The biggest debate right now is what is the album of the decade, the 2010s quickly buried rock and roll, established Rap, R&B as prominent and ended up with the Zoomers taking over the music map with musicians like Billie Eilish, Post Malone, and Lil Nas X.
But they’re the ones who might dominate next decade, as people like Kanye West, Adele or Frank Ocean have done with the one about to finish.
The debate is quite subjective and not as easy to define as the winners and losers in a horse race like the Kentucky Derby. Genres aside there’s too much music out there for us to have absolute and unequivocal truth, especially after the launching of so many different streaming platforms like Deezer, Spotify or Tidal.
And because of that, we have taken the liberty to minimize the list of candidates using the top qualification of albums made by 3 major music news outlets, NME, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
Let’s start with Rolling Stone, the American outlet has given us a Top-100 that has given us a pop fueled list as it was expected, with Kanye west’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on No.1, the album was conceived during West’s hiatus in Hawaii after his 2009 VMA’s meltdown against Taylor Swift.
The album dropped November 22nd, 2010, under Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Recordings. 13-tracks production hat was critically acclaimed a with a 94 out of a 100 by Metacritic, and American Songwriter commented on it saying that, “After the celebrity-beef and ALL CAPS blog posts fade away, Fantasy will stand as an album that dares to push the entire medium of recorded music forward, for better or worse.”
And as Rolling Stone comments on it, “… this is a concept album about his own inability to stop breaking America’s heart. Nearly a decade later, it still hurts.”
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy reaches No. 12 on the NME list and #2 on Pitchfork.
Blonde – Frank Ocean
Pitchfork throws at us a lovely curveball giving the No.1 spot to Frank Ocean’s Blonde, the outlet gives us this depiction of the record saying “Elusive and independent, he weaves from genre to genre, sometimes shifting gears to obliterate category, as he cruises past the conventions the culture still fears to let go. On Blonde, the languid guitar of surf rock coexists with soft doo-wop melodies; Frank the rapper—who is heady and occasionally, knowingly vulgar—coincides with Frank the singer, who is plaintive and longing.”
The Guardian reviewed the album and stated that “Realign your expectations, and what gradually emerges is a record of enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth, and intense emotion.” Giving it the record top rate, and Metacritic gave it a solid 87 out of 100.
The album reached No. 12 on the Rolling Stone list and was not included, surprisingly was not included in the NME list which included his previous work Channel Orange from 2012.
AM – Arctic Monkeys
The No.1 spot for NME is surprising to all of us, although it was an amazing rock album, the relevancy after it’s releases was not sustainable, alongside with the low performances that the next albums had influenced in the falling popularity of the band, AM by Arctic Monkeys released in 2013.
Arctic Monkeys hit the jackpot with the album that reached the 88th spot on the Rolling Stone list and No. 152 out of 200 on Pitchfork’s.
NME’s team might have called it before even knowing it, as they said this about the album when they reviewed it back in 2013: “Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade.” As they gave it the top rate. Which wasn’t nonetheless Metacritic same opinion, as they gave it an 81 out of 100. The lowest rated out of the 3.
We do feel closer to Rolling Stones position, as it was the one that performed the best, not only on numbers (sold the most out the 3), or the Critical Acclaim (94 out of 100 on Metacritic).
However, because of the inspiration it was to those that came next, it undoubtedly marked the decade since the beginning.