A few weeks ago, Pitchfork released three strangely-timed lists of what their staff believed to be the best songs, albums, and music videos of the decade “so far.” It’s impossible to say what made the music media giant decide August 2014 to be a good time for such a list, but with little hype or fanfare, Pitchfork sent them off into the wild, letting the internet decide their fate. Like almost everything Pitchfork does, it generated quite a bit of online babble; to some, it was just another list, one we shouldn’t take too seriously, but for others it seemed like blasphemy of the highest order. Although I had my share of disagreements with the list, I felt a little disappointed in the way many of my peers responded to it. Pitchfork brought out the heavy artillery for the list’s “blurbs,” giving a little bit of work to some of the best folks in music journalism today, but all anyone paid much attention to were the numbers besides the album’s name. Granted, it’s always this way with such lists, but it got me thinking. I thought we might respond with our own list of the best albums of the decade so far, not as some brash declaration of our being right and Pitchfork being wrong, but rather to propose an alternate way of thinking. I brought on board some of the young folks most knowledgeable about music that I know, and I think we did an interesting job of it. Yes, this list is ranked, but that’s only because people pay more attention to a ranked list than an unranked one. Besides, inciting a little bit of controversy on the internet is fun. Additionally, even though we’ve ranked the list, this isn’t supposed to be in any way a definitive list of the 100 greatest albums of the decade so far. There are plenty of phenomenal and ground-breaking albums that didn’t make it onto the list, and that’s the point. You shouldn’t take lists so seriously, because they aren’t meant to tell you what you should like or listen to or enjoy the most. They’re meant as a starting point in whatever subject they entail, and that’s what ours is: a starting point. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s plenty of good music out there, we’re just here to tell you about a little bit about the stuff that matters most.
What albums would you include on your own list? Let us know in the comments.