2020 IN REVIEW
Run the Jewels
Mac Miller (RIP)
Car Seat Headrest
Juice WRLD (RIP)
Bombay Bicycle Club
The Front Bottoms
Taylor Swift (again!)
Like we did absolutely nothing to deserve to be treated this well musically. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died due to COVID-19, and countless more have been affected by the pandemic. The country has never been more divided on politics, and because of that, hate seems to be at an all-time high. It seems everywhere you look on the internet there is more and more hate. It’s actually a part of the reason I started this blog. It would get me to doom scroll less and hopefully share some good music with a few friends.
If anything, we deserved a full year where the only new music released would be remixes of WAP where Kylie Jenner not only appears in the music video but also on the track. The only explanation to us being blessed with such good music this year is that the universe was feeling a little sorry for us.
I’ve already commented a bit on this in my Top Ten Albums 2020, but even the stuff I didn’t mention in my Top Ten or my honorable mentions was good. I completely forgot that Childish Gambino’s album was this year. That album was great. My only complaint about it is that all the tracks are numbers and that makes it hard to really remember which song is which. Even the pop albums, which I haven’t been a big fan of historically, were good. And there are countless more to those I’ve mentioned. The point is a lot of really good, or at the very least, notable music was released this year. Let’s hope to god (if you believe in that kind of thing) that this trend will continue.
However, there is one exception to this wish. Taytay, you can slow it down a bit. Rest up. Millennial girls have had enough. Their hearts can only take so much. As a millennial myself who hopes to maybe consider starting to date again in 2021, I need you to give them a break, so that I have a chance. I don’t have the slightest hope in the world if you keep releasing one emo album after another every six months. So, please, from one millennial to another, just pump the breaks to give a guy a chance.
For all of my honest thoughts on T-Swift, be on the watch for a post entitled My Thoughts on Taylor Swift in which I will breakdown my nearly 15-year relationship with her music. I know no one asked for it, but you’re going to get it anyway.
Jokes aside, and as I have said for the third or fourth time in this post, a lot of really good music was released in 2020, and despite people wanting 2021 to mean the end of the pandemic, the pandemic did not magically disappear at midnight like some fairytale bullshit. Because of that, we are going to be seeing much of the same for a lot of this year.
But, while I look forward more dope music being released in 2021, 2020 has exacerbated the music industry’s greatest fault. With artists not being able to tour, they have to depend almost solely on streaming revenues. As much as streaming helped save the music industry from its steep decline that began with Napster and illegal downloading, it hasn’t been a perfect solution. Streaming, much like every other struggle in our economy during this pandemic, has only ensured that the rich get richer. Most bands, especially smaller, indie bands significantly depend on touring to make most of their income. While some have thrown virtual concerts, and in some cases been able to have limited, socially distant concert, bands have suffered from not being able to tour.
So, as much as I can’t wait for the new music that 2021 has in store for us, something’s gotta give. We are fortunate that the most recent stimulus package included the Save Our Stages Act which will provide much needed help to concert venues while they must remain closed, but musicians, especially smaller, up-and-coming ones, do not receive the same aid. Let’s hope that they can make it to the point when venues can start hosting concerts again.
Regardless, we need to get back to an era where musicians can make money off their music sales. Streaming isn’t enough, and we all know that the labels aren’t going to give. Labels are just as willing to part with their money as Scrooge McDuck.
I don’t know where the change is going to happen. If I did, I wouldn’t be a part-time attorney writing this music blog. All I know is that change needs to happen. For now, support musicians anyway you can. Music has done wonders for all of us as we try to navigate through this pandemic together yet apart, so it’s time we give back.
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