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Top 20 Songs of the Last 10 Years
20Dark Time Sunshine

Can't Wait

This entire album is incredible and massively underrated. The beat here is just phenomenal and kicks off the album wonderfully. The chemistry between Onry and Zavala is undeniable and it hits a peak on this one.
19Massive Attack

Paradise Circus

Definitely the standout track on a generally underrated and pretty great album. On headphones this track is just sublime and has served as a soundtrack to many a night of sweet sweet lovemaking, in no small part to Hope Sandoval's heavenly vocals.
The Mountain

The Cockroach King

One of the massive highlights of a fantastically even and consistent album. Modern prog is hard to pull off, especially when you're a 70's snob like me, but Haken just nailed it here, and I'm not even mad at the blatant Gentle Giant worship. Probably the most purely fun track on this list.
17Red Giant (USA-NJ)


I've been a big fan of Red Giant ever since Drones dropped and am a huge fan of their second album Infinity. They are the current torchbearers for trip hop and Atmosphere is their crown jewel thus far. The title says it all, this track is just oozing with atmosphere but because of that there is really only one way to listen to it: at night, in the dark, either with headphones or through good speakers with a lovely in your bed.
16Kayo Dot

Zlida Caosgi (To Water the Earth)

Hubardo was my AOTY for 2013 and ZC is one of the more immediately manageable moments on the album, not to the mention probably the easiest track to enjoy out of context from the rest of the album. Just a beautiful, proggy, mathy track that encompasses everything Toby does best in just 5 minutes.
15Protest the Hero


In my opinion, Clarity is the quintessential PTH track. It might be the best pure track they've ever written and it boils down their entire sound and evolution neatly into one 5 minute barn burner. Bonus points for Clarity receiving the ultimate Chris Adler double bass treatment.
14The Mars Volta
The Bedlam in Goliath


TBiG was the Volta's last great album, arguably. But it was incredible and Agadez is just one of many highlights on the album, but it's stuck with me more than any other song on the album. The bass-heavy intro is immediately compelling and the ending 90-second climax has always been one of my favorite eargasm moments.
13Black Country Communion
Black Country

Song of Yesterday

BCC is a great example of a successful supergroup. Each member is an absolute all-star and their first two albums are fantastic. Song of Yesterday is arguably their ultimate highlight. An epic track with an absolutely gorgeous intro melody that develops slowly into an eventual climax with an incredibly moving solo by Joe Bonamassa. Absolutely essential.
A Moon Shaped Pool

Decks Dark

DD is not only my highlight off of the moody and spectacular AMSP, it might be the easiest song to listen to Radiohead ever wrote. Every motif is gorgeous and the notes just diffuse into your brain like a narcotic. On a completely separate note, major props to Jonny Greenwood for yet another stellar soundtrack for You Were Never Really Here.
11James Blake
The Colour in Anything

Modern Soul

I can go on and on with superlatives about just how much I love this album and what a massive achievement this was for James Blake. Modern Soul might be his ultimate achievement. Everything about this song is perfection and one sublime moment transitions into the next sublime moment. This really should have been the ending to the album.
10Between the Buried and Me
The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Extremophile Elite

I hold Alaska and Colors near and dear to me and will always be two of my favorite albums on planet earth, regardless of genre. I hate to admit that since Colors, their drop-off has been noticeable. They still produce quality music, but the magic of the aforementioned albums is missing for me. That being said, EE is a rare post-Colors moment of near-genius. A wildly eclectic mix of sounds with a prominent middle-eastern aesthetic, this song works on every level. And really, what doesn't this track contain? If you said a tuba, you'd be wrong.

Do Not Look Down

This might be the perfect Meshuggah song. I don't necessarily mean the best, nor the heaviest. Just the most purely listenable, no-bullshit, no wasted space, groovy, accessible, head-noddy, shit-eating grinny song they ever wrote. Absolutely not one wasted second here, one compelling riff after another. And that solo? Jesus, that solo.


Say what you will about Periphery, but whether you love them, hate them, love to hate them or hate to love them, Racecar is an undeniable stunner across the board. How a djent band can pull off a 17 minute song this masterfully on their debut fucking album truly melts the mind. The song flows perfectly with nary a single dud of an idea and each member, especially Spencer, is firing on all cylinders (pardon the pun). This is the one song even the biggest Periphophobe cannot deny.
7The Faceless
In Becoming a Ghost

The Spiraling Void

I won't deny that IBaG (sounds like a grocery tote Apple's in the process of developing) was a letdown overall. I don't know if it's the heroin addiction or the narcissism, but Mike and co. didn't live up to expectations. But The Spiraling Void should, under no circumstances, be mentioned in the same breath with any of the album's shortcomings. Plain and simple, TSV is a fucking masterclass of songwriting and Michael Keene shows why, despite all the bullshit and controversy he seems to be perpetually mired in, he is a special individual in the genre of technical metal, head and shoulders above most. Every segment is perfect, every transition is perfect, the vocals are perfect, the outro is orgasmic and special mention to Chason Westmoreland for low-key MVP on this one.
6Protest the Hero
Pacific Myth

Cold Water

This was the immediate standout on first listen and remains to this day my most highly played PTH song. A non-stop, balls to the wall tour-de-force with an absolute earworm of a melody and enough technicality going on under Rody's theatrical wails to satisfy a materials engineer.

Dancers to a Discordant System

ob fucking Zen. A masterpiece. And this is that masterpiece's masterpiece. A perfect nine-minute conclusion to the epic journey that was the Swedes' sixth album. From the opening spindly, spidery riff that quickly gets the Tomas Haake treatment to the pummeling mid-tempo catharsis of the finale, this is Meshuggah's testament to the fact that not Thor, Odin nor Loki are the ultimate Norse Gods.
4Dream Theater
Breaking the Fourth Wall

Breaking All Illusions

I am not a Dream Theater fan. The only album of theirs that I enjoy from beginning to end is Train of Thought, because on that album they finally stopped focusing on writing one 19/4 segment scotch-taped to another with cheesy vocal melodies atop, and started focusing on writing good songs, even if they're in 4/4. BAI, to me, is their ultimate achievement. It's got it all: beautiful melodies, brilliant instrumentation, and despite the wacky time signatures still being there, they do it with class. But the cherry on this masterpiece of a cake has to be that Petrucci solo. Not exaggerating, top 10 solo all time. Skip the studio version though, this live version is the best one out there.
3Steven Wilson

No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun

Might be a bit of a surprise to see so much Wilson in the top 3, but NTWtCotS is an achievement in every sense of the word. It's stunning, I don't even know what else to say. If I had a dollar for every time I found myself randomly humming that 4-note bass intro, I'd buy a used iPhone 6. The atonal, dissonant guitar interplay between Wilson and Mike Outram is mind-boggling and when the song climaxes with Jordan Rudess' gorgeous piano, I'm usually left there, mouth agape, marveling at what has just transpired.


Right off the bat, Heir Apparent is probably the best song on Watershed. Burden, however, is the most perfect. Once again, not a single wasted second here, as one gorgeous theme flows into another, culminating in a guitar solo exchange between Mike and Fredrik that I've long considered one of the most stunning, transcendental moments in all the music I've heard. Burden transcends musical genres. It's a song you can play for your jazz-loving grandpa, your metal-hating mother, your pop-loving little sister, your country-loving English teacher and it's doubtful that any of them would dislike it on any real level.
1Steven Wilson
Hand. Cannot. Erase.


Steven Wilson has owned the 21st century, straight up. Each solo album he has dropped is tight-butthole to the utmost degree, with To the Bone being his first to not totally blow me away, which is a shame. HCE is a modern day masterpiece and Ancestral is simply one of the greatest songs I've ever heard in any genre of music. The fact that Wilson still writes music like this almost 25 years into his career is a testament to his pure, unadulterated genius. Guthrie Govan's solo will move you to tears. At 10:14, it feels like the ground has disappeared from underneath you and you've fallen into a psychedelic chasm where your only company is Adam Holzman's ghostly keys and Theo Travis' ethereal flute. This is a song I will play for my children's children.
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