The 10 Best Tracks of the 2010s

Jake Trussell
Jan 3, 2020 · 3 min read

Anyone who says there’s no good music being made these days is sadly missing out. Not only is there too much great music for one person to consume, but it’s more accessible than ever in the age of streaming. Whether your platform of choice is YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, or the myriad other options available, nearly any recording ever made is at your fingertips.

Halfway through the decade, I dove headfirst into the streaming revolution when I joined Spotify Premium and my music consumption has never been the same since.

As a DJ I used to spend more money than I’d like to admit buying vinyl every week. I dug through hundreds of records and would set aside a pile to give a listen on the in-store turntable. Of the few that I’d bring up to the counter, thinking they might end up in front of my record crate, only a small sprinkling ever did. The hit rate was probably less than 5%.

Using Spotify’s algorithm-driven Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists have most certainly altered the way I find new music. On some level, I lament that machines are doing a better job of learning (and shaping) my taste than those kind record store employees of yore, but the reality is that it works for me. No, I don’t like everything the Spotify robots through my way. In fact, I don’t like most of it, but the hit rate is up over 20% — significantly increasing my ability to discover wonderful new music.

I’ve gravitated to singles rather than albums for years, as I’m sure many other DJs have, and streaming has only solidified that for me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes artists can produce albums that are amazing all the way through, and I have immense respect for those who can pull it off, but it’s very rare and it always has been. I won’t miss albums as I’ve never appreciated being forced to buy a bunch of filler around a track that I like.

At the end of my first year with Spotify Premium, I posed a question on Facebook about tracks vs. albums which generated a lively debate and inspired me to post The 15 Best Tracks of 2015. I’ve posted similar lists each year since.

Now that the 2010s are in the rearview, and streaming has fully entrenched itself as the music distribution zeitgeist, I’ve taken stock of all my playlists from the past decade and distilled them down to The 10 Best Tracks of the 2010s.

I’ve also put together the slightly less distilled 210 Best Tracks of the 2010s.

Let me know your thoughts over at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or follow me on Spotify.

Mood Bling

Writings on music in the liminal space between underground…