This award started long before the site was even a thought, in one publication, radio show or another. Since 2000, I have handed out a "League of Their Own" Award to an album that is made by an artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. The choices for "League of Their Own" have become more than just the best album of the year but the most important record to be released at that time.
In the past winners have included:
2000 - Radiohead - Kid A
2001 - The Strokes - Is This It?
2002 - NERD - In Search of...
2003 - The White Stripes - Elephant
2004 - The Killers - Hot Fuss
2005 - The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute
2006 - TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
2007 - Kanye West - Graduation
2008 - Santigold
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye
2010 - Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
2011 - Bjork - Biophilia
2012 - Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes
2013 - Arcade Fire - Reflektor
2014 - Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
2015 - Kamasi Washington - The Epic
2016 - David Bowie - Blackstar
2017 - Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
2018 - Richard Russell - Everything is Recorded
2019 - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Infest the Rats Nest
...and now to add to this ever growing list is an artist that never played by the rules and someone who rewrote them as they went along. Rules to this artist are about as important as the color of someone else's car. Rules to this artist are not only made to be broken and not followed but encourages others to do the same and follow their own path.
Ladies and gents, the 2020 League of Their Own winner is....
Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
In her first record in eight years and fifth as an artist, Fiona Apple knocked down every barrier, glass ceiling, stereotype, musical limit and crafted her greatest album since Tidal. Proving she is still one of the greatest songwriters of all time, what she did with such minimal instruments -- her voice, drums, piano, bass, and samples of her dog, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the force of a wrecking ball. Clocking in at just under an hour, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is a tour de force and testament to an artist who never backed down even went she was discounted by so many, only to prove everyone wrong.