playing favorites 2010s

Folks, we made it through another decade together. How ’bout that? It’s been a hell of a ride. Before I write an Instagram influencer caption’s worth of whatever I think makes me interesting, I’m just going to say I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m happier than I was in 2010. Much happier.

Let’s chat about the music, huh?

These are my favorite albums of the 2010s. Note that I’m saying best. These are just the albums that got me through a whole bunch.

Note: Click on the pictures for a surprise. 

20 | oso oso Basking in the Glow (2019)

This album is probably this low because it came out in 2019. It’s been non-stop in my rotation this year. I love the subject matter, the musicianship is wonderful, and it feels like something your buddy was working on in his dorm room all freshman year and is actually good.

19 | Young Thug Slime Season 3 (2016)

I’m an unabashed Young Thug apologist. He can do no wrong in my eyes. This album cemented his place in my top 10 favorite rappers. Some of his hardest lines are on this thing.

18 | The Hotelier Home, Like NoPlace Is There (2014)

I was in a low place in my life, and this album hit like a ton of bricks.

17 | Vein Errorzone (2018)

This is the band and album that fueled my foray back into hardcore this year. Those who I’ve spoken to about my affinity for ’90s and ’00s hardcore will be happy to know that I’m back babyyyy. There’s a ton of great bands right now trying new and interesting things in hardcore, and I’m glad we’re all here to enjoy it.

16 | Mom Jeans. Puppy Love (2018)

I’m not the type to put a big emphasis on lyrics, but this album hit me really hard when I was going through a tough, tough time. They said everything I wanted to say but didn’t have the words to do so.

15 | A$AP Rocky LiveLoveASAP (2011)

Borrowing HEAVILY from Houston probably made me fall in love with this album quickly. But, after listening to this mixtape a few times you realized that Rocky was a really unique individual trying to create his own space and perspective in a, (this might be controversial) at the time, stagnant rap genre. What happened to Rocky?

14 | Joie De Vivre The North End (2010)

The “emo revival” of the early 2010s was truly a gift, and I look back at it fondly. Joie De Vivre was one of my favorite bands around the beginning of the decade, and when they released The North End, it felt like someone made an album for me. I got to see them a bunch of times this decade, and I’m glad I got to meet some of these really wonderful chaps.

13 | Drake Nothing Was the Same (2013)

It’s just the best Drake album. I’m sorry.


12 |Adventures Adventures EP (2012)

Okay. I get it. Code Orange is great. Adventures was just more my speed in the 2010s. Reba’s voice is so powerful whichever way she uses it. I love to feel, and you can F E E L this EP.

11 | Foxing The Albatross (2014)

WHERE MY SOFTBOIS AT! I know Foxing have been widdling their own little interesting niche in indie music for the past few years, but this album is their finest work in my opinion.

10 | Beyoncé Beyoncé (2014)

I think Lemonade will be higher on people’s lists because of its context and the statement it made. For me, this album was much more fun and got listened to a whole lot more. It clearly laid the musical and thematic groundwork for Lemonade.

09 | Kacey Musgraves Pageant Material (2015)

Kacey Musgraves made me rethink my entire position on country music. Kacey, that band, and this album are that powerful. She won a Grammy for album of the year for Golden Hour, but in my heart, it was for Pageant Material.

08 | Beach Bunny Prom Queen EP (2018)

Not a lot of people know Beach Bunny save a short little blip on TikTok as a meme. I haven’t connected with a band like I have with Beach Bunny in a long time. Lili’s youthful and wistful songs really vibed with my soul last summer.

07 | The World Is A Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid To Die Whenever, If Ever (2013)

When I first heard TWIABP’s first EP, I was like what in the hell is this? I felt like they were just trying to do everything at once, but it somehow made sense, and I really liked it????? 2013’s Whenever, If Ever is ambitious and hardly misses. Listen to the first few tracks and ask yourself, “Why does this work?” You’ll have a hard time explaining it.

06 | Joyce Manor Never Hungover Again (2014)

All killer, no filler. Like every Joyce Manor album, it’s too short and you have to listen to it, like, three times in a row to get everything you want out of it. Always leave them wanting more, I guess.

05 | Title Fight Shed (2011)

These boys ruined my life by being so good and so young when Shed was released. Their release before was great — aggressive and tight. On Shed they held back a little and focused on crafting songs that played to their strengths as musicians and connected lyrically. It was nostalgic while feeling new and fresh.

The next three albums were there for me in some of the hardest years of my life. Through breakups, family and personal health issues, loneliness, Lucy Dacus, Future, and Pinegrove helped validate my feelings and helped me find the courage to build back up. That’s all I’ll say because these three albums have been talked about ad nauseum for the last 4 years. 

04 | Lucy Dacus Historian (2018)

Thank you, Lucy.



03 | Future DS2 (2015)

He made the Disney Corporation release a song that had the lyric “laddie daddy da slob on me knob.” On the strength of that alone, Future is a top 5 MC.

02 | Pinegrove Cardinal (2016)




01 | Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012)

This album still gives me chills listening to this day. There are no skippable tracks. The story is powerful. The lyrics are immaculate. The delivery is from another time. This album changed rap because it showed us what was possible when production, lyricism, and vision perfectly align. Another album that has been dissected to the moon and back.

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