Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Year In Review 2020 - Favorite Albums Part 1 (The Just Misses and Let Downs)

Another year is finishing up and @RockBodElec wouldn't be a proper music site if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so RtBE presents 2020's Favorite Albums Part 1 (The Just Misses and Let Downs):



In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album, either on this site or elsewhere, we will link to that review and just give a quick summation; click on the name/title and you can read our full opinion. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on their Top 20 so you can expect some overlap if you already have seen that list.

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but long playing releases you can slap on and listen all the way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us.

The number ten just works for this so these are the albums that just missed out on being our ten favorite for the year. After that we have s few albums from artists we dig that we were let down by. Like all of our lists or 'best of's' these are meant to start conversations more than end them...

In no particular order...


A solid blues record with gospel influences from the veteran Cray who comes through as an elder statesmen that still has it on That's What I Heard.


The debut from a folk trio that delivers Sunday morning folk ease with historic underpinnings. Great start from this outfit. 



Ho-hum just another rock solid retro soul album from the James Hunter Six and Daptone records.


An excellent jazz record from an artist RtBE has enjoyed in  the past. This is a confident first full length release from Garcia.



Good English pub punk/rock that really cooks throughout. A super solid debut from Chubby and The Gang.


A textured album from Isbell and company and while not quite up to the heights of past effortsRtBE certainly liked this one more than The Nashville Sound. There are certainly a few amazing songs on it like this one...


RtBE have been long time fans of CSaA and ranked his Centennial Trilogy as our favorite jazz release of the 2010's. Axiom is an excellent capturing of his live sound. 



One of the most solid top to bottom releases from Earle in sometime, Ghosts of West Virginia is a dynamite listen. 



The debut from Ian Mackaye and crew has the angular art rock in restrained style is very front and center and reminiscent of a toned down Fugazi.



A hell of a New Orleans second line brass band record from top notch NOLA players, if not well known names outside of the Crescent City. 



A punchy collection of southern rock in a smokey English style, A cool combo 



A very cool instrumental record that touches on tropicalia, modern and funky all around the vibes of Mike Dillon. An album that really surprised with its cool tone and adult vibes, yet playful spirit. 



The drunk hardcore punks from NYC keep it rolling as they dropped Wasted For Life, another collection of kick ass tunes. It is not all drunken good times though as the band gets older and deals with our shitty modern society on a few tracks.

An excellent return after seven years off from the Goodie Mob. This one flirted with our top ten as it is a sold full length hip hop release. 


RtBE's favorite live album of the year, because when you listen you are transported to this family gathering in the deep deep south via the interlocked playing and the literal calls to lineup for some food. A great capturing of creole music. 



This record was in our top ten all year until very recently, so in fairness this is probably number eleven for us in 2020. A record of the times, except the band topped themselves later on in 2020. 


The Let Down's:

Now for the bad news...some albums that let RtBE down...we had high hopes for these...no dice. These are by no means the worst albums of the year; they are just from artists RtBE like/respect that went a different route which we didn't particularly care for.

There are always releases we don't particularly like that others seem to, but these let downs are harder for us to swallow because these are artists we enjoy, love, or at least respect:

RtBE loves Dylan more than most, but this record felt so boring musically it let us down.  His lyrics are fine, but when we know first hand how top notch his band is and the arraignments can be in the live setting, it boggles the mind the music would be so dull on this studio effort. Sure it is great he is still releasing new music, but it could be so much better....

Their last album was fantastic and came close to topping our year end list when it was released. This one? Not our style and a clear let down. 

The move from Nashville country to LA country rock didn't do it for us. After her dynamite debut, her second album was one of our favorite of the decade so clearly this one is a let down for RtBE

A reunion album from the indie band and an all around let down. Over produced to the hills and misses on every song. 

The original record is one of RtBE's favorites of all time and we have been looking forward to the second half of the Wildflowers recording session for years. Turns out Petty, Rubin and company got it right the first time and this wasn't really needed.  

Stay tuned for our top ten of 2020. As always thanks for reading. 

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