2020 was not the start to a new decade any of us wanted. Having said that, one silver lining from this year was the music we were fed. And what’s more, with isolation and social distancing in place putting a lot of our typical life on hold, we even got some special made-at-home projects that weren’t initially part of the plan to ever be released, and it turns out DIY set-up studios at home still deliver quality that is simply *chef kiss*. With so many amazing releases this year, we decided to list 50 of our top favorite albums of 2020 to give love, recommend and hype up just how incredible these records have been. Bear in mind, these are in no particular order because they’re all so incredible and we’ll be here until next year trying to rank them!
Confetti – Little Mix
Little Mix has definitely been some real MVPs this year, having dropped singles throughout the year in the run-up to the album drop, and we have been here for it. Their first album with their new label felt as though we could see their happiness and freedom shine through. Confetti is pure pop perfection and has a great dynamic of different sub-genres of pop. Songs such as singles ‘Break Up Song,’ and ‘Holiday’ have hopped on that 80s revival we’ve been seeing trending this year, while tracks like ‘Happiness‘ and ‘If You Want My Love’ fit more into the R’n’B meets pop feeling which feels as though it pays homage to girl groups from the late 90s to early 2000s. With the perfect mix of anthems, party bangers, and a good ballad or two, we are living for this album, and know it’s going to go down in girl group history.
Listen to the album here
Tickets To My Downfall – Machine Gun Kelly
This year saw the release from genre-defying Machine Gun Kelly, and honestly, it is one of the best albums of 2020. While we adore MGK’s rap skills the seamless switch to pop-punk has us craving even more. With songs like ‘My Bloody Valentine,’ ‘My Ex’s Bestfriend,’ ‘Drunkface,’ ‘Concert For Aliens‘ and let’s not forget that incredible collab with Halsey for ‘Forget Me Too’ there is more to this album than merely the singles that have come from it. Bangers like ‘Jawbreaker,’ ‘Bodybag,’ a collab with Yungblud and The Used, through to touching heartfelt emotion of ‘Lonely,’ ‘Nothing Inside,’ and ‘Play This When I’m Gone,’ and let us not forget the Pete Davidson interlude and Kelly’s beloved, the beautiful Megan Fox on ‘Banyan Tree,’ this album is a rollercoaster of emotions and the bright star in the sky that helped us through the latter part of 2020.
Map of the Soul: 7 – BTS
What a year it’s been for BTS! Though they’ve released two top albums and a Japanese edition this year, we chose Map of the Soul: 7 to feature because it’s the one that has been there for us acting as a tonic throughout this chaotic year. Throughout every release, we see the progression in the septet as artists and this full album was no exception. Title track ‘ON’ offered a more mature and new sound for the group while ‘Outro: Ego,’ ‘Interlude: Shadow,’ ‘UGH!,’ and ‘Respect’ gave a more throwback paying homage to their origin full of edge. We were also blessed with the solo tracks from each member which showcased each of their personality throughout the album, with Jimin’s ‘Filter’ full of saunter and sass while Jin’s ‘Moon’ was sweet and upbeat. Map of the Soul: 7 is a diverse record in terms of sound and there’s truly something for everyone, fitting into BTS’s self-titled genre and making it something that is uniquely their own.
Weird! – Yungblud
This may have only just been released but with the singles that we have been fed this album release has teased us throughout the year – and boy, was it worth the wait! Weird! in its entirety is an evolution from Yungblud will still being all that we love about Dom and his band. Touching moments that provide goosebumps from songs like ‘Teresa’ through to anthems featuring his pal MGK on ‘Acting Like That’ and songs of liberation like ‘Cotton Candy’ Yungblud stays true to himself while reminding us to do the same.
Walls – Louis Tomlinson
Back in January, Louis Tomlinson blessed fans after a much-anticipated wait when he dropped his debut album Walls. We were given a more vulnerable side of the Doncaster lad in this record, something which is considered quite rare from the comical, straight-talking guy that he is so well known for. When listening to Walls, you can easily place where influence from previous One Direction albums came from where Tomlinson was a regular writer for the material. The record is full of his trademark Brit-pop/rock sound entwined in his upbeat bangers like ‘Kill My Mind’ and solemn ballads such as ‘Two of Us’ that sees the singer let down his guard and reveal his raw emotions penned into melodies that we are still obsessed with almost a year on from the release.
CALM – 5 Seconds of Summer
As you know we are huge 5SOS stans, and let’s just say CALM did not disappoint. Every track is a banger but we do have our faves. From the opener of ‘Red Desert’ to the single releases of ‘No Shame,’ ‘Old Me,’ ‘Easier,’ ‘Teeth,’ & ‘Wildflower.’ We also can’t get enough of ‘Not In The Same Way,’ ‘Best Years,’ and let’s be honest, every other track on this collection. We love seeing 5SOS evolve and until we get 5SOS5 we will be streaming this beauty on the daily!
Positions – Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande came through in the last quarter of 2020 to deliver the masterpiece that is Positions. 2020 saw some huge hits surrounding the confidence of female sexuality and this voluptuous record pays homage to exactly that. Though the themes are explicit, at first listen with Ari’s angelic vocals and the chilled R&B beats, you may be fooled into thinking there’s more innocence to the album. This record saw Ariana leave her comfort zone in terms of exploration in sound, with a taste of disco-funk and neo-soul, and we’re been in love with it. Full of fluttery melodies and scanty midtempos, the album captures that honeymoon phase of a relationship that’s almost dreamlike and we truly love it. If there’s one criticism, we wish the tracks were longer but we guess less is more and Ari makes it work!
Wake up, Sunshine – All Time Low
It’s just simple facts to state that All Time Low just can’t make a bad album. And Wake Up Sunshine is no exception! Hence its inclusion in our Top 50 albums of the year. With tracks like ‘Some Kind Of Disaster,’ ‘Monsters,’ with THAT incredible blackbear feature, and a personal fave ‘Melancholy Kaleidoscope,’ this album is packed to the brim with bop after bop. And we just can’t get enough. Thanks for making 2020 that little bit easier guys with this album and your live streams- we’ve been tuning in!
Heartbreak Weather – Niall Horan
We were forecasted with some extreme emotions earlier this year when Niall dropped his sophomore album Heartbreak Weather His soulful vocals accompany us through the storytelling of the emotions poured out from a broken heart while offering a variety of sounds such as the 1D-Esque ‘Black and White’, the rockier ‘Nice To Meet Ya’ and the cherubic ballad ‘Dear Patience’. The album offers a variety in sound and showcases Niall’s capabilities, proving he’s no one-trick pony.
Smile – Katy Perry
This pop princess delivered us the bops we never knew we needed but can’t live without this year. If you didn’t get a music earworm from ‘Never Really Over’ we wanna know how?! Not that we’re mad about it, we still have that firmly on our playlist along with other fantastic tunes like ‘Resilient,’ ‘Daisie,’ and ‘Smile’ being firm faves of ours! Katy‘s music is timeless and we know this will still be on our heavy rotation for years to come!
The Album – BLACKPINK
BLINKs around the world rejoiced as BLACKPINK have dropped their debut full-length album. The Album is arguably BLACKPINK at their best with the title track ‘Lovesick Girls’ – co-written by Jennie and Jisoo – being a massive anthem that we can see going off at a party. There’s a lot of trap beats featuring on this album like in the badass ‘Pretty Savage’ and ‘Crazy Over You,’ with a mix of hip hop and EDM creating the perfect blend that can proudly identify as BLACKPINK’s sound. We are living for the feminist vibes from this album. It’s confident, bold, and sassy and makes us feel like total boss bitches when we listen to it. The only downside is the fact it’s such a short album. We just need more of these girls in our lives and our playlists!
Wonder – Shawn Mendes
This may have been a later release in the year, but boy was it worth the wait. Shawn has us in awe with Wonder and all we can say is we need to see this beauty in all its splendor live, ASAP. Wonder as a whole is firmly his best work to date and honestly, we fall in love with it a little bit more each time we revisit it (which rn is DAILY)!
Ungodly Hour – Chloe X Halle
Chloe X Halle came through with their album Ungodly Hour and it’s honestly no surprise that it’s GRAMMY-nominated. This record is sophisticated R&B, full of intricate beats and opulent harmonies. This sophomore album feels more diverse in sound in comparison to their debut album, showcasing the girls’ growth, and every song is worthy of a place on your party playlists. The songs we find ourselves going back to the most are ‘Do It,’ ‘Ungodly Hour,’ and ‘Tipsy.’
Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa’s evolution as an artist continued with Future Nostalgia with sass, sexiness, and a pop infusion that we cannot get enough of. The top albums of 2020 would not be complete without this album because it contains so many of the bops that help our minds escape the confines that 2020 brought. This is also why we feel this album title is so fitting and we cannot wait to hit the dancefloor and embrace the fun pace and energy these bops provide!
D-2 – Agust D
Yoongi surprised fans this year with the release of his second mixtape D-2 under his alter ego Agust D. The sophomore record has a more mature sound as he spiels stories of life experiences as a 28-year-old. The highly introspective 10-track release is raw, honest, and unapologetically Yoongi, as we delve into his most honest feelings. It feels like the perfect continuation from his debut mixtape and seeing him evolve into an older and wiser artist is something that we truly witness in D-2 ‘Daecwhita,’ ‘People,’ and ‘Interlude: Set Me Free’ are our stand-out tracks though this is 100% a no-skip record. But between his main focus with BTS, his mixtape, and working on other collabs with various artists, we do wonder how it’s possible to create a record so flawless!
-77.82X-78.29 – EVERGLOW
When EVERGLOW dropped their second mini-album -77.82X-78.29 we were transported to the 80s with this electro-pop dream. Their strongest release to date, the mini-album may be short but is jam-packed with iconic tracks. The lead single ‘La Di Da’ truly embodied the retro synth-pop trend while staying true to the EVERGLOW sound, while ‘UNTOUCHABLE’ offers funk guitar entwined with psychedelic dance-pop, topped with a captivating chorus that’s sure to get stuck in your head. Though just shy of two years since debut, their continuation of strong releases sees EVERGLOW truly making a name for themselves and we are here for it.
Cherry Blossom – The Vamps
The Vamps are a band that with each album delivers something unique but still has the rare ability to firmly put their stamp on it. The lyricism in this collection and the fluidity of each track to the next makes no song a skip and has us in our feelings. The Vamps have us soft again with Cherry Blossom and we’re for sure not mad about it. Not one little bit!
minisode 1: Blue Hour – Tomorrow X Together
While TXT released two mini-albums this year, it was pretty challenging to choose our favorite, but Blue Hour had the edge which won our hearts. Taking on the trend of retro and funky old skool beats, the record is sure to lift your spirits. Almost two years since their debut, we’ve seen such growth with the quintet. This record truly showcases the range, with the juxtaposition of those throwback funk vibes which seem to have a soft and smooth quality to them. We relate hard to ‘We Lost The Summer,’ an ode to what we’ve been through this year, and also vibe with ‘Wishlist,’ and ‘Ghosting.’
Heaven & Hell – Ava Max
Ava Max has mastered what makes a tune a must-listen-to-bop. And this album is pure evidence of that. Laced with her sultry and impeccable and sometimes sassy vocals we just can’t get enough of this album. The album is full of certified bangers including ‘Kings and Queens,’ ‘So Am I,’ and ‘OMG What’s Happening,’ you can’t afford to miss out on this smash record.
Chromatica – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga came through for us Little Monsters this year. Chromatica and its era have undoubtedly been a major part of pop culture for 2020 and it truly felt more like a journey than just your basic album. Not one new to the disco-pop genre, Gaga truly had us vibing for the best part of the year as she transports us to her new home planet (because wbk Earth is canceled this year, right?) and although it’s a whole mood, it’s her most personal album yet, touching on some pretty heavy topics, but who says that has to be portrayed in solemn ballads? Not this queen and that’s why we love her artistry so much.
After Hours – The Weeknd
This has been an awesome year for The Weeknd when it comes to the album After Hours. ‘Blinding Lights’ is arguably one of the biggest bops of the year and its infectious beats set the precedent for one heck of an album. And with such a formidable and insanely creative talent such as The Weeknd, every song is a banger and this is truly a timeless masterpiece!
Eyes Wide Open – TWICE
With every comeback since their debut, TWICE have outdone themselves, and this album is no different. Eyes Wide Open is a glistening alt-pop record full of nostalgic club ballads, truly confirming that TWICE is an ever-evolving group who just when you think have reached their peak, continue to come back and impress us once more. We find ourselves regularly adding ‘I Can’t Stop Me,’ ‘Hell in Heaven,’ and ‘Queen’ into our heavy rotation playlists.
Rare – Selena Gomez
This has been a great year for Selena with the release of her makeup line and this collection of bops. Rare delights with bop after bop with Selena displaying her beautiful and blissful vocals on an album that is pure soul food. It’s as though we were introduced to a more intimate side of Selena and truly witnessing her emotions that she has dealt with through some of the biggest events in life to date the past few years, and it’s just a masterpiece. We have continually revisited this collection of tunes since its release and can only say it is as timeless as it is rare!
Superbloom – Ashton Irwin
Keeping with the theme of “expect the unexpected,” this year we were surprised to see Ashton Irwin step out alone without his 5SOS bandmates this year. In a quarantine project, Ashton worked on his first solo album, which showcased a more intimate side of himself. Where we’re generally used to seeing him keep a positive persona for the 5SOSFam, Superbloom saw the drummer explore a more vulnerable side of him as he sings about personal struggles and life experiences in this dark and moody coming-of-age record. The album offers some eclectic sounds with ‘Sunshine’ serving as a warped pop song, and ‘The Sweetness’ being an epic six-minute track of pure rock, while lead single ‘Skinny Skinny’ offering more psychedelic vibes. Superbloom is a masterpiece and one of the silver linings of 2020.
Petals For Amor – Hayley Williams
Paramore lead vocals Hayley Williams delivered a fiercely wonderful collection of music in the form of Petals For Amor, that we hope leads to many more solo projects in the future. The emotive vocals and mixture of influences give this album a timeless impact that we can only fall in love with more and more every time we listen to it!
Super One – SuperM
The Avengers of KPOP made their comeback this year with their first full album just shy of their year anniversary since debut. Full of big electrifying beats with their playful personalities shining through, each song has its distinctive quality which together forms the zestful record that is Super One. It truly showcases the members and reminds us just why they are some of the biggest idols in KPOP today, and together they are truly a force to be reckoned with.
Folklore – Taylor Swift
This year our Queen truly blessed us with Folklore and recently Evermore, and we could not be more delighted. While each album in its own right deserves our full attention we couldn’t show love to one without the other. And we can confidently say that even though we got double the quantity in album releases the quality was still there. We adore these collections and they’re simply timeless, eloquent, and beautiful. They have us even more curious about what Tay has planned for 2021.
Manic – Halsey
Manic acts as an autobiographical depiction of Halsey as it illustrates the mind of a twenty-something-year-old yearning for love and affection. The album a more in-depth view of the woman behind the Halsey persona which Ashley Nicolette has built over the years. The eclectic sound of the record is confirmation that Halsey is a chameleon in that she can adapt to any genre and smash it. The eclectic album has a lot to offer such as the rock components of ‘3 AM’ and the country vibes of ‘You Should Be Sad’ – this is arguably Halsey’s best work to date and an album we’re still adding to our heavy rotation even months after its release.
Legends Never Die – Juice Wrld
While Juice may no longer be with us, his music immortalizes him and touches our soul. Legends Never Die isn’t just one of our Top 50 albums of the year but probably one of the albums of this new decade. And with his raw talent leaving so soon, may he live on forever with this album. RIP Juice.
Go Live – Stray Kids
Stray Kids dropped their first full-length studio album back in June and we were truly fed. Full of strong energy and dynamism, Go生 – or Go Live in English – offers fourteen phenomenal tracks handcrafted by the group’s producing trio and subunit 3RACHA consisting of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han. It’s a fun and easy-to-love record that offers a variety of sounds, from big bangers to softer songs and a bit of everything in between, a real showcase of Stray Kids’ capabilities, and a great introduction for new fans. We’re particularly fans of ‘God’s Menu,’ ‘Pacemaker,’ and ‘TA.’
Everything Means Nothing – blackbear
blackbear has been one busy guy this year, he has not let 2020 stop him! With collabs with All Time Low to Dixie D’amelio and more! But that didn’t stop him from releasing this album, which lived up to the hype! We obviously adore ‘hot girl bummer’ (we never tire of such a catchy bop), that Lauv collab on ‘if I were you.’ And let’s not forget the delicious yet sad tune that is ‘me & your ghost,’ and the pop bop ‘queen of broken hearts.’ We’re seriously struggling not to include every track here because there is not a single flop in this collection!
Sawayama – Rina Sawayama
Rina Sawayama is a name we’ve seen in increasing popularity throughout 2020 and her debut album SAWAYAMA has most definitely contributed to her growth as an artist. Transporting us back to the simpler times of the 2000s, this record is full of Y2K pop and nu-metal with immaculate production that creates an earworm we don’t even want to rid. The album, though has some throwback vibes, is refreshing and feels like something we didn’t even know we needed, but we’re so glad we have it.
All Distortions Are Intentional – Neck Deep
Neck Deep is another of our pop-punk faves and this album is insanely good. Are punk hearts were fed with this album and we simply can’t wait for the day where we are blessed with seeing some of these tunes live again. Neck Deep delivers some incredible music and lyricism with this album and we truly feel it’s an album that you need on your radar if you haven’t checked it out yet!
Good News – Megan Thee Stallion
A name that we will always remember in terms of 2020’s music scene is of course the queen that is Megan Thee Stallion. Her monster of a track ‘Savage’ contributes to the soundtrack of our quarantine (and year as a whole) and is something we’re still not tired of, so of course, we were elated with the release of her debut album Good News. With exuberant beats and sharp rap skills, it’s hard to not feel like a total boss bitch when listening to this record. Good News is such a sturdy album for so early on in Megan’s career so we can’t wait to see how she will excel when starting with such a strong high.
Changes – Justin Bieber
We’ve grown up with the Biebs and Changes is evidence of him growing with us. We cannot get enough of his blissful vocals and his development as an artist with Changes. His exploration and direction shows an awesome and exciting future ahead and has us hyped for any other projects he may have in the future. Everything he touches turns to gold and Changes backs this up!
Jaguar – Victoria Monét
Having been behind some of the most iconic songs of our time, we were super stoked for Victoria Monét’s debut album and we were not disappointed. This sleek R&B record is easily one of our favorite debut albums this year. Its consistency is full of mellow meets syncopated energy with each song being individual pieces of this perfect artistry from Monét. Jaguar is quite a sensual record and feels incredibly refined. We’re living for ‘Ass Like That,’ ‘Moment,’ and ‘Experience.’
12:00 – LOONA
As a year, 2020 may have royally sucked but music-wise it has not and LOONA has had a big part to play in that with this collection. We cannot get enough of this girl group and for sure stan in a very big way. ‘Star,’ ‘Why Not?’ and ‘Fall Again’ are prime examples of how LOONA is on top of their game and destined to keep rising to the top. Y’all need 12:00 in your life ASAP and trust us, you’ll be so glad you did!
Plastic Hearts – Miley Cyrus
Releasing her first album in three years, Miley Cyrus stepped confidently onto the rock scene with Plastic Hearts, and honestly with such a husky voice capable of so much, this suits her. Having dabbled in various genres throughout her career, it feels as though Miley may have found a sound that truly displays her talents to the best of their abilities. Full of soaring melodies and hard-hitting emotional lyrics, listening to this album is quite euphoric and has us craving the need to witness it live, at the world’s earliest convenience.
Circles – Mac Miller
Another one of the best that was taken from us too soon is the incredibly talented Mac Miller. And like all of his works Circles will forever live on in our hearts. This collection is just beyond good, showcasing the talented artist Miller was, and while we are heartbroken that he is no longer with us, we will always revisit this album, and he’ll live on forever through this masterpiece.
Color Vision – MAX
Another artist we saw on the rise this year was MAX. It’s been four years since his last record but has come back bigger and better with Color Vision. Time away was spent perfecting his craft as an artist and sees him step out into new sounds and collaborations to create the beauty that is his third studio album. A true kaleidoscope of emotions, the album explores heartbreak, finding love, and finding one’s place in the world. It’s quite the joyous record that has us truly experiencing all the emotions injected throughout, but overall feeling beyond satisfied by the end.
Conversations With Myself About You – LovelyTheBand
We didn’t think finding it hard to smile could be topped but we were wrong. conversations with myself about you provided new influences within their sound while still holding close all the things we adore about the band. ‘buzzcut’ ‘ waste’ ‘i hate myself’ and ‘loneliness for love’ hold a special place in our hearts, but we implore you to check out the whole tracklist. Their live stream earlier this year had us living our best lives but we know when we can get in an actual venue again to see them perform again these songs will go OFF!
Fatal Love – Monsta X
We have been absolutely in love with this album and the concept since day one. Fatal Love’s dark and eerie feeling has us swooning over this record which truly explores Monsta X’s musical abilities throughout. Its continuous theme throughout, is what truly makes this one of the sextet’s more addictive albums that have us hitting repeat when the final song ends. With poignant rap abilities and smooth vocals, it’s no surprise that Monsta X is continuously on the rise and this is another body of work that is sure to capture the hearts of Monbebe and newbies alike.
Mama’s Boy – LANY
We seriously were shook when we heard this. We didn’t think a masterpiece such as Malibu Nights could be topped. And with Mama’s Boy, they equalized and if anything went even further. Showing that LANY just improves like a fine wine with time and gets better and better. They know how to pierce the soul and deliver goosebumps like no other and for that reason, we could not have a Top 50 albums of 2020 without them.
Hunger – Mali-Koa
Mali-Koa came through during the last quarter of the year with her empowering debut album Hunger. Her first full-length album truly puts her soulful vocals on full display in her chilled pop songs. Full of vulnerability, self-reflection, and motivation, we truly felt both satisfied with the album but also yearning for more because all of Mali’s material is truly enthralling, and we’re excited to see what doors this album has opened for her.
Brand New Vision – Point North
We cannot get enough of Point North at THP and we can confidently say this band is one to watch in 2021! Brand New Vision is packed with banger after banger and will simply be exquisite to lose our minds too when we can enjoy live music again. Until then trust us, this album is on heavy rotation! Our top three would have to be ‘Into The Dark’ featuring Kellin Quinn, ‘Lethal,’ and ‘Heartbeat,’ but each song is 100% playlist worthy.
Love Synonym Pt 1: Right For Me – Wonho
We saw Wonho step out as a solo artist this year and proved that he is just as capable of flying solo as he is in a group. With his solo debut being a new beginning for his artistry, Love Synonym Pt 1: Right For Me is the perfect way to close old doors and open new, full of reflection, emotions, and evidence of Wonho’s incredible talents as a singer and composer, who is ready to spread his wings and explore his capabilities as an artist. We’re glad it wasn’t too long that we had to go without Wonho content in our lives and think this is the first chapter in something beautiful.
Dissimulation – KSI
JJ has certainly not slowed down with his progression and skill with his music and Dissimulation is evidence of that. Bop after bop has been fed to us on here with some awesome collaborations. And to see his growth has been incredible. While this has kept us fed (and the recent Nathan Dawes collab, followed by ‘Really Love’ with the legend that is Craig David) this album has also got us hyped and curious for what KSI has up his sleeves for us in 2021. Because the devil may work hard, but KSI works harder.
NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 – NCT
NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 is the first half of an epic project from the KPOP massive that is NCT. The 23-member group split into units truly get a chance to shine and show just who NCT are. Each song entwines perfectly into the next, embracing the strengths of each unit, connecting the personality and sound of each unit to create the uniqueness that is this group. Though newcomers to KPOP may be dumbfounded by the concept of such a huge group, this album is proof that it works and is an incredible introduction to future NCTzens.
How I’m Feeling – Lauv
Lauv is a true artist and the goosebumps we get from this album never seem to fade when we are whisked into a world of his music. And we’re for sure not mad about it. Enlisting features from the likes of BTS, Anne Marie, and Troye Sivan, this debut album is truly something special. How I’m Feeling deserves your love and undivided attention. Trust us you will not be disappointed!
Imposter Syndrome – Happy.
Happy hopping onto our radar was one of our fave 2020 moments. With ‘Liar Liar’ being a whole ass relatable mood we felt like we were being called out. But we didn’t mind because we adore the relatable words and honesty that Happy projects into their sound. As a collection, the entire album deserves your attention and we highly recommend you check it out ASAP!
Have any of these been your top albums in 2020? Which album will you be listening to for years to come? Let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
Words: Jazmin Williams and Jodie Rose Loren
Featured Image Source: Jazmin Williams