Top Albums of the Decade


As 2019 comes and goes, we also approach the end of a decade: the “twenty-teens,” “twenty-tens,” or “tweenies,” depending on who you ask. Looking back on the last ten years, humankind has seen numerous cultural shifts, perhaps most notably in the music world. With
new and increasingly affordable advances in technology, the ability to make music just about anywhere and share it with just about anyone has paved the way for some of the most exciting music ever made. Why? Because anyone moved by the creative musical spirit – from a young teen making bedroom tracks in his Harlem bedroom to an elderly music aficionado with a penchant for the guitar in rural America – can put their ideas into full effect and actually have those ideas heard across the world.

Gone are the days of required chart-topping conformity, in which aspiring artists had to adhere to a strict set of pop music trends to achieve success in the musical industry. Instead, artists across all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual-orientations, gender-identities and socioeconomic backgrounds now have a chance to express themselves through music in whatever way feels most authentic to them. Some artists, like the UK’s James Blake, have taken this newly accessible expressive freedom and turned it into genre-bending (or downright genre-rejecting) releases that push the boundaries of what any of us thought was possible through music. Others have returned to simpler forms, or discovered them for the first time, including musicians like Courtney Barnett and Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail, who effectively exercise their songwriting prowess with the basic stylings of the tried and true electric guitar. And others have used modern means of technology and communication to reach across the world to collaborate, sometimes with people they’ve never actually met in person.

In short, this decade has proved that the musical opportunities and possibilities are endless for just about anyone wanting to make music. The result is what can only be described as a musical renaissance, where creativity and expression in and through music is possibly the highest it has ever been worldwide. KGNU is, of course, at the forefront of tapping into the most innovative musical voices from around the world, as our music programming represents every genre and style of music you can find. Moreover, our dedicated volunteer DJs bring their own creative energy and prowess to all of their shows, digging through virtual and physical crates of new and old music to bring you the more inspiring and mesmerizing sounds from around the globe. Take a look at our DJs favorite albums from the last 10 years. The diversity in selections prove that we are, indeed, living in a time in which great music is everywhere – you just have to know where to find it, and luckily, we all have KGNU to help us find our way. Cheers to a great decade in music, and here’s to many more ahead.

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