It’s a bit odd to think January 1 marks the beginning of an entire decade.
Considering I was 13 when the decade began, it doesn’t feel like an entire 10 years has passed — while simultaneously feeling like an entire lifetime has passed. If that somehow makes sense?
But with the arrival of a new year — let alone a new decade — comes the onslaught of year-in-review pieces, a-look-back-on-the-year onslaught and we’re all forced to sit and remember every single thing that touched our hearts, minds and souls.
And while I don’t mind being forced to go through my insane amount of playlists, I do hate having to choose only 10 things. But we’re going to try it anyways!
So without further ado, here are my top 10 albums of the decade in no particular order. And some honorable mentions.
(And to make sure my list is all One Direction-related albums, I’ve only chosen one 1D album.)
- Four – One Direction
A defining album in my life, it came in a moment of major transitions and I cannot thank this album enough for existing. A genuine work of art, Four was a game-changer of the pop music scene.
2. Landmark – Hippo Campus
Any one who is familiar with alternative music has come across this album. It’s eerie, masterful and a complete whirlwind (especially when you hear it live and it sounds so much better than Spotify could ever capture). If there was one album that could capture the 2010s indie vibe, it’s Landmark by Hippo Campus.
3. The 1975 – The 1975
One of the biggest artists of the decade released one of the biggest albums of the decade — every single song on this album got the attention and praise it deserved. And considering I spent a very long time mimicking Matty Healy when listening to this album, it’s a phenomenal example of this decade’s British invasion.
4. Don’t Panic It’s Longer Now – All Time Low
Making this one Don’t Panic It’s Longer Now and not Don’t Panic is a testament to how better the reissue was than the original — at least in my opinion. Considering “Oh Calamity!” is one of my absolutely favorite songs in the entire world, I am a little biased in making this statement. But it’s a great transition for ATL, and it’s such a great starter album for new listeners.
5. Vices and Virtues – Panic! At The Disco
With the departure of half of their band, this really could have been a career-ending album. But it’s such a genre-bending, focus-shifting album for Panic! and it definitely sets Brendon Urie as one the greatest performers of the decade. This is where they see their shift from lyrically-heavy bops, to performance-ready hits that continue to showcase Brendon’s incomparable vocal range.
6. COIN – COIN
Although they continue to play dozens of sold-out shows and continue to visit dozens of places every year, I still see COIN as being one of the most underrated bands of the decade. They’re work is heavy-hitting, full of confusing metaphors and jammed packed with outstanding melodies. Their first album proves that they’re destined for greatness — it’s an album with no skippable songs.
7. Nothing Happens – Wallows
A super-anticipated album, a super-decadent listening experience. This album is masterfully put together, full of songs that have the power to stand on their own and this is somehow their first album? It’s unbelievable how much power this album holds and I cannot believe I ever doubted the wait for this would be worth it.
8. Torches – Foster the People
If there was one song that defined this decade, it was “Pumped Up Kicks.” When it was released it came to represent a shift — a shift in how songs were made, the power of songs outside of the charts, the power of music in the era of social media and the message at the heart of this song inadvertently came to properly convey what this decade would hold. This song represents such a strong cultural shift this decade, and this album defined an entire generation.
9. The Balcony – Catfish and the Bottlemen
A career-defining album, Catfish and the Bottlemen changed everything we know about grunge-esque alternative music. Considering they have very limited (if any) radioplay in the US, their shows across the US earlier this year we close to sold out, if not sold out. I felt like this was my little secret, and it turns out I was wrong. But this album reestablished my love and admiration for drum-heavy alternative music and I owe them so much for that.
10. The Way It Was – Parachute
One of my first ever concerts was seeing these guys and they only get better over time. Their lyrics are impeccable and their soft, slow songs always have me feeling a certain way. All of their albums since have been full of absolute bangers and these guys definitely deserve to be on every single one of your playlists.
Honorable Mentions: WALLS – Kings of Leon, Contra – Vampire Weekend, Flicker – Niall Horan, Harry Styles – Harry Styles
And that’s my list! Picking and choosing your favorite albums is definitely a bit of an excerise — especially when you find yourself in a groove and accidentally choosing over 20 albums instead.
But the 2010s was full of amazing songs that inadvertenly ended up playing a major part of our life soundtracks.
I’m definitely interested in hearing other’s top albums of the decade — or even hearing about your favorite songs. Make sure you tweet us over @Fuzzable and let us know what your favorites are!