Top 20 Albums of 2020 #10-6

It’s been a minute! Took a little break to spend time with my cat and my mom for the holidays. And with the holiday season finally over (for now), I’m finally able to get back into my Top 20 Albums of 2020. This is also the penultimate write-up for thursday email for 2020! As I mentioned before, I’ve listened to a BUNCH of albums this year – 80+ new albums, plus my mainstays. So we’re really close to 100. I was originally going to go through and do a countdown of all of the albums I listened to this year, but like…lol who’s gonna do all that?????? So instead, I went through my Last.FM, Spotify, and my mind to come up with my top 20 albums of the year. And since I’ve missed a Thursday (or two…can’t really remember lol), I’m gonna finish this up today and tomorrow so I can have it finished before the new year. Now that we’re in the top 10, we’re getting into the albums that meant the most to me this year.

#10 – Hold Space for Me (2020) by Orion Sun

I feel like I’ve referenced this album in so many write-ups this year because the overall feeling that this album is so similar to where I’ve found myself this year. I talk about this in the write-up, but this year has been one of the most agonizing years of self-growth I’ve ever experienced in my life. A lot of contending with things I’ve been putting off, a lot of truthful and difficult conversations with myself about my life and how things in the past affect where I’m at now. And Hold Space for Me is an album that sees Orion Sun doing that very same thing. I think existing in your (almost) mid-20s can feel very lonely for a lot of people, myself included, and this project made me feel like someone hears me and gets it.


This year, I was able to spend some time with music from up and coming artists, and BEST KEPT SECRET represents the best of why that was so important for me. I mentioned in my write-up for DEViANO’s “Novacane” that it’s been such a wonderful experience spending time with art made by people on the same journey as me, people hoping to build their passions into something bigger. And BEST KEPT SECRET is the perfect example of what happens when you keep going, despite any and all uncertainty, even if that means going at it in secret. The music on BEST KEPT SECRET is so so so so GOOD. Like……..WOW. I listen to songs on here regularly – “25/8” BANGS in the car. I’m hoping to do more work like this next year; I’m committing myself to it.

#8 – Wanderland (2001) by Kelis

I have decided that – for now, still working my way through her discography – Tasty (2003) is my favorite Kelis project, but I have to show some love to Wanderland for introducing me to her music. How I’ve lived this long without listening to Kelis, I don’t know. But I think she’s so amazing, and I’m so happy that I finally stopped playing myself and started listening. She’s such a perfect example of what happens when you dedicate yourself to doing your own thing and not letting other people get in your way. She’s living her best life right now – living on her farm with her babies and husband – and I just…HAVE TO STAN. Wanderland is an amazing project, and even though I don’t listen to it in fully all the time, I’m still awaiting the day it gets a vinyl re-release because my wallet is READY.

#7 – UNLOCKED (2020) by Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats

I love this project lol. Everything from the release to the short film…it’s all FIRE. All I can hear in my mind when I think about this album is the “if you put a french fry in some ice cream” audio from TikTok LOL, and like….¯\_(ツ)_/¯ if the shoe fits lol.

#6 – Still (2019) by Latrell James

I’m including this entire album off the strength of “Grateful.” The whole thing is great, but “GRATEFUL”??????? I’ve already mentioned a bunch of times in various write-ups that “Grateful” has been THE song that has gotten me through this year, and allow me to just say again that “GRATEFUL” HAS BEEN THE SONG THAT HAS GOTTEN ME THROUGH THIS YEAR. Just having the reminder to be thankful despite of the bad days – be thankful for life and breath – has been so important for me in a year where it’s easy to forget how much of a blessing it is to still be waking up every morning. I’ll always been thankful that this song exists to bring me back to Earth when life starts feeling like it’s too much.

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