MMM Staff Picks: Richard John Cummins’ Top Ten Favorite Albums of the 2010s
#10. Foster The People – ‘Torches’ (2011)
Briefly it looked as though bands like Foster The People might help bring songs that were fun, catchy and instantly memorable back to the rock mainstream. It didn’t turn out quite that way, but Torches still shines bright and holds up.
#9. Foo Fighters – ‘Wasting Light’ (2011)
Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl recently tagged his longtime band the Foo Fighters “Dad Rock.” If that’s the case, then father knows best, as on the first release of the past decade the Foos prove yet again why some call them the Last Great Band.
#8. The Juliana Hatfield Three – ‘Whatever, My Love’ (2015)
Reuniting with the trio from her brief, high(ish) profile days in the mid-90s to create one of her best albums since, Hatfield rocks again with personal songs that are at once again well-crafted and to-the-point (and the point is Hatfield should be a much, much bigger star).
#7. Foals – ‘What Went Down’ (2015)
What went down was that the Oxford, England’s Foals absolutely scored with this album of atmospheric but catchy dance-rock framed by flawless production and instrumentation.
#6. Fruit & Flowers – ‘Drug Tax’ (2017)
Sounding like a sort of a cross between Siouxsie and the Banshees and Blue Oyster Cult, Brooklyn indie band Fruit & Flowers’ aerial but edgy debut EP should cast an instant spell on anyone. Tighter (and better) than many major label releases, this is one tax nobody should mind paying.
#5. The Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’ (2013)
Still betting that we look good on the dance floor, the Sheffield, England band continue to singularly display more raw rock energy than some entire regional music scenes.
#4. Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ (2015)
Kanye may have grabbed more headlines in the 2010s, but SoCal rapper Kendrick Lamar quite possibly did the most to keep hip-hop genuine, relevant, unflinchingly honest and, most importantly, moving forward.
#3. Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ (2015)
It doesn’t take much thinking (or sitting) to recognize this as one of the decade’s best and most promising debuts. Australian singer-songwriter Barnett is part Bob Dylan, part PJ Harvey, and all amazing.
#2. Parquet Courts – ‘Light Up Gold’ (2012)
Possibly the best rock band to debut during the 2010s, Parquet Courts lit up the scene with their powerfully understated and raw classic New York-style garage rock. Forget gold, this should have gone platinum.
#1. Haim – ‘Days Are Gone’ (2013)
Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim – all multi-instrumentalists in their own right – created this near-flawless symmetry of songwriting and production inspired by both classic rock and ’80s hits. Days are Gone is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” if the PYTs had rebelled and taken over.
WRITTEN BY: RICHARD JOHN CUMMINS