Sounds of a decade
2020 was a rough year for all of us. We had to fight an invisible enemy killing our friends, families, and love ones. And, of course, certain elections and events making us question our very lives. Amidst it all, many of us had companions to accompany us, and music is one of those companions.
The billboard charts were stagnant all year, with gobble goop from 2019, but many artists released their albums without sales they usually receive. Here are the ones that stood out from the crowd.
The new pop idol made a massive splash with flamboyant, a quirky and fun album that captured LGBT.
With my agenda, Dorian captures toxic masculinity, people on the internet (trolls and neckbeards), and his gender. We get such lyrics as, “My agenda.
Might offend ya Out here flexing in my Rainbow suspenders, we’re out here turning frogs homosexual, one question why so serious? Did I offend you? I’m so curious. Ha’ my identity’s mysterious.”
A commenter on genius painted a factual scenario.
“Can we all agree this is going to be about a male who’s a troll and an edgelord online, but finds out all of that misogyny, hate and edginess expressed internalized homophobia and insecurity and surrenders to pleasure and has sex with another man who’s into BDSM and realizes his the most submissive bottom ever?”
- Andrew Tremblay on genius
The lyrics flow well with the production, a chaotic mess with a few whips added here and there. A few of the songs are short, and they to be longer. For example, the song M’Lady. Another verse or chorus could have worked or add more to the heaving breathing.
My Agenda isn’t as engaging, but the lyricism and the new bells and whistles make it work.
How I’m feeling now is a prime example of staying home because of COVID-19. Charlie reflects on how she deals with the crisis, how her relationship is going, and how she misses her friends. All accompanied by distorted synths that pound and twist. For example, the opening track, pink diamond with its roaring and bombastic synths that keep on distorting as the song progresses.
The album is catchy and one of the best pop and music of 2020. Fans may argue that this album is better than her 2019 release Charli, or vice versa, but they are equals. This album reflects Charli XCX’s future career.
Rina blew into 2017 with her EP Rina, a refreshing pop and R&B album, which incorporates the sound of early 2000s pop and R&B. Rina was someone to look out for. When she unveiled her new album, excitement grew, and it expected to hype up the EPs excellence.
Rina didn’t disappoint; she and her team of producers released a solid debut with plenty of early 2000s pop and R&B charm, with little sprinkles of metal and EDM.
XS with its bouncy and hypnotic samples. STFU with its aggressive guitar riff and can-do attitude. Chosen Family, which sounds as if it could’ve been preform by the pop divas of the early 2000s.
Rina Sawayama proved herself to as a modern-day diva. She can go up there with some great pop divas.
The 1980s hardcore punk is back with ultra mono. Pull out that leather jacket you haven’t worn in years, put on skinny jeans, head to your closest mirror and say, “Okay, today I’ll be 18 again.” Once you warmed yourself up, move to the sounds of Idles.
Idles recreates the sound of the great punk rockers of the 1980s. Their lyrics capture today’s social and political climate, adding humor because we all need a good laugh once in a while. Their energetic and fast-paced instrumentals make you want to shake your fist and bang your head. Their music can take you back to your rebellious days.
Patterns in the static is a straightforward rock album. It’s an album that captures the simplicity of alternative rock through and through. What makes this album standout is the lyrics, with its reminiscing of the past and the good old days. The band’s vocalist (Mott MacDonald) wants to take us back to when we were kids, and when things felt simple and made sense. Highlights reflect on getting older and how time goes by. But after all, your past moments became your highlights. And to remind us, as we get older, we don’t know everything, and that’s okay.
The band still has the energy and showed they had not lost their touch of making fast-paced rock songs. After being around for most of two decades.
Much reverb is added to Mott MacDonald’s voice, and it can get bothersome. The band was capturing the raw sound from live performances, and it works reasonably well to emphasize the message of the album. They hit out of the park with Patterns In The Static and showed they still got it.
These five albums went through a roller coaster of emotions experienced in 2020. Sad, angry, and funny. Many artists backed out to release music last year, but for those who did, we are thankful. Two thousand twenty-one sounds await.