pandemic. Lyrically and sonically, it is one of their best albums to date and blows 2019’s amo out of the water. The band went back to their roots with this album and put out a really aggressive piece of music that was perfect for the year we’ve had. On top of all of that, they put together some of my favorite features of the year including artists like Babymetal, Nova Twins, Yungblud, and Amy Lee from Evanescence. Top songs from this album are “Kingslayer,” “1×1,” and “One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death.”
  3. CMFT by Corey Taylor – Corey Taylor delivered a straight up rock and roll record that doesn’t resemble Slipknot or Stone Sour and I love that. With this solo project he showed off his influences and roots while giving it a bit of that Corey Taylor edge, we all know and love. This record really does have a little bit of something for everyone on it, which is why it’s so difficult to describe. Out of the three records I’ve mentioned thus far, this one has the least features and I kind of like that. While it has less features, “CMFT Must Be Stopped” uses Kid Bookie and Tech N9ne really well. My favorites on this album are “Samantha’s Gone,” “Kansas,” and “CMFT Must Be Stopped.”
  4. Volume 1 & 2 by Smith & Myers – Brent Smith and Zach Myers from the band Shinedown formed this side project back in 2013 and for the first time have released original music. This double album features ten original songs mixed in with ten covers that the fans helped decide on. Volume 1 & 2 are nothing like Shinedown, but they have their own really cool acoustic rock vibe that I really dig. I prefer the original songs over the covers, but I’m still stoked on this double album and can’t wait to see what else they have to offer as a duo in the future. My favorite songs from the double album are “NOT MAD ENOUGH,” “PANIC,” “BAD AT LOVE,” and “NEW SCHOOL SHIVER.”
  5. Ordinary Man by Ozzy Osbourne – When this record first came out, I predicted that it would be my favorite of 2020, but I was a little off. This album from the Prince of Darkness was unexpected. It has a classic Ozzy vibe while being fresh and current. I’m glad Ozzy decided to do this record with Post Malone’s producer, and I can’t wait to hear the next one. My favorite songs from this record are “Ordinary Man,” “Scary Little Green Men,” and “It’s A Raid.”
  6. folklore by Taylor Swift – This might be the best record of 2020, but it lands at number six on my favorites list. Normally I don’t listen to a lot of Pop music, but when this record dropped out of the sky, I gave it a listen, and another, and another, and so on and so forth. It’s a really beautiful record that I have to be in the right mood for, but it has a special place in my heart. My favorites from this one are “exile,” “illicit affairs,” and “mad woman”
  7. POWER UP by AC/DC – Like the new Ozzy record, this one was not one that I expected to get in 2020, but was a really nice surprise. It’s a solid overall record that brings four of the five Back In Black era members back together. Brian kills the vocals and musically it’s classic AC/DC, but at the same time it fits right in with the state of rock music today. My favorite tunes from this record are “Kick You When You’re Down,” “Witch’s Spell,” and “Demon Fire.”
  8. Wake Up, Sunshine by All Time Low – Most people know these guys as the band who wrote “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” but they really proved that they still have what it takes to be a front runner in the Alternative scene with this release. This album takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that’s just a lot of fun to listen to, and it includes the biggest Alternative song of 2020, “Monsters” featuring blackbear. My favorites from this record are “Some Kind of Disaster,” “Melancholy Kaleidoscope,” and “Monsters.”
  9. Father of All… by Green Day – This album was so different from what lifelong Green Day fans had come to expect from them, but that’s what I love about the record. It’s extremely influenced by artists like Prince and Pop music from the 80s, so it makes for a unique album that was really hit or miss amongst fans. I like that they just didn’t decide to do another American Idiot, even though I’m sure Billie Joe Armstrong has plenty of material if they eventually decide to do another politically driven record. My favorites of this release are “Fire, Ready, Aim,” “I Was a Teenage Teenager,” and “Stab You in the Heart.”
  10. WRONG GENERATION by FEVER 333 – This album doesn’t hit as hard as their previous releases, but it was a good chance for them to show us what they could do as a reactionary project. This album was written while the George Floyd protests were taking place over the summer and you can really feel the emotion Jason Aalon Butler puts into the lyrics. Top songs from this record are “BITE BACK,” “BLOCK IS ON FIRE,” and “SUPREMACY.”

There it is, my top records of 2020! I’m looking forward to 2021 as it’s shaping up to be another huge year with albums coming from Foo Fighters, Greta Van Fleet, The Pretty Reckless, Beartooth and so many more! Hit me up on Twitter if you want me to know your top records from this year!