Top 50 Albums of the Half Decade

It occurred to me recently that we’re halfway through the “new” decade. That’s a big milestone. Since the first days of 2010 we’ve had some truly game changing albums — albums that will likely shape their genres for years to come. We’ve had just as many albums that, while not particularly innovative, have emerged as the leading examples of their particular styles. From experimental jazz to psychedelic rock revival to piercing singer-songwriter, we truly have had it all. Let’s celebrate. Here’s my top 50 albums of the half decade.

  1. The War on Drugs, “Lost in the Dream”
  2. Ulver, “Messe X.I-X.IV”
  3. The Tallest Man on Earth, “The Wild Hunt”
  4. Flying Lotus, “Cosmogramma”
  5. Kendrick Lamar, “To Pimp a Butterfly”
  6. Kurt Vile, “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze”
  7. Gazpacho, “Demon”
  8. Ben Howard, “I Forget Where We Were”
  9. Earthless, “From the Ages”
  10. GY!BE, “’Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!”
  11. Steven Wilson, “Hand. Cannot. Erase.”
  12. Burial, “Kindred”
  13. Run the Jewels, “Run the Jewels 2”
  14. Deftones, “Koi Yo Nokan”
  15. Sharon Van Etten, “Are We There”
  16. Grouper, “Ruins”
  17. Boards of Canada, “Tomorrow’s Harvest”
  18. Anekdoten, “Until All the Ghosts are Gone”
  19. Hammock, “Departure Songs”
  20. Esoteric, “Paragon of Dissonance”
  21. The National, “High Violet”
  22. Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues”
  23. St. Vincent, “Strange Mercy”
  24. Aidan Baker, “Already Drowning”
  25. Tim Hecker, “Virgins”
  26. Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange”
  27. Agnes Obel, “Aventine”
  28. Father John Misty, “I Love You, Honeybear”
  29. Lo-Pan, “Salvador”
  30. Wovenhand, “Refractory Obdurate”
  31. Clutch, “Earth Rocker”
  32. Enslaved, “Axioma Ethica Odini”
  33. Fiona Apple, “The Idler Wheel”
  34. Sigur Ros, “Kveikur”
  35. Max Richter, “Infra”
  36. James Blake, “Overgrown”
  37. Causa Sui, “Euporie Tide”
  38. Hidden Orchestra, “Night Walks”
  39. Low Roar, “0”
  40. Nujabes, “Spiritual State”
  41. The Great OId Ones, “Tekeli-Li”
  42. Bjork, “Vulnicura”
  43. Converge, “All We Love We Leave Behind”
  44. Deafheaven, “Sunbather”
  45. Chelsea Wolfe ”Pain is Beauty”
  46. Bonobo, “Black Sands”
  47. Niechec, “Smierc w Miekkim Futerku”
  48. The Roots, “undun”
  49. Jon Hopkins, “Immunity”
  50. Bohren & Der Club of Gore, “Piano Nights”
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