Craig Manning’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

I don’t need to tell anyone reading these words that 2020 has been a tough year. The last few months have, in many ways, been like living through a nightmare and slowly realizing you don’t get to wake up from it. Thank God, then, for the music. A few major artists delayed their new albums because of COVID-19, but the ones that stayed the course and released their art into this uncertain world have had an unusual opportunity to make a mark as much more than background music. In the depths of quarantine, I certainly used music as something of a life raft, looking to Fridays and new album releases as rare bright spots in weeks packed with bad news, or building huge emotional connections with the records on this list. I frankly can’t remember a year that had a stronger first half in terms of music releases. I guess someone out there knew we fucking needed something good to break the deluge of bad.

My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (So Far)

  1. Katie Pruitt – Expectations
  2. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Reunions
  3. Caitlyn Smith – Supernova
  4. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
  5. Ken Yates – Quiet Talkers
  6. Brian Fallon – Local Honey
  7. Hailey Whitters – The Dream
  8. Will Hoge – Tiny Little Movies
  9. Tenille Townes – The Lemonade Stand
  10. Mandy Moore – Silver Landings
  11. Ingrid Andress – Ladylike
  12. Kelsea Ballerini – kelsea
  13. Butch Walker – American Love Story
  14. John Moreland – LP5
  15. All Time Low – Wake Up Sunshine
  16. Ashley McBryde – Never Will
  17. Maddie & Tae – The Way It Feels
  18. Green Day – Father of All Motherfuckers
  19. Kip Moore – Wild World
  20. Steve Moakler – Blue Jeans

Honorable Mentions: Bravely, Field Report, Gabby Barrett, Gone West, Haim, Kenny Chesney, Radnor & Lee, Robert Francis, Sam Hunt, The 1975