Wednesday, 30 December 2020

20 for 2020 #4

I'm not going mention any of the records that disappointed me this year - there were a few. God knows we've had anough negatives over the past 12 months. I'd rather focus on the positive side of things, so here's the final selection of my favourite albums of 2020.

PUBLIC ENEMY 'What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?'
What makes me happy is that Public Enemy are still making music in 2020. What makes me sad is that the messages they were preaching in 1987 remain just as relevant in 2020. For their 17th album, Chuck, Flav and Lord roped in friends from the hip-hop community including the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Ice-T, Nas and Cypress Hill to name a few. A couple of old tracks were given a makeover too including 1990's anthem Fight The Power, one of the most powerful protest songs of all time. In the current landscape, it's never sounded so necessary.

CULTS 'Host'
There were two distinctive firsts on Cults' fourth 'proper' album: they used mainly live instruments instead of synths and electronics; and it contained songs written by vocalist Madeline Follin, who had been hording them for some time. The result is possibly their best album to date.

SORRY '952'
Another duo - Sorry hail from London and released an intriguing debut album which kind of defies categorisation (though if you like Beetlebum-era Blur, you might well enjoy it). There's a lot going on here, and they certainly wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. I play this album when I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for, and it always does the trick.

LAURA MARLING 'Song For Our Daughter'
I mentioned earlier in the year how Laura Marling's latest effort is an absolute joy. An album of intimate and sparsely-arranged songs for an imaginary daughter, it was inspired by an eclectic bunch of writers and musicians including Maya Angelou, Graeme Green, Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen and Robert Icke. Laura Marling is fast becoming a national treasure, and she's still only 30!

And to finish off, how about the comeback record of the year? Despite reforming in 2000, the Psychedelic Furs toured for the best part of the next two decades without releasing any new material. And then this little beauty hit the shelves, a full 29 years after their last record 'World Outside'. Got to say, it was worth the wait. Some brilliant, brilliant songs on this one.

Shout outs must also go to:
Sparks - 'A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip' (one of Mrs Robster's faves)
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - 'Viscerals' (definitely not one of Mrs Robster's faves...)
Ian Skelly - 'Drifters Skyline'
Mourn - 'Self Worth'
The Strokes - 'The New Abnormal'

OK, I'm done. I could make this list twice as long but that would be boring. Hopefully this time next year I'll have just as much to write about, maybe I could even get a few gig reviews in as well!

Back to the burrow I go. Wake me up when something good happens...


  1. It is amazing how good The Psychedelic Furs' album is. No One just missed my Top 50, but the album is one I have listened to quite a lot.

  2. I thought the Psychedelic Furs album was really good too. I had a few disappointments as well, and I'm pretty sure we share at least one of them... her initials are A.B. Anyway, it was great to have you back these past few weeks. Don't be a stranger.