Best Albums of the Decade (2010-19)

  • Publish Date: November 5, 2019
  • Comments: ↓ 8 user comments

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 8

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.

Album/Artist Score Buy Album
1Ghosteen
by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
97Amazon
2To Pimp A Butterfly
by Kendrick Lamar
96Amazon
3DAMN.
by Kendrick Lamar
95Amazon
4Black Messiah
by D'Angelo
95Amazon
5Skeleton Tree
by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
95Amazon
6My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
by Kanye West
94Amazon
7A Crow Looked at Me
by Mount Eerie
93Amazon
8Room 25
by Noname
93Amazon
9Lemonade
by Beyoncé
92Amazon
10Sunbather
by Deafheaven
92Amazon
11You Want It Darker
by Leonard Cohen
92Amazon
12Channel Orange
by Frank Ocean
92Amazon
13Titanic Rising
by Weyes Blood
91Amazon
14Melodrama
by Lorde
91Amazon
15Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
by Kendrick Lamar
91Amazon
16The ArchAndroid
by Janelle Monáe
91Amazon
17We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
by A Tribe Called Quest
91Amazon
18Carrie & Lowell
by Sufjan Stevens
90Amazon
19No Cities to Love
by Sleater-Kinney
90Amazon
20Kiwanuka
by Michael Kiwanuka
90Amazon
21Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
by Big Boi
90Amazon
22Spaces
by Nils Frahm
90Amazon
23St. Vincent
by St. Vincent
89Amazon
24The Dusk in Us
by Converge
89Amazon
24LEGACY! LEGACY!
by Jamila Woods
89Amazon
26RTJ2
by Run the Jewels
89Amazon
27Honey
by Robyn
89Amazon
28Apex Predator - Easy Meat
by Napalm Death
89Amazon
29Black Origami
by Jlin
89Amazon
30All Mirrors
by Angel Olsen
89Amazon
31Coloring Book [Mixtape]
by Chance the Rapper
89Amazon
32Big Fish Theory
by Vince Staples
89Amazon
33Chris
by Christine and the Queens
89Amazon
34Golden Hour
by Kacey Musgraves
89Amazon
35A Seat at the Table
by Solange
89Amazon
36When I Get Home
by Solange
89Amazon
37 The Idler Wheel ...
by Fiona Apple
89Amazon
38To Be Kind
by Swans
88Amazon
39American Band
by Drive-By Truckers
88Amazon
40Divers
by Joanna Newsom
88Amazon
41Loud City Song
by Julia Holter
88Amazon
42Bad as Me
by Tom Waits
88Amazon
43A Moon Shaped Pool
by Radiohead
88Amazon
44Masseduction
by St. Vincent
88Amazon
45Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
by Courtney Barnett
88Amazon
46Run the Jewels 3
by Run the Jewels
88Amazon
47Designer
by Aldous Harding
88Amazon
48Undun
by The Roots
88Amazon
49Lonerism
by Tame Impala
88Amazon
50Jaime
by Brittany Howard
88Amazon


Albums released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019 with 15 or more reviews in Metacritic's database were eligible for inclusion. Reissues and other older material, EPs, live albums, holiday albums, greatest hits albums, multi-artist soundtracks, and other compilations are excluded from the above lists. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). Albums are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding.

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 11

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)
Albums Mentioned on Most Best of the Decade Top 10 Lists
Album / Artist # 1st Place # 2nd Place # Other Points
1 To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar31516
2 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West13312
3 Lemonade by Beyoncé1149
4 good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar1138
5 Blonde by Frank Ocean1047
6 A Seat at the Table by Solange1025
Channel Orange by Frank Ocean0055
Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend0055
9 Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen0044
10 Black Metal by Dean Blunt1003
Visions by Grimes1003
Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard0033
13 Body Talk by Robyn0022
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire0102
Anti- by Rihanna0022
Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom0102
Beyoncé by Beyoncé0022
Tha Tour Pt. 1 by Rich Gang 0 1 0 2
Melodrama by Lorde0022
Double Cup by DJ Rashad0022
This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem0022
Yeezus by Kanye West0102
Red by Taylor Swift0022

Individual top ten lists

Below are the 10 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
Crack Magazine View full list
  1. Black Metal by Dean Blunt
  2. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  3. Double Cup by DJ Rashad
  4. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
  5. A Seat at the Table by Solange
  6. Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides by Sophie
  7. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  8. Apocalypse, girl by Jenny Hval
  9. Classical Curves by Jam City
  10. LP1 by FKA twigs
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
Noisey View full list
  1. A Seat at the Table by Solange
  2. Tha Tour Pt. 1 by Rich Gang
  3. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  4. Nightmare Logic by Power Trip
  5. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  6. Double Cup by DJ Rashad
  7. Anti- by Rihanna
  8. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  9. DS2 by Future
  10. Replica by Oneohtrix Point Never
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.

 

Comments (8)

  • LamontRaymond  

    I would suggest that you're missing 3 of the great rock albums of the decade: Bella Novela's The Archeress, Fartbarf's Dirty Power, and Los Mysteriosos' TNT. (Not of which got enough reviews, but they're bad-ass)

  • JasonDietz  

    @blueayou: You are absolutely right. It was flagged in our database as ineligible for high score lists (presumably because it is a mixtape), but that shouldn't be the case. It'll be added the next time we update the list. (I'll also check to see if I can spot any other omissions like that one.)

  • blueayou  

    glad this exists but just to point out this you guys are missing at least one - chance the rapper's coloring book has an 89 with 21 reviews so it should be up there bumping out foundations of a burden.

  • MusicGuyMack  

    @JasonDietz Didn't see the 15-review requirement, appreciate the clarification!

  • PlanetRJ  

    my top 10

    1.Taylor Swift - 1989
    2.Taylor Swift - Lover
    3. Jamie XX – In Colour
    4. Tinashe – Aquarius
    5. Noname - Room 25
    6. Taylor Swift - Reputation
    7. Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy
    8. Disclosure - Settle
    9. Bicep - Bicep
    10. Joey Bada$$ - B4.DA.$$

  • JuanLuisGG14  

    Steven Wilson's Hand Cannot Erase is my personal favourite one... it's sad it does not meed the 15 reviews requirement, it deserves more attention

  • JasonDietz  

    @MusicGuyMack: We Are Not Your Kind only has 14 reviews at the moment (one short of our minimum requirement).

  • MusicGuyMack  

    We Are Not Your Kind scored an 89 and easily should have made this list. I don't understand why it's not.

New in Metacritic Reports

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/best-albums-of-the-decade-2010s Image
    Best Albums of the Decade (2010-19)
    November 5, 2019 - 8 comments
    1. LamontRaymond : I would suggest that you're missing 3 of the great rock albums of the decade: Bella Novela's The Archeress,... Read »
    2. JasonDietz : @blueayou: You are absolutely right. It was flagged in our database as ineligible for high score lists (presumably... Read »
    3. blueayou : glad this exists but just to point out this you guys are missing at least one - chance the rapper's coloring book has... Read »
    4. MusicGuyMack : @JasonDietz Didn't see the 15-review requirement, appreciate the clarification! Read »
    5. PlanetRJ : my top 10 1.Taylor Swift - 1989 2.Taylor Swift - Lover 3. Jamie XX – In Colour 4. Tinashe – Aquarius 5. Noname... Read »
    6. JuanLuisGG14 : Steven Wilson's Hand Cannot Erase is my personal favourite one... it's sad it does not meed the 15 reviews... Read »
    7. JasonDietz : @MusicGuyMack: We Are Not Your Kind only has 14 reviews at the moment (one short of our minimum requirement). Read »
    8. MusicGuyMack : We Are Not Your Kind scored an 89 and easily should have made this list. I don't understand why it's not. Read »
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    October 30, 2019 - 13 comments
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