Ah, yes. The last decade. 2010–2019. It was an incredible decade for music, a transitional one. It was the “boom” of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. In more recent years, genre-spanning artists such as Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish started massive takeovers.
In the next few days, I will relay my favorite albums over the course of these ten years, beginning with №21 through №25.
#25. Panic! At the Disco — Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! (2013)
Panic! At the Disco’s transition to the solo Brendon Urie project was a fun one at best. The alt-rock superstars suddenly became an alt-pop, one-manned supershow and Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! was the first of that. I remember the opening sampling vocals from Lolo: “Climbing out the back door, didn’t leave a mark / no one knows it’s you, Miss Jackson.” Those were the days. This ten-track record was just the beginning of Panic! At the Disco’s overdue mainstream success they’ve lacked since their debut album, but it was worth it in the end.
#24. Troye Sivan — Bloom (2018)
Bloom is an anthem for queers everywhere. The opening track regards Sivan’s encounter with a Grindr date at “Seventeen,” the title track and “Plum” are incredibly dancey pop hits, and the swooning Ariana Grande-featuring ballad “Dance To This” was one of the best songs released last year. All over, Bloom carried emotion.
#23. Taylor Swift — Speak Now (2010)
The AMAs gave Taylor Swift the “Artist of the Decade” award so it’s no surprise that she’s popping up early on this list. Speak Now was my favorite album of 2010. My favorite thing about the album was that Swift wrote the entire damn thing with the exception of “If This Was A Movie,” which appears on the Deluxe Edition Bonus CD, co-written with Boys Like Girls frontman Martin Johnson. Don’t fret, either, as Swift appears some more down the line on my list.
#22. Billie Eilish — When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019)
I first heard of Eilish following a date I was on last winter, and then I immediately started posting news clips about her on my now-defunct website obsessxns.com, Substream, and Noisetrend. Her new album? It’s real good. “Bury a Friend” is a dark, classic single and the scrabbling EDM in “You Should See Me In a Crown” is fantastic. Plus, you can’t deny that the Office references in “My Strange Addiction” are admirable. I can’t wait to see what this newly-famed pop star has in store for her.
#21. Pale Waves — My Mind Makes Noises (2018)
Pale Waves are my favorite new music discovery currently. I first found them via UK pop band The 1975, as Pale Waves is on the same record label, Dirty Hit. Plus, Matty Healy has collaborated with Pale Waves on songs like “There’s a Honey.” My Mind Makes Noises was the perfect debut. We go inside the mind of lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie on the title track “Noises” and on “Drive,” but we learn of her hypersexual tendencies on tracks “Came In Close” and “Television Romance.” The stunning tribute to HBG’s grandfather on the album’s closer makes it all too real. They’ll open for Halsey in Europe next spring.