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The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

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The 10 Best Country Albums of 2010

The synthesis of the past, present, and future was so much of what country music was about in 2010. Country was still fairly male-dominated in the era, although the changing winds, wherein women would create the most forward-looking music, were already beginning to blow.

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The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2010

2010 was a great year for indie-pop, with an assortment of new bands making an impression by putting a fresh new stamp on old sounds. Meanwhile, bands on their second, third, or fourth albums took their sound and refreshed it.

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The 20 Best Metal Albums of 2010

In 2010, the metal world honored the memory of Ronnie James Dio in the coolest possible way: by making it the best year for new music the genre saw in a very long time.

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The 10 Best R&B/Soul Albums of 2010

It was fashionable to say R&B was dead in 2010 because it wasn't the commercial force it was in the late '80s and '90s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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The 10 Best Punk Albums of 2010

Punk rock gives voice to the hardest of times. As punk is a wide-ranging umbrella genre saturated with numerous subcultures, styles, aesthetics, and attitudes, making a list is more like trying to super-glue together a ripped and torn fanzine. But try, we must.

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The 15 Best World Music Albums of 2010

Africa dominated the world music scene in 2010 -- or at least, it dominated Western perceptions of what "world music" might be. That said, the new vinyl archeology could be seen at work in all areas and all eras of recorded music.

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The Best Hip-Hop Albums/Mixtapes of 2010

Epic, sleek, weed rap, emo, sociopolitical, gangsta, or house party? In which direction will hip-hop go? 2010 was a year for all of the above.

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The 70 Best Albums of 2010

2010's best albums are highlighted by the emergence of a future superstar, two veteran and virtuoso rappers, and a Dream Team of indie bands releasing career peaks.

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The 10 Best Experimental "Albums" of 2010

It's not that more experimental-type music was made in 2010. It's just that more of it was getting heard.

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The 60 Best Songs of 2010

Journey back to 2010 for 60 slices of musical greatness highlighted by one of the most delightful expletive-ridden hits in pop music history.

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The 10 Best Americana Albums of 2010

Journey to 2010, a splendid year for Americana. Then again, that’s something you can say just about any year given the sprawling range of sub-genres under Americana's vast umbrella.

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The 10 Best Electronic Albums of 2010

Let's take a journey to Pop Past and re-experience the best electronic albums from a decade ago. Many electronic sounds in 2010 remained in the margins, using the lexicon of its predecessors to define what they were.

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The Best New Musical Artists of 2019

The best new musical artists of 2019 are all pushing boundaries as popular music becomes less genre focused. New artists are forging new identities, rather than occupying the convenient marketing categories of the past.

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The Best Dance Tracks of 2019

From French-Canadian electronic producer Marie Davidson's riotously scathing critique of modern capitalism to Dolly Parton's chart-topping foray into the world of EDM, here is a list of some of the year's best dance tracks.

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The 10 Best Country Albums of 2019

This was a major year for country music. With Lil Nas X, the world saw the shift. But others are helping to move country from near homogeneity to a diverse pastiche.

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The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2019

In 2019, the music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock legends to foundational electronic artists, soul and jazz to pop of all stripes.

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The 12 Best Pop Albums of 2019

From "Old Town Road" to "7 Rings", from Lizzo to Lucy Spraggan, 2019 was a wild time for pop music, one where escapism was king. Now, as the year winds down, we simply can't escape how good these 12 albums are.

Evan Sawdey
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The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2019

As the dominance of guitar rock has faded among indie-leaning audiences, there has also been a spreading into the mainstream of sounds that would have been easily described as indie-pop a decade ago. Indie-pop styles show up in TV commercials, Hollywood movie soundtracks, and within mainstream pop and country hits.

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The 20 Best Americana Albums of 2019

Our Best 20 Americana albums of 2019 are a multicultural, polysexual, cross-genre lineup of cool Americana music that, as with the best parts of the American promise, pays tribute to the musical wells from which they spring but also takes the artform wherever their rugged individualism and talent-rich hearts lead them.

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The 25 Best Electronic Albums of 2019

Electronic music is a huge tent with so many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers, and a host of women changing the old boy's club of electronic music.

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The 20 Best Folk Albums of 2019

Folk in 2019 is an image of inclusivity and unity in the face of international political upheaval. It's most captivating in its moments of sheer, heart-bearing authenticity and ensnares with new musical bearings introduced by some of its foremost innovators and newcomers to the scene.

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The 15 Best Experimental Albums of 2019

In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.

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The Best Jazz of 2019

Our jazz critics create four quartets of great creative music, demonstrating four trends that keep "jazz" relevant in a new century.

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The 70 Best Albums of 2019

From forward-looking electronic and experimental to new approaches in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and punk to rock and pop, 2019 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.

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The Best Progressive Rock/Metal of 2019

This year in progressive rock and metal found genre mainstays continuing to impress while relative underdogs and newcomers finally seized some of the spotlight.

Jordan Blum
Music

The 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2019

Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.

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The 10 Best Ambient Albums of 2019

Ambient music has grown with the birth of streaming, ushering in big audiences to sounds both challenging and relaxing. Here are ten best records of the year that say so much without saying a word.

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The 10 Best Electropop Albums of 2019

From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.

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The 15 Best R&B/Soul Albums of 2019

The year in R&B and soul brought brilliant returns from music legends alongside artists pushing the boundaries of R&B past any limits. It's a genre where retro and futurism nestle cozily side by side. Here are the 15 best.

Music

The 10 Best Indie Rock Albums of 2019

In 2019 "indie rock" felt more like a guitar-led free for all with artists drawing from an ever-widening musical well. These are our top 10 picks for the year.

Music

The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2009

Step back 10 years when we presented our 20 best re-issues of 2009, highlighted by the long overdue remastering of the Beatles oeuvre, a number of '80s and '90s classics, and one of the most storied catalogues in electronic music.

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The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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The 10 Best Americana Albums of 2009

In 2009, a flood of plaid-shirted indie-roots bands built on the beardy throwbacks who gained country-rock traction in 2008. And while mainstream country music continued its evolution into '80s pop metal, plenty of roots acts turned the other direction with back-to-basics records.

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The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

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The 10 Best Electronic Albums of 2009

Revisiting our best electronic albums from 2009, we find these records have stood the test of time.

Music

The 10 Best Debut Albums of 2009

Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.

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