Memo’s Top 50 Albums of The Year

Hello everybody! Happy New Year! So I am going to do something different this month. I usually write an article about my favorite music of the month, but since the shit show we call 2020 just ended I rather rank 50 of my favorite albums from 2020. Starting today on my YouTube channel I will be starting list week. I will be talking about my favorite and least favorite music from 2020. My top 50 albums video is the last video I will be uploading, but I think it would be a good idea to release my list early here on Indie Pong.

Although I think I have a pretty good list I do have a couple disclaimers. First of all, I kind of cheated. This list is called my top 50 albums of the year, but I do have a few EP’s in the list. Also, I know this is an indie music blog, but I do have some mainstream albums in the list. There has been several mainstream albums I enjoyed this year, so I would feel weird not to include them in my list. With that said, I don’t think my list is that bad. I am honestly proud of it. 2020 might be a shitty year, but at least there has been a lot of great albums released in 2020.

Without further ado here is my top 50 albums of the year for 2020!

50) Kota the Friend – EVERYTHING

49) Lady Gaga – Chromatica

48) Joji – Nectar

47) Bad Bunny – YHLQMDLG

46) Rico Nasty – Nightmare Vacation

45) Jme – Grime MC

44) SAULT – Untitled (Black Is)

43) Aminé – Limbo

42) Logic – No Pressure

41) Thundercat – It Is What It Is

40) Nas – King’s Disease

39) 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi

38) 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode II

37) Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind

36) Childish Gambino – 3.15.20

35) Action Bronson – Only For Dolphins

34) Deante’ Hitchcock – BETTER

33) Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

32) Jean Dawson – Pixel Bath

31) Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

30) Blu & Exile – Miles

29) Fionna Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters

28) R.A.P. Ferreira – Purple Moonlight Pages

27) Qualle Chris & Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2

26) Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon III: The Chosen

25) Benny The Butcher – Burden of Proof

24) Oliver Tree – Ugly is Beautiful 

23) Kali Uchis – Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞

22) Black Thought – Streams of Thought, Voll:3 Cane & Able

21) JPEGMAFIA – EP!

20) The Koreatown Oddity – Little Dominiques Nosebleed

19) Conway The Machine – From King To A GOD

18) Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – UNLOCKED

17) James Blake – Before

16) Slauson Malone – Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak)

15) The Weekend – After Hours

14) Charli XCX – how i’m feeling now

13) Poppy – I Disagree

12) 100 gecs – 1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues

11) clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

10) Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

9) Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2

8) Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist – Alfredo

7) Rina Sawayama – Sawayama

6) The Strokes – The New Abnormal

5) Aesop Rock – Spirit World Field Guide

4) Boldy James & Sterling Toles – Manger on McNichols

3) Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez

2) Mac Miller – Circles

1) Run The Jewels – RTJ4

Let me know what you think?

p.s. Here is a link to my top 50 songs of the year playlist on Spotify in case you are curious.

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Heads Up! This is a tear-jerker: Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) by Slauson Malone EP Review

Hello everybody! My name is Memo and I am the newest member of the Indie Pong gang. Here’s a little bit about me. I have a music youtube channel with over 2,000 subscribers called FancyMemo. I do reactions, reviews, discussions, vinyl record videos, and other music-related content. I am a huge hip hop and rap fan. Although that is my go to genre I do like exploring other genres. I like to give everything a chance, so being a part of the Indie Pong family seems to be a perfect fit. I also work part time at an elementary school and I am a full-time student at Cal State Fullerton. Although I am a busy guy, I do love talking about music, so I am very happy about being able to share my thoughts about music here on Indie Pong. With all that said, lets get into this Slauson Malone reiew.

Slauson Malone is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer from New York. Although he has been making music with the group Standing on the Corner, I first discovered him when he released his debut album A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018. Although I didn’t understand the appeal at first, A Quiet Farwell quickly grew on me and it ended up becoming my third favorite album released last year. I like describing this album as audible depression because of how dark and heartbreaking the album is. Malone’s newest EP is no different. With only nine tracks, vergangenheitsbewältigung, or “coping with the past” in english, packs a huge emotional punch in its short twenty-four minute run time.

The instrumentals off this EP are strangely beautiful. It can be so off-kilter yet comforting at the same time. For instance, the song “My feet’s tired (see page 108)” starts with this annoying high pitched feedback noise, but it seamlessly transitions into this very warm piano. Both the piano and guitar are utilized a lot throughout this EP. These instruments give off a very soothing feeling to each track. The song “THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye)” has this very peaceful guitar playing throughout the entire track. It matches very well with Malone’s emotional performance. Although these instrumentals are mostly soothing and relaxing, Malone does sprinkle in different sounds once in a while to spice things up. At random moments you can hear a glitchy voice or even a scream pop up. It helps add to the depressing tone of the EP.

Speaking of depressing, the subject matter is……a lot. This man is in pain and I hope he is getting some help. For the most part, Malone talks about his usual subject matter, but he always does it in a new and complicated way. The lyrics are so dense and it takes a lot of time to decipher. What I was able to get out of his lyrics is that this man has been in a very dark place. He wants to live a normal life, but he can’t escape the horrors that are plaguing him. No matter how hard he screams for help, he continues to feel trapped. Malones lyrics are matched with some painful performances.

One of Malones biggest improvements, from his debut album, is his ability to give an impactful performance. Since A Quiet Farwell is mostly instrumental, and the features were on the mic more than Malone, I didn’t really know what Malone was capable of vocally. Turns out, he is pretty moving. Malone tends to have this moany singing voice, which I don’t mind at all, but in this EP he seemed like he was breaking out of his shell. He is a lot more expressive. You can tell how broken he is by listening to him sing. “The Wake Pt. 3 & 2 (see page 87, 58, and 48)” and “THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye)” showcases these emotions on full display. These two tracks give me goosebumps. This is a huge improvement from what he was doing on his last project.

Overall, I think Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) is a great companion piece to it’s older brother. This EP is practically A Quiet Farwell, but bite-size. If you are curious about Malone’s work I highly recommend this EP. I feel like this is a great gateway project to his material. I don’t think this EP is for everybody. It is a lot to take in, but I highly recommend it. It deserves a listen and who knows? Maybe it will resonate with you as it did for me.