With the end of the year approaching, various "Best Of" lists are surfacing, offering a snapshot of the most impactful album releases of 2020.
While each list holds their own unique value, it's tough to argue with Billboard. A respected authority among the industry and the consumer public alike, the publication's voice is especially important.
The publication has just released their staff picks of the 25 best rock albums of the year and the collection of artists is impressively diverse. There are genre mainstays that would be expected to be listed like Pearl Jam, The Strokes, and The Killers. There are also emerging artists ranked among such company like Spanish Love Songs and the hardcore throwback of Higher Power. The band's 27 Miles Underwater was described as a "gleefully pummeling product" that falls somewhere between "falls somewhere between post-grunge and classic punk."
Also making the cut is PA's very own Code Orange. Despite the stagnation of 2020, the band has managed to make something of nothing, forging an undeniable presence online with the momentum of three successful streaming productions - Last Ones Left: In Fear of the End, Under The Skin, and their recent Halloween production in Back Inside the Glass.
Offering fans a glimpse into their meticulous, calculated brand of chaos, the band's criticality and commercially lauded album Underneath is a colossal achievement that propelled the hardcore practitioners to the head of their respective class. In fact, in addition to the nod from Billboard, the band also tallied a Grammy nomination for their effort.
Naturally, it just wouldn't be a proper list if Ozzy was omitted right? After a tenure that has spanned literal generations, Ozzy's legacy was further cemented with the addition of his 2020 installment, Ordinary Man. Collaborating with a roster of producers that all seemed to understand how to bring out the best in Ozzy, the album served as a fresh addition to the icon's catalog without ever having to rely on his rank in the hierarchy of rock to justify the listen.
No one remains this good for this long, unless you are Ozzy.
The Billboard 26 Best Rock Albums of 2020 can be viewed with complete descriptions - HERE
25. Pearl Jam – “Gigaton“
24. Khurangbin – “Mordechai“
23. Dream Wife – “So When You Gonna“
22. Higher Power – “27 Miles Underwater“
21. The Killers – “Imploding The Mirage“
20. Spanish Love Songs – “Brave Faces Everywhere“
19. Bartees Strange – “Live Forever“
18. Declan McKenna – “Zeroes“
17. Code Orange – “Underoath“
16. Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud“
15. Car Seat Headrest – “Making A Door Less Open“
14. Various Artists – “The Turning Soundtrack“
13. Tame Impala – “The Slow Rush“
12. Lucinda Williams – “Good Souls Better Angels“
11. Shamir – “Shamir“
10. Hayley Williams – “Petals For Armor“
09. The Strokes – “The New Abnormal“
08. Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher“
07. Ozzy Osbourne – “Ordinary Man“
06. Soccer Mommy – “Color Theory“
05. The 1975 – “Notes On A Conditional Form“
04. Perfume Genius – “Set My Heart On Fire Immediately“
03. Beabadoobee – “Fake It Flowers“
02. Machine Gun Kelly – “Tickets To My Downfall“
01. Haim – “Women In Music Pt. III“