The 20 best albums of 2020, according to critics

The very best albums of the year 2020, according to reviews from professional critics.
Cover art for some of the best reviewed albums of 2020. Photo credit: various

The year 2020 will be remembered for some horrible things, but during it a lot of great music was released.

As the year drifts toward a close, it's a good time to look back at the greatest albums released during it.

Among the best-reviewed albums of the year are newer artists like Dua Lipa, Phoebe Bridgers and Perfume Genius, along with new records from aging rockers like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Jarvis Cocker.

There's a good chance you haven't heard every album in the list below - and who knows, you might just discover a new favourite in it.

The list is taken from review aggregator Metacritic, based on each album's average review rating or Metascore - but only including new albums that received at least 15 reviews from professional critics.

Metacritic's top 20 albums of 2020:

  1. Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  2. Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
  3. Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
  4. Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
  5. Moses Sumney - græ
  6. Run the Jewels - RTJ4
  7. HAIM - Women in Music, Pt. III 
  8. Taylor Swift - Folklore 
  9. Laura Marling - Song for Our Daughter 
  10. Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
  11. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
  12. Yves Tumor - Heaven to a Tortured Mind
  13. Bruce Springsteen - Letter to You
  14. Neil Young - Homegrown
  15. Deftones - Ohms
  16. Fleet Foxes - Shore
  17. Porridge Radio - Every Bad
  18. Jarvis Cocker - Beyond the Pale
  19. Nadine Shah - Kitchen Sink
  20. The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

Links to full critical reviews and the complete list of the top 40 albums can be found on the Metacritic website.