Best of the 2010s: 31-40

J.N. December 2, 2019

The story continues! The discussion intensified the closer to the top we got while compiling the list and the editor himself took a few punches, including some smacking hard virtual punches when our Geelong bred Ms Tammy sent him a computer virus when we put together places 31-40. Here they, a few punches later!

The list is based on what has been on high rotation in the players of Ms Tammy (T), DJ Återbruk (DJ), Ms Sis (Sis), Mr Mango (M) and the editor (E).

Five years after her rather chansonesque debut, Mine released this fantastic piece of pop music. The genres are her playground, her unmistakable voice fearlessly sashaying across a unique mix of hip hop, pop and electronic beats. This lady is one-of-a-kind in the German pop scene (Sis).


The Mary Onettes is still, in my humble opinion, the most underrated band in Sweden. For some weird reason they have always passed by a bit under the radar for the broader audience. But they released two great albums in the late 00s (including the indie banger “Lost”), got quite some recognition in the US, and is an awesome live band (I’m biased as I booked them several times for live shows). At “Hit the Waves” they are at their peak song writing. They moved on from a raw indie rock sound to a fuller soundscape, in the realms of dream pop but more produced. If you should hear one song, listen to “Years”, and if you don’t like it, you probably have no heart (M).


Just when you thought that hip-hop was dead, this bomb dropped. Run the Jewels 2 gut-punches the competition into second place. The sequel takes the simplistic thrills of the debut and expands the duo’s natural chemistry. It’s bigger, bolder, and feels like a punch to the gut that you’ll be feeling for weeks (DJ).


Messed!Up’s editor had a chat with Hurts just before they started recording their “Exile”single, the lead song on the record, in Gothenburg a few years ago and they promised it to be something different from the sound on their cheesy synth pop debut “Happiness” – and it’s a massive sonic change! “Exile” is still defined by its synth-pop froideur but darker and “ten times as emotional”. With lyrics about sadism, sickness, possessiveness and envy, “Exile” employs greater variety than “Happiness”, from acoustic piano to – shock for synthpop fans – what sounds like electric guitar, but without sacrificing any of the grandeur. Listen “The Crow”, “Miracle” and the brilliant “Mercy” (E).


What would unfortunately become the music legends final album, “Blackstar” is the cement to David Bowie’s shining legacy. Released only two days before his fateful death, Bowie calculated everything from the album name, imagery, sound, and evidently release date to a tee in a seemly fitting way to summarize his flamboyant career and ever-changing personas. Enlisting the help of New York jazz crew lead by renowned sax player, Donny McCaslin, Bowie extends his arm into groove driven territory. He does not, however, abandon his slinky, psychedelic rock core and extraterrestrial pop trances; he blends it all together in a levitating and symbolic concoction of chaotic poetry (T).


In my opinion, Fatoni delivered the most intelligent German rap album of the decade. His combination of top-notch rap skills, state-of-the-art beats and a perfect sense for self reflection, irony and social criticism are a pleasant antipole to the huge wave of shallow cloud rap and autotune overdoses over the last few years (Sis).


Recording eight albums is an achievement no matter the artist, group, or band. Recording your best record eight albums into your career is nothing but a huge triumph. Going through a clinical depression on the two preceding records, marked by a dark electronic sound, Chris Corner points at that “Alive In New Light” was of “breaking free from demons that have long plagued him”. It’s still melancholic electronica full of incredible melodies but what makes this special is the vocals; it’s some of the best vocal arrangements heard on record. His vocal range is staggering and he uses it to full effect. One of the most played songs in the player the year of its release was “The Power And Glory”. Feel it! (E)


It was a five year long wait for Radiohead fans between albums and “A Moon Shaped Pool” did not disappoint. While bleak in nature, particularly since the warning signed Radiohead had long discussed surrounding the state of the world and political landscape were coming to fruition and Thom Yorke was amid a separation to his partner of 13 years, “A Moon Shaped Pool” is the perfect contrast of light and shade. From delicate and haunting ballads, “Daydreamers”, “Glass Eyes” and the long-awaited studio release of “True Love Waits”, to the intense “Burn The Witch”, “Identikit” and “Full Stop”, Yorke and co spared no cost in delivering a flawlessly self-aware collection of art. In true Radiohead form, the musical arrangements are complex whilst exercising a level of conscious self-serving restraint that, partnered with Yorke’s striking falsetto, only elevates the emotional splendor and decay (T).


Zach Condon’s project Beirut has been a bit of a roller coaster for us fans. The releases in the 00’s included two of the best songs of that decade (“Nantes” and “Postcards to Italy”). Then he really challenged us with “March of the Zapotec” in 2009, just to release the masterpiece “The Rip Tide” a few years later. And holy smokes, what a record. From the (almost) hit song “Santa Fe”, to single “East Harlem”, it’s such a strong record. My personal favorite on the record is the sad, gloomy title track. If you ever feel too happy and chipper, just put it on and let every sorrow and pain you have bottled up flow over you. Life sucks, but at least you’re listening to a great song (M).


“She’s the one that kept it cool with all you b****es / She’s the one that’s ’bout to school all of you b****es /
She’s the one that had to show you how to grind /
She’s the one and only, she’s one of a kind”.
Iggy Azalea has cemented a reputation built on appropriation and controversy and continues doing that on “In My Defense”. “F*ck It Up” is a night club anthem, super catchy and deserves to be the song of all summers (DJ).


Best of the Decade: Playlist 31-40

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About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.