Best Albums of the 2010s – #15
Love in the Modern Age – Josh Rouse (2018)
Josh Rouse became one of my very favorite artists based on his work in the 2000s, specifically his run of albums between 2002 and 2006 (Under Cold Blue Stars, 1972, Nashville and Subtitulo).
His 2010s didn’t live up to that remarkable stretch, seeing him release a Spanish-language album and a side project before a couple of better-than-decent studio efforts.
Sara Bareilles wrote this song, from her 2010 album Kaleidoscope Heart, to herself after she moved into a new house on her own.
About halfway through, the track samples a BBC interview with Alfred Hitchcock. Bareilles included the clip because she felt it fit with the “sinister” air of the song.
Due to an oversight on my part, I initially left one of my top 20 albums off of the list. Adding it back in meant I had to bump the previous #20 into oblivion.
I realized the error after I had already started writing my posts, so rather than discard my thoughts on the unlucky album now in the 21st slot, I’m presenting them today in place of my usual Random Weekend post.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #16
The Voyager – Jenny Lewis (2014)
Whether it’s because my own tastes have shifted, or because the cultural landscape has become more inclusive, my list of favorite 2010s albums is dominated by women. Thirteen of the top 20 and seven of the top 10 titles are by female artists.
Jenny Lewis emerged as a favorite in this decade, after being on my radar tangentially in the prior one. The sound and perspective of her 2014 album The Voyager feel completely fresh, even as the record hearkens back to folk rock and pop sounds of the 70s.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #17
Speak Now – Taylor Swift (2010)
On past lists like this, I’ve had single artists dominate with multiple appearances. I realize that can be a little boring for the reader, and it ends up pushing out acts deserving of a mention.
So this time around I am limiting myself to just one title per artist, though I will list other albums of theirs that might have otherwise made the cut.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #18
Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves (2018)
It has been an excellent decade for women in country music, even if country radio continues to stubbornly ignore their music. Five of my top 20 albums are by women who are either country (or at least country-adjacent) artists.
One of the most critically-acclaimed of those records is Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, the Texan singer-songwriter’s third and best album.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #19
Anti – Rihanna (2016)
After four straight years of new album releases, Rihanna went silent in 2012 before emerging four years later with one of her best albums, Anti.
While I’m a Rihanna stan going back a ways, and still consider Good Girl Gone Bad and Rated R her crowning achievements, it’s hard to deny the groundbreaking qualities of this album.