Aaron Mook’s Top Albums of 2020

Best of 2020

I think this is the first year since 2017 I’ve written a blog to accompany my list on the site. It’s discouraging when your work starts to suck the energy out of the things you love to do; I am thankful to write for a living, but unsure of where that leaves me when I only feel inspired to review one or two albums a year. Regardless, I feel fortunate for the opportunity to continue contributing to the site, both as a moderator, an occasional writer, and a loathed poster. (I kid, probably.)

It feels like every year after 2015, these wrap-ups have started with a sentiment like “What’s left to say about 2017? It sucked!” And to be honest, I don’t have much insight to offer regarding 2020. It was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad, fucked-up year for a lot of reasons, and I’m not here to say it was any worse for me than it was for other people. All I can say is that it’s years like this that make you extremely grateful to have a community that loves art and discussing art as much as you do. Thank you for that.

If you’d like, you can check out the one good and productive thing I did this year, which was releasing the first album from my new band, Crooner. It was an album I needed to make after 2019 left me struggling, and I was fortunate enough to record these songs with my friends and brother and release them literally a month before the pandemic hit. I haven’t seen them in person since, but I’m so happy to report that we’ve recorded over a dozen demos remotely and the next album is shaping up to be a lot happier and more cohesive. The album is available for free on Bandcamp and streaming on all platforms; fans of Alex G, Porches, and Anthony Green should find something to like about it.

Once again, thank you to anyone who took the time to interact with me, read something I wrote, listen to something I worked on, or worked to make the site a better place in 2020. With any luck, some of the clouds will part in 2021 and I’ll have more to offer the community. Until then, stay safe and be kind. 

The List

  1. Empty Country – Empty Country
  2. King Krule – Man Alive!
  3. Porches – Ricky Music
  4. Soccer Mommy – color theory
  5. Mansions – Big Bad
  6. Deftones – Ohms
  7. Hum – Inlet
  8. Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
  9. Navy Blue – Ada Irin
  10. Disq – Collector
  11. Dehd – Flower of Devotion
  12. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist – Alfredo
  13. waveform* – Last Room
  14. Slow Pulp – Moveys
  15. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
  16. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
  17. Poppy – I Disagree
  18. Run the Jewels – RTJ4
  19. Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension
  20. Mac Miller – Circles
  21. The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form
  22. Caroline Rose – Superstar
  23. Daniel Lopatin – Uncut Gems
  24. Touche Amore – Lament
  25. 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi