6. Hayley Williams: Petals For Armor (Music, Streaming)
This albums release was one of the most interesting puzzles of 2020. Divided into three sections of five songs, Hayley Williams delivered an evolving narrative. The first two LP’s were released over the course of a few months. Then, the last five songs were released in conjunction with the previous two, as a whole album. Listening to the first couple of LP’s was illuminating. It was clear that she was revealing herself to the world. She was sharing her mistakes and her depression. The final five songs allows her to try and move on.
This concept of a three act narrative is age old in storytelling, but rarely done in musical albums as a compilation. The songs are mostly wonderful by themselves, but together they work as something much bigger than the sum of their parts. It’s the work of an artist that is truly in command of her craft, and also being painfully ho eat with her fans. Songs like “Dead Horse” and “Leave It Alone” are so open that you might think she write them in therapy. Yet, songs like “Over Yet” and “Pure Love” possess such passionate optimism that you can feel her breaking through her depression.
Many artists have broken out from inferior bands to become great solo artists, but rarely can an artist balance a solo career and having one of the most popular rock bands in the world. Hayley Williams is poised to do just that. With this brilliant debut album, she has shown the world that she is a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to whatever she does next.