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businessinsider - 7 days ago

The best and worst albums of the past decade, according to critics

The past decade, 2010 to 2019, was full of both impressive and lacking albums by artists. While Lemonade by Beyonc won over critics, Love? by Jennifer Lopez disappointed them, according to review aggregator Metacritic, which pulls reviews from sites like Pitchfork, A.V. Club, and Rolling Stones magazine. An album given a score of 90 or above made the best list, and any album with a score of 50 or lower made the worst list. As a note, the scores listed throughout the piece were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change. Here are the best and worst albums of the past decade, according to critics. Visit Insider s homepage for more stories. Ghosteen by Nick Cave the Bad Seeds from 2019 is said to be both comforting and haunting. Metacritic score: 97% Ultimately, all are visions, alternately haunted and comforting. Subtle evolutions in mood and instrumentation come to peaks that are made all the more stunning by their scarcity. Source: The Guardian

To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar from 2015 has been called timeless. Metacritic score: 96% This is an important--a very important--piece of work that will stand the test of time. It s also an utter blast to listen to and live with. Source: Drowned in Sound

DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar from 2017 is praised as an album proving Kendrick is in his prime. Metacritic score: 95% It s not what you might have expected or even--on one or two initial listens--have been hoping for from Kendrick Lamar. But this is an artist in his absolute prime: artistically, lyrically and musically. Source: Drowned in Sound

Black Messiah by D Angelo from 2014 is lauded as a showcase of the artist s talent. Metacritic score: 95% Despite the elongated nature of its creation, Black Messiah is a fluid, confidently cool piece... A real showcase of his incredible talent. Source: Clash Music

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West from 2010 has been called a game changing album. Metacritic score: 94% There is no question that this album is a game changer. It s Kanye West s greatest work. Source: Consequence of Sound

Lemonade by Beyoncé from 2016 was lauded as a stunning breakup album. Metacritic score: 92% Lemonade is a stunning album, one that sees her exploring sounds she never has before. It also voices a rarely seen concept, that of the album-length ode to infidelity. Even stranger, it doesn t double as an album-length ode to breaking up. Source: Pitchfork

Channel Orange by Frank Ocean from 2012 is said to be a masterpiece of an album. Metacritic score: 92% It s a headphone masterpiece that bangs on shelf speakers. Source: Austin Chronicle

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen from 2016 is described as a strong collection of songs with an irreplaceable voice. Metacritic score: 92% It s as strong a collection as any of his in recent times and tied together of course by that voice--deeply authoritative, unfathomably evocative and really quite irreplaceable. Source: Record Collector Mag

Eve by Rapsody from 2019 is reported to have the sounds of skilled artist who made one of the best rap records. Metacritic score: 90% Eve is more than a sign of the times. Easily one of the best rap records of the year, it s the sound of a skilled artist becoming a vital one, and asserting her place not only in the genre but in the world. Source: Rolling Stone

We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest from 2016 is said to be a great album. Metacritic score: 91% It solidifies the group s track record for absolute greatness, adding an unexpected sixth turn to a career that followed one aesthetic path but was always moving. Source: Pop Matters

The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe from 2010 is praised as an album with swagger and style. Metacritic score: 91% Monae s inexhaustible swagger and singular style sell both the high-concept theatrics and the schizophrenic sonics. Source: The A.V. Club

Melodrama by Lorde from 2017 is described as an extraordinary and authentic album. Metacritic score: 91% Self-care has allowed Lorde to make something extraordinary and authentic, something that takes you by the hand and assures you that you can survive and thrive in the same sea of emotion. Source: Pretty Much Amazing

Gold Grey by Baroness from 2019 is depicted as a work of art. Metacritic score: 91% To say this album is epic would be an understa it s a work of art in the truest sense. Source: New Musical Express

Home, Like Noplace Is There by The Hotelier from 2014 is said to be full of personal stories. Metacritic score: 91% It is all about being strong. It reaches out and tries to help make sense of it all. It s a comforting empathy. The stories are intensely personal but are so easily transferable beyond their original inspiration. Source: Sputnik Music

Spaces by Nils Frahm from 2013 reportedly sounds like an artist breaking free. Metacritic score: 90% After the delicate beauty of previous albums, this is the sound of an artist unleashed. Source: Clash Music

Cardiology by Good Charlotte from 2010 was panned as a failed album. Metacritic score: 50% As a whole, Cardiology is an attempt to leave behind the band s failed newer sound and return to their pop-punk roots. Source: Sputnik Music

Hotel California by Tyga from 2013 is said to be disappointing. Metacritic score: 50% Hotel California fails to deliver on any of the hype it had leading up to its release. Source: Rap Reviews

Britney Jean by Britney Spears from 2013 is described as being underwhelming for a dance music record. Metacritic score: 50% Ms. Spears and have turned to European disc jockeys who have found dance music s lowest, least funky common denominator: the steady thump of four-on-the-floor. And they ve settled for too many tepid tracks. Source: The New York Times

What About Now by Bon Jovi from 2013 is said to sound like an artist who got stuck in his comfort zone. Metacritic score: 50% What About Now suggests a few paths for progress, and an ambivalence about committing to any one of them, all under a comfort-zone haze of undifferentiated, low-ambition, lightly roo tsy hard rock. Source: The New York Times

Total Xanarchy by Lil Xan from 2018 is described as a lackluster punk album. Metacritic score: 49% If adult critics really loved this stuff, the Xanarchy team would no doubt feel they d made a wrong turn somewhere. It s punk, or it s the thing people who don t really know what punk means call punk, or it s a dog whistle meant to sail over the heads of the the elderly (i.e. anyone over 24). Source: Pitchfork

#willpower by from 2013 is described as an album full of quotable clichés. Metacritic score: 49% Conveniently, he s premeditated every song in #willpower with a bevy of wishy-washy, quotable clich s that are meant to fit the space of 140 characters. Sadly, that s as deep as it gets. Source: No Ripcord

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Owl City from 2011 has been called a lazy album. Metacritic score: 49% Owl City is electro-pop s unwanted bastard child, combining all the worst elements of the genre. The production is lazy and unbelievably dull. Source: No Ripcord

If Not Now, When? by Incubus from 2011 is said to be a frustrating album. Metacritic score: 48% If Not Now, When? is frustrating in many ways, chiefly because it feels like a step in the wrong direction for a band that can still pen enthralling tunes. Source: Slant Magazine

Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus from 2010 is described as a confused statement of a record. Metacritic score: 48% When you get right down to it, not only is Can t Be Tamed a confused statement of a record, but it s a pretty boring listen as well, as Cyrus hits on tired old pop trends (AutoTune? Really?) as a way to deliver her quasi-edgy new persona to a much more intelligent mainstream audience. Source: Pop Matters

Sorry for Party Rocking by LMFAO from 2011 is reportedly an album with a confusing sound. Metacritic score: 47% This Los Angeles party-hop duo can t decide if they want to rhyme like the Beastie Boys or booty-croon like Taio Cruz. So on their second album (which includes the hit Party Rock Anthem ), they do both, making for a disc of brain-cell-depleting jams. Source: Rolling Stone

Life, Love Hope by Boston from 2013 is said to sound bland and unoriginal. Metacritic score: 47% The songs come with soaring sentimental choruses, but brittle rhythmic foundations--you will miss Sib Hashian, Boston s old drummer--as well as deeply grandiose or cornball keyboard parts.... Where Mr. Delp is absent, the singers Tommy DeCarlo or David Victor commit passable imitations, or Kimberley Dahme provides bland contrast. Source: The New York Times

Harverd Dropout by Lil Pump from 2019 is described as an album that isn t worth a full download. Metacritic score: 46% I d suggest downloading the two good songs and forgetting the rest of this album ever happened. Source: PopMatters

One More Light by Linkin Park from 2017 is said to be an album that shows how a band lost its identity. Metacritic score: 46% A muddled mess of a record from a band that completely abandoned any sense of identity. Source: Consequence of Sound

Authentic by LL Cool J from 2013 is labeled as a lost album. Metacritic score: 46% Despite his years away acting, LL hasn t really lost his touch rapping. What he has lost is a sense of focus and direction. Source: Rap Reviews

Love? by Jennifer Lopez from 2011 is described as an album that doesn t show any real emotion. Metacritic score: 46% While Lopez has claimed that her new public image showcases the real her, she never could pull off the idea of being a real human being with actual emotions on record. Source: BBC Music

Some Kind of Trouble by James Blunt from 2011 has been called a depressing album. Metacritic score: 45% Shallow, soulless and strangely cynical, Some Kind of Trouble is a thoroughly depressing listen. Source: The Guardian

Hell in a Handbasket by Meat Loaf from 2012 is said to sound like a bad Broadway rock musical. Metacritic score: 44% Unconvincing and overbearing, it s like being ambushed by the cast of a Broadway rock musical. Source: BBC Music

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