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 best new artists are pushing boundaries as popular music becomes less genre-focused. New artists are forging new identities, rather than occupying the convenient marketing categories of the past.
The electropop universe was vast in 2020 with brilliant newish acts emerging, and experimentalists pushing the music forward. Meanwhile, a few legends returned to show us all how it's really done.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.