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Great Songs About Terrible Times

The 16 albums that provided the most clarity and comfort in a profoundly turbulent year

MUSIC

BETTER CALL BOB Odenkirk on his hero moment in The Post

CHANCE THE RAPPER SAYS, “MUSIC IS ALL WE GOT,” AND WE TEND TO agree. Music—some of it charged with the spirit of resistance—provided comfort and clarity in a profoundly turbulent year. It was a shared language at a time when nobody could agree even on a shared vocabulary of facts. These are the Newsweek culture desk’s picks for the year’s best albums, in no order except alphabetical. Happy listening. We hope you find something new to love.

Big Thief

CAPACITY

Families crumble. Cars smash into guardrails in Des Moines, Iowa. A mom cradles her injured child, soaking up blood with a dishrag. Big Thief’s songs create a world of gothic tragedy, where harrowing secrets burrow beneath a mundane surface, and this second album, vacillating between hushed folk-rock and clanging guitars, is remarkable for its vivid writing and emotional depth. —Zach Schonfeld

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