Best Music Albums of the Decade

Singer Billy Elish

The past decade has been a golden era for music, with artists across genres producing some of the most memorable and influential albums. From groundbreaking debuts to career-defining releases, the 2010s gave us a diverse array of music that continues to resonate. Here are some of the best music albums of the decade that left a lasting impact.

Singer Beyonce Knowles wearing a Red Dress on the Floor
Best Music Albums of the Decade

1. Adele – “21”

Released in 2011, Adele’s “21” became an instant classic. Her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics about love and loss struck a chord with listeners worldwide. Hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Set Fire to the Rain” dominated the charts, making “21” one of the best-selling albums of the decade. Adele’s raw emotion and soul-stirring performances solidified her as one of the most influential artists of the 2010s.

2. Beyoncé – “Lemonade”

Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” released in 2016, is more than just an album; it’s a cultural phenomenon. Blending elements of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and soul, “Lemonade” explores themes of infidelity, empowerment, and African American identity. The accompanying visual album further enriched the narrative, showcasing stunning visuals and storytelling. Tracks like “Formation,” “Sorry,” and “Hold Up” showcased Beyoncé’s versatility and cemented her status as a visionary artist.

3. Kendrick Lamar – “To Pimp a Butterfly”

Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” released in 2015, is a profound exploration of race, identity, and society. The album’s innovative fusion of jazz, funk, and hip-hop, combined with Lamar’s poignant lyrics, created a compelling narrative about the African American experience. Songs like “Alright,” “King Kunta,” and “The Blacker the Berry” resonated deeply with audiences, earning the album critical acclaim and numerous awards.

4. Taylor Swift – “1989”

In 2014, Taylor Swift released “1989,” marking her full transition from country to pop. The album’s catchy hooks and polished production made it an instant success. Singles like “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Style” became anthems, showcasing Swift’s knack for crafting relatable and infectious pop songs. “1989” not only earned critical praise but also solidified Swift’s place as a pop powerhouse.

5. Frank Ocean – “Blonde”

Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” released in 2016, is a mesmerizing blend of introspective lyrics and experimental production. The album’s minimalist soundscape and Ocean’s evocative voice created an intimate listening experience. Tracks like “Nikes,” “Ivy,” and “Nights” delve into themes of love, identity, and self-discovery. “Blonde” was hailed as a groundbreaking work that pushed the boundaries of contemporary R&B.

6. Lorde – “Melodrama”

Lorde’s sophomore album, “Melodrama,” released in 2017, is a vivid portrayal of youth and heartache. The album’s lush production and candid lyrics captured the tumultuous emotions of young adulthood. Songs like “Green Light,” “Liability,” and “Supercut” showcased Lorde’s growth as an artist and storyteller. “Melodrama” received widespread acclaim for its emotional depth and sonic innovation.

7. Billie Eilish – “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Billie Eilish’s debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released in 2019, redefined pop music with its eerie soundscapes and introspective lyrics. Eilish’s distinctive voice and her brother Finneas’s innovative production created a unique musical experience. Hits like “Bad Guy,” “Bury a Friend,” and “When the Party’s Over” captivated audiences, making Eilish a global sensation and a voice of a generation.

8. Drake – “Take Care”

Drake’s “Take Care,” released in 2011, is a defining album in modern hip-hop. Blending rap with R&B influences, the album explores themes of fame, relationships, and personal struggles. Tracks like “Marvins Room,” “Take Care,” and “The Motto” showcased Drake’s versatility and lyrical prowess. “Take Care” received critical acclaim and solidified Drake’s status as one of the leading figures in hip-hop.

9. Lana Del Rey – “Born to Die”

Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die,” released in 2012, introduced her as a unique voice in pop music. The album’s cinematic production and melancholic lyrics created a dreamy, nostalgic atmosphere. Songs like “Video Games,” “Born to Die,” and “Summertime Sadness” highlighted Del Rey’s distinctive style and vocal delivery. “Born to Die” became a cultural touchstone and established Del Rey as a musical icon.

10. The Weeknd – “After Hours”

The Weeknd’s “After Hours,” released in 2020, is a masterful blend of synth-pop, R&B, and new wave. The album’s dark, atmospheric production and The Weeknd’s haunting vocals created an immersive experience. Singles like “Blinding Lights,” “Heartless,” and “Save Your Tears” became massive hits, showcasing The Weeknd’s ability to craft compelling and genre-defying music.


The past decade has been a vibrant period for music, with artists pushing creative boundaries and producing albums that resonate deeply with listeners. These albums not only defined the musical landscape of the 2010s but also left a lasting legacy. Whether you’re revisiting these masterpieces or discovering them for the first time, the best music albums of the decade offer a rich and diverse listening experience.