The best music album of 2020 – 12/27/2020 – Ronaldo Lemos

At the end of the year time for the “best” lists in all cultural areas. But what is the point of these lists in such an atypical year as 2020?

The first point is that 2020 may not be that unusual. The year 2021 and beyond may repeat many of the characteristics that we are witnessing this year, and in that sense it is better for the cultural industries to evolve to adapt to the new state of affairs. Including lists.

In 2020, the way culture is produced and financed has radically changed. The lack of live shows was devastating for the music. Not only have tours and festivals been canceled, but studio recordings have also been drastically reduced. With that, the production, recording, and musical performance went home like everything else.

After all, never before has so much music (and particularly good music) been published and produced as in 2020. If the form of production has changed, it does not mean that less music has been made and published. Instead. What happened was a reduction in the “mainstream” music market and an acceleration of independent production models.

This movement is confirmed by the ABMI (Brazilian Independent Music Association) report published in December 2020. In 2019, the independent market share had already surpassed the “majors” at Spotify.

If you look at the top 200 songs heard daily on the platform in Brazil, 53.52% are from the independent segment and the remaining 46.48% are from the mainstream market.

In addition, independent platforms like Bandcamp were essential to the pandemic. The website enables direct business relationships between artists and fans and has launched several musician support initiatives during the year, such as the Bandcamp Fridays, which raised $ 40 million in several rounds.

Spotify has become a hub. At the beginning of the pandemic, music consumption on the platform strangely decreased by 7%. The hypothesis is that people were too stressed to listen to music.

That decline reversed over the course of the year, however, and the company saw its active users surge by 27% in its third semester and ended the year with a record high for its shares. At the same time, the increasing focus on Spotify is a cause for concern.

To paraphrase Jacques Attali: music is the spearhead of other social changes (“sound is prophetic, it comes first”). Observing what is happening in the field of music gives an idea of ​​what is happening in other cultural areas and also in society.

In this context, album of the year comes – in my opinion – from the group Tantão and Os Fita, who are part of the underground cultural currents that make up the social fabric of Rio.

The album titled “Piorou” contains 16 songs with names like “Cadê meu Dinheiro”, “A Hora do Brasil”, “Deu Bug” and “People of Evil”. There is also the title “Piorou” with simple texts that is understandable for most of the country’s population: “It got worse, it got worse, it got worse. It will get worse. Whenever it gets worse, it gets worse. Every time it gets worse. It will get worse ”. Happy 2021 !!

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