Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2020 One Last Time

Best of 2020

You want more?  You got more.  Not that I exactly want to look back on 2020, but there was so much killer music this past year that I decided to take a page out of Chris’ book and talk about the ones that got away from me, regardless of how great they might be.  I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why these albums didn’t make the cut the first time around.  It’s the same story for each one, a story about time and energy and brainpower.  This year was draining, both from being alive in the world and from having quite a bit to keep up with in the way of reviews and podcasts for a certain illustrious publication, and while I am proud of the list I put out and I’m not going to go back and amend it, I do think there needs to be more room for discussing what I feel like I missed out on.  Albums that, for whatever reason, needed more than the time I had for me to fully realize them in my mind’s eye, but now I can unquestionably say they belong among the great ones that we got in the last calendar year.

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Best of 2020: Angela’s List

Best of 2020

We all know that 2020 was a very unpleasant year (to say the least).  You don’t need me to list all the ways it was awful.  We are all painfully aware of the details, and even more so as we look back at our 2020 new year’s resolutions we had made (travel more, drink less; you know).  So enough of that, let’s focus on a bit of positivity and good that emerged from the past 12 months.  For instance, there were so many new and wonderful musical releases that I could not even keep up.  Every new album I listened to brought some joy, some goosebumps, and some pain—but in a good, cathartic way.  As usual, my super indecisive self had a difficult time narrowing down the list of favorites.  I managed to finally settle(ish) on a list.  These selections are different (with the exception of my number one pick) from when I weighed in on the group list and different on the EOY Podcast episode—apologies for the inconsistency but, again, I’m indecisive (and also anxious).

Here are my top 13 as of this moment (because I love all things spooky, and c’mon, we’ve already had all the bad luck brought upon us) and a little list of some nonmetal favorites.

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Best of 2020: Vincent’s List

Best of 2020

Well that sure was one whole, entire year, wasn’t it?

Like many on this website, 2020 changed a lot of the ways in which I consume new music, and not for the better on my part. The constant thrum of anxiety coursing through my body and mind made critical music listening often difficult, and yet the albums I found this year that I love are some of the best and most affecting music I’ve heard in several years worth of doing this. I went over all of these picks in the end of year episode of our Audio Thing, which I would highly encourage you to listen to here, or wherever you consume podcasts; fair warning that it is a rather long episode, but we worked hard on it and had a lot of fun, so I’d appreciate it if you took the time to check it out. You can consider this main list a companion piece of sorts to the podcast episode. You can listen to me go into detail about the how’s and why’s of my main picks there, but I thought it would be fun to catalog them still, and I threw in some honorable mentions for good measure. Read along after the cut, and a very sincere thank you for another year of readership. I don’t do this for clout and I certainly don’t do this for money, so it means all the more that people take an interest in the things I am passionate about.

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Best of 2020: Chris’s List

Best of 2020

If you’re reading this there are two possibilities at play, either of which warrant a hearty congratulations:

  1. It’s the end of the year, and you found the strength, courage and forbearance to get through the infested muck that was 2020.  Congratulations!  I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but let’s put the future aside for a moment and just revel in survival, and talk about some great music.
  2. It’s an indeterminate time in the future, after the apocalypse, and the collective hive mind has integrated into the data streams and come across this post in a random search string query to ascertain various data points about the distant past.  Congratulations!  I’m not alive to know what the Time Lords have in mind for the future, but let’s put that aside for a moment and just revel in whatever constitutes life in your existence, and talk about some great music.

Either way, it’s list time… Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… Vincent’s Mid-Year Favorites

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There is a certain danger inherent in this kind of Babe Ruth-esque shot calling when it comes to mid-year lists. I myself am already guilty of attempting to label something my pre-emptive ‘Album of the Year’ and then almost immediately finding something I like more that takes its place. Twice in this case. But on the other hand, in an effort to buck my natural instinct to focus on only the worst aspects of my existence, I would like to acknowledge the albums that have made the first half of this year worth being present for. It’ll be quick and dirty, and I make no claims that this will represent me six months down the line when AOTY Season rolls around, but if you’re interested in what I’ve been enjoying so far in 2020, read about it under the cut in this Nine Circles ov… edition.

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