Assistant Station Manager’s Top Albums of 2010s


Jennifer Dirstine

Train – Save Me San Francisco (2010)

The San Francisco native rock band Train broke into the decade with their album ‘Save Me San Francisco’ their first album since their 2006 album “For Me, It’s You”. An album that is held near and dear to many on California’s Northern and Central Coast as it notably mentions many cities in the area such as Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Marin, Tiberon, and of course San Francisco. The first single off the album “Hey, Soul Sister” is one of their most recognizable and popular songs as it was the band’s fourth Top 40 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 and second career top 10 hit. The album reached number 3 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums in 2010. Many songs off the album hit the charts between its release and 2012 and are some of the band’s most notable songs throughout the decade. Growing up on the California coast this album holds many dear memories for myself and those that I share those memories with, a defining album for much of my childhood that help to shape my music taste and enter me into a love for alternative and pop rock.

Favorite Song off Album: ‘Marry Me’

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist (2012)

After all the hype of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ single “Thrift Shop” in August of 2012 the two dropped their first full length album “The Heist” in October of the same year. The Seattle duo self-produced, self-recorded and self-dropped the album that was recorded over 3 years between 2009 and 2012. The album contains some of their most known and most iconic songs such as ‘Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)’, ‘Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)’ and ‘Ten Thousand Hours’. The album gained most of its traction from it’s song  ‘Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)’ after being featured as a part of Youtube’s Pride week, with the music video gaining 217 million views and winning the 2013 MTV Video Music Award for Best Video With a Social Message. The song was recorded during the campaign for same-sex marriage rights in the state of Washington, which was approved in November of 2012. ‘The Heist’ is one of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ most notable albums that helped pave the way for the duo in the modern day rap scene that will take you back to the days of middle school dances every time. 

Favorite Song off Album: ‘White Walls (feat. ScHoolboy Q & Hollis)’

Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap (2013)

Every Chance fan was excited to see that in June of 2019 the artist’s albums ‘10 Day’, ‘Acid Rap’ and ‘Coloring Book’ would all be available for streaming on Spotify, as ‘10 Day’ and ‘Acid Rap’  were previously only available to find on Youtube and Soundcloud. ‘Acid Rap’ is Chance the Rapper’s second album mixtape released April of 2013 as a free digital download. ‘Acid Rap’ the album that succeeded ‘10 Day’ and hit number 63 on the Billboard top R&B/Hip Hop albums. The groovy and overall jazz sound comes from Chance working with many people from various genres to give it it’s original and funky sound claiming the term “acid jazz”. The album was nominated as the Best Mixtape at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. Personally Acid rap was the first Chance album I was introduced to and listened to all the way through and the feeling felt hearing this album for the first time is a feeling that will last with me for a lifetime, shout out to my good friend Flip for showing me something I was missing for so long.

Favorite Song off Album: ‘Good Ass Intro (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid and Lili K)’

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy (2017)

Tyler Okonma, better known as Tyler, The Creator shook the summer of 2017 with his album ‘Flower Boy’ produced entirely by Tyler himself. ‘Flower Boy’ was a definitive music shift for Tyler from his prior album ‘Cherry Bomb’ from 2015 stating that he wanted this album to feel more personal. The album broke Tyler into the mainstream music scene and debuted as one of the best albums of 2017 and was even nominated for Best Rap Album in the 2018 Grammy Awards. The album also led Tyler to a collaboration with Converse sneakers with his brand Golf Wang, while he previously had a collaboration with Vans. The shoe deal was created for the release of the album and was known as the Tyler the Creator x Converse One Star “Scum Fuck Flower Boy” (Scum Fuck Flower Boy being the original name for the album before changing it to Flower Boy shortly before its release). The year defining album also featured many of Tyler’s famous friends from Frank Ocean to ASAP Rocky, Lil Wayne to Rex Orange County with 65% of the songs on the having a feature. I personally believe this album to be majorly defining for the highschool graduating classes of 2017 (my grad class woo hoo!) and the graduating class of 2018 as the album was the album of the summer for the class of 2017 entering college and the class of 2018 entering their last year of high school. 

Favorite Song off Album: ‘See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)’

Mac Miller – Swimming (2018)

‘Swimming’ is Miller’s last album while alive before his untimely death in September of 2018 can be a very painful yet also therapeutic album for Miller fans. Produced by Miller with the help of  Dev Hynes, J. Cole, Dâm-Funk, DJ Dahi, Tae Beast, Flying Lotus, and Cardo, among others. The album debuted at the number three spot on Billboard 200 and was nominated for best rap album of 2019. ‘Swimming’ was an album written in pain that turned into a beautiful and sad expression of emotion and self. The album came after his break up with girlfriend and fellow artist Ariana Grande and after his album ‘The Divine Femmine’ (2016) which he collaborated heavily with Grande on. The melancholy tone of the album plays deeply into the feeling of being stuck in one’s own head as seen in a lyric off track one ‘Come Back to Earth’, “I’ll do anything for a way out Of my head”. Letting go of his “frat rap” persona ‘Swimming’ is soulful, emotional and unapologetic. Intensely personal and with its funky hooks and easy groovy tone ‘Swimming’ is regarded as Miller’s most influential album of his life time. 

Favorite Song off Album: ‘Ladders’

Nice Colors – Khai Dreams, Atwood (2018)

The chillwave R&B, lo-fi, pop seven track album from half-Vietnamese Eugene, Oregon native Khai Dreams and Huston rapper Atwood evokes everything that is good about a warm summer day, popsicle in hand, daydreaming that things could be that way forever. A google search and Spotify ‘about’ click will tell you little about the duo that created the funky, upbeat, poppy album. The album is also in collaboration with producers biskwiq and Wizard Island (OSU students!). The album creation was out of the two’s comfort zone, they pushed their own boundaries throughout the creative process playing with different sounds and Khai taking a shot at rapping. The best way to describe the album to someone would be to just tell someone to give it a listen and let the happy feelings come over them. ‘Nice Colors’ is Khai Dreams and Atwood’s first full album and was received very well critiques, it encompasses everything that you need for a feel good moment with every song being a complete BOP!

Favorite Song off Album: ‘Travels’ 

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