Every year since 2005, I’ve taken some time at the end of each year (or the beginning of the next) to compile a list of my Top Ten Albums of that year.  The writing has grown more elaborate over time, but the idea is basically the same; this is what I liked best, at the time.  

In retrospect, some of these would be very different, but they’re meant as yearly snapshots, not some sort of comprehensive list of the best music churned out each year.  That means there’s some albums I liked at the time but haven’t listened to much since, some albums I didn’t spend much time with then but which have grown into favorites later, and some albums made those years which I didn’t even discover until years later.  So be it.  

Finally, these lists are not intended to be any sort of definitive statement about what’s “best”; as always, this is personal.

Top Ten Albums of 2017 (Full List)

  • Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2017 Albums & Singles (Cumulative critics poll; individual votes unpublished to date)
  • The Best Of The Rest
  • 10. MOD SUN – BB
  • 9. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As ___ As You Think
  • 8. The Front Bottoms – Going Grey
  • 7. Bleachers – Gone Now
  • 6. K.Flay – Every Where Is Some Where
  • 5. Mansions – Deserter
  • 4. St. Vincent – Masseduction
  • 3. Paramore – After Laughter
  • 2. Hundredth – Rare
  • 1. The Maine – Lovely, Little, Lonely

Top Ten Albums of 2016 (Full List)

  • Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2016 Albums / Singles (Cumulative critics poll; my ballot here)
  • The Best Of The Rest
  • 10. Myrone – Drift Stage Vol. 1
  • 9. Let’s Eat Grandma – I, Gemini
  • 8. 18th and Addison – Makeshift Monster
  • 7. Boys Night Out – Black Dogs EP
  • 6. Cash Cash – Blood, Sweat & Three Years
  • 5. Garbage – Strange Little Birds
  • 4. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
  • 3. Kitten – Heaven Or Somewhere In Between EP
  • 2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  • 1. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

Top Ten Albums of 2015 (Full List)

  • Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2015 Albums / Singles (Cumulative critics poll; my ballot here)
  • The Best Of The Rest
  • 12. The Maine – American Candy / Covers (Side A) / Covers (Side B)
  • 11. Pet Symmetry – Pets Hounds
  • 10. Foxing – Dealer
  • 9.  Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment – Surf
  • 8. Better Off – Milk
  • 7. Metric – Pagans In Vegas
  • 6. Chris Stamey – Euphoria
  • 5. Mayday Parade – Black Lines
  • 4. Veruca Salt – Ghost Notes
  • 3. Florence & the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • 2. Turnover – Peripheral Vision
  • 1. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface

Top Ten Twelve Albums of 2014

Top Ten Twelve Albums of 2013

Top Ten Eleven Albums of 2012

Top Ten Twelve Albums of 2011

Top Ten Albums of 2010

Top Ten Albums of 2009

Top Ten Albums of 2008 (Full List)

  • 10. Cash Cash – Take It To The Floor
  • 9.5. – Matisyahu – Shattered EP
  • 9. The Academy Is… – Fast Times At Barrington High
  • 8. Airiel – The Battle Of Sealand
  • 7. The Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event
  • 6.5. Janelle Monae – Metropolis: The Chase Suite EP
  • 6. Ludo – You’re Awful, I Love You
  • 5. Noah And The Whale – Peaceful The World Lays Me Down
  • 4. Alkaline Trio – Agony And Irony
  • 3. Jack’s Mannequin – The Glass Passenger
  • 2. Old 97’s – Blame It On Gravity
  • 1. The Gaslight Anthem – The ‘59 Sound

Top Ten Albums of 2007 (Full List)

  • 10. Ryan Shaw – This Is Ryan Shaw
  • 9. Paolo Nutini – These Streets
  • 8. Romantica – America
  • 7. Everybody Else – Everybody Else
  • 6. Vampire Weekend – Blue CD-R
  • 5. The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
  • 4. Frank Turner – Sleep Is For The Week
  • 3. Sherwood – A Different Light
  • 2.5. The Sugi Tap – The Sugi Tap EP
  • 2. Information Society – Synthesizer
  • 1. Fall Out Boy – Infinity On High

Top Ten Albums of 2006 (Full List)

  • 10. Minus The Bear – Menos El Oso
  • 9. Gym Class Heroes – As Cruel As School Children
  • 8. Guster – Ganging Up On The Sun
  • 7. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear Is On Our Side
  • 6. Angels And Airwaves – We Don’t Need To Whisper
  • 5. Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home
  • 4. Brand New – The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Of Me
  • 3. My American Heart – The Meaning In Makeup
  • 2. Butch Walker – The Rise And Fall Of Butch Walker And The Lets-Go-Out-Tonites
  • 1. Dragonforce – Inhuman Rampage

Top Ten Albums of 2005 (Full List)

  • 10. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
  • 9. Mae – The Everglow
  • 8. Gratitude – Gratitude
  • 7. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning
  • 6. Bob Mould – Body Of Song
  • 5. The Rocket Summer – Hello Good Friend
  • 4. Fall Out Boy – From Under The Cork Tree
  • 3. Adam Richman – Patience And Science
  • 2. Gatsby’s American Dream – Volcano
  • 1. Cartel – Chroma