Top Albums of the Decade
2019 is almost at an end ushering in a new year only 2020 will also mark a new decade. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about some of my favorite albums of the decade. I have limited the albums to one per year with some honorable mentions at the end. I will also not be revealing my favorite album of 2019. That honor will be for my albums of 2019 list next week.
So, before we begin, I want to also mention these are my own personal opinions. I’d love to know your list in the comments. Now let’s begin –
2010 – Bring Me the Horizon – There Is a Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen it. There Is a Heaven Lets Keep It a Secret.
2010 saw the Sheffield-based band release their third and defining album. There is a Hell saw the band move away from their metalcore background and experiment with electronic tendencies and choir backing vocals. This album marked a shift in their sound and in my opinion for the better, since then they have gone on to experiment and push the boundaries of what they can do as a band.
I chose this album as my album of 2010 due to the emotive and explosive lyrical content, that I could understand and connect with. My favorite track of this record is Blessed with a Curse, I love the slow atmospheric opening and the tension Oli’s vocals convey before they explode. This is an album any BMTH fan can come back to and appreciate old or new. This album also led me to the discovery of Lights, who as you’ll see features later on in this list.
2011 – Foo Fighters -Wasting Light
To get a little personal 2011 was not a great time for me emotionally or mentally. Because of this, I find it hard to listen to music from this year. There is one exception and that’s Foo Fighters’ seventh studio album Wasting Light.
This is an album that has to pick you up when you’re at your lowest points. Dave Grohl’s vocals have a stadium level power with amazing range. From the graveled White Limo to the anthemic Miss the Misery and the ballad-esque Should have Known. There isn’t an album in Foo Fighters’ back catalog that’s as emotive, bombastic and thrilling from start to finish.
2012 – Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones Part 1
I had been a comic book fan for many years but in 2012, I was introduced to comic book stores and my world was changed. That moment was thanks to Stone Sour and their fourth studio album House of Gold and Bones Part 1.
This album is the perfect embodiment of Corey Taylor’s range as a vocalist and lyricist. The journey you go on is draining as you feel as you’re physically the character in this album’s narrative. The album’s closure Last if the Real became my benchmark for a satisfying closure. The raw energy from the vocals and guitars is electrifying.
This album ultimately came with part two and to make sense of the story Corey created a comic book of the same name. This comic is still one of my all-time favorite comics of all time. The story is beautifully paced with amazing reveals and twists. This album and accompanying comic were the first steps to what I’m doing right now.
2013 – Hollywood Undead – Notes From the Underground
Some bands have back catalogs that wouldn’t see them get far if they were released now. One such band is Hollywood Undead, and if that was the case, they wouldn’t have had the chance to write the best alum in their discography.
Notes From the Underground their third album sees the band harness the strongest qualities of their previous albums. HU channel the angst and depression of their audience and convert it into something positive. They also feature a great balance of upbeat electric heavy tracks. My favorite track on the album is Kill Everyone, followed by We Are and Dead Bite.
Hollywood Undead have evolved since their inception with Notes From the Underground becoming their defining moment.
2014 – Slipknot – 5. Grey Chapter
Slipknot are my favorite band and after the tragic passing of Paul Grey and hiatus, I was left heartbroken. I had faith and hope that the nine would one day return and in 2014 the Iowa giants returned with an incredible fifth album.
I still remember how excited I got once this album was announced. This is my top choice for 2014 for that reason, this album was so anticipated that all other albums weren’t on my radar. This isn’t Slipknot at their best but it is their most resilient. They could have called it quits in 2010 but they carried on to produce a great album in 2014 and an amazing album in 2019.
Standouts include – Goodbye, If Rain is What You Want, and The Devil and I.
2015 – Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
I hadn’t heard of Twenty one Pilots before Blurryface but I made sure to know who they were afterward. I was drawn to this band for the same reasons I’m drawn to the Hollywood Undead. Blurryface takes the anxieties in life and gives them an outlet.
The crossing of the genre streams is what give Twenty one Pilots an edge as they can make it work and seem effortless. The album has a great pace and flows as no track outstays its welcome and each has a role in the larger narrative Twenty one Pilots have created.
Blurryface also has a special place in my heart as the track Tear in My Heart inspired the title of a comic I co-created – Butcher with a Smile.
2016 – M83 Junk
I wasn’t aware of M83, possibly like many until Made in Chelsea. I was hooked on the theme taken for their 2011 album Midnight City. 2016 marked the first album I’d hear the day of release from M83 and I was hooked.
Junk is an ode to television themes of the 70s and 80s. The synths have a bounce to them that you don’t hear anymore. This is a perfect album to relax or write to, the experimented sounds and tones create a rich zen state of mind.
2017 – Lights Skin & Earth
If you’ve seen my top albums of 2017 list, you’d know that Skin & Earth was my favorite album of the year. At the time what I loved about the album was the execution of the comic/album concept, that I had only seen done once before by Stone Sour. Skin & Earth is a conceptual masterpiece. The comic a visual beauty, the album an epic journey through sound. Lights take you to places never really explored before on a Lights’ album. Skin & Earth feels like the final evolution of lights’ relationship with comics and music but not the finale of Lights music.
This is an album with so much to explore, and experience from the music, to the comic and even a documentary on the making of Skin & Earth. Light does more than put her heart into the work she puts her soul into her music.
As I mentioned earlier that House of Gold and Bones part 1 was the first step, to what I do now. Lights Skin & Earth was the final push for me to follow my passion of music and comics to writing about them full-time for Outright Geekery.
2018 – Stand Atlantic – Skinny Dipping
Stand Atlantic’s debut Skinny Dipping made my number one spot on my top 10 list last year. They are a band that I only discovered the day their album, Skinny Dipping dropped but I was instantly hooked by Bonnie Fraser’s vocals along with David Potter on guitar and Jonno Panichi on drums. This is an infectious album filled with catchy lyrics and warm pop-punk sound. Opening track Lavender bones and title track Skinny Dipping is high octane, punk goodness.
I was lucky to see them live this year and they are as high octane, and warm as on the album. This is a band to look out for.
That’s all for my albums of the decade, as I mentioned my 2019 pick will be unveiled during my top 10 albums of 2019 list. I’d love to know what you thought of my picks and what are your picks in the comments below.