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.
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)
|Album / Artist||# 1st Place||# 2nd Place||# Other||Points|
|1||To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar||3||1||5||16|
|2||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West||1||3||3||12|
|3||Lemonade by Beyoncé||1||1||4||9|
|4||good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar||1||1||3||8|
|5||Blonde by Frank Ocean||1||0||4||7|
|6||A Seat at the Table by Solange||1||0||2||5|
|Channel Orange by Frank Ocean||0||0||5||5|
|Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend||0||0||5||5|
|9||Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen||0||0||4||4|
|10||Black Metal by Dean Blunt||1||0||0||3|
|Visions by Grimes||1||0||0||3|
|Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard||0||0||3||3|
|13||Body Talk by Robyn||0||0||2||2|
|The Suburbs by Arcade Fire||0||1||0||2|
|Anti- by Rihanna||0||0||2||2|
|Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom||0||1||0||2|
|Beyoncé by Beyoncé||0||0||2||2|
|Tha Tour Pt. 1 by Rich Gang||0||1||0||2|
|Melodrama by Lorde||0||0||2||2|
|Double Cup by DJ Rashad||0||0||2||2|
|This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem||0||0||2||2|
|Yeezus by Kanye West||0||1||0||2|
|Red by Taylor Swift||0||0||2||2|
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|
|Consequence of Sound View full list|
|Crack Magazine View full list|
|Gorilla vs. Bear View full list|
|Noisey View full list|
|Paste View full list|
|Pitchfork View full list|
|Stereogum View full list|
|Uproxx View full list|
|The Young Folks View full list|
More best of the decade coverage
What about your list?
What are your favorite albums of the decade? Give us your list in the comments section below.