The 10 Greatest Albums of the 2010s
Over the course of the final decade, radical shifts in how listeners eat music might need predicted the dying of the album. And but the shape has flourished, as artists have reimagined what an album can do. Listed below are TIME’s picks for the very best albums of the 2010s, introduced chronologically.
Fiona Apple, The Loafer Wheel… (2012)
Fiona Apple’s fourth album is stuffed with dualities: interior demons and materialized threats; arch observations and moments of true disappointment; white-hot anger and tender love. The strain between these parts animates this unpredictable, skeletal album, which finds Apple in full vocal bloom as she offers phrases exercises—simply hear how “alone” on the shambolic “Left Alone” is stretched, repeatedly, to its breaking level—whereas figuring out the machinations of her always-on thoughts.
Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream (2012)
Miguel’s 2010 debut All I Need Is You tipped him as a rising star in R&B—however his second album, 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream, confirmed that his ambitions transcended style. “Adorn” is a love music for an uneasy world, Miguel’s vocal turning into more and more animated as he vows consolation to his meant; “The Thrill” swaggers and sways, describing the exact level the place ecstasy meets hazard; “Candles in the Sun” is a sun-dappled music of existential protest. A nervy, joyous album, Kaleidoscope Dream captures the fractured-world perspective of its title.
Magnificence Tablet, Magnificence Tablet Describes Issues As They Are (2015)
Chad Clark, the chief inventive pressure behind Magnificence Tablet, put his band’s course of on full show whereas making this 2015 album, which was recorded throughout a two-week public session on the D.C.-area gallery Artisphere. Nevertheless it’s not the gimmick that makes this album nice. As an alternative it’s the exploratory spirit of Clark’s punked-up model of artwork rock, which makes songs just like the glassine “Dog With Rabbit In Mouth, Unharmed” and the churning “Afrikaner Barista” really feel like meticulously plotted puzzles.
Carly Rae Jepsen, E•MO•TION (2015)
After the early-decade blockbuster “Call Me Maybe,” Canadian pop savant Carly Rae Jepsen went on a treasure hunt for musical gems. Her third album celebrated her search’s success. E•MO•TION is full of primary songs in heaven, kicking off with the saxophone-led crush chronicle “Run Away With Me” and operating the emotional gamut by the longing of “Your Type,” the willpower of “Making the Most of the Night” and the giddiness of “I Really Like You.” Few pop singers can pack as a lot feeling into whole songs as Jepsen can imbue in a single syllable, making E•MO•TION sparkle throughout even the darkest hours.
Beyoncé, Lemonade (2016)
An up-close examination of affection, constancy, and what occurs when sacred bonds are ruptured, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, in audio and video form, is as audacious as it’s heartfelt, channeling the curler coaster of feelings that run by somebody’s thoughts after they’ve been damage. The 2016 album is a joyride by genres—spiky rock on “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” pick-up nation on “Daddy Lessons,” cinematic hip-hop on “Freedom”—and dwelling proof that, within the wake of betrayal, discovering oneself may be the very best revenge.
Leonard Cohen, You Need It Darker (2016)
The 2010s had been marked by too many losses on the pop entrance—David Bowie, Prince, Whitney Houston, George Michael. Canadian bard Leonard Cohen supplied a kaddish of kinds together with his 14th studio album, which was launched a couple of weeks earlier than his dying in 2016. Cohen, whose aptitude for the poetic remained with him till the tip, interrogates the cracks that enable life’s mild to get in, his low burr framed by sparse preparations—courtesy of his son Adam—that middle his sardonic but awed lyrics.
Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings (2016)
Since her 2003 breakout on the long-gone actuality present Nashville Star, Miranda Lambert has been certainly one of nation’s brightest-burning stars. Her 2016 double album upends expectations of what it means to be “country.” Over its two discs, she reveals herself to be as a lot of a musical wanderer because the psychedelia-tinged “Highway Vagabond” guarantees, scuffing up her boots on “Ugly Lights,” brooding over wayward nights on “Vice,” and marinating in heartbreak on the devastating, delicate “Tin Man.”
Solange, A Seat On the Desk (2016)
The third solo album by Solange Knowles is a obligatory reframing of the protest-music splendid, utilizing sonic house and Solange’s resolutely acrobatic vocals to drive residence its factors about being black in 21st-century America. A Seat At the Table pairs its plainspoken lyrics with light-on-its-feet soul: the pianos of “Cranes In the Sky” flutter round Solange’s voice; “Don’t Touch My Hair” blooms right into a strutting assertion of the self; and “Junie” is an effervescent homage to funk pioneers Ohio Gamers.
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN. (2017)
Selecting simply certainly one of Kendrick Lamar’s releases for a decade-end checklist is hard—even Untitled Unmastered, his 2016 assortment of demos, is a stable hip-hop document. However with 2017’s DAMN., Lamar dove even deeper into his personal head whereas increasing his sonic palette even additional, including Rihanna hooks (on the woozy “Loyalty”) and Fox Information drops (on the critic-aimed “DNA”) in addition to his personal superhero origin story to his knotty, allusion-filled rhymes. DAMN. is a snapshot of an artist on the peak of his powers, who’s prepping to take himself even larger.
Ozuna, Aura (2018)
The second album from this Puerto Rican-born reggaetonero opens up the large tent of Latin music, which vaulted to recognition within the American mainland over the last decade. Ozuna’s fusion of reggaeton’s riddims and the spare beats of late-10’s pop-trap make songs just like the simmering “Única” prepared for the membership, whereas the collab with bachata king Romeo Santos, “Ibiza,” reveals that his romanticism is simply as potent when paired with that style’s crisp guitars. Cardi B’s flip as Ozuna’s duet companion on “La Modela,” in the meantime, places the highlight on the “Bodak Yellow” MC’s delicate aspect.