These Were the Top 4 Albums of 2020

Taylor Swift at the American Music Award in 2018
Taylor Swift at the American Music Award in 2018. Photo by John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (9919915hb)

This is just about the time that every music and culture publication is publishing their top albums of 2020 lists. If you’re wondering what the top of the top is—AKA must-listen albums—here are the four that are being mentioned most often.

Fetch the Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple

Her first album release since 2012’s The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is indie darling Fiona Apple’s latest act of musical genius.

Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers

26-year-old Phoebe Bridgers’ second album came in June with the exact somber, end-of-the-world energy that felt right for 2020.

Folklore by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s surprise drop of her least pop album yet, Folklore, absolutely tore through the music industry this summer and, like with Punisher, it’s sad vibes were just the thing listeners were looking for.

Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

In total contrast, Dua Lipa’s retro-pop album Future Nostalgia gave us something to dance to all year—alone, at home, in our pajamas. But the 70s disco vibes were immaculate, and even the album’s release in March, the start of the pandemic’s systematic destruction of the music industry—couldn’t hurt its success.