There aren’t a lot of good things to say about the year 2020, but it was nevertheless a year filled with great music. Here are 20 of my favorite songs for 2020. Please use the comments box to add your favorites. And check out the end of the post for links to my favorite songs lists of previous years.
Album: RTJ4 Artist: Run the Jewels Release Date: June 3, 2020 Label: Jewel Runners | BMG Favorite Tracks:
ooh la la (feat. Greg Nice and DJ Premier)
walking in the snow
JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams and Zach de la Rocha)
a few words for the firing squad (radiation)
This album hits like a ton of bricks. Killer Mike and El-P rap on a variety of issues including police brutality, mass incarceration, capitalism, the legacy of slavery, and the school-to-prison pipeline. These tracks seem so relevant to the current Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police protests that they may have been written a couple of weeks ago. But of course, these issues have deep roots. Lest you think this album is all social consciousness, Run the Jewels find room for some party tracks, as well. The album reflects the confidence Run the Jewels have built up over four albums, as well as the personal friendship of El-P and Killer Mike.
One of the worst aspects of overpolicing in the USA is the use of police to address school discipline issues and the perpetuation of a school-to-prison pipeline. The podcast traces the history of police in schools back to the 1960s and includes some commentary from some brilliant Boston Public School students
This has been a challenging year in music as there have been few things that have jumped out at me as being all-time classics, much less favorites for 2017. To add to the struggle a lot of artists that I’ve counted on to produce great music put out new albums this year including Beck, Björk, Blitzen Trapper, Flaming Lips, Gorrillaz, The New Pornographers, Shamir, St. Vincent, and The xx. What should’ve been a bumper crop of music was dissapointing, and while I would not say that any of these artists’ albums were bad, I believe that could have done better. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing the great music of 2017, and if that is the case please direct to me to those great tunes ASAP.
Nevertheless, her are six albums from 2017 that I loved, with links to the original reviews. Check them out!