28th July 2020;
By:- Shataksh Bhardwaj
1. Juice Wrld
With the release of his post humous album, he has taken the whole music scene by a storm, with songs like “Come & Go” Ft. Marshmello, “Life’s a Mess” with Halsey, Legends Never Die is probably one of the best albums out right now.
Billboard reports that the project moved another 162K equivalent album units. This makes Juice the ninth artist to secure a No. 1 on the Billboard 200 both when alive and after death. Earlier projections placed him at pulling in 158K units.
2. Pop Smoke
Pop Smoke is living on through his music.
A number of collaborations are packed into the 19-song release, which features 50 Cent, Future, Migos rapper Quavo, Swae Lee, DaBaby, Tyga, as well as Sean “Diddy” Combs’ son Christian, who goes by the name King Combs.
“Miss You Bro U Did It Tho!!” Quavo wrote on social media as the album hit the internet.
3. The Chicks
In a long-distant era of discord suspiciously similar to our own, Natalie Maines, the singer for the group that was, until last month, known as the Dixie Chicks, lit a forest fire with an offhand insult about George W. Bush in 2003. Since then, she’s owned her political words more deliberately by laying into Donald Trump on social media, not onstage. But listening to her now, all you can think is: Man … they got off easy. Because on the newly renamed Chicks’ first album in 14 years, Maines savages her ex in ways that make it seem as if she were mincing words or pulling punches back when she was taking on mere presidents. She’s got your civil war right here: “Gaslighter” might count as the boldest and most bracing entry ever in popular music’s long and storied history of divorce albums.
Aside from a few such more adventurous tracks, though, Antonoff plays it more conservatively, to the point where most of the album isn’t an extreme departure from where Rick Rubin left off with them on their last album 14 years ago. Strayer’s banjo and Maguire’s fiddle are still played as lead instruments, even if they’re playing licks that skew to pop as much as country or roots music. The most remarkable thing on the production end of the scale, ultimately, ends up being how magnificently Maines’ voice is mic-ed on the more intimate numbers.
4. Harry Styles
When One Direction went on hiatus in 2016, it wasn’t really a question of if Harry Styles would release solo material – more, what sort of music would it be? Would he follow ex-bandmate Zayn Malik down the sensual electronic-R&B route? Would he try and shed the boyband label and push out a record of boyish indie? Or would he go down the Justin Timberlake route of a tightly written, full-blown pop album?
Well, he did none of the above. Styles’ debut single ‘Sign of the Times’ was a Bowie inspired epic standing at just under six minutes. The power ballad fused elements of ’70s rock with Britpop, and was a taster of what was to come on his self-titled debut album, which combined the aforementioned influences with elements of soft rock, psychedelia and a dash of funk. Brilliantly bizarre and endlessly endearing, it featured a handful of mega tunes, but sometimes it felt like Styles was borrowing too heavily from his musical heroes. There were glimmers of his personality and own sound, but they were partially obscured by the eclectic inspirations and attempts to distance himself from his boyband past.
This was evident in the first few singles: ‘Lights Up’, which blends soft rock with modern indie and a glimmer of soul, and the bombastic ‘Watermelon Sugar’, a ‘70s inspired bop stuffed with bolshy brass lines. The rest of ‘Fine Line’ follows suit.
Though released in 2019, “Fine Line” still remains one of the best albums to listen and relax to.
5. Lil Baby
Lil Baby is one of the breakout stars of his era. With My Turn, he proves that designation apt, while leaving plenty of room to grow as an artist. He makes strides as both a rapper and a songwriter, continues to display the same compelling charm that garnered him the coveted Drake co-sign and allowed him to outlive it, and carries the vast majority of the album’s lengthy runtime through sheer force of personality. My Turn is a solid followup to his Quality Control debut, Harder Than Ever, and a sign that he may have what it takes to turn the star potential he flashed there into an extensive run.
After dropping his major-label debut in 2018, Baby quickly followed up toward the end of the same year with Drip Harder, a joint album with Gunna, as well as a standalone mixtape called Street Gossip, so it’s no wonder he took most of 2019 off. However, it seemed he was well aware of the expectations that would be assigned his next album, as evidenced by the title of “Sum 2 Prove,” an assertive mission statement that highlights both Baby’s rough upbringing and the high hopes fans held for his sophomore album.
6. Post Malone
Nothing about Post Malone suggests “career pop musician” but that is exactly what he has become. Speaking purely in numbers, he’s just about the most ubiquitous pop musician alive: His songs multiply in the culture right now like kudzu or prairie dogs. He takes Jimmy Fallon to the Olive Garden and Medieval Times; he sells his own limited-edition Crocs. He emerges from Rolls Royce crashes unscathed and touches cursed objects on episodes of Ghost Adventures. Pop music is a little bit like Post Malone’s very own Hanna-Barbera cartoon right now, and he is somehow both Shaggy and Scooby.
The sheer vibe of post malone will always remain the same, cool ‘n chill.
7. The Weeknd
Last but not the least we have Abel, better known as The Weeknd, with the amazing album, After Hours. More than most, the phases of R&B-pop auteur The Weeknd are tightly defined. The three pioneering 2011 mixtapes that launched not only his career but a whole new strain of R&B bled into his more-elaborate but just as dark major-label debut, “Kiss Land.” During that time he was reclusive, declining interviews, rarely being photographed and putting forth a profile as murky as the production on those albums.
Unexpectedly, “After Hours” starts off with gentler, quieter songs. The mood is set with the haunting “Alone Again” and “Too Late” — loaded with ominous keyboards and sinister sub-bass — before shifting into the aching “Hardest to Love,” a Martin collaboration with a spiraling chorus that could have been plucked from a late ‘60s pop single; the fact that it’s combined with ricocheting, drum n’ bass percussion that somehow sounds perfectly natural only emphasizes the song’s sophistication. The Weeknd never fails to create that chill vibe that many aspire to create.