Best Albums of the Decade (2010-19)

  • Publish Date: November 5, 2019
  • Comments: ↓ 12 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: January 4, 2020

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
1To Pimp A Butterfly
by Kendrick Lamar
96Amazon
2Ghosteen
by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
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
16Grey Area
by Little Simz
91Amazon
17The ArchAndroid
by Janelle Monáe
91Amazon
18We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service
by A Tribe Called Quest
91Amazon
19Carrie & Lowell
by Sufjan Stevens
90Amazon
20No Cities to Love
by Sleater-Kinney
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
25RTJ2
by Run the Jewels
89Amazon
26Honey
by Robyn
89Amazon
27Kiwanuka
by Michael Kiwanuka
89Amazon
28LEGACY! LEGACY!
by Jamila Woods
89Amazon
29Apex Predator - Easy Meat
by Napalm Death
89Amazon
30Black Origami
by Jlin
89Amazon
31All Mirrors
by Angel Olsen
89Amazon
32Coloring Book [Mixtape]
by Chance the Rapper
89Amazon
33Big Fish Theory
by Vince Staples
89Amazon
34Chris
by Christine and the Queens
89Amazon
35Golden Hour
by Kacey Musgraves
89Amazon
36A Seat at the Table
by Solange
89Amazon
37When I Get Home
by Solange
89Amazon
38The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do
by Fiona Apple
89Amazon
39To Be Kind
by Swans
88Amazon
40American Band
by Drive-By Truckers
88Amazon
41Divers
by Joanna Newsom
88Amazon
42Loud City Song
by Julia Holter
88Amazon
43Bad as Me
by Tom Waits
88Amazon
44A Moon Shaped Pool
by Radiohead
88Amazon
45Masseduction
by St. Vincent
88Amazon
46Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
by Courtney Barnett
88Amazon
47Run the Jewels 3
by Run the Jewels
88Amazon
48Designer
by Aldous Harding
88Amazon
49Magdalene
by FKA twigs
88Amazon
50Undun
by The Roots
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: January 11, 2020

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 Lamar751647
2 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West7413.542.5
3 Lemonade by Beyoncé271838
4 Channel Orange by Frank Ocean012224
5 good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar311021
6 Blonde by Frank Ocean301120
7 Body Talk by Robyn1111.516.5
8 Anti by Rihanna11712
9 Melodrama by Lorde01911
10 A Seat at the Table by Solange115.510.5
Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend018.510.5
12 Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom13110
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire11510
14 Born to Die by Lana Del Rey025.59.5
15 Red by Taylor Swift1069
16 1989 by Taylor Swift113.58.5
17 Bon Iver by Bon Iver0248
Beyoncé by Beyoncé0088
19 Yeezus by Kanye West015.57.5
20 Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen0077
21 AM by Arctic Monkeys200.56.5
Blackstar by David Bowie103.56.5
Take Care by Drake103.56.5
24 21 by Adele0066
DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar0066
Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard0066

Individual top ten lists

Below are the 56 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.

All Things Loud View full list
  1. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. Nonagon Infinity by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
  4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  5. Lonerism by Tame Impala
  6. 22, A Million by Bon Iver
  7. How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident by Future of the Left
  8. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  9. Visions by Grimes
  10. A Flash Flood of Colour by Enter Shikari
Associated Press Mesfin Fekadu View full list
  1. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  2. Anti by Rihanna
  3. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  4. 21 by Adele
  5. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  6. Days Are Gone by Haim
  7. Ctrl by SZA
  8. The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe
  9. Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
  10. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
A.V. Club View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  4. 1989 by Taylor Swift
  5. A Seat at the Table by Solange
  6. Body Talk by Robyn
  7. LP1 by FKA twigs
  8. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
  9. Burn Your Fire for No Witness by Angel Olsen
  10. The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple
Bill's Indie Basement View full list
  1. Kaputt by Destroyer
  2. Im Sinne der Zeit by Klaus Johann Grobe
  3. Clinging to a Scheme by The Radio Dept.
  4. Prince of Tears by Baxter Dury
  5. Under Color of Official Right by Protomartyr
  6. Purple Mountains by Purple Mountains
  7. Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts
  8. Celeste by The Soundcarriers
  9. It's Album Time by Todd Terje
  10. Veronica Falls by Veronica Falls
Billboard View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  4. Red by Taylor Swift
  5. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  6. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  7. Anti by Rihanna
  8. Thank U Next by Ariana Grande
  9. Body Talk by Robyn
  10. 21 by Adele
Boston Herald Jed Gottlieb View full list
  • Battles by Kinglsey Flood
  • Domestic by Ruby Rose Fox
  • Trans-Continental Hustle by Gogol Bordello
  • The Navigator by Hurray for the Riff Raff
  • Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive
  • Mellow Bravo by Mellow Bravo
  • Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
  • Beat the Champ by The Mountain Goats
  • Free as Thieves by Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins
  • Undun by The Roots
Brooklyn Vegan View full list
  1. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  3. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  4. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  5. Masseduction by St. Vincent
  6. The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple
  7. Yeezus by Kanye West
  8. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  9. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
  10. Trouble Will Find Me by The National
Chorus.fm View full list
  1. After Laughter by Paramore
  2. 1989 by Taylor Swift
  3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  4. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  5. Home, Like Noplace Is There by The Hotelier
  6. Red by Taylor Swift
  7. On the Impossible Past by The Menzingers
  8. Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers
  9. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  10. Lemonade by Beyoncé
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
Esquire View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Body Talk by Robyn
  3. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  4. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  5. Blackstar by David Bowie
  6. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  7. All American Made by Margo Price
  8. St. Vincent by St. Vincent
  9. Anti by Rihanna
  10. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Evening Standard David Smyth View full list
  • The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  • AM by Arctic Monkeys
  • Lemonade by Beyoncé
  • Blackstar by David Bowie
  • Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens
  • Norman Fucking Rockwell by Lana Del Rey
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
  • Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
  • Immunity by Jon Hopkins
  • Made in the Manor by Kano
  • Love & Hate by Michael Kiwanuka
  • DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  • Pure Heroine by Lorde
  • Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  • Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  • A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead
  • Body Talk by Robyn
  • Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
  • Currents by Tame Impala
  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Gaffa Denmark View full list
  1. AM by Arctic Monkeys
  2. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  3. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  5. Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  6. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  7. Currents by Tame Impala
  8. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  9. Plastic Beach by Gorillaz
  10. Blonde by Frank Ocean
Gaffa Sweden View full list
  1. Body Talk by Robyn
  2. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  3. Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
  4. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  5. Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
  6. We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves by John Maus
  7. High Violet by The National
  8. Teen Dream by Beach House
  9. Days Are Gone by Haim
  10. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
Getintothis View full list
  1. Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs
  2. Chris by Christine and the Queens
  3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  4. Body Talk by Robyn
  5. 22, A Million by Bon Iver
  6. Art Angels by Grimes
  7. Dogrel by Fontaines D.C.
  8. High Violet by The National
  9. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  10. Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Good Morning America Allan Raible View full list
  1. We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
  2. 1000 Forms of Fear by Sia
  3. Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.
  4. What We Saw From the Cheap Seats by Regina Spektor
  5. Vulnicura by Björk
  6. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  7. Colors by Beck
  8. Future Me Hates Me by The Beths
  9. Lost Girls by Bat for Lashes
  10. Cerulean Salt by Waxahatchee
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
GQ View full list
  • Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  • Take Care by Drake
  • 18 Months by Calvin Harris
  • Hellboy by Lil Peep
  • Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  • Body Talk by Robyn
  • El Mal Querer by Rosalía
  • Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides by Sophie
  • Traveller by Chris Stapleton
  • 1989 by Taylor Swift
  • Currents by Tame Impala
  • Time & Space by Turnstile
  • The Life of Pablo by Kanye West
HeadStuff View full list
  • An Awesome Wave by Alt-J
  • The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  • 22, A Million by Bon Iver
  • Marrowbone Lane by Chewing on Tinfoil
  • You Won't Get What You Want by Daughters
  • Sweetener by Ariana Grande
  • The Money Store by Death Grips
  • Hozier by Hozier
  • Joy as an Act of Resistance by Idles
  • good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  • To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  • Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  • After Laughter by Paramore
  • Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
  • To Be Kind by Swans
  • Vessel by Twenty One Pilots
  • The Art of Pretending to Swim by Villagers
  • Sleepify by Vulfpeck
  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  • The Greatest Generation by The Wonder Years
The Independent View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. A Seat at the Table by Solange
  3. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  4. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  5. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  6. Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  7. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  8. Melodrama by Lorde
  9. We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
  10. Body Talk by Robyn
Insider View full list
  1. Red by Taylor Swift
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  4. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  5. Anti by Rihanna
  6. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  7. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  8. Melodrama by Lorde
  9. Body Talk by Robyn
  10. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Joe Ireland View full list
  1. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  2. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  3. Yeezus by Kanye West
  4. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  5. Summertime '06 by Vince Staples
  6. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  7. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  8. Go Tell Fire to the Mountain by WU LYF
  9. Sunbather by Deafheaven
  10. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
KCRW Los Angeles View full list
  • 21 by Adele
  • Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes
  • To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  • This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
  • Blonde by Frank Ocean
  • Malibu by Anderson .Paak
  • A Seat at the Table by Solange
  • Currents by Tame Impala
  • The Epic by Kamasi Washington
  • Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs
Kerrang! View full list
  1. Sempiternal by Bring Me the Horizon
  2. Opposites by Biffy Clyro
  3. Lost Forever//Lost Together by Architects
  4. The Hunter by Mastodon
  5. Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!
  6. Sunbather by Deafheaven
  7. Forever by Code Orange
  8. We Are Not Your Kind by Slipknot
  9. Diamond Eyes by Deftones
  10. Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots
Loudwire (Rock list) View full list View metal albums list (not included in combined standings)
  1. House of Gold and Bones, Pt. 1 by Stone Sour
  2. Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age
  3. Diamond Eyes by Deftones
  4. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here by Alice in Chains
  5. Yellow & Green by Baroness
  6. The Pale Emperor by Marilyn Manson
  7. Wasting Light by Foo Fighters
  8. Conditions of My Parole by Puscifer
  9. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by My Chemical Romance
  10. The Boy Who Died Wolf by Highly Suspect
Mandatory View full list
  1. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  2. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  3. Oddblood by Yeasayer
  4. Flowers by Sin Fang
  5. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  6. Soft Hair by Soft Hair
  7. Where the Light Is by Surfaces
  8. All the Little Lights by Passenger
  9. Learning by Perfume Genius
  10. The English Riviera by Metronomy
mxdwn View full list
  1. Plastic Beach by Gorillaz
  2. Option Paralysis by The Dillinger Escape Plan
  3. We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest
  4. Mareridt by Myrkur
  5. Casualties of Cool by Casualties of Cool
  6. Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
  7. Meliora by Ghost
  8. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
  9. Slowdive by Slowdive
  10. How I Got Over by The Roots
National Post Calum Marsh View full list
  1. Take Care by Drake
  2. Pop 2 by Charli XCX
  3. Melodrama by Lorde
  4. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  6. Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey
  7. Rival Dealer by Burial
  8. Kaputt by Destroyer
  9. Lush by Snail Mail
  10. Sunbather by Deafheaven
New York Post Chuck Arnold View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. 21 by Adele
  4. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  5. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  6. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  7. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  8. Take Care by Drake
  9. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
  10. The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake
The New Yorker Amanda Petrusich View full list
  • Morning Phase by Beck
  • Vulnicura by Björk
  • 22, A Million by Bon Iver
  • Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  • Bad Debt by Hiss Golden Messenger
  • Mith by Lonnie Holley
  • To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  • Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  • Blonde by Frank Ocean
  • A Seat at the Table by Solange
  • Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  • Yeezus by Kanye West
NME View full list
  1. AM by Arctic Monkeys
  2. Melodrama by Lorde
  3. Yeezus by Kanye West
  4. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
  5. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  6. I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It by The 1975
  7. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  8. Visions by Grimes
  9. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  10. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
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
Paper View full list
  • Hopelessness by Anohni
  • Broke With Expensive Taste by Azealia Banks
  • Lemonade by Beyoncé
  • Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  • LP1 by FKA twigs
  • Take Me Apart by Kelela
  • Born This Way by Lady Gaga
  • Melodrama by Lorde
  • Superficial by Heidi Montag
  • Anti by Rihanna
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
Refinery29 Courtney E. Smith View full list
  1. Anti by Rihanna
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. 21 by Adele
  4. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  5. Pure Heroine by Lorde
  6. Body Talk by Robyn
  7. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
  8. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  9. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
  10. 1989 by Taylor Swift
Revolver View full list
  1. Diamond Eyes by Deftones
  2. L'Enfent Sauvage by Gojira
  3. Fear Inoculum by Tool
  4. Infestissumam by Ghost
  5. Emperor of Sand by Mastodon
  6. Firepower by Judas Priest
  7. Sunbather by Deafheaven
  8. Surgical Steel by Carcass
  9. The Satanist by Behemoth
  10. Resolution by Lamb of God
Rolling Stone View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  4. Red by Taylor Swift
  5. Blackstar by David Bowie
  6. Take Care by Drake
  7. Melodrama by Lorde
  8. 21 by Adele
  9. Interstate Gospel by Pistol Annies
  10. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
San Jose Mercury News Jim Harrington View full list
  1. Pure Heroine by Lorde
  2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  3. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  4. Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
  5. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  6. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
  7. Melodrama by Lorde
  8. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  9. The Outsiders by Eric Church
  10. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Slant View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. Norman Fucking Rockwell by Lana Del Rey
  4. St. Vincent by St. Vincent
  5. Body Talk by Robyn
  6. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  7. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  8. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  9. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
  10. 1989 by Taylor Swift
Sound Opinions Jim DeRogatis View full list
  1. Silence Yourself by Savages
  2. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
  3. Sin Sin Sin by Le Butcherettes
  4. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  5. Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!
  6. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  7. Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper
  8. The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe
  9. Wild Flag by Wild Flag
  10. Feel Your Feelings Fool! by The Regrettes
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
Stuff View full list
  • Lemonade by Beyoncé
  • Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
  • Art Angels by Grimes
  • DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  • Melodrama by Lorde
  • Blonde by Frank Ocean
  • Anti by Rihanna
  • Body Talk by Robyn
  • Yeezus by Kanye West
Tampa Bay Times Jay Cridlin View full list
  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  4. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  5. Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
  6. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  7. Hero by Maren Morris
  8. Treats by Sleigh Bells
  9. Red by Taylor Swift
  10. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Time Maura Johnston View full list
  • The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple
  • Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are by Beauty Pill
  • Lemonade by Beyoncé
  • You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen
  • Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
  • DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  • The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert
  • Kaleidoscope Dream by Miguel
  • Aura by Ozuna
  • A Seat at the Table by Solange
Tiny Mix Tapes View full list
  1. Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 by Chuck Person
  2. Black Is Beautiful by Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland
  3. Yeezus by Kanye West
  4. Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides by Sophie
  5. Just a Taste Vol. 1 by DJ Rashad
  6. Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus
  7. R Plus Seven by Oneohtrix Point Never
  8. Pop 2 by Charli XCX
  9. Blonde by Frank Ocean
  10. Endless by Frank Ocean
  11. PC Music x DISown Radio by PC Music
Treble View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  3. Blackstar by David Bowie
  4. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent
  5. The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple
  6. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  7. Burn Your Fire for No Witness by Angel Olsen
  8. Sunbather by Deafheaven
  9. Ruins by Grouper
  10. Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown
Ultimate Classic Rock View full list
  1. Blackstar by David Bowie
  2. Carry Fire by Robert Plant
  3. Lullaby ... and the Ceaseless Roar by Robert Plant
  4. The Next Day by David Bowie
  5. Post Pop Depression by Iggy Pop
  6. Blunderbuss by Jack White
  7. A Different Kind of Truth by Van Halen
  8. Brothers by The Black Keys
  9. Blue & Lonesome by The Rolling Stones
  10. So Beautiful or So What by Paul Simon
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
Variety Jem Aswad View full list
  • Wildflower by The Avalanches
  • Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  • Lemonade by Beyoncé
  • Charli by Charli XCX
  • Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  • Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  • good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  • DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
  • Nostalgia, Ultra by Frank Ocean
  • Blonde by Frank Ocean
  • Body Talk by Robyn
  • House of Balloons by The Weeknd
  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Variety Andrew Barker View full list
  1. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  3. The Epic by Kamasi Washington
  4. Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
  5. Black Up by Shabazz Palaces
  6. Beyoncé by Beyoncé
  7. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  8. Shulamith by Poliça
  9. Summertime '06 by Vince Staples
  10. Suck My Shirt by The Coathangers
Variety Chris Willman View full list
  1. 1989 by Taylor Swift
  2. By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile
  3. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
  4. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  5. Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
  6. Whiteout Conditions by The New Pornographers
  7. St. Vincent by St. Vincent
  8. Look Now by Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  9. Mental Illness by Aimee Mann
  10. You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen
The Wild Honey Pie View full list
  1. Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  2. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
  3. Capacity by Big Thief
  4. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  5. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  6. 151a by Kishi Bashi
  7. Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
  8. High Violet by The National
  9. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  10. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
WXPN/The Key Philadelphia, PA View full list
  1. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  2. Lemonade by Beyoncé
  3. good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
  4. Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs
  5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  6. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
  7. This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem
  8. A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
  9. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
  10. Painted Shut by Hop Along
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 (12)

  • SpirosMetsougis  

    1. David Bowie - Blackstar
    2. Jenny Hval - Viscera
    3. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
    4. Burial - Kindred
    5. Death Grips - Ex-Military
    6. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
    7. Swans - To be Kind
    8. Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä
    9. Kendrick Lamar - To pimp a Butterfly
    10. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
    11. Run the Jewels - RTJ 2
    12. Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone - Sélébéyone
    13. Grouper - AIA/Alien Observer
    14. Zeal & Ardor - Stranger Fruit
    15. Tame Impala - Currents
    16. Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar
    17. Oceansize - Self-preserved while the Bodies float up
    18. Ghost - Meliora
    19. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
    20.Sleepin Pillow - Superman's Blues
    21.Julia Holter - Loud City Song

  • Djesse  

    Missing a few of my favorites nobody is mentioning ;
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
    King Krule - The OOZ
    Thundercat - Drunk
    Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!
    Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
    Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
    Laura Marling - Semper Femina
    Laura Veirs - The Lockout

  • mickcarew  

    Rap and R&B are barely an art form and shame on these publications pandering to the mainstream. Nick Cave's Ghosteen is the best album of the 21st century, with Skeleton Tree not far behind, Daft Punk do electronic and R&B better than anyone else (by a mile ) as shown via their masterpiece Random Access Memories, LCD sound system produced a gem of an album with American Dream and Dillinger Escape Plan redefined heavy metal and brought it to another level with their swan song Dissociation album.

  • elvis_paiva  

    Repetitive lists with few variety. It seems that quality music was limited to rap and R&B. Where are albuns like Blackstar - Bowie, Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave, Sleep Well Beast - The National, They Want My Soul - Spoon and A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead.

  • 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

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