Well, that happened… (A look at the 2010s)

MATTHEW: Let’s be honest; the decade took a hard, hard fucking turn towards the tank at the end, and not in order to land Zion. Our nation is run by a reality TV clown, we are addicted to drugs and Twitter, and the world hates us. We have new pronouns, we have Harvey Weinstein, and we have Jeffrey Epstein’s ghost. The NFL is a laughing stock, no one watches baseball anymore, and rock n’ roll isn’t just dead, but its children spent the inheritance on a studio apartment in LA, which they defaulted on because they spent all their fucking money at The Real Housewives’ mixology bars.

I take deep, deep breaths for my newfound anxiety. I now say, “Kids these days.” I have dogs. A lot of dogs. I listen to nothing but jazz and lo-fi hop. The “roaring 20s” blow way more than the teens did to start.

One thing is for certain: there is NOWHERE to go but up. <3

CLARKE: Matt is largely right on a crucial point – I also really don’t know what to make of the 2010s.

There was a ton of really great shit going on, but the last five years have been so truly, wretchedly backwards in so many ways that (whether its recency bias or not) the whole decade has rather left a bad taste in my mouth. If you had told me in 2010 that by 2019 people would need it explained to them why separating parents from children and putting them in detention centers is a fucking crime against humanity, and ignoring the ever-approaching threats of climate change is sentencing the planet to violent and unalterable changes, I’d have said you were crazy.

I’m doing my annual Tolkien reread (as I do every December) and I keep thinking about how he (through Gandalf) details the idea of despair:

“Despair, or folly?” said Gandalf. “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”

With that notion as my guiding light, I’m choosing hope for the future. And the fact that I’m even making that decision is in part because of the music that guided me through this decade.

I drew up this little decade-ending ballot for us to take stock of the past 10 years. As with anything of this nature, our lists would probably have looked considerably different a month ago and a month from now. It’s merely a time capsule from two music lovers at the start of a new decade.

In the name of all wonder, please let it be a better one:

Matthew’s 2010s ballot

Top 10 musicians

1. Katy Perry

2. Drake

3. Skrillex

4. Calvin Harris

5. Chris Stapleton

6. Adele

7. 2 Chainz

8. Beyoncé

9. Frank Ocean

10. Future

Top 10 groups

1. The 1975


3. Of Mice and Men

4. Action Bronson/Mayhem/The Alchemist/Big Body Bess

5. Major Lazer

6. Above and Beyond

7. The Chainsmokers

8. Kamasi Washington’s jazz group

9. Swedish House Mafia

10. Coldplay

Top 10 albums

1. Channel Orange (2012) – Frank Ocean

2. Nothing Was the Same (2013) – Drake

3. Trilogy (2012) – The Weeknd

4. good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012) – Kendrick Lamar

5. DAMN. (2017) – Kendrick Lamar

6. In the Lonely Hour (2014) – Sam Smith

7. Lemonade (2016) – Beyoncé 

8. Pure Heroine (2013) – Lorde

9. Random Access Memories (2013) – Daft Punk

10. Night Visions (2012) – Imagine Dragons

Top 10 songs

1. “Royals” – Pure Heroine (2013) – Lorde

2. “Get Lucky” feat. Pharrell Williams – Random Access Memories (2013) – Daft Punk

3. “Stay With Me” – In the Lonely Hour (2014) – Sam Smith

4. “Feel So Close” – 18 Months (2011) – Calvin Harris

5. “Teenage Dream” – Teenage Dream (2010) – Katy Perry

6. “Born This Way” – Born This Way (2011) – Lady Gaga

7. “Video Games” – Born to Die (2011) – Lana Del Rey

8. “Call Me Maybe” – Kiss (2011) – Carly Rae Jepsen

9. “Levels” – Single (2011) – Avicii

10. “Something Just Like This” – Memories…Do Not Open (2017) – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Best musical year of the decade


Most overrated musician/group

DJ Khaled

Song that should remain in this decade

“Closer” feat. Halsey – Collage – The Chainsmokers

Clarke’s 2010s ballot

Top 10 musicians

1. Kendrick Lamar

2. Frank Ocean

3. Kanye West

4. Pusha T

5. Drake

6. John Mayer

7. Carly Rae Jepsen

8. Taylor Swift

9. ScHoolboy Q

10. Kacey Musgraves

Top 10 groups

1. The 1975

2. Vampire Weekend

3. Japandroids

4. Arctic Monkeys

5. The War on Drugs

6. Bon Iver

7. Run the Jewels

8. The Hold Steady

9. The Internet

10. Arcade Fire

Top 10 albums

1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) – Kanye West

2. Blonde (2016) – Frank Ocean

3. good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012) – Kendrick Lamar

4. Celebration Rock (2012) – Japandroids

5. Modern Vampires of the City (2013) – Vampire Weekend

6. E•MO•TION (2015) – Carly Rae Jepsen

7. i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016) – The 1975

8. Suck It and See (2011) – Arctic Monkeys

9. No Blues (2013) – Los Campesinos!

10. Ctrl (2017) – SZA

Top 10 songs

1. “Nosetalgia” feat. Kendrick Lamar – My Name Is My Name (2013) – Pusha T

2. “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” feat. Young Thug & Popcaan – In Colour (2015) – Jamie xx

3. “Self Control” – Blonde (2016) – Frank Ocean

4. “The House That Heaven Built” – Celebration Rock (2012) – Japandroids

5. “Do I Wanna Know?” – AM (2013) – Arctic Monkeys

6. “Paris” – i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016) – The 1975

7. “Black Skinhead” – Yeezus (2013) – Kanye West

8. “Round Here Buzz” – Mr. Misunderstood (2015) – Eric Church

9. “The Weekenders” – Heaven Is Whenever (2010) – The Hold Steady

10. “Clearest Blue” – Every Open Eye (2015) – CHVRCHES

Best musical year of the decade


Most overrated musician/group

Imagine Dragons

Song that should remain in this decade

“Sign of the Times” – Harry Styles (2017) – Harry Styles

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