12 Best of Christmas: Best Albums of the Decade

This category is easily the one that could sway the most from any other list you are going to read this awards season. I honestly read most of these Best of Music lists lately and was blown away by my own perceptions of the quality of these artists. This is because music is the most subjective art form around. There’s no story, characters, acting, or anything else to judge it by. If someone can keep a beat and carry a tune then they could be someone’s favorite artist. Hell, with a lot of modern day rap you don’t even have to carry a tune or really be able to flow in order to make a Best of Music List.

So, being the son of a music producer, playing multiple instruments, being able to carry a tune, and having this platform made me feel I should add my list of the Best Albums of the decade into the mix. I listened to over 200 albums over the last few months to prepare for this list. Yet, in the end, I went with a top 12 that reflects the music that meant the most to me over the decade. These are those albums.

12. Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox

This album is a nearly flawless collection of pop tracks and a few songs so sexy that my wife begs me to sing them to her. Thank you Bruno.

11. Deftones – Diamond Eyes

This album was a return to form for one of the best rock bands of the 90’s and easily one of the best of the decade.

10. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 1 & 2

JT is about the most talented man working in show business and The 20/20 Experience is his best work!

9. Lady Gaga – Born This Way

No artist took the world more by storm, in the last decade, than Lady Gaga, and this album was the proof that she was the real deal.

8. Paramore – Self-Titled

This album was a real step forward for Paramore and gave us some of the best rock singles of the decade.

7. Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns

The death of Chester Bennington was one of the great tragedies of the decade, but ten years ago his band was delivering one of the most powerful albums of all time. Listening to the brilliant lyrics is a reminder of just how great a loss his passing was.

6. A Perfect Circle – Eat the Elephant

Over a decade after their last album protested the Iraq War, A Perfect Circle returned to tackle the election of Donald Trump, the proliferation of cell phones, gun control, and so much more. More rock bands should be so bold.

5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

The first album I listened to after my fathers passing was this brilliantly introspective work by one of the greatest British rock bands in history. This album truly got me through some dark days.

4. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born Soundtrack

The best film of 2018 also had the best soundtrack. The music that Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and Mark Ronson put together for this movie is not just the best soundtrack of the decade, but damn near the best collection of classic rock and country songs this century.

3. Tool – Fear Inoculum

The greatest rock band of the last 30 years delivered their first album album in 13 years, and it is an absolute masterpiece. With tracks that range from 10 to 15 minutes long, these songs are more like orchestral movements with metal guitars then they are traditional rock songs. If you want to hear the power of great rock music, this is your one stop shop.

2. Regina Spektor – Remember Us to Life

This album works as both the most oddly beautiful collection of indie pop songs around, and as a sweeping story that digs deep into the essence of life. There are songs on this album that question the nature of life, death, poverty, politics, and just about everything in between. Not many albums can call themselves a journey, but this is one of the most eye opening, inspired, and unique Musical journeys I’ve ever taken.

1. Hamilton – Original Broadway Soundtrack

While Broadway shows of Hamilton were busy selling out night after night, a little thing happened that wasn’t as well covered, but might have been just as profound. Theater kids, musical lovers, and all the others who don’t have the money it costs to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical masterpiece on stage, began listening to this brilliant work of art on iTunes or Spotify. Last year, it became the longest running album in history to stay on Billboards Top 40. And this is because those who listen to this brilliant work of hip hop history are completely captivated. Nearly the entire play is laid bare on this album, and it is every bit the masterpiece audibly as it is visually. With rap music getting more generic every year, it is phenomenal to hear Miranda use the power of the hip hop flow to illuminate a new generation to the trials and tribulations that made up the founding of our great nation. It is unlikely that there will be a use of hip hop that will ever come close to this again. So, if you are one of those who typically doesn’t like musicals, give this one a chance. If you listen to me on this, as Angelica Skyler says, “I’m about to change your life”.


Best of the Rest

Halsey – Badlands

Ariana Grande – My Everything

Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Kasey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park

Jonathan Davis – Black Labyrinth

Adele – 25

Jay-Z – The Story of OJ

Kendrick Lamar – Black Panther Soundtrack

Dave – Psychodrama

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

Lana Del Rey – Norman F****** Rockwall

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Puscifer – Conditions of my Parole

The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond)

Shinedown – Attention Attention

The Pretty Reckless – Going to Hell

Mumford & Sons – Babel

Stone Sour – The House of Gold & Bones Part 1 & 2

Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Bold, How Beautiful

Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi

Chris Cornell – Higher Truth

Lorde- Melodrama

Nathan Ligon

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