My Top 10 Albums Of 2020

Three of my Top 10 picks including Phoebe Bridgers, Fish, and Fire Tiger.

Despite living in Pandemic World like everyone else, I felt like this year went by quickly because of all the work I’ve been doing writing and podcasting. In fact, I felt like I caught up with a lot of new music closer to the end of the year. That’s probably also due to the impending request for my annual picks for best albums of the year!

I submitted my Top 10 album list to Uproxx, and along with providing a link to my ballot, I am presenting a track from each one below to further highlight my picks. As usual, I have a pretty eclectic selection.

1. CARPENTER BRUT Blood Machines Original Soundtrack — I love their mix of Goblin-inspired Gothic sounds with metal and synthwave aesthetics. It’s always a delight.

2. FISH Weltschmerz — The prolific and profound singer-songwriter tops off his fine, 30-year solo career with this earthy, proggy swan song. Also check out his debut Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors, my favorite rock album ever.

3. ROBERT RICH Neurogenesis — One of the masters of ethnoambient bliss returns with another captivating album.

4. FIRE TIGER All The Time — Led by singer Tiff Alkouri, this L.A. power pop quintet takes us back to the early ’80s with a perfectly honed retro sound. I’d love to see them live someday.

5. THE MIDNIGHT COMPUTERS Anxious — The debut from this French trio is raw Gothic-industrial that pulls me back to my ’90s Goth days while sounding fresh.

6. GREEN CARNATION Leaves Of Yesteryear — The Norwegian doom proggers return with their first new release in 14 years which features three new tracks, a reworking of “My Dark Reflections Of Life And Death,” and a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Solitude”. It’s only five tracks yet still epic.

7. JOE SATRIANI Shapeshifting — The guitar wizard’s 17th solo album finds him integrating surf guitar, reggae, and jazz into his hard-rocking instrumental oeuvre. Can we please give him a Grammy Award now?

8. NEON TREES I Can Feel You Forgetting Me — The long-awaited return of this Utah pop-rock quartet continues the bridge they have built between the ’80s and modern day sounds.

9. OZRIC TENTACLES Space For The Earth — The UK space prog masters return with their strongest album in ages fueled by guest appearances from former Ozric members Joie Hinton (synths), Nick Van Gelder (drums), John Egan (flute), and Paul Hankin (percussion).

10. PHOEBE BRIDGERS Punisher — Heartfelt, atmospheric tunes from this rising singer-songwriter with her own special take on the world.

LOVEKILLERS featuring TONY HARNELL — It’s highly apropos that this deliciously ’80s sounding hard rock album features one of the most powerful voices from that era. This came out last December right after I submitted my Top 10 list, and then I spaced on it for 2020 because I was thinking 2019. My bad!


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