Manda’s Top 100 Albums of 2010-2020

Let me first start by saying that this list was much harder to compile than I initially thought it would be. I think for the most part that people, including myself, think about the music of the last decade and they maybe forget about some of the big albums that were released during this time and just how impressive they really were. There were definitely some albums that I almost forgot about. From record-breaking debuts and buzz-worthy comebacks to surprise album drops by fan favorites, this last decade was anything but predictable, and positively kept music fans, critics, and industry insiders on their toes.

Another reason this list was so difficult for me to assemble was because trying to rank the albums on it felt almost impossible at times. I mean, this was the decade of seven Taylor Swift albums. Not to mention the debut of Ed Sheeran and all four of his releases, plus the return of pop-punk favorites like Blink 182 and Good Charlotte, as well as all three of Halestorm’s follow-up albums. And then, of course, there’s the whole slew of noteworthy, chart-topping, and award-winning releases that the country genre saw between 2010 and 2020.

You can understand now why it was such a complex process figuring out which albums made the cut and trying to decide where on the list they ranked. The method to the madness that was my process, though, went something like this, for anyone wondering how this list happened. I based my final decisions on the following factors: how often I listened to these albums, how many of them I listened to from beginning to end, how many hits they produced, how well received they were, and how many of them held personal connections for me. It took some time, but I think this list is an accurate representation of just how much I connected to these albums during that time of my life. And if you have any questions about the albums that made my Top Five, I encourage you to listen to the episode of my podcast, Striking a Chord that pairs with this article to better understand my decisions.

Of course, there are albums missing from my list, but not because I’m not a fan of them (unless I genuinely just really care for that artist/band or style of music) or because I don’t respect what they bring to the table. When I made the decision to create this list, I decided then that it would only consist of 100 albums, which unfortunately means not everyone can make the cut. However, I am interested in hearing which albums you favored from this decade. So please, send your list to or post them to our Striking a Chord Facebook page and start a conversation. In the meantime, I hope you find something on my list to enjoy and share with the music junkies in your life. Happy listening!


1)Rob Thomas – Chip Tooth Smile (2019)

2)Lifehouse – Smoke & Mirrors (2010)

3)Florida Georgia Line – Here’s to the Good Times (2012)

4)Blink 182 – California (2017)

5)Taylor Swift – Speak Now (2010)

6)Matcbox Twenty – North (2012)

7)O.A.R. – The Mighty (2019)

8)Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent (Extended Edition) (2019)

9)Ed Sheeran – Divide (2017)

10)Goo Goo Dolls – Magnetic (2013)

11)Taylor Swift – Red (2012)

12)Taylor Swift – reputation (2017)

13)Halestorm – The Strange Case of… (2012)

14)Godsmack – When Legends Rise (2018)

15)Thomas Rhett – It Goes Like This (2013)

16)Jake Owen – Barefoot Blue Jean Night (2011)

17) Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell (2014)

18)Charles Kelley – The Driver (2016)

19)Jason Aldean – My Kinda Party (2010)

20)Jon Pardi – California Sunrise (2016)

21)Lady A – Need You Now (2010)

22)Blake Shelton – If I’m Honest (2016)

23)The Cadillac Three – Bury Me in My Boots (2016)

24)Maren Morris – Hero (2016)

25)Lindsay Ell – The Project (2017)

26)Kalie Shorr – Open Book (2019)

27)NeedtoBreathe – The Reckoning (2011)

28)Good Charlotte – Youth Authority (2016)

29)Goo Goo Dolls – Boxes (2016)

30)Jacob Bryant – Practice What I Preach (2019)

31)Halestorm – Into the Wild Life (2015)

32)Brett Young – Brett Young (2017)

33)Dierks Bentley – Black (2016)

34)David Nail – Fighter (2016)

35)Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown (2015)

36)O.A.R. – King (2011)

37)Jordan Davis – Home State (2018)

38)Bush – The Kingdom (2020)

39)All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine (2020)

40)Shinedown – Attention Attention (2018)

41)Silverstein – A Beautiful Place to Drown (2020)

42)Carly Pearce – Every Little Thing (2017)

43)Real Friends – The Home Inside My Head (2016)

44)Rise Against – Endgame (2011)

45)O.A.R. – The Rockville LP (2014)

46)Old Dominion – Meat and Candy (2015)

47)Papa Roach – F.E.A.R. (2015)

48)Seether – Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2011)

49)Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere (2018)

50)Kristian Bush – Southern Gravity (2015)

51)Lacey Sturm – Life Screams (2016)

52)Like a Storm – Awaken the Fire (2012)

53)Kip Moore – Up All Night (2012)

54)Mat Kearney – Just Kids (2015)

55)Lady A- We Own the Night (2011)

56)Marty Casey – The Ground You Walk On (2017)

57)Kelsea Ballerini – Unapologetically (2018)

58)Brantley Gilbert – Just As I Am (2014)

59)Austin Jenckes – If You Grew Up Like I Did (2019)

60)Darius Rucker – Charleston, SC 1966 (2010)

61)Drake White – Spark (2016)

62)Brett Eldredge – Illinois (2015)

63)Ed Sheeran – X (2015)

64)Thompson Square – Masterpiece (2018)

65)Taylor Swift – 1989 (2014)

66)Dylan Scott – Dylan Scott (2016)

67)Jason Aldean – Night Train (2012)

68)Three Days Grace – Human (2015)

69)Luke Bryan – Crash My Party (2013)

70)Maren Morris – Girl (2019)

71)Through Fire – Breathe (2016)

72)Walker Hayes – boom (2017)

73)Sugarland – The Incredible Machine (2010)

74)Mat Kearney – Crazy Talk (2018)

75)Kip Moore – Wild Ones (2015)

76)New Found Glory – Resurrection (2014)

77)NeedtoBreathe – Hard Love (2016)

78)Sam Hunt – Between the Pines (Acoustic Mixtape) (2013)

79)Scott Stapp – The Space Between the Shadows (2019)

80)Saint Asonia – Saint Asonia (2015)

81)Logan Mize – Come Back Road (2017)

82)Halestorm – Viscious (2018)

83)Eli Young Band – Fingerprints (2017)

84) Justin Moore – Off the Beaten Path (2013)

85)Goo Goo Dolls – Miracle Pill (2019)

86)Good Charlotte – Rx (2018)

87)Eli Young Band – Life at Best (2011)

88)Howie Day – Lanterns (2015)

89)Heather Morgan – Borrower Heart (2018)

90)Tyler Farr – Suffer in Peace (2015)

91)Little Big Town – Nightfall (2020)

92)The Fray – Scars and Stories (2012)

93)Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullabye (2011)

94)All Time Low – Last Young Renegade (2017)

95)Gavin DeGraw – Something Worth Saving (2016)

96)Matt Stell – Everywhere But On (2019)

97)Sam Hunt – Montevallo (2014)

98)Dustin Lynch – Where It’s At (2014)

99)High Valley – Dear Life (2016)

100)Gone West – Canyons (2020)

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"MADD" Manda Walsh
Chicago native and Saint Xavier University alum (class of 2007), Amanda Walsh is an aspiring journalist with a strong passion for music and longtime love of writing. While in college, she spent her time volunteering as a radio DJ, working as the station’s Music Director, and serving as a regular contributing writer for the campus newspaper where she combined her love for music and writing. Between attending multiple concerts a month all over the city, interviewing various bands both in and out of the studio, and introducing her friends and show listeners to new artists (both local and national acts), it was during this time that Amanda really discovered her niche. Whether listening alone with her headphones or experiencing it live in person, music has always been Amanda’s safe haven and more like a religion, with concerts feeling more like going to church. Today the number of artist interviews under her belt continues to grow, as she strives to break new and up and coming artists before other outlets. She also continues to attend as many concerts as her bank account will allow. Her musical tastes range from “OMG you have to hear this” to “please don’t judge me,” and she is the person you want on your team in music trivia. She is also an avid enthusiast of the paranormal and anything in the realm of horror or the creepy and unnerving. With that said, she loves Halloween more than a normal person probably should and has a fascination with cemeteries. Aside from music and concerts, Amanda also enjoys reading, shopping and epic adventures. She's a sucker for a good mystery and anything acoustic. When she was a kid she wanted to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. At the end of the day, if she had to describe herself with a song lyric it would be this – “I’m somewhere in between what is real and just a dream.”
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