Quinnipiac’s albums of the year

Professors, administrators and editors weigh in on the best music of 2020

Owen Doody, Contributing Writer

This year has definitely been unforgettable, and not in a good way. The way we’re experiencing life right now is unlike anything we’ve ever known.

With these new experiences we may have gained some knowledge, but we’ve also experienced difficulties.

So, I’ve devoted my time to highlight something that helps us through these difficulties — music.

Let’s take a look at the best albums of the year as recommended by members of the Quinnipiac community. You may find comfort in new music.

Administration and Professors

Donald Sawyer

Vice President of Equity and Inclusion

“Industry Games” by Chika

“She spits heat!” Sawyer said. “I loved her Tiny Desk concert. She also expands the vision of the female MC. She’s got skills and a soulful sound.”

“Black Habits” by D Smoke

Screenshot from Spotify

“I followed him on ‘Rhythm and Flow,’ and he was my favorite contestant,” Sawyer said. “He represents where he’s from without shame and is a cerebral lyricist.”

Molly Yanity

Chair of the Department of Journalism

“Gaslighter” by The Chicks

Screenshot from Spotify

“My second-favorite band of all time changed its name and came out with their first studio album in 14 years, and it did not disappoint,” Yanity said. “This album mixes the emotions of the members’ divorces and their politics with the unique musicianship they have always possessed. It’s freaking great, and I listen to it on repeat way too much. By this point you’re probably wondering what my all-time favorite band is. Guns N’ Roses.”

Mizuho Aussicker

Japanese Language Teacher

“Stray Sheep” by Kenshi Yonezu

“I like his music — it’s easy to listen to,” Aussicker said. “His lyrics resonate with you, and I like his voice. I could listen to it all day.”

Aileen Dever

Chair of Modern Languages

“Eurovision Song Contest: the Story of Fire Saga OST”

Screenshot from Spotify

“I would say my favorite album would be ‘Eurovision Song Contest: the Story of Fire Saga’ soundtrack,” Dever said. “The movie is a parody of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and is meant to be silly, but some of the songs are catchy. I like it because it brings back memories of when I lived in Spain during the 1970s and attended middle school there — and actually saw the song contest!”

Hilary Fussell Sisco

Professor of Strategic Communication

“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” by Fiona Apple

“I think the rage and energy of Fiona Apple’s ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ fit my early pandemic vibes,” Sisco said. “I think the whole thing is pretty close to perfect for 2020.”


Angel Perez

Associate Professor Civil Engineering

“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” by Fiona Apple

“The wait in between Fiona Apple albums is comparable only to the one between ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ books,” Perez said. “Fiona has such amazing song writing skills and unique point of view that it’s always worth it though. The DIY vibe of the album, and the timing of it (As the first month of pandemic living was closing) made it one of those albums that feels pivotal and inextricably tied to a moment in history.”

QU Chronicle E-board

Brendan O’Sullivan


“Artist 2.0” by A Boogie wit da Hoodie

“I’ve been a huge fan of A Boogie for a while,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s very versatile in that he can do slow, fast, hype or sad songs in my opinion. Also, he’s from New York and so am I, so I find that cool. Lastly, my friend from high school produced a good number of the songs on the album and his beats are awesome.”

Jessica Simms

Managing Editor

“Chromatica” by Lady Gaga

“My go-to album has been Lady Gaga’s latest album, ‘Chromatica,’” Simms said. “I am someone that loves pump-up music and this album is upbeat. Gaga did a clever thing by making this album like a production. To get the full experience, you have to listen from the beginning as there are ‘acts.’ In between a set of songs, Gaga throws in a track of instrumental music. By doing this, she makes the album feel cohesive instead of just a few songs thrown together on a new track.”

Jared Penna

Managing Editor

“YHLQMDLG” by Bad Bunny

“There isn’t one bad song on this album and the energy that Bunny brings to his music is contagious,” Penna said. “You can’t play a single track on this album and stay in a bad mood.”

Connor Lawless

Creative Director

“Healer” by Grouplove

“There is no musician like Grouplove whose music just makes you feel happy and that’s needed in 2020,” Lawless said. “Grouplove’s discography is always an interesting blend of pop, electronic and alternative rock and ‘Healer’ gets the formula right. The albums lead single and first song on the album, ‘Deleter’ was the perfect energy booster I needed for an otherwise dull summer and has an established position in my favorite songs today.”

Emily DiSalvo

Arts & Life Editor

“Southside” by Sam Hunt

Screenshot from Spotify

“‘Southside’ by Sam Hunt was my favorite album because it really showed how versatile Hunt is,” DiSalvo said. “Additionally, he opened up about his drinking problem in some of the songs which made him seem more vulnerable and human. I never get tired of the song, ‘Hard to Forget.’ It is so unique.”

Ashley Pelletier

Associate Arts & Life Editor

“folklore” by Taylor Swift or “Chromatica” by Lady Gaga

“Both of these albums are so well written,” Pelletier said. “They have overarching storylines and great sound. ‘Folklore’ is definitely more subdued and soft while ‘Chromatica’ is more beat heavy, but they are both awesome albums by stellar female artists”

Toyloy “TJ” Brown III

Opinion Editor

“Limbo” by Aminé

“Aminé‘s album ‘Limbo’ is built for longevity,” Brown said. “His light-hearted nature mixed with his relatable and substantive laced lyrics makes me simultaneously bop my head and appreciate the artist’s skillful lyricism.”

Screenshot from Spotify

Michael Sicoli

Associate Opinion Editor

“Legends Never Die” by Juice WRLD

“I’ve always been a huge Juice WRLD fan,” Sicoli said. “He really spoke to an entire generation, which is no easy thing. This was his first posthumous album and it was easily one of his best. It allows me to love the talent therein while still mourning the fact that eventually there won’t be any more music by Juice.”

Michael Clement

Design Editor

“Eternal Atake” by Lil Uzi Vert

“It’s the most fun I’ve had listening to an album all the way through in a while,” Clement said.

Riley Millette

Sports Editor

“Ugly Is Beautiful” by Oliver Tree

“It’s close between this record and Spillage Village’s latest album, but this is as good as it gets when it comes to genre crossover,” Millette said. “Oliver Tree blends pop, rock and hip-hop seamlessly throughout a whole album, sometimes mixing elements of all three on the same track. With a unique voice, style and sound, Tree is one of the most exciting things to happen in music for quite some time.”

Emily Flamme

News Editor

“Sleepyhead” by Cavetown

“Cavetown always does such a good job telling stories through his songs,” Flamme said. “His soft pop sound coupled with the vivid imagery of his lyrics makes for an awesome listening experience. I especially love how each song is a certain emotion turned into a story.”

Owen Doody

My own favorite

“Angelic Hoodrat” by Kenny Mason

As for my choice for album of the year, I had to go with 25-year-old Atlanta rapper Kenny Mason’s “Angelic Hoodrat.” The sound design on this album is insane. When you listen to this album it sounds like it’s being played through a cassette tape or some sort of old record player. All of this is intentional, like lo-fi hip hop on steroids. On top of this, Masons’s lyrics are crisp and not repetitive, though some songs lose me a bit when they become more “poppy.” I can see the next age of rap artists following the trend with this album in terms of arduous sound design. I suggest going through this album with headphones on at least once before playing it out loud. My favorite songs include “Firestarter,” “Angelic Hoodrat” and “HIT.”