Saturday, May 22, 2021

McQ's Best Of 2020 Mix Collection

McQ's #1 Album of 2020
Greetings, music fans. It's time once again to reveal our annual mix collection celebrating the best music of the year just passed.

And when it comes to that year just passed, whether intentional or not, it's safe to say the music of 2020 felt profoundly influenced by the trying year we have all just endured.

A lean, unspectacular, and non-transformative music year (though not without numerous small pleasures), the music of 2020 seemed to retreat into the safe and comfortably known just as we retreated into the safety of our homes.  

McQ's #1 Artist of 2020
Outside of a quartet of ambitious neo-soul releases by Moses Sumney, Yves Tumor and the anonymous British production collective SAULT, and the year's one indisputable classic, Fiona Apple's Fetch The Bolt Cutters (which, perfect for a pandemic year, was most inventive in the way it felt so holistically recorded at home), there was little stylistic groundbreaking. Most artists seemed more focused on just delivering solid new additions to well-established genres, generating material the listener could cozy up to rather than be challenged by.  

And even on those rare occasions when 2020 did get angry or political - as with the many 2020 album's released in direct response to George Floyd's murder - the protests were delivered with a resilient whisper (aka SAULT's Wildfires) as often as shouts of fury.

McQ's #2 album of 2020

From a genre perspective, 2020 felt a lot like the last few years - hip hop, contemporary pop, intimate Spotify-driven indie-folk and arty, spikey post-punk continued to dominate present trends, and, as has been the case for most of this decade, female artists significantly outperformed the men. 

But irony of ironies, the one genre that was bursting with life in 2020 was the one genre most restricted by Covid from shining in its ideal milieu - club-oriented, diva-fronted disco. 

And that's really about it on 2020.  Like I said, overall a lean music year (you can see our year-end album rankings here).

So in response, I have simplified things tremendously, losing all the niche specific mixes and paring it all down to just three longer eclectic volumes - our standard starters Best Of The Best and Nancy's Favorites, and our standard closer The Next 100.  

As always, clicking on the mix names will take you to a more detailed write-up with a thought or two on each included work, but you can also access all the mixes here. 

So enough with the chit chat.  On to the music.  Enjoy!

This mix will change in a few months when Nancy locks in her 2020 favorites to avoid repeats, but for now, here are McQ's choices for the 42 albums/singles he felt most passionate about in 2020.

Volume 2 - Nancy's Favorites!

Nancy's running a touch late this year closing out her mix, but as soon as she's locked it down, we will get it up here on this mix board and let fans of her mix know.


Volume 3 - The Next 100

No write up for mix three, but this year, the track list breaks down into three phases.  Songs 1-14 represent  McQ's next 14 favorite albums of 2020.  From song 15 - 75 - another 61 2020 albums/singles that sparked our interest, presented in alphabetical order, and in songs 76-100, a parade of outstanding deep cuts from albums/artists already touched upon in Vols 1 & 2.  As with Vol 1 - this mix will be updated down the line once Nancy finalizes her selections.

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