The Best Albums of the Decade (2010-19), According to Music Critics


We begin our recap of the best entertainment of the 2010s with two lists of the decade’s best albums, representing views from different vantage points in time. These lists will be updated frequently throughout the coming weeks, when we will also be unveiling similar lists of the best movies, TV shows, and games of the decade.

Part 1: Highest-scoring albums of the 2010s
(aka Albums that critics loved at the time of their release)

This section will be updated periodically throughout the end of the year.
Last update: November 5

These albums have the highest Metascores out of all new albums released from 2010-19. Albums must have reviews from at least 15 critics to qualify for inclusion; reissues, compilations, and EPs are excluded.



Part 2: Best-of-the-decade top ten lists
(aka Albums that critics still love now)

This section will be updated as new lists are published throughout the end of the year.
Last update: November 5

While the list above reflects how critics felt about each album at the time of its release, opinions can change over time. So, to get a better read on the current consensus, we have also aggregated best-of-the-decade lists published by a variety of music and entertainment publications in late 2019. Individual lists are displayed at the bottom of the page, but in the table below, the most frequently mentioned albums are ranked according to our points system (which gives bonus points for being ranked at the top of a list):

  • 3 points for each 1st place ranking
  • 2 points for each 2nd place ranking
  • 1 point for being ranked 3rd – 10th, or for being included on an unranked list of 10 or fewer albums
  • 0.5 points for being included on an unranked list of 11-20 albums
  • No points for albums included on unranked lists of more than 20 albums (or for albums ranked worse than 20th)

Individual top ten lists

Below are the 8 individual top ten lists used to calculate the standings above. Some publications may list albums without ranking them; such lists are displayed below, without numbers, in alphabetical order. Many publications have published multiple lists by genre; we are only including one list (the most generalized one) from each source.

















Cleveland.com Troy L. Smith View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  3. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  4. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  5. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  6. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  7. Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
  8. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
  9. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  10. Black Messiah by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Consequence of Sound View full list
  1. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  4. Melodrama by Lorde
  5. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  6. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  7. Body Talk by Robyn
  8. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  9. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
  10. Be the Cowboy by Mitski
Gorilla vs. Bear View full list
  1. Visions by Grimes
  2. Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  3. Teen Dream by Beach House
  4. Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones) by Jai Paul
  5. Black Up by Shabazz Palaces
  6. Norman Fucking Rockwell by Lana Del Rey
  7. AIA by Grouper
  8. Kill for Love by Chromatics
  9. Black Messiah by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
  10. Rival Dealer by Burial
Paste View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
  4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  5. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  6. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
  7. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  8. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  9. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  10. Ctrl by SZA
Pitchfork View full list
  1. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  3. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  4. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  5. The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple
  6. A Seat at the Table by Solange
  7. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  8. Body Talk by Robyn
  9. Black Messiah by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
  10. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Stereogum View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Yeezus by Kanye West
  3. Art Angels by Grimes
  4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  5. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  6. good Kid, m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar
  7. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  8. Night Time, My Time by Sky Ferreira
  9. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  10. Red by Taylor Swift
Uproxx View full list
  1. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  3. Red by Taylor Swift
  4. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  5. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  6. Melodrama by Lorde
  7. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  8. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  9. Take Care by Drake
  10. Anti- by Rihanna
The Young Folks View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  3. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  4. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
  5. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  6. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  7. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  8. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  9. Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper
  10. Contra by Vampire Weekend

More best of the decade coverage

Additional best of the decade lists (as well as our year-end best of 2019 coverage) will roll out over the following weeks.

What about your list?

What are your favorite albums of the decade? Give us your list in the comments section below.

 



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