Saturday, December 01, 2018

Year-end top 10 lists: 2005 through the present

The below is an un-annotated survey of Hank Shteamer's all-genres-in-play "Albums of the year" top 10 lists, stretching back to 2005, compiled for various publications and polls. Jazz-only lists from 2008 on can be found here.

Highlighted titles are ones that have really "lived on" for me beyond the year in question — each is an album I feel comfortable calling a modern classic.

Best albums of the decade: 2010–2019


1. Richard Inman, Inman
2. Scream, DC Special
3. Foo Fighters, But Here We Are
4. Queens of the Stone Age, In Times New Roman…
5. Mendoza Hoff Revels, Echolocation
6. Khanate, To Be Cruel
7. Jeromes Dream, The Gray in Between
8. John Zorn, Full Fathom Five
9. James Brandon Lewis, Eye of I
10. Tomb Mold, The Enduring Spirit 

+ Metallica, 72 Seasons [late but necessary add…]

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1. Gospel, The Loser
2. Fleshwater, We're Not Here to Be Loved
3. Chat Pile, God's Country
4. Meshuggah, Immutable
5. Faetooth, Remnants of the Vessel
6. The Bad Plus, The Bad Plus
7. Messa, Close
8. Afghan Whigs, How Do You Burn?
9. 40 Watt Sun, Perfect Light
10. Zoh Amba, O, Sun
11. Hammered Hulls, Careening  

[couldn't narrow this down to 10, or more accurately, saw no reason to!]

Bleed, Somebody's Closer [favorite release of the year but left off above b/c it's an EP and technically came out first in 2021]

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1. Turnstile, Glow On
2. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra, Promises
3. Mastodon, Hushed and Grim
4. Assertion, Intermission
5. Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Superwolves
6. Willow, Lately I Feel Everything
7. Jason Moran, The Sound Will Tell You 
8. Amyl and the Sniffers, Comfort to Me
9. Leo Nocentelli, Another Side
10. Carcass, Torn Arteries


Bo Burnham, Inside (The Songs) [honorary inclusion]

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1. Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger, Force Majeure
2. AC/DC, Power Up
3. Kirk Windstein, Dream in Motion
4. Undeath, Lesions of a Different Kind
5. Alan Braufman, The Fire Still Burns
6. Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways
7. Josh Johnson, Freedom Exercise
8. Gulch, Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress
9. Erica Freas, Young
10. Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo

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1. Moon Tooth, Crux
2. Tomb Mold, Planetary Clairvoyance
3. Arch/Matheos, Winter Ethereal
4. Sheer Mag, A Distant Call
5. Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle
6. Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
7. The Messthetics, Anthropocosmic Nest
8. Branford Marsalis Quartet, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
9. Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains
10. Hole Dweller, Flies the Coop

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1. The Bad Plus, Never Stop II
2. Esperanza Spalding, 12 Little Spells
3. Haunt, Burst Into Flame
4. Dan Weiss, Starebaby
5. Voivod, The Wake
6. Wayne Shorter, Emanon
7. Peter Brötzmann / Heather Leigh, Sparrow Nights
8. Tomb Mold, Manor of Infinite Forms
9. Harriet Tubman, The Terror End of Beauty
10. Tyshawn Sorey, Pillars

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1. Sheer Mag, Need to Feel Your Love
2. Vijay Iyer, Far From Over
3. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World
4. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand
5. Queens of the Stone Age, Villains
6. Code Orange, Forever
7. Jason Moran, Thanksgiving at the Vanguard
8. Cheer-Accident, Putting Off Death
9. Morbid Angel, Kingdoms Disdained
10. Chris Pitsiokos Unit, Before the Heat Death

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1. Esperanza Spalding, Emily's D+Evolution
2. The Hotelier, Goodness
3. Bob Mould, Patch the Sky
4. Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith, A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
5. Metallica, Hardwired... to Self-Destruct 
6. Deftones, Gore
7. 40 Watt Sun, Wider Than the Sky
8. Crying, Beyond the Fleeting Gales 
9. Billy Mintz, Ugly Beautiful 
10. Meshuggah, The Violent Sleep of Reason

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1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
2. The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
3. Henry Threadgill Zooid, In for a Penny, in for a Pound 
4. Title Fight, Hyperview
5. Blind Idiot God, Before Ever After
6. Krallice, Ygg Huur
7. Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct
8. Laddio Bolocko, Live and Unreleased 1997–2000 
9. Mary Halvorson, Meltframe 
10. Revenge, Behold.Total.Rejection

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1. Future Islands, Singles
2. Antemasque, Antemasque
3. Alvvays, Alvvays
4. La Dispute, Rooms of the House

5. Juan Wauters, N.A.P. North American Poetry
6. Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else
7. Mitski, Bury Me at Makeout Creek
8. Mark Turner, Lathe of Heaven
9. Run the Jewels, RTJ 2
10. White Lung, Deep Fantasy

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1. RVIVR, The Beauty Between
2. Haim, Days Are Gone
3. Carcass, Surgical Steel
4. Diarrhea Planet, I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
5. Queens of the Stone Age, ...Like Clockwork
6. Suffocation, Pinnacle of Bedlam
7. Black Sabbath, 13
8. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
9. The Men, New Moon
10. Gorguts, Colored Sands

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1.  Christian Mistress, Possession
2. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
3. Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind
4. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
5. Propagandhi, Failed States
6. fun., Some Nights
7. Loincloth, Iron Balls of Steel
8. Billy Hart, All Our Reasons
9. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
10. Corin Tucker, Kill My Blues

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1. Frank Ocean, Nostalgia, Ultra
2. Anthrax, Worship Music
3. Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy
4. Drake, Take Care
5. Deceased, Surreal Overdose
6. Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June, Be It as I See It
7. The Strokes, Angles 
8. Disma, Towards the Megalith
9. New Zion Trio, Fight Against Babylon
10. Ben Allison, Action-Refraction

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1. Francis and the Lights, It'll Be Better
2. Drake, Thank Me Later
3. The Bad Plus, Never Stop
4. Buke and Gass, Riposte
5. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. Graham Smith, Accept the Mystery
7. Ludicra, The Tenant
8. Sia, We Are Born
9. Charred Walls of the Damned, Charred Walls of the Damned
10. Dan Weiss Trio, Timshel

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1. Propagandhi, Supporting Caste
2. Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
3. Ran Blake, Driftwoods
4. Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young
5. Chad Taylor, Circle Down
6. Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures 
7. Dinosaur Jr., Farm
8. Sean Kingston, Tomorrow
9. Jon Irabagon with Mike Pride, I Don’t Hear Nothin’ but the Blues
10. Heaven and Hell, The Devil You Know


1. Graham Smith & KGW, Yes Boss
2. Cynic, Traced in Air
3. Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue [reissue]
4. Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy
5. Krallice, Krallice
6. Andrew Hill and Chico Hamilton, Dreams Come True
7. Metallica, Death Magnetic
8. Josh Fix, Free at Last
9. Randy Newman, Harps and Angels
10. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend


1. Pissed Jeans, Hope for Men
2. Muhal Richard Abrams, Vision Towards Essence
3. Sigh, Hangman’s Hymn
4. Thurston Moore, Trees Outside the Academy
5. Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity
6. Zs, Arms
7. Rob Crow, Living Well
8. Levon Helm, Dirt Farmer
9. Tyshawn Sorey, that/not
10. Ween, La Cucaracha


1. Baby Dayliner, Critics Pass Away
2. Ocrilim, Anoint
3. Xiu Xiu, The Air Force
4. This Heat, Out of Cold Storage [reissue]
5. Melvins, (A) Senile Animal
6. Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar
7. The Lemonheads, The Lemonheads
8. The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
9. Nels Cline, New Monastery
10. Joanna Newsom, Ys


1. Deerhoof, The Runners Four
2. Orthrelm, OV
3. Matthew Welch, Dream Tigers
4. Sicbay, Suspicious Icons
5. Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Matt Sweeney, Superwolf
6. Big Business, Head for the Shallow
7. Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Mostly Other People Do the Killing
8. Sunn O))), Black One
9. The Locust, Safety Second, Body Last
10. Coptic Light, Coptic Light

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