Music

Pazz & Jop: Top 10 Albums By Year, 1971-2016

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Cruise through this index of the Voice’s top ten albums from 1971 through 2016, according to its annual Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, started by Robert Christgau.

The poll has run every year since ’71, except for a three-year hiatus after that first year. The prominence of legacy artists on the inaugural poll led Christgau to complain of a “creeping auteurism” by which “fave raves of yore … are trotted out like so many Frank Tashlins to receive a great art award for their annual wheeze.”

It returned in early 1975, though, with Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark being voted the top album of 1974.

1971–1980

1971

1. The Who: Who’s Next (Decca)

2. The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones)

3. Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells a Story (Mercury)

4. Van Morrison: Tupelo Honey (Warner Bros.)

5. John Lennon: Imagine (Apple)

6. Joy of Cooking: Joy of Cooking (Capitol)

7. Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead (Warner Bros.)

8. The Concert for Bangladesh: The Concert for Bangladesh (Apple)

9. Joni Mitchell: Blue (Reprise)

10. Carole King: Tapestry (Ode)

1974

1. Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark (Asylum)

2. Steely Dan: Pretzel Logic (ABC)

3. Randy Newman: Good Old Boys (Reprise)

4. Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness’ First Finale (Tamla)

5. Rolling Stones: It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (Rolling Stones)

6. Bob Dylan and the Band: Before the Flood (Asylum)

7. Roxy Music: Stranded (Atco)

8. Jackson Browne: Late for the Sky (Asylum)

9. Eric Clapton: 461 Ocean Boulevard (RSO)

10. New York Dolls: In Too Much Too Soon (Mercury)

1975

1. Bob Dylan and the Band: The Basement Tapes (Columbia)

2. Patti Smith: Horses (Arista)

3. Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run (Columbia)

4. Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Columbia)

5. Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night (Reprise)

6. Steely Dan: Katy Lied (ABC)

7. Roxy Music: Country Life (Atco)

8. Bob Marley and the Wailers: Natty Dread (Island)

9. The Band: Northern Lights-Southern Cross (Capitol)

10. The Who: The Who by Numbers (MCA)

1976

1. Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (Tamla)

2. Graham Parker & the Rumour: Heat Treatment (Mercury)

3. Jackson Browne: The Pretender (Asylum)

4. Graham Parker & the Rumour: Howlin’ Wind (Mercury)

5. Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Kate & Anna McGarrigle (Warner Bros.)

6. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam (ABC)

7. Joni Mitchell: Hejira (Asylum)

8. Ramones: Ramones (Sire)

9. Rod Stewart: A Night on the Town (Warner Bros.)

10. Blue Oyster Cult: Agents of Fortune (Columbia)

1977

1. Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (Warner Bros.)

2. Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True (Columbia)

3. Television: Marquee Moon (Elektra)

4. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Warner Bros.)

5. Steely Dan: Aja (ABC)

6. Ramones: Rocket to Russia (Sire)

7. Talking Heads: Talking Heads: 77 (Sire)

8. Randy Newman: Little Criminals (Warner Bros.)

9. Garland Jeffreys: Ghost Writer (A&M)

10. Cheap Trick: In Color (Epic)

1978

1. Elvis Costello: This Year’s Model (Columbia)

2. The Rolling Stones: Some Girls (Rolling Stones)

3. Nick Lowe: Pure Pop for Now People (Columbia)

4. The Clash: Give ‘Em Enough Rope (Epic)

5. Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Sire)

6. Bruce Springsteen: Darkness at the Edge of Town (Columbia)

7. Ramones: Road to Ruin (Sire)

8. Neil Young: Comes a Time (Reprise)

9. The Cars: The Cars (Elektra)

10. David Johansen: David Johansen (Blue Sky)

1979

1. Graham Parker: Squeezing Out Sparks (Arista)

2. Neil Young: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise)

3. The Clash: The Clash (Epic)

4. Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire)

5. Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (Columbia)

6. Van Morrison: Into the Music (Warner Bros.)

7. The B-52s: The B-52s (Warner Bros.)

8. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Damn the Torpedoes (Backstreet/MCA)

9. Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Chrysalis)

10. Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Casablanca)

1980

1. The Clash: London Calling (Epic)

2. Bruce Springsteen: The River (Columbia)

3. Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Sire)

5. Public Image Ltd.: Second Edition (Island)

6. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: Doc at the Radar Station (Virgin)

7. Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Get Happy!! (Columbia)

8. Stevie Wonder: Hotter Than July (Tamla)

9. Prince: Dirty Mind (Warner Bros.)

10. Gang Of Four: Entertainment! (Warner Bros.)

 

1981-1990

1981

1. The Clash: Sandinista! (Epic)

2. X: Wild Gift (Slash)

3. Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Trust (Columbia)

4. The Rolling Stones: Tattoo You (Rolling Stones)

5. Rickie Lee Jones: Pirates (Warner Bros.)

6. Squeeze: East Side Story (A&M)

7. Tom Verlaine: Dreamtime (Warner Bros.)

8. Prince: Controversy (Warner Bros.)

9. Rick James: Street Songs (Gordy)

10. Go-Go’s: Beauty and the Beat (I.R.S.)

1982

1. Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (Columbia)

2. Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out the Lights (Hannibal)

3. Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska (Columbia)

4. King Sunny Adé & His African Beats: Juju Music (Mango)

5. Lou Reed: The Blue Mask (RCA Victor)

6. Prince: 1999 (Warner Bros.)

7. The English Beat: Special Beat Service (I.R.S.)

8. Marvin Gaye: Midnight Love (Columbia)

9. Marshall Crenshaw: Marshall Crenshaw (Warner Bros.)

10. X: Under the Big Black Sun (Elektra)

1983

1. Michael Jackson: Thriller (Epic)

2. REM: Murmur (I.R.S.)

3. Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Sire)

4. X: More Fun in the New World (Elektra)

5. The Police: Synchronicity (A&M)

6. U2: War (Island)

7. Lou Reed: Legendary Hearts (RCA Victor)

8. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers: Jonathan Sings! (Sire)

9. Richard Thompson: Hand of Kindness (Hannibal)

10. Bob Dylan: Infidels (Columbia)

1984

1. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia)

2. Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain (Warner Bros.)

3. Los Lobos: How Will the Wolf Survive? (Slash)

4. The Replacements: Let It Be (Twin/Tone)

5. Tina Turner: Private Dancer (Capitol)

6. R.E.M.: Reckoning (I.R.S.)

7. The Pretenders: Learning to Crawl (Sire)

8. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade (SST)

9. Lou Reed: New Sensations (RCA Victor)

10. Run-D.M.C.: Run-D.M.C. (Profile)

1985

1. Talking Heads: Little Creatures (Sire)

2. The Replacements: Tim (Sire)

3. John Cougar Mellencamp: Scarecrow (Riva)

4. Tom Waits: Rain Dogs (Island)

5. Artists United Against Apartheid: Sun City (Manhattan)

6. Hüsker Dü: Flip Your Wig (SST)

7. R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction (I.R.S.)

8. Hüsker Dü: New Day Rising (SST)

9. Aretha Franklin: Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (Arista)

10. John Fogerty: Centerfield (Warner Bros.)

1986

1. Paul Simon: Graceland (Warner Bros.)

2. The Costello Show (Featuring Elvis Costello): King of America (Columbia)

3. The Robert Cray Band: Strong Persuader (Mercury)

4. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band: Live 1975/85 (Columbia)

5. Run-D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Profile)

6. Beastie Boys: Licensed To Ill (Def Jam)

7. Peter Gabriel: So (Geffen)

8. R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant (I.R.S.)

9. Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Blood and Chocolate (Columbia)

10. The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (Shanachie)

1987

1. Prince: Sign “O” the Times (Paisley Park)

2. Bruce Springsteen: Tunnel of Love (Columbia)

3. The Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me (Sire)

4. U2: The Joshua Tree (Island)

5. John Hiatt: Bring the Family (A&M)

6. Los Lobos: By the Light of the Moon (Slash)

7. John Cougar Mellencamp: The Lonesome Jubilee (Mercury)

8. R.E.M.: Document (I.R.S.)

9. XTC: Skylarking (Geffen)

10. Hüsker Dü: Warehouse: Songs & Stories (Warner Bros.)

1988

1. Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Def Jam)

2. Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Blast First/Enigma)

3. Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman (Elektra)

4. Midnight Oil: Diesel and Dust (Columbia)

5. Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked (Mercury)

6. Was (Not Was): What Up, Dog? (Chrysalis)

7. Pere Ubu: The Tenement Year (Enigma)

8. Keith Richards: Talk Is Cheap (Virgin)

9. Traveling Wilburys: Volume One (Wilbury)

10. Randy Newman: Land of Dreams (Warner Bros.)

1989

1. De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising (Tommy Boy)

2. Neil Young: Freedom (Reprise)

3. Lou Reed: New York (Sire)

4. The Neville Brothers: Yellow Moon (A&M)

5. Neneh Cherry: Raw Like Sushi (Virgin)

6. N.W.A: Straight Outta Compton (Ruthless)

7. Elvis Costello: Spike (Warner Bros.)

8. The Mekons: The Mekons Rock ‘n Roll (A&M)

9. Soul II Soul: Keep On Movin’ (Virgin)

10. Pixies: Doolittle (4AD/Elektra)

1990

1. Neil Young: Ragged Glory (Reprise)

2. Sinéad O’Connor: I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Chrysalis)

3. Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam)

4. Sonic Youth: Goo (DGC)

5. Living Colour: Time’s Up (Epic)

6. Ice Cube: AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (Priority)

7. Paul Simon: The Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros.)

8. Rosanne Cash: Interiors (Columbia)

9. L.L. Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out (Def Jam)

10. Prince: Graffiti Bridge (Paisley Park)

 

1991–2000

1991

1. Nirvana: Nevermind (DGC)

2. Public Enemy: Apocalypse ’91: The Empire Strikes Black (Def Jam/Columbia)

3. R.E.M.: Out of Time (Warner Bros.)

4. U2: Achtung Baby (Island)

5. P.M. Dawn: Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience (Gee Street)

6. Richard Thompson: Rumour and Sigh (Capitol)

7. Matthew Sweet: Girlfriend (Zoo)

8. Metallica: Metallica (Elektra)

9. Chris Whitley: Living with the Law (Columbia)

10. Mekons: Curse of the Mekons (Blast First import)

1992

1. Arrested Development: 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of . . .(Chrysalis)

2. Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted (Matador)

3. R.E.M.: Automatic for the People (Warner Bros.)

4. PJ Harvey: Dry (Indigo)

5. Beastie Boys: Check Your Head (Capitol)

6. Los Lobos: Kiko (Slash/Warner Bros.)

7. Sugar: Copper Blue (Rykodisc)

8. Sonic Youth: Dirty (DGC)

9. Tom Waits: Bone Machine (Island)

10. Basehead: Play With Toys (Imago)

1993

1. Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville (Matador)

2. Nirvana: In Utero (DGC)

3. PJ Harvey: Rid of Me (Island)

4. The Breeders: Last Splash (4AD/Elektra)

5. Pet Shop Boys: Very (EMI)

6. Dr. Dre: The Chronic (Interscope)

7. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Spinning Around the Sun (Elektra)

8. De La Soul: Buhloone Mindstate (Tommy Boy)

9. U2: Zooropa (Island)

10. Digable Planets: Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (Pendulum)

1994

1. Hole: Live Through This (DGC)

2. Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador)

3. R.E.M.: Monster (Warner Bros.)

4. Nirvana: MTV Unplugged in New York (DGC)

5. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Sleeps With Angels (Reprise)

6. Liz Phair: Whip-Smart (Matador)

7. Johnny Cash: American Recordings (American)

8. Guided by Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat)

9. Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral (Nothing/TVT/Interscope)

10. Beck: Mellow Gold (DGC)

1995

1. PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love (Island)

2. Tricky: Maxinquaye (Island)

3. Moby: Everything Is Wrong (Elektra)

4. Elastica: Elastica (DGC)

5. Neil Young: Mirror Ball (Reprise)

6. Foo Fighters: Foo Fighters (Roswell/Capitol)

7. Björk: Post (4AD/Elektra)

8. Bruce Springsteen: The Ghost of Tom Joad (Columbia)

9. Yo La Tengo: Electr-O-Pura (Matador)

10. Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Epic)

1996

1. Beck: Odelay (DGC)

2. Fugees: The Score (Ruffhouse/Columbia)

3. Sleater-Kinney: Call the Doctor (Chainsaw)

4. DJ Shadow: Endtroducing . . . DJ Shadow (Mo’ Wax/FFRR)

5. Los Lobos: Colossal Head (Warner Bros.)

6. Steve Earle: I Feel Alright (Warner Bros.)

7. Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (Elektra)

8. Amy Rigby: Diary of a Mod Housewife (Koch)

9. Tricky: Pre-Millennium Tension (Island)

10. Pulp: Different Class (Island)

1997

1. Bob Dylan: Time Out of Mind (Columbia)

2. Radiohead: OK Computer (Capitol)

3. Cornershop: When I Was Born for the 7th Time (Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.)

4. Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out (Kill Rock Stars)

5. Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (Matador)

6. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly (The Gold Mind, Inc./EastWest)

7. Erykah Badu: Baduizm (Universal)

8. Belle and Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister (The Enclave)

9. Bjork: Homogenic (Elektra)

10. Pavement: Brighten the Corners (Matador)

1998

1. Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Mercury)

2. Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia)

3. Bob Dylan: Live 1966 (Columbia/Legacy)

4. Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue (Elektra)

5. Elliott Smith: XO (DreamWorks)

6. OutKast: Aquemini (LaFace)

7. PJ Harvey: Is This Desire? (Island)

8. Air: Moon Safari (Caroline)

9. Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (Grand Royal)

10. Rufus Wainwright: Rufus Wainwright (DreamWorks)

1999

1. Moby: Play (V2)

2. The Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge)

3. Beck: Midnite Vultures (DGC)

4. The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin (Warner Bros.)

5. Tom Waits: Mule Variations (Epitaph)

6. Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Los Angeles (Epic)

7. Fiona Apple: When the Pawn . . . (Clean Slate/Epic)

8. Wilco: Summer Teeth (Reprise)

9. Beth Orton: Central Reservation (Arista)

10. Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (Rawkus)

2000

1. OutKast: Stankonia (LaFace/Arista)

2. PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (Island/Def Jam)

3. Radiohead: Kid A (Capitol)

4. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (Aftermath/Interscope)

5. Shelby Lynne: I Am Shelby Lynne (Island)

6. D’Angelo: Voodoo (Virgin)

7. U2: All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Interscope)

8. Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (Matador)

9. Jill Scott: Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (Hidden Beach)

10. Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One (Kill Rock Stars)

 

2001-2010

2001

1. Bob Dylan: “Love and Theft” (Columbia)

2. The Strokes: Is This It (RCA)

3. Björk: Vespertine (Elektra)

4. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry)

5. Radiohead: Amnesiac (Capitol)

6. Ryan Adams: Gold (Lost Highway)

7. Jay-Z: The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella)

8. The Coup: Party Music (75 Ark)

9. Lucinda Williams: Essence (Lost Highway)

10. Rufus Wainwright: Poses (DreamWorks)

2002

1. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)

2. Beck: Sea Change (DGC)

3. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Bros.)

4. The Streets: Original Pirate Material (Locked On/Vice)

5. Sleater-Kinney: One Beat (Kill Rock Stars)

6. Bruce Springsteen: The Rising (Columbia)

7. The Roots: Phrenology (MCA)

8. Eminem: The Eminem Show (Aftermath/Interscope)

9. Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol)

10. Missy Elliott: Under Construction (Elektra)

2003

1. OutKast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista)

2. The White Stripes: Elephant (V2)

3. Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers (S-Curve)

4. Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (Capitol)

5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell (Interscope)

6. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)

7. New Pornographers: Electric Version (Matador)

8. Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash (Astralwerks)

9. Drive-By Truckers: Decoration Day (New West)

10. Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner (XL)

2004

1. Kanye West: The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella)

2. Brian Wilson: SMiLE (Nonesuch)

3. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose (Interscope)

4. Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand (Domino/Epic)

5. Green Day: American Idiot (Reprise)

6. Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge)

7. Streets: A Grand Don’t Come for Free (Vice/Atlantic)

8. U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope)

9. Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Epic)

10. Danger Mouse: The Grey Album (www.djdangermouse.com)

2005

1. Kanye West: Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella)

2. M.I.A.: Arular (XL)

3. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)

4. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods (Sub Pop)

5. Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine (Epic/Clean Slate)

6. The White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan (V2)

7. Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)

8. The Hold Steady: Separation Sunday (Frenchkiss)

9. The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema (Matador)

10. My Morning Jacket: Z (ATO/RCA)

2006

1. Bob Dylan: Modern Times (Columbia)

2. TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain (4AD/Interscope)

3. Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (Def Jam)

4. The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant)

5. Gnarls Barkley: St Elsewhere (Downtown/Atlantic)

6. Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino)

7. Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up Gang/Jive/Zomba)

8. Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti-)

9. Joanna Newsom: Ys (Drag City)

10. Tom Waits: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (Anti-)

2007

1. LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA/EMI)

2. Radiohead: In Rainbows (self-released)

3. M.I.A.: Kala (XL/Interscope)

4. Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

5. Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge)

6. Kanye West: Graduation (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

7. Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

8. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand (Rounder)

9. Bruce Springsteen: Magic (Columbia)

10. The National: Boxer (Beggars Banquet)

2008

1. TV on the Radio: Dear Science (Interscope)

2. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (XL)

3. Portishead: Third (Vagrant)

4. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)

5. Erykah Badu: New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War (Universal)

6. Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III (Universal)

7. Santogold: Santogold (Downtown)

8. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (XL)

9. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Mute)

10. Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella)

2009

1. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)

2. Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glassnote)

3. Neko Case: Middle Cyclone (Anti)

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz! (DGC/Interscope)

5. Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca (Domino)

6. Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp)

7. The xx: xx (Young Turks)

8. Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Part II (Ice H2O/EMI)

9. The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warner)

10. Girls: Album (True Panther)

2010

1. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella)

2. LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening (Virgin/DFA)

3. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (Merge)

4. Janelle Monáe: The ArchAndroid (Bad Boy/Wondaland Arts Society)

5. Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL)

6. Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

7. Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

8. The National: High Violet (4AD)

9. Sleigh Bells: Treats (Mom + Pop/N.E.E.T.)

10. Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch)

 

2001-2010

2011

1. tUnE-yArDs: w h o k i l l (4AD)

2. PJ Harvey: Let England Shake (Vagrant)

3. Jay-Z and Kanye West: Watch the Throne (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation)

4. Wild Flag: Wild Flag (Merge)

5. Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti)

6. Adele: 21 (Columbia/XL)

7. Destroyer: Kaputt (Merge)

8. Drake: Take Care (Cash Money/Young Money/Universal)

9. Bon Iver: Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

10. Shabazz Palaces: Black Up (Sub Pop)

2012

1. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Def Jam)

2. Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, m.A.A.d City (Interscope)

3. Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel… (Epic)

4. Japandroids: Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

5. Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA)

6. Tame Impala: Lonerism (Modular)

7. Swans: The Seer (Young God)

8. Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music (Williams Street)

9. Grimes: Visions (4AD)

10. Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop)

2013

1. Kanye West: Yeezus (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

2. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (XL)

3. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Daft Life/Columbia)

4. Beyoncé: Beyoncé (Columbia)

5. Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap (self-released)

6. My Bloody Valentine: m b v (m b v)

7. Haim: Days Are Gone (Polydor)

8. Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady (Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy)

9. Kurt Vile: Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

10. Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury Nashville)

2014

1. D’Angelo: Black Messiah (RCA)

2. Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal/RED)

3. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian)

4. St. Vincent: St. Vincent (Loma Vista/Republic)

5. FKA twigs: LP1 (Young Turks)

6. Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top Mountain/Loose Music)

7. Taylor Swift: 1989 (Big Machine)

8. Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

9. Spoon: They Want My Soul (Loma Vista/ANTI-)

10. Against Me!: Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Total Treble/Xtra Mile)

2015

1. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope)

2. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Marathon Artists/House Anxiety)

3. Carly Rae Jepsen: E•MO•TION (604/School Boy/Interscope)

4. Grimes: Art Angels (4AD)

5. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

6. Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)

7. Vince Staples: Summertime ’06 (ARTium/Blacksmith/Def Jam)

8. Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder)

9. Jamie xx: In Colour (Young Turks)

10. Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop)

2016

1. David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia)

2. Beyoncé: Lemonade (4AD/Interscope)

3. A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your service (Epic)

4. Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book (self-released)

5. Solange: A Seat at the Table (Saint/Columbia)

6. Frank Ocean: Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry)

7. Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)

8. Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker (Columbia)

9. Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador)

10. Kanye West: The Life of Pablo (GOOD/Def Jam)

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