Best of the Decade / Josh Keller / National Albums

Josh Keller – National Albums

Frank Ocean – Blonde I’m constantly amazed at how one album can be so sad, beautiful and engaging. Frank Ocean is truly making music like no one else.
Royal Headache – Royal Headache This Aussie band seemed able to catch punk-leaning power-pop lightening in a bottle, both on this LP (their debut) and their final album a few years later. The epitome of “all killer, no filler.”
Kelly Lee Owens – Kelly Lee Owens An album that speaks to a thousand emotions without having to use words. A record that can get you up in the morning or help you wind down at night, Owen’s debut is stunning.
Anohni – Hopelessness This album felt like the most heartbreaking soundtrack to a world falling apart and it CAME OUT IN MAY 2016. Holy shit. The sadness and anger in this LP are almost too much to handle sometimes, but it is an incredibly piece of speaking truth to power with beautiful music and singing to boot.
Daniele Luppi/Parquet Courts/Karen O — Milano This was an album that the first time I heard it I thought for sure it was going to be a massive hit. Now I constantly see it in the bargain bin at the record store. I guess I was wrong about everyone else but I still think this is some the sharpest indie rock that came out this decade.
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up Pretty much everything Ish puts out is gold, but this 2011 album is airtight. It honestly could just be “Are you… Can you.. Were you? (Felt) on repeat and it would be top 10.
Grouper – Ruins Like many artists on this list, this is the first among equals for an artists who not only has created some of the best music of the last decade but always seems ahead of the curve.
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Can you think someone is a piece of garbage and still respect and like their music? It’s complicated, but I think yes. This album is so sonically immersive it feels like it’s own world.
75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real Very possible that in a couple of years this album may slip off this list as it ages, but for right now I can’t get enough of this album. It sounds like a classic krautrock record with a new twist, which is about the highest compliment I can give an album.
Do Pas O – Join the Fucking Drum Circle A deeply strange, rhymatically dense album that feels like a hurricane in your headphones…that I somehow have listened to more than almost any record in the last few years. There is beauty in the chaos, folks.
Best Reissue: World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda Maybe the album that has emotionally impacted me more than any other I have listened to. I’m not totally clear what she was preaching, but the depth and emotion of this music, and her earth-moving talents, make this an album that I can’t imagine I will ever get sick of.
Best compilation: We Out Here A comp from the new London jazz scene that hasn’t left my rotation since it came out. One of the records that sounds fresh and classic at the same time