The Top 10 Albums of the Year So Far

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

We're just over halfway through the year and we've reviewed many albums, so we thought it was time to take a moment and run through our favourite 10 albums that the year has given us so far. It may be a crap year in general, but musically, we're having a fantastic one. It says a lot that Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man didn't make it onto this list, because we loved that one, so it's a testament to the quality of those that did make it on that they're here. So, without further ado, let's get straight into it.

10: Gabrielle Aplin - Dear Happy

Aplin's latest effort, featuring the likes of 'Miss You', 'Magic', 'Invisible' and 'One of these Days', is undoubtedly her strongest yet. A chorus-meister, she has developed her craft over the last decade and shows a confidence and assurance on this album that is often only found on albums by artists 20 years her senior. Its peak chart position of 24 is, frankly, a scandal. She deserves better.

(Full review here)

9: Trivium - What The Dead Men Say

Trivium's What The Dead Men Say is the quintessential Trivium album. If you're new to the band and you'd like to know exactly what Trivium are about, this is the album for you. Featuring slices of every album, whether it be Ascendancy, The Crusade, In Waves or Silence in the Snow, this album is the perfect showcase of everything the band are. Bloody good, basically.

(Full review here)

8: Rina Sawayama - Sawayama

Sawayama's debut is very promising indeed. Throwing the genre rule-book out the window, her mainly pop/R&B sound that we hear on 'Commes Des Garcons' is often infused with heavy doses of nu-metal, with the likes of 'XS' being R&B with random metal moments and 'STFU!' being a full-blown Linkin Park track. Her experimental nature will serve her well, as is clearly evidenced on this debut.

(Full review here)

7: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Viscerals

We're just going to directly quote ourselves for this one. "With shades of Killing Joke, Black Sabbath and also a bit of Clutch, this is 38 minutes of full-on riffage which is Hell bent on setting your speakers on fire. Whether it be the raw power of 'Reducer', the slow prog of 'New Body' (which sounds like a metal record being dragged through sludge), or the more straightforward 'World Crust', Pigsx7 crush it all the way through."

(Full review here)

6: Metrik - Ex Machina

The year's standout Drum & Bass record, this effort from Metrik is a heck of a ride. A diverse collection of both mainstream tracks and more aggressive tunes, its title track in particular wreaks absolute havoc onto the dance floor. A fast-paced record, Ex Machina is Metrik's best album yet, and hopefully there's still more to come from the man in the near future.

(Full review here)

5: Lady Gaga - Chromatica

Do you like 1990s Eurodance music? Do you wish that era had never ended? Well, good news, for Lady Gaga clearly felt the same way - and then remembered she's a music artist. Featuring such excellent songs as 'Alice', 'Enigma' and 'Babylon', there is also a modern sensibility, and highlight 'Rain On Me' (with one Ariana Grande) perfectly encapsulates this. Also featuring collaborations with Blackpink and Elton John, this is just a Hella fun time all the way through.

(Full review here)

4: BTS - Map of the Soul 7

What more can be said about the K-Pop kings themselves? With Map of the Soul 7, they delivered yet again, bringing their dangerously loyal fans over an hour of K-Pop excellence. With the likes of 'ON', 'UGH!' and the electric 'Dionysus', these boys can seemingly put no foot wrong - as anyone familiar with their choreography will know. BTS continue to conquer the world, and are showing no signs of slowing down.

(Full review here)

3: Ghostpoet - I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep

Ghostpoet's bleak commentary on daily life and the political climate may not be for everyone, but it's still damn good. With lyrics that concern Brexit, Windrush and more depressing topics, it may bring you down, but there's a chill vibe to it that can negate those feelings. This is one of those records that takes a few listens, but it's certainly more than worth it.

(Full review here)

2: Hayley Williams - Petals for Armor

Williams' debut solo record showcased a woman who seems remarkably comfortable outside of her supposed comfort zone. Songs such as 'Over Yet', 'Simmer' and the almost annoyingly catchy 'Dead Horse' are proof that Williams is more than capable outside of Paramore, and this record - which she openly states was a "scary, empowering experience" - is nothing less than a truly outstanding debut.

(Full review here)

1: Burning Witches - Dance With The Devil

Is this my metal bias showing? Perhaps, but damn, if this isn't an absolutely stonking record. Relentless, heavy, and featuring more riffage and soaring vocals than a Judas Priest best-of, this is one of the best records the metal genre has seen in years. 'Lucid Nightmare' tears your face off, 'Necronomicon' has growls Dani Filth would be proud of, and a full Bruce Dickinson siren can be heard at the end of the album. This is as metal as metal gets, and it's practically perfect. It's going to take some beating. (Full review here)

So there we have it, our top ten albums of the year so far. Do you agree, or are we way off? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter!