31. Ryan Adams – Orion (2010) / III/IV (2010) / Class Mythology (2011) / Ashes & Fire (2011) / 1984 (2014) / Ryan Adams (2014)
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There (2014)
A stunning album from one of this decade’s best vocalists – shitting in bathrooms have never sounded more elegant.
Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time (2013)
HAIM and Lorde may come to mind first, but Sky Ferreira is the best of the young women who ruled in the first half of the decade, and she’s the only one who could be compared to both Madonna and Suicide.
The Strokes – Comedown Machine (2013)
I know I’m supposed to say that Is This It? is my favorite Strokes album, but Comedown Machine works for me because it feels like the first Stroke album in which they’re just trying to sound like themselves (or that they’re not trying so hard to sound like what we want them to be).
Sun Kil Moon – Benji (2014)
Some of the best, most haunting storytelling of this decade, and it’ll probably change the way you feel about The Song Remains The Same.
Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt (2010)
Sometimes a man, alone with his guitar and restless thoughts, is all you need.
Titus Andronicus – The Monitor (2010)
*a couple more sentences here, because this is my favorite album of the decade so far*
Is there a better chant for this decade than “The enemy is everywhere”? Was there a more appropriate way to tackle the uneasy and divided landscape of America during the Great Recession than by creating a epic concept album based around the Civil War? Is it pretentious to have Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman on your album? Is it pretentious to be an ambitious rock band in this decade?
Honestly, who gives a shit. The Monitor is my favorite album of the decade so far because it sounds like the best album of the decade – a full realized rock n roll album full of ambitious anthems that are very loud and very beautiful and justify every single Springsteen comparison. This is very much an album for this decade and very much an album made specifically for this particular time in the good old USA.
Now altogether now: YOU WILL ALWAAAAYSS, BE A LOOOSSEERR
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City (2013)
With songwriting that transcends any Paul Simon comparison, Modern Vampires Of The City is Vampire Weekend’s best album because Erza Koenig and co. did what they couldn’t do on their first two albums – make music that everyone could relate to.
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream (2014)
It’s both the sound of one man’s personal struggle to find peace in an anxiety-filled America and the closest thing we have to modern heartland rock.
Wilco – The Whole Love (2011)
Wilco remembered how to be fun, but lingers of past greatness comes through via “The Art Of Almost” and “One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”.