Like every year that ends in “9,” 2019 is a special time when critics everywhere get together and decide to evaluate an entire decade. For music critics, that means ranking the best albums of the 2010s.
You’re going to be seeing a lot of these lists in the months ahead. In order to prepare, I’ve made this list of 20 albums that I expect will be in the conversation. They are not my personal favorite albums, though I do like (and even love!) many of them. These are just the records that will (I think!) be put at the forefront of the critical discourse.
For each record, I’ve also included the odds of it actually topping most lists. I deduced these odds by revisiting old album reviews, surveying the aesthetic preferences of major publications, and then making wild guesses. Actually, I just did the guessing part.