Briana’s Favorites of the 2010s
Hi everyone! Here is my list of my top five artists, top ten albums, and top fifteen songs of the decade. It’s sad that we’re at the end of the 2010s and I’m an emotional person so emotion is one of the main criteria I will judge with. With that in mind, please read on for a list of my feels.
Top 15 Songs of the Decade
15. Come Home- Anderson .Paak (2019)
This is the opening track for Anderson .Paak’s Ventura album which I would have included in my top ten albums list if it were top 11 albums instead (yes, it was that close). This song sets the tone for the whole album; a callback to the golden age of Motown. Also, Andre 3000 as a feature? Yes, please.
14. Moonshine -Bruno Mars (2012)
Classic Bruno Mars is one of the best versions of Bruno Mars. This album is one of the first albums I remember purchasing and playing nonstop. This song always just stuck with me and kept me coming back.
13. Get You- Daniel Caesar (feat. Kali Uchis) (2016)
There are a few songs that just invoke feelings from me and this is one of those songs. It’s a feel-good song with a nice relaxing beat, and I listen to it while I contemplate my feelings.
12. That’s My Girl- Fifth Harmony (2016)
I’m pretty late but I just recently discovered this song and it has made it to my list. Why? Because it’s the ultimate motivation song for me (“I’m their girl” I say as I cry over their disbandment). It’s the perfect song to listen to after a bad day.
11. Pusher Love Girl- Justin Timberlake (2013)
An 8-minute track with a beat switch-up and a sexy hook. What more can I ask for? This track also came from one of the first albums I purchased when CD’s were still a thing and I listened- excuse me, listen to it religiously.
10. Shadow Man- Noname (feat Saba, Smino, and Phoelix) (2016)
The collaboration of the decade, folks! The amount of talent on this track really shows through the verses and it emits a chill vibe. It’s another feel-good track with a jazzy beat that makes it a perfect song to knock out some homework to (because we love multitasking)!
9. Magnets- Lorde (2015)
Oh lord, is this song good. I remember watching the music video for the first time and the small part where Lorde breaks it down to the beat had me sold on the song (it’s at the 2:11 mark just so you know).
8. Darkness and Light- John Legend (feat Brittany Howard) (2016)
I get chills with this one. Both artists lay their emotions bare with their voices resulting in this intensely good vocal showdown.
7. The Party & The After Party- The Weeknd (2011)
I love sexy songs that go on for over 8 minutes and include a beat switch up (like “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean or Justin Timberlake’s entire discography, to name a few) but this one happens to be my favorite.
6. Lay Me Down- Sam Smith (2013)
If this song comes on, I feel the strong urge to sing along to it (albeit in a way that’s no where near as good as Sam Smith). “No words can explain the way” I love this song (yes, those are lyrics and yes, I know the song by heart).
5. Jaded- Ms. White (2019)
First off, I want to say thank you, Apple Music (bet you’ve never heard that one before) for recommending me this journey of a track. The lyrics are relatable, the instrumentals are top-notch, and the vocals are hauntingly good. It’s truly a beautiful song.
4. From Eden- Hozier (2014)
The best song to listen to whilst eating chocolate chip cookies (I can’t explain, it just makes me feel warm). This one sends me to a happier place (not anywhere in America. Maybe someplace in Finland).
3. Pink White- Frank Ocean (2016)
I think this one wins for my most heavily replayed song. The soft melody accompanied by soothing vocals makes this song like a lullaby for me. I know that might not be appealing to some but for me (a girl who loves to sleep) it is perfection.
2. Looks Good with Trouble- Solange (2010)
Every time this song plays, without fail, I suddenly become at ease. Even if the end of the world is nigh, I’ll just play this song and my worries will float away.
1. Who Knew- Chloe x Halle (2019)
My number one because the vocals exhibited in this masterpiece have literally brought me to tears. This sister duo deserves the world, but the world does not deserve their ethereal voices. We are truly blessed.
Top 10 Albums of the Decade
10. ANTI- Rihanna (2016)
In this album, Rihanna took a risk. She strayed from her original sound and went with a more mature, evolved sound, which really paid off. This is my favorite Rihanna album and my favorite Rihanna sound. I hope to hear more of it in the future (Rihanna, please).
My Favorites: Same Ol’ Mistakes, Consideration
9. IGOR- Tyler the Creator (2019)
What genre is this album? Rap? Pop? Smooth jazz? Nobody seems to know but what I do know is it is fantastic. IGOR takes you on a journey from start to finish and so I don’t have a favorite song, rather I favor the whole project.
8. Currents- Tame Impala (2015)
I unknowingly listened to this whole album without knowing a single thing about Tame Impala. When I finally found a name to match with the songs bouncing around in my head, it was the best feeling. This album gives me the best feeling.
My Favorites: Eventually, The Less I Know the Better, Love/Paranoia, The Moment
7. Lemonade- Beyoncé (2016)
This album has won the most impactful album on my list, hands down. Beyoncé’s ode to that husband of hers is emotional, empowering, and just plain satisfying (especially in the song “Sorry”). She will never cease to disappoint me.
My Favorites: Pray you Catch Me, Hold Up, Formation, Love Drought, All Night
6. House of Balloons- The Weeknd (2011)
The Weeknd at his earliest and best (for me at least). This album was too raw for me when it first came out (I was only 14) but like a fine wine, it became better with time.
My Favorites: The Morning, Wicked Games, The Party & The After Party
5. Ctrl- Sza (2017)
Sza has brought about an R&B revival with this amazing debut album. She exhibits both vulnerability and honesty in Ctrl which many can relate to, including me. This coupled with her amazing vocals creates one of my favorite albums of all time.
My Favorites: Drew Barrymore, Go Gina, Garden (Say It Like Dat), Broken Clocks
4. D*MN- Kendrick Lamar (2017)
This was my first rap album (that I listened to all the way through). Kendrick Lamar has proven yet again (check out To Pimp a Butterfly as well) that he is one of the best rappers of our generation. The way he delivers his verses matched with the instrumentals provided makes everything he says stick with you.
My Favorites: YAH, FEEL, FEAR
3. Shea Butter Baby- Ari Lennox (2019)
Oh. My. Goodness! This is one of the best debut albums of the year. You’ve probably heard that the ingredients to make the perfect little girls are sugar, spice, and everything nice. Well, I’d like to add that those are the ingredients for this beautiful album as well. Ari Lennox provides sweet ballads like “I Been” along with spicy tracks like “BMO” that all blend well together (like sweet potato pie and whipped cream).
My Favorites: Broke, Static, Whipped Cream
2. Channel Orange- Frank Ocean (2012)
This album means a lot to me. When it came out in 2012 all I could think about was how the world was ending and that I needed to replay the song “Pyramids” before it did. Needless to say, playing this album was my main priority back in the day. It still remains close to my heart.
My Favorites: Pyramids, Lost, Pink Matter
1. Seat At the Table- Solange (2016)
Soul mixed with contemporary never sounded so good. This album flows so perfectly from start to finish and includes several voiceover interludes which makes it sound like a film. Then you see the accompanying music videos which all but confirms that this whole project is a contemporary art film told through song.
My Favorites: Don’t Wish Me Well, Mad, F.U.B.U
Top 5 Artists of the Decade
5. Anderson .Paak
He may be the newest artist on my top five list but his talent shines through. There are few (if any) who can rap and play the drums like Anderson .Paak can. There are few that can produce feel good tracks that unite both the older and younger generations like Anderson .Paak can. This artist already soars above the rest and his career is just starting. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next. Anderson .Paak is full of potential.
Did someone say jack of all trades? If so, her name is Rihanna and I am honored to share a similar name with her. From singing, to acting, to fashion and cosmetics, what can’t Rihanna do? That was a rhetorical question because obviously she can do whatever she d*mn well pleases. Rihanna is inspirational.
3. Frank Ocean
I swear something changed in me after I experienced Frank Ocean’s sound for the first time. My ears were cleansed, my mind was enlightened, and my soul was whole again after I bought and listened to his debut album. What’s more, he is a queer black man and just by making it so big in the music industry he is removing barriers for all those that come after him. Frank is influential.
I love sisters. I love my two sisters, I love Chloe and Halle Bailey, and I love Solange and Beyoncé. (Oops, was that a spoiler for my number one spot?) Solange and her two albums, A Seat at the Table and When I Get Home, have been on my mind constantly. It’s at the point where I play her song, “Mad” almost as a reflex when I plug in my headphones. Solange is enchanting.
At number one is the world-renowned, incredibly talented, breathtakingly beautiful, show-stopping Beyoncé also known as “Queen B.” She is my number one for the best artist of the 2010s but here’s a secret: if you had asked me that same question but for the 2000s my answer would have been Queen B as well. She is the artist for me and will forever be. Beyoncé is truly amazing.