One Sentence Reviews Of Headphone Nation’s 40 Favorite Albums Of The Decade (So Far): 2010 – 2014

 

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014)

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Compelling backstory aside, one of the decade’s best rock albums addresses love, death, and identity in a way that makes Laura Jane Grace the Paul Westerberg for many young men and women, and this is their Let It Be.


Arcade Fire – Reflektor (2013)

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Arcade Fire’s “fun” record is still a dreary endeavor, except now there’s Doomsday Disco (“Reflektor”), Haiti Rara (“Here Comes The Night Time”), The Smiths (“You Already Know), and some of the best music Arcade Fire has made yet (the one-two punch of “Afterlife” and “Supersymmetry”).


Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (2010)

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Arcade Fire’s most compelling album is a grand reflection of how we (try to) learn how to live with the quiet disappointments and restraints of life behind the white picket fence; oh yeah, and the music is great too.


Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today (2010)

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I’m not saying he’s as talented as Frank Zappa, but Ariel Pink is the closest thing to this decade’s critically acclaimed (i.e. not for everyone) musical nerd who’s willing to be funny and strange, and Before Today (or at least “Round And Round”) is his grand statement.


Bon Iver – Bon Iver (2011)

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The electric (and ultimately more engaging) spring to For Emma, Forever Ago‘s lonely winter that saved Justin Vernon from being that one dude who recorded that one album in a log cabin.


Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record (2010)

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Canada’s most underrated (and possibly best) export continued its thankless job of making consistently excellent Baroque Pop albums with Forgiveness Rock Record, which included new fan favorites such as “All To All” and “Sentimental X’s”.


Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory (2012)

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The loud and furious brainchild of an alternative 90’s history in which Dookie and In Utero are both equals.


Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas (2013)

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Technically these are two EPs packaged as one collection, and technically Barnett is my favorite chilled-out Australian guitar hero who writes breezy songs about gardening and masturbation.


David Bowie – The Next Day (2013)

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Of all his personas – the glam Ziggy Stardust, the coked out Thin White Duke, the Alien from Berlin  – one of David Bowie’s more insightful characters turned out to be himself.


Dawes – Stories Don’t End (2013)

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That moment when Dawes did a better job of being The Band than The Band ever did.


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