2019 is mere weeks away from its final toll of the bell. So unless Beyonce plans to drop a last second album that crushes the world. Here are the Top 10 albums of the decade.
Keep in mind this is an OPINION PIECE! So if you don’t like it tell me about it in the comment section! Seriously tell me about how some obscure metal core band makes Tay Tay look like child’s play.
10 – Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing – The Wonder Years (2012)
In 2012 I graduated from college, officially moved out of my hometown, and started living with my girlfriend who became my wife. That’s a lot of shit to unpack all at once. This album got me through it.
Written at a very similar time in the members of the band’s life. This album tackles that transition from, I have my whole life to oh shit my life has started. The fear of becoming an adult, not knowing what you are doing, fear of real relationships and figuring out just when it’s not cool to be hammered on a Wednesday any more.
The opening track Came Out Swinging still hits me right in the feels every time the opening chords are struck.
Woke Up Older is an amazing song about a relationship in turmoil. Trying to figure out if this is your forever soulmate or just a girl your dating.
Hoodie Weather felt like an autobiographical song about my entire 2012.
As the bands music and lyrics continue to mature seemingly with me. I still get that special tingle every time a song from this album is played.
Best Songs: Came Out Swinging
09 – Goblin – Tyler The Creator (2011)
It’s midnight. I’m driving a silver Chevy Cavioler through the Monwarf intersection. Yonkers is blasting and a beautiful girl is sitting in the passenger seat rapping every word as if she wrote it. We had just left Dee’s Cafe on the south side. This moment plays again and again in my mind as truly perfect. The sound track for this moment came from this album.
Tyler The Creator changed music forever with the release of Goblin. Leading the way for today’s Sound Cloud Rapper generation the album was everywhere. Rap fans, hipsters, kids, teenagers, 20 somethings, everyone was listening to this album.
I guarantee if you say the line, “I’m a walking fucking paradox” to anyone 30 or younger they can respond with the following lyric. Yonkers might be the best known track from the album but it is packed with other amazing songs.
The song “She” was the world introduction to Frank Ocean.
The album is framed in a therapy session in which Tyler goes through an identity crisis. Differentiating the difference between Tyler and his alter ego Golf Wang. Though not every millenial has an identity crisis or schizophrenia. As a generation we often feel that way. Tyler’s music perfectly captures that terror of not knowing what is happening while growing up and changing. Pairing those deep emotions with songs like “Bitch Suck Dick” you have a masterful blend of trap rap and RnB Songs. Truly a masterful album from one of the decade’s best.
Best Song: Yonkers
08 – 1989 – Taylor Swift (2014)
Blank Space, Out Of The Woods, Shake It Off, Bad Blood, and Wildest Dreams this album had more hits than most artists have in a career. Tay Tay took over the world during this album cementing her legacy as one of the biggest artists in music history.
If you can’t admit to yourself that you love this album please never talk to me again. I guarantee there is a kid on a fan boat somewhere in a swamp in Florida humming the tune to Shake It Off right effing now!
This was a coin toss for me between this album and RED. Which maybe musically is more critically acclaimed, but you can’t ignore the cultural effect of this album. Laced with bangers and number one hits.
Long Live Tay Tay
Best Song: Shake it Off
07 – Hozier – Hozier (2014)
You knew this album was big when your mother asked you if you have heard that, “Take Me to Church” song. The debut album for the Candian musician slapped. Not just the mega hit “Take Me To Church ” but the album from front to back is iconic.
The music from this album felt old with a fresh spin. Something that could have been plucked from the Singers and Songwriters generation of the 70’s. This album landed squarely at the peak of hipster culture. Every slouchy beanie, skinny jeans wearing, coffee sipping millenial on the planet owns this album on vinyl.
If you haven’t listened to this album from start to finnish please stop reading this and go listen to it now. “Jackie and Wilson”, and “From Eden” are still on constant rotation in my house. I guarantee you will find a song you like.
Best Song: Jackie and Wilson
06 – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City – Kendrick Lamar (2012)
Just sitting outside the top five is Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. This album crossed every genre. Songs like Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe, Money Tree, Poetic Justice, and Swimming Pools, musically borrowed from 90’s RnB. While Lyrically telling true stories from Kendrick’s life. This Autobiography served as the coming out party for Kendrick. Who now sits atop pop culture as a musical genius.
Kendrick’s importance in pop culture moving forward will be important as the kid from Compton has the ear of the millennial generation. His influence can truly change lives. It all started from this album.
Best Song: Poetic Justice
05 – Awaken, My Love – Childish Gambino (2016)
Writer, Actor, Rapper. The last true triple threat in Hollywood. The multi time Emy Winner was well known for his writing on 30 Rock, and his acting on Community. However only a few knew about his promising rap career.
His first studio release Camp changed that. The follow up Because of the Internet drew all eyes to him. And just as he had everyone’s attention came Redbone. The funk album that redefined the musical genre in itself.
Gambino had gone from sound cloud rapper to international success. Then he walked away from music. To quote Dave Chappelle, “That is the most baller shit ever!” I imagine Gambino is sitting in Hawaii right now eating a dinosaur egg for breakfast.
Thank you Bino for a truly generation defining masterpiece!
Best Song: Redbone
04 – Evil Friends – Portugal The Man (2013)
Long before the mainstream success of “Feel It Still” the Alaska quartet released their true masterpiece. Evil Friends was on repeat in every hipster row house in the world. A band that everyone liked but didn’t love jumped into the hearts of our generation forever with this album.
The departure from the bands classic sound was met with open arms as we danced from dusk till dawn. The album is infectious and impossible to sit still during. Songs like Creep in a T-Shirt, Purple Yellow Red and Blue, and Hip Hop Kids are played at every hipster dance party ever.
This album is one of my favorites of all time and one that can’t be left off the top 10 of the 2010’s.
Best Song: Purple Yellow Red and Blue
03 – Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper (2016)
“You don’t want zero problems big fella.” The best kept secret in Rap takes over the charts. Produced by Kanye West, Chance The Rapper broke the music industry. The totally self funded and distributed album won the rapper a Grammy. This had never happened before in the music industry. Now Chance the Rapper is everywhere.
Songs like No Problem, Same Drugs, All Night, and Smoke Break are straight bangers. These songs are the kind of songs that you sit in your car until the songs over kind of songs.
Quite honestly one of my favorite artists of all time, and this is his best work to date.
Best Song: No Problem
02 – Swimming – Mac Miller (2018)
Just the mere mention of this album brings a tear to my eye. The most honest, soul baring, description of mental illness. This album was the most mature and truthful work of Mac’s career. It would also be his last as the voice of a generation tragically lost his life the same year.
The loss of Mac still doesn’t feel right. It was the first time our generation lost an artist in their prime. Maybe it is for that reason this album resonates so prominently.
But I choose to believe that the album is truly special as Mac speaks so honestly about his struggles with mental health, drug abuse, and fears. I think this album will hold the test of times as one of the best rap albums ever.
Best Song: Self Care
01 – Light Upon the Lake – Whitney (2016)
The debut album of Chicago’s Whitney was the introduction of the best new band in the world. Everytime someone asks me what I’m listening to nowadays, I tell them about Whitney. The band’s music is so refreshing it’s hard to describe.
Every song features, horns, piano, and catchy melody. This album is full of ear warms that will bounce around your brain for months.
The band’s lead vocalist is also the drummer which gives the band a truly unique approach to writing music. Allowing the drum to act as a lead instrument instead of a rhythm keeper. Another band that wrote with this approach you may have heard of Led Zeppelin.
Please I beg you if you do nothing else today go listen to the song Golden Days, and thank me later.
Best Song: Golden Days
So many amazing albums were left off this list. In fact I had a list of fifty I whittled it down from, but if Aliens landed on the planet tomorrow and said “Show us what you got” I would play these ten album in hopes they don’t destroy us. Let me know what yinz think, and if you would be interested in my top fifty albums of the decade.
Elsass singing off.