We’re back in the saddle, and finally reaching the end of one of the most chaotic years in recent memory. Has your favourite album made the cut? Will we put you onto some new tunes to end this year on a high? Have we remembered to include Folklore and Punisher this time? Take a gander at the second half of our Best Albums of 2020…
THE BEST ALBUMS
Will Taylor Swift make it on there twice? Are we doing justice for Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher? Check out part two of our Best Albums of 2020.
Megan Thee Stallion – Good News
Houston’s most notorious Hot-Girl has had a year so insane we can barely believe it, from a slew of viral hits (including a remix with one Ms. Beyonce Carter-Knowles), to an extremely public and abusive altercation with T*ry L**ez. Of course, we were chanting her on every step of the way, so when she released her long-awaited debut album Good News, best believe we were bouncing off the walls in excitement. The entire project is faultless, and a testament to Meg’s tenacity and action-packed approach to music – we really did luck out with such a triumphant return.
BEST SONGS: “Shots Fired”, “Do It On The Tip (feat. City Girls & Hot Girl Meg)”, “Go Crazy (feat. Big Sean and 2 Chainz)”
Roisin Murphy – Roisin Machine
Roisin Murphy’s latest album cemented itself as an instant classic the moment it was unleashed into the world, not least because of her playful “I’m back to snatch Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware’s wigs,” declaration to the gays a few days prior. With most of the other albums in this calling us to the sticky floor’s of G-A-Y or your best mate’s living room for an afters, Roisin Machine’s demonic disco was destined to be spun in a frostbitten warehouse somewhere beyond zone 5, a place that involves crossing a large body of water and has a security team who threaten you with butcher knives should you try and avoid paying to get in. Stick a big, fat disco ball and some makeshift strobes in there, alongside Murphy’s plethora of driving rhythms and pounding basslines, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for total musical pleasure.
Best Songs: “Jealousy”, “Game Changer”, “We Got Together”
Taylor Swift – Folklore
Like many hopeless believers, we clung desperately to the hope that festivals and events like Taylor Swift’s Lover Tour would go ahead without any hiccups at this past summer’s. That didn’t happen. Instead, Swift sorta-surprise dropped an entirely new project, the haunting yet devastatingly romantic Folklore. She had us patrolling Genius, looking for clues and easter eggs about the album’s teen love triangle, checking the back of the sofa for coins to buy one of her eight collector’s vinyl sets, and even dropped a recent documentary on Disney+ about putting the whole shebang together. Then, just as we’d gotten over those initial shockwaves, this past Friday she went and dropped Folklore’s bloody sister album. With eagle-eyed stans alluding to another project dropping in January, Swift is literally stamping on our necks at this point, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Best Tracks: “August”, “Mirrorball”, “Last Great American Dynasty”, “The Lakes”
Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind
Chock-full of hazy jams and psychedelic beauty, Yves Tumor’s latest cut was another tonic for something of a joyless year. There’s no doubt you’ll have heard “Gospel For a New Century” at some point this past summer, whether it be on a tinny speaker in London Fields, with a cab driver who adores Radio 6, or even through a fleeting lovers’ after sex playlist (whoever they are, great taste!). In any case, this project will see you lost in rumbling ocean of never-ending guitar riffs and divine, almost orgasmic vocals as you contemplate the meaning of your existence, or just really love a bit of indie. Whatever the future of rock is, there’s no doubt that Tumor will be at the front of its procession, exuding total ecstasy in the process.
Best Songs: “Kerosene!”, “Medicine Burn”, “Super Stars”
Kylie Minogue – DISCO
You must’ve lost your bloody mind if you thought we’d be missing out this year’s pop saviour on the list, seriously. We welcomed Minogue’s 15th studio album at a crucial stage of 2020, fatigued by early evenings and lockdown 2.0, the desire for a sweaty night out seemed more potent than ever. Then along came Kylie, providing the campiest, poppiest goods that quelled all our woes –– if only for a moment. Between the frenetic explosions at the end of “Dance Floor Darling”, or the swirling, euphoric charm of “Say Something”, the pop icon proved that her free and fun-loving approach to song hadn’t gone anywhere, and that she’ll be producing bangers like this until the day she dies.
Best Songs: “Hey Lonely”, “Monday Blues”, “Miss a Thing”
The Weeknd – After Hours
He may have been totally, outrageously and undeniably snubbed at the Grammy’s, but here at Wonderland, The Weeknd will always be a winner. After Hours is the artist’s fourth studio album, and sees Abel at his most experimental yet, recalling his Trilogy days with a wistful nostalgia for the synth-filled paradise that is the ‘80s, flirting with ballads and even a bit of liquid drum n bass while he’s at it. We, of course, ate it up like a 5-course meal (who doesn’t love the ‘80s?) and would like to give special thanks to whoever created that TikTok dance challenge that propelled the albums lead single, “Blinding Lights”, to nearly 2 billion streams. Vive la Synthpop!
Best Songs: “Blinding Lights” (obviously), “Hardest To Love”, “Save Your Tears”
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
The star of our summer issue and LA’s resident Shakespeare of Silverlake has been on the Wonderlist more time’s than we can count, exceeding any and all expectations with her Grammy-nominated sophomore album. To quote our favourite Twitter meme from this side of the year, Punisher is less of an album, and more of a cultural reset. Its the oxygen you breathe, its a lifestyle, a reason to live, an escape from this cruel world filled with thieves… Its art, a hug from a loved one, everything you’ve ever wanted… We believe it takes a beyond special appreciation for the craft of music to create sad banger after sad banger in such a manner, so for that, we salute you Ms. Bridgers.
Best Songs: “Kyoto”, “Halloween”, “I Know The End”
Pa Salieu – Send Them to Coventry
Mixtapes count in this list too – and even if they didn’t, there’s no way we could ignore Pa Salieu’s incredible full-length debut. The Coventry-hailed rapper and Wonderland cover star burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere back in late 2018, and has since garnered huge acclaim through features with the likes of SL and Meekz that we cannot stop replaying. Send Them To Coventry is just the start of a promising journey for Salieu, who’s seamless blending of afrobeats, grime and dancehall is sure to take him far beyond the UK’s impeccable rap scene, maybe even all the way to Pluto if Elon Musk’s SpaceX continues to thrive. Let it be known that the ‘I ain’t with the drama, this ain’t Hollyoaks’ lyric from “Betty” is our favourite verse not only of the year, but all-time…
Best Songs: “Block Boy”, “Informa (feat. M1llionz)”, “My Family (feat. BackRoad Gee)
The Orielles – Disco Volador
It would be remiss of us to not include some more dreamy indie on the list, it is what makes the world go round, after all… The Orielles’ Disco Volador is only the second album from the post-disco punk trio, and makes for an essential listen no matter what style you’re into. These ten utterly mesmeric tunes will have you dancing naked in your window, main-charactering on your way to work, and scolding yourself for not stanning sooner, as our personal experience dictates anyway… We’re also inexplicably with their artwork too, it really is just 10/10 all round.
Best Songs: “Memoirs Of Miso”, “Whilst The Flowers Look”, “Euro Borealis”
Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts
Last but certainly not least is Plastic Hearts. We’ve been waiting for a rock album from Ms. Cyrus since forever, and now the time is finally, finally right. FKA as pop legend Hannah Montana, Cyrus is another star who we couldn’t quite seem to keep off of Wonderlist in recent months, commanding all the internets attention with her eruptive live rock covers which includes a recent (and perfect) rendition of Hole’s “Doll Parts”, The Cranberries’ “Zombie” and Blondie staple “Heart Of Glass”. Some admittedly boring critics have shed a few tears about the legitimacy of Cyrus’ rock obsession, which on the album flits between raspy Americana-fused ballads and pop-tinged glam-rock, but we couldn’t care less about all that, if it’s good enough for Joan Jett, it’s more than good enough for us too.
Best Songs: “Prisoner (feat. Dua Lipa)”, “Angels Like You”, “Never Be Me”, “Bad Karma”