An open mind helps when it comes to navigating lists — especially because it’s a year end and a decade end, which means a blizzard of albums with numbers next to them. In some ways this could be viewed as annoying, sure, but lists also leave a point-form archive of what folks listened to for the past 12 months and past 10 years, respectively. It’s point-form history. It’s interesting. Even when you don’t agree. With that in mind, EW trots out a few surprises: We have a new No. 1 and a couple few albums we haven’t seen anywhere else. You are free to scratch your head.
10 Cat Power – You Are Free (2003)
09 Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)
08 Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008)
07 The Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)
06 The Dixie Chicks – Home (2002)
05 Bob Dylan – Love And Theft (2001)
04 OutKast – Stankonia (2000)
03 Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
02 Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
01 Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)
You’ll find the accompanying rationales at EW (“Funerals are generally somber affairs, but the Canadian indie rockers’ emotionally charged debut mostly just made us smile.”). The mag’s Best Of The Decade issue hits newsstands today.