Now that 2020 is thankfully over and the first month of the new year has settled in, let’s take a look at (in no particular order, of course) the superstars that really carried the genre of pop music: women. At a time where music is as healing as ever, these ladies used their artistry to deliver albums that could serve as an outlet for every kind of complicated emotion felt during such a tumultuous year.
1. Chromatica – Lady Gaga
As previously reviewed on Fab Features, Lady Gaga really excelled at creating a work of art that was upbeat and exciting when the world needed it most. With catchy lyrics and club beats, also reminiscent of the hits that made her a star a decade ago, it was truly the perfect escapist record.
2. Plastic Hearts – Miley Cyrus
Though it was influenced with rock, this was the avenue best fit for Cyrus’ style: edgy, cool, and self-assured. Not to mention her effortlessly smooth vocals, that were truly rockin indeed.
3. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
In a specific niche that easily could’ve sounded too cliche, Lipa instead strikes the perfect chord between honoring a beloved era but in a fresh new way. It was a great showcase of who she is as an artist and leaves us all wanting more while we dance the night away.
4. Positions – Ariana Grande
No matter how much she claims to be able to switch positions in the title track, the one that seems to remain is her station at the top of pop royalty. Though not as groundbreaking as her Thank U Next or Sweetner albums, she truly stays in her powerful lane with this one and delivers yet another track list that’s easy to listen to over and over again.
5. Folklore/Evermore – Taylor Swift
In the biggest plot twist of late, Swift released not one but two complete albums that were in a completely new range than we’d ever heard from her before. While it was odd at first not hearing the positive and hopeless romantic vibes that’s become her staple, her songwriting was so on-point to for the time in which it was made and released, and shows just how easily she can pivot her skills as an artist.
6. Women in Music Pt. III – HAIM
Perhaps on of the most underrated female groups of recent years (for reasons that are still unclear), this album goes deep and deals with real issues the sisters faced. The result is a masterclass in lyrical personal storytelling for any part of life, while also offering some feel good tracks that make you want to stomp around Los Angeles in your high heels when you next have the chance.
7. The Album – BLACKPINK
One of the most anticipated girl group albums in recent years certainly didn’t disappoint fans and skeptics alike. Everything about them screams superstars, and this album will convince just about anybody of that, with the obvious showcase of talent and hard work it possesses.
8. Ungodly Hour – Chloe x Halle
It just keeps getting better for this duo. There’s no sophomore slump to be had here, deservingly as the siblings prove they have staying power in this game where vocally nobody seems able to touch their harmonies.
9. Confetti – Little Mix
Unfortunately the last album with a 4-woman group, it’s fortunately a true celebration of how far they’ve come and grown over the years. Confidence is always the key with them, and this shines in a feel-good way that’s impossible to ignore.
10. Manic – Halsey
Halsey explored more of her sonic creativity and pealed back her personal layers to offer up a more vulnerable side of her journey as a woman making her place in the world. Though it’s heavy content-wise, it still manages to wrap up with a feeling of hope that’s relatable for all.