Updated: Mar 9, 2021
It's time for the editors choice portion of Upstate Aesthetics yearly Album of the Year awards. We will cover my personal selection for the top five albums of the year for our editors choice portion of our yearly awards. All of the projects nominated for album of the year this year were high quality, very good projects making it a difficult decision who to include in the top five.
I listened to every project nominated by the fans on the Facebook post at least once and it wasn't very often I found myself even considering skipping a track on a project. The editors choice portion is decided solely by the owner and editor of the website, Andrew Cazer. I have run and edited Upstate Aesthetic as a solo passion project for two years and each year we hold the Upstate Aesthetic Album of the Year awards to give back and reward artists involved in the area.
If you weren't selected for the top five please don't take it personally as all of the albums nominated were very good and it was difficult to determine which to place in this selection. I truly believe every project submitted has it's audience and possesses some fantastic qualities just those selected for the top five stand out to me personally as my personal favorites from the year. With that said, let's discuss the top five albums for Upstate Aesthetic's editors choice portion of Album of the year.
Note: We are going from 5 to 1.
Sha Racks released his debut project on literally the last day eligible for submission of this competition so it's still relatively new to listeners and still stands out as a great project. Sha Racks does a great job on 'Involuntary Thoughts' introducing listeners to his sound and versatility. We heavily suggest checking this one out especially if you're into more rnb/autotuned rap.
Ty Burst released Biggadreams as a surprise release on July 2nd and provided fans with a quality release that was just meant to hold fans over while he worked on a more complete project. Despite this Biggadreams was a standout project full of content that I enjoyed a lot. Biggadreams features JoBars and GScaffa two artists that Ty Burst works with frequently . This is an easily consumable project and we heavily encourage you to check it out.
This project was a fan favorite and it was also an editors favorite for Upstate Aesthetic. Don Pablo is a young artist with a boatload of potential. The project has a number of bangers, no skips and is a great showcase of the talent Don Pablo possesses. It is non-stop bangers with Don consistently delivering hard hiting bars and clever punchlines from the intro to the end. There is obviously room for growth for Don Pablo but this debut was a great introduction to who he is and his talent. If you're looking for cover to cover bangers and hard hitting hiphop this is the project for you.
For...Anyone is a project that isn't gearing it's sound 'for anyone' necessarily but rather it's content. The idea from Loveless was to create a project addressing the almost universally relateable topic of mental health and help bring awareness to it with this project. He achieved this by keeping himself humble and true to his content delivering emotional real life stories on tracks to share with his audience. This project connected with me from a personal standpoint and also delivered in terms of production, lyricism and overall quality. Often times it can be difficult for artists to effectively convey the difficulties attributed to mental health however Corey seemed to have no trouble doing this providing an amazing project from start to finish. Easily one of our top two projects to listen to this year.
Candids is without a doubt an amazing project from a production and creativity standpoint. Process worked to take a number of influential sounds and begin crafting his own version them, doing so in an incredibly effective way. Candids shows influence from a number of the industries greats but it doesn't hold back the work Process put in on this one. It shows his ability to not only create at the same level as some amazing producers but also shows his versatility as well. Process created a project that I believe can stand with a majority of the industry releases that dropped in 2020 and handled every aspect of it. The project is full of highly creative entertaining content that i've consistently gone back and listened to a number of times through 2020 and into the new year. The thirty minute project is easily consumable and shows an artist with so much potential and talent. Both features fit the overall tone of the project perfectly and don't hold the project back in any way. The pacing is almost perfect and Candids truly feels like an industry level release that was recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by one insanely talented independent artist. This is one project that I truly feel has no skips at all and is almost always better consumed as a whole despite the number of individual bangers throughout. It's fair to note that Candids falls under a genre of music that I personally love and is absolutely catered to the music tastes of the editor of Upstate Aesthetic thus making it a relatively easy selection for Editors choice for Album of the Year 2020.
Thank you again to all artists and fans for participating in the yearly Upstate Aesthetic Album of the Year awards.