AOTY 2019
The A.V. Club's 50 Best Albums of the 2010s

The A.V. Club's 50 Best Albums of the 2010s

Original Source →

50. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

February 23, 2010
Critic Score
84
28 reviews

49. Sylvan Esso - What Now

Sylvan Esso - What Now
April 28, 2017
Critic Score
76
20 reviews

Where Sylvan Esso collected some great songs, What Now feels like a statement of purpose, a duo stretching into the shape it was meant to be and bringing it all purposefully together.

48. Rihanna - ANTI

January 27, 2016
Critic Score
70
30 reviews

Anti’s tracks combine to create a picture of Rihanna at her most relatable and enthralling.

47. Pile - Dripping

October 23, 2012
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

46. Four Tet - There Is Love in You

January 26, 2010
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

45. Paramore - After Laughter

May 12, 2017
Critic Score
84
18 reviews

44. Kali Uchis - Isolation

Kali Uchis - Isolation
April 6, 2018
Critic Score
85
20 reviews
As she breaks down the triumphs and heartbreaks of real life, she deftly invokes her every musical whim—from 1970s soul to hip-hop beats that wouldn’t be out of place on a ’90s dance floor—to stunning effect.

42. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

May 14, 2013
Critic Score
83
38 reviews

Unlike its two predecessors, which burned hot but only in spots, Modern Vampires feels like a rare thought-through album in the iTunes age. 

41. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

May 13, 2016
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Coloring Book delivers one celebratory hymnal after another, emphasizing the natural high that comes with feeling loved and watched over.

40. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

August 3, 2010
Critic Score
89
36 reviews

Butler and company imbue The Suburbs with such a strong sense of place and mood that it builds in impact throughout.

38. Drake - Take Care

November 15, 2011
Critic Score
77
29 reviews
His follow-up album is plenty downbeat, but it’s also gorgeous, an immersive headphone masterwork that’s tender and intimate like little else in contemporary rap and R&B.

37. Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

April 5, 2019
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

Rado’s opulent production gives the experience of listening to Titanic Rising—particularly on headphones—the feeling of being enveloped in sound, insulated from the outside world like an astronaut looking down at the earth through layers of atmosphere.

36. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
83
15 reviews

While All We Love lacks cohesion in spots, it solidifies Converge’s position as one of hardcore’s most progressive yet soulful stalwarts.

35. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

June 28, 2019
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

The first record was a grower, gradually establishing itself as one of the great producer-emcee efforts of the young millennium, but Bandana seems designed to dazzle, to assert a joint legacy.

34. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

February 7, 2012
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

Tramp is Van Etten’s most confident-sounding album to date, pushing at the boundaries of her music and suggesting a turn away from the romantic wound-licking that has dominated her lyrics.

33. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

May 4, 2010
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

Flying Lotus reaches into the past in order to create something clearly of the future – a hybridized work that challenges others to follow its dazzling blueprint.

32. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
83
35 reviews

Building on the best tendencies of her earlier songs, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit finds Barnett deftly connecting the foreground to the background, the surface to the undercurrent.

31. Jamie xx - In Colour

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
83
36 reviews
This is restrained, level-headed exploration of his inspirations, striking in its simplicity yet remarkably engaging.

30. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

May 18, 2010
Critic Score
88
29 reviews

28. SZA - Ctrl

June 9, 2017
Critic Score
83
19 reviews

Ctrl is as tough as Damn is tender, and it knocks as hard as The Sun’s Tirade swoons. It’s weirder than any of them, and maybe funnier, too.

26. Jon Hopkins - Singularity

May 4, 2018
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

There’s no prescribed narrative, but Singularity still tells a grand story—a synesthetic evocation of how it feels to be alive.

25. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

April 30, 2013
Critic Score
82
16 reviews

What’s most amazing about Acid Rap isn’t Chance’s talent, but how eagerly he employs it. There’s hardly a track where he isn’t pushing or testing himself, or somehow going out of his way to dazzle with torrential wordplay or euphoric, dopamine-pumped production.

24. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

Puberty 2 exposes new dimensions to Mitski’s voice, revealing its true richness and range. Mitski is an exceptionally keen observer of the human condition, and Puberty 2 marks a triumphant new step in her evolution.

22. James Blake - Overgrown

April 8, 2013
Critic Score
83
36 reviews

James Blake’s talent is in his ability to smoothly synthesize disparate influences; his willingness to grow and develop while doing so is fascinating and frequently rapturous.

21. Tame Impala - Lonerism

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

Where the debut broke its sound into episodic chunks, Tame Impala now finds a singular sound in the cross-section of timeless pop and psychedelia. 

20. Frank Ocean - Blonde

August 20, 2016
Critic Score
86
37 reviews
For the most part, the musicality—much sparser than the maximalist sonic feasts of his earlier work—still holds the same synesthetic power of the past, even for those who don’t claim to have the ability to see sounds.

19. Deafheaven - Sunbather

June 11, 2013
Critic Score
90
20 reviews

What’s undeniable is that moments from Sunbather will resonate long after the pointless babble has died down, proving that sometimes the greatest beauty can only be found in the face of chaos.

18. Future - DS2

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
77
19 reviews

17. David Bowie - Blackstar

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
86
36 reviews

For all its jazz accents and solos, Blackstar ends up becoming a stage for the things that first made Bowie a pop star: his incessantly catchy melodies and elastic voice. With its simple (though oblique) lyrics and endlessly repeated choruses, it’s a secret pop record submerged in the dark places of studio improvisation.

16. Shabazz Palaces - Black Up

June 28, 2011
Critic Score
85
24 reviews

15. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
37 reviews

It’s tricky territory to navigate in these cynical times, and hardened hearts and ears might find it off-putting. But meet Carrie & Lowell on its terms and it’s revelatory.

14. Danny Brown - XXX

August 15, 2011
Critic Score
83
7 reviews

13. Beach House - Teen Dream

January 26, 2010
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

Teen Dream is deeper in hue than its predecessors. Its blues are bluer, even while warmer tones abound, and Scally’s guitar emotes as lithely as the voice it dances with.

12. Grimes - Visions

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
79
35 reviews

She continues her march toward accessibility, rendering hazy, quixotic sketches into tangible, hook-heavy electro-pop.

11. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
36 reviews

As on its predecessors, Damn. is packed tight with thoughts, anxieties, and anecdotes, but this time Lamar doesn’t even try to shape them into a big picture ... Lamar trusts every idea to stand on its own. When you’re making art this substantial, vital, and virtuosic, there’s no need to wrap a tidy bow around it.

10. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel

June 19, 2012
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

The Idler Wheel… is an innately private record, as Apple’s tend to be, but she has a way of drawing listeners in as she pushes them away, luring them, siren-like, into the maelstrom of her own reflection.

9. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

There’s an inherent risk in a voice as powerful as Olsen’s. It’s a winning hand other singer-songwriters could easily overplay, pushing every song to histrionics, but even on an album as brash as Burn Your Fire, Olsen knows when to pull back. 

8. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

September 13, 2011
Critic Score
87
33 reviews

Engaging the darkness (rather than just acknowledging it) adds some flesh-and-blood humanity to an artist whose excellent output has nonetheless been marked by cold distance.

7. FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

Few debuts possess such control and ambition all in one; LP1 is the rare album that manages to sound both lived in and completely futuristic.

6. Robyn - Body Talk

November 22, 2010
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

Over the course of Body Talk, Robyn has proved that there’s real emotion to be found among the ones and zeros of electronic music, and Pt 3. is the culmination of that outlook: euphoric, personal, and inspirational to the last beat.

4. Taylor Swift - 1989

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

Swift’s never going to be as bleak as Del Rey or as sexually frank as Madonna, but, on 1989, she’s figured out how to be an adult once and for all.

3. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
38 reviews

Where Good Kid was a linear story, To Pimp A Butterfly is an 80-minute pileup of loose ends, unfinished thoughts, and contradictions. Lamar will hint at a conclusion, then refute it; point fingers, then redirect them.

2. Beyoncé - Lemonade

April 23, 2016
Critic Score
91
32 reviews

All over Lemonade, Beyoncé is describing her own personal reality, on her terms and informed by her worldview. That the album simultaneously pushes mainstream music into smarter, deeper places is simply a reminder of why she remains pop’s queen.

1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

November 22, 2010
Critic Score
91
39 reviews

Kanye’s best album since The College Dropout, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy finds its creator in complete control of the chaos swirling inside his vivid imagination.

Original Source: https://music.avclub.com/the-50-best-albums-of-the-2010s-1839776060
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