The Definitive Albums of the Decade

The last ten years have been a major turning point for the music industry with shifts to digital and the domination of hip hop over rock. Sinéad Dunphy rounds up some of the albums that serve as landmark records for the decade.

10. Golden Hour - Kacey Musgraves

This Grammy winning album’s ethereal atmosphere and soothing melodies characterise the current music scene perfectly and helped make country cool again.

9. Lemonade – Beyoncé

There’s no denying the cultural weight Lemonade holds. From its diverse soundscape to its powerful imagery, Lemonade is Beyoncé’s masterpiece.

8. thank u, next – Ariana Grande

This is a landmark not only in Grande’s career but in pop music in general. For a pop superstar to apply DIY attitude to a major label release sets a new precedent for the industry.

7. Currents - Tame Impala

Anyone vaguely interested in alternative music or who has gone to Workman's even once undoubtedly knows this album. The production is masterful and the sound so influential across genres.

6. I like it when you sleep… - The 1975

The 1975 are always current; always evolving.  This record fuses 80s pop with indie rock, dressed up in a pretty, millennial-ready package.

5. Melodrama - Lorde

Produced by Jack Antonoff, this is moody pop perfection. Melodrama perfectly encapsulates the confusing blend of ecstasy and devastation that is entering adulthood.

4. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean

Everything Ocean releases is met with unwavering praise and deservedly so. The production on Channel Orange was innovative, the lyrics timeless and the vocals seductive.

3. AM - Arctic Monkeys

One of the few modern rock bands who can still claim relevancy; Arctic Monkeys were at the top of their game with AM. A generation of young people obsessed over this album.

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West

Love him or loathe him, Kanye West is one of the most influential artists of the decade. MBDTF was ambitious, indulgent and risky. It’s often regarded as his best work.

1. To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

Political and sociological themes drive this hip-hop masterpiece. Lamar cemented his place in music history with this critically acclaimed album. Unapologetically black and inspiringly defiant.