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20 Jazz Albums You Might Have Missed in 2020

During the new-year season of best-of-the-year lists, I find myself looking backward—even at a year as difficult as 2020. Time was dilated—I thought I had too much of it but, as usual, there was too little for all the great music.

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10 Christmas Albums You Won't Hear at the Mall

Although most shopping has moved online this year, those of us still going to stores find the retail soundtrack particularly menacing in the time of COVID-19. These 10 albums (plus a little extra stocking stuffer) from unexpected artists offer some respite for at-home listening.


The 20 Best R&B/Soul Albums of 2020

In this time of political unrest, racial strife, and pandemic, soul and R&B walked tall and carried a big stick, while also being a much needed balm and source of warmth in 2020.


The 15 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2020

In a year beset by the most horrid and unusual circumstances, leave it to the hip-hop community to challenge our beliefs and voice our activism. The best records of the year served as rallying cries and made us reconsider the very genre itself.


The 20 Best Electronic Albums of 2020

Electronic music is a huge tent with many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers.


The 10 Best Ambient Albums of 2020

In a year that felt lonelier than ever, some expected ambient music to be a soothing balm. Yet ambient artists capture the sadness, the bliss, the hurt, and the healing of this wild year better than most.


The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2020

Here are six of the key jazz trends of the last 20 years, defined by 20 of the best 2020 recordings that made us see, again, why this music is in midst of such a thrilling patch of creativity.


The Best Books of 2020: Fiction

We didn't turn to fiction for those much needed periods of escapism in 2020. Nor did we turn to fiction for answers, because of course, the best fiction doesn't provide "answers". We turned to these works of fiction for the questions they raise.


The Best Books of 2020: Non-Fiction

In the stormy year of 2020 PopMatters' staff have clung to anything seemingly solid with one hand while holding a good book in the other. Through it all, we are curious, engaged, and eager to share what we've read with you.


The 15 Best Pop Albums of 2020

The 15 best pop albums radiate with unstoppable playlist power and much-needed sweet escapism.


The 20 Best Metal Albums of 2020

One of the main vehicles helping us during these crazy times is music. Heavy, experimental, interesting you name it. Experimentalism is thankfully on the rise, as boundaries are still pushed and new realms are explored.


The 15 Best Experimental Albums of 2020

To overcome our collective dis-ease and ideological polarization, we must practice pluralism. We must continue to experiment, to oscillate between and beyond poles to find solutions.


The 20 Best Folk Albums of 2020

The artists in this year's list all use their music to create a sense of unity. Whether it is the acknowledgment of shared oppression, or in contrast, the visibility of identity, Best of Folk Music 2020 is defined by its ability to form a musical common ground.


The 60 Best Albums of 2020

Despite a global pandemic, an economic crash, and the shut-down of international touring, 2020 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.


The 25 Best Americana Albums of 2020

In 2020, Americana artists empathetically dealt with the things that bind us together and keep us apart. The albums on this list encourage hope for the future based on a belief in the human spirit.


The 10 Best Indie Rock Albums of 2020

Whether influenced by 1970s folk and soft rock, 1980s post-punk, 1990s alternative and grunge music, or indie rock from the 2000s, guitars are all over this list.


The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2020

The best indie-pop in 2020 privileged self-questioning and human connections over showy declarations of greatness. Small music with a big impact.


The 10 Best Progressive Rock/Metal Albums of 2020

Rather than succumb to the difficulties of our era, many progressive creators doubled down on their artistry to produce some of their best work and tighten their relationships with their admirers.


The Best Classic Films on Blu-ray in 2020

Many formats have come and gone and streaming competes, to a degree, but these best classic films offered on Blu-ray in 2020 prove irresistible.


The 10 Best World Music Albums of 2020

The 10 best world music albums of 2020 remind us that we are all part of the same global system, an understanding that we can imbue with endless possible meanings as, like the musicians named here, we find new ways to build connections.


Hard Times, Easy Listening: 10 Albums for Autumn 2020

Music has been a most necessary balm in 2020 and will remain one in the post-summer months. This list offers a brief repository of albums that gleam in ways particularly autumnal.

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