2010-2019: Top albums of the decade
As ‘the Teenies’ draw to a close, we can count ourselves truly grateful to have witnessed the most pivotal decade for electronic music so far. With EDM bursting into life at the dawn of 2010, the resulting years have seen trends rise and fall for the likes of deep house, tropical house, big-room, and now, tech-house. To celebrate this stellar 2010-2019 period, we here at We Rave You have handpicked a few of our own personal favourite studio albums (excluding compilations) from the decade. We hope you enjoy our list, and would love to hear your own favourites on our social media channels!
ABOVE & BEYOND – WE ARE ALL WE NEED
Biggest hits: Blue Sky Action, Peace of Mind, Counting Down The Days
One of the few acts to have released not one – nor two – but THREE albums that could feature on this list, Anjunbeats trio Above & Beyond used this decade to climb from masters of prog-trance, to one of the world’s biggest, and most loved acts. Just pipping ‘Group Therapy‘ and ‘Common Ground’, this 2015 masterpiece spawned such tracks as ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Push The Button’ favourite ‘Blue Sky Action’.
AVICII – TRUE
Biggest hits: Wake Me Up, Hey Brother, Addicted To You
One of the most controversial albums in EDM history, Avicii‘s 2013 effort was a far cry from the slick progressive sounds he had aired in the 4 years previous. After dropping several of the album’s IDs at Ultra, fans initially labelled it a ‘disgrace’ – but despite their protests, Tim soon triumphed, with hoards of ravers warming to his country-inspired sounds. An ‘Avicii by Avicii’ remix album dropped less than one year later, where hits like ‘Liar Liar‘ and ‘Lay Me Down’ were transformed into mainstage whoppers.
CALVIN HARRIS – 18 MONTHS
Biggest hits: Feel So Close, We Found Love, I Need Your Love
Commercially, the most successful album in this list, this was the production that transformed Calvin Harris from skinny Scottish electro producer, to Las Vegas resident, celebrity-dating pin-up, Calvin Klein model, and the world’s highest paid DJ. 9 of the album’s tracks made their way into the Top 10 of the UK charts, with two of them even hitting the summit.
DAFT PUNK – RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES
Biggest hits: Get Lucky, Lose Yourself To Dance, Doin’ It Right
Daft Punk releases are so few and far between that each eargasmic production is widely gawped upon, but even the most ardent of fans couldn’t have imagined the impact the French duo’s 2013 return would have. With Pharrell collab ‘Get Lucky’ immersing itself as the soundtrack to the summer, the duo scooped 4 GRAMMYs at the 2014 awards, before skulking back off into the shadows for goodness knows how long.
David Guetta – Nothing By The Beat
Biggest hits: Sunshine, Titanium, She Wolf, Little Bad Girl
When looking for influential figures in the rise of EDM, few artists on the globe can match the impact enjoyed by French legend David Guetta. After showcasing huge collabs with Kid Cudi, Akon and Kelly Rowland at the turn of the decade, 2011’s ‘Nothing But The Beat’ saw an A-side packed with yet more stellar R&B talent (including Taio Cruz, Usher, Nicki Minaj, and Flo Rida), whilst the B-side focused on big electronic hits alongside Avicii, Nicky Romero, and Afrojack.
DEADMAU5 – 4×4=12
Biggest hits: Some Chords, Raise Your Weapon, Sofi Needs A Ladder
Rising as high as number #4 in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll between 2010 and 2011, controversial Canadian Joel Zimmerman (aka deadmau5) hit a career peak with the incredible electro-inspired album, 4×4=12. The Mau5 has since gone on to dominate stages worldwide with his ‘cube’ set-up and has truly made this decade his own!
DISCLOSURE – SETTLE
Biggest hits: Latch, White Noise, F For You
Few albums of this past decade can boast such an incredibly pioneering feel as the emergence of UK siblings Guy & Howard Lawrence, more commonly known as ‘Disclosure’. Fusing elements of UK garage, breakbeats, and low-tempo house, the album was a refreshing side order to the heavy ‘build and drop’ recipe of the EDM tracks dominating the industry at the time. The album led to a huge rise in deep house around 2013, as ‘Settle’ received a GRAMMY nomination.
ERIC PRYDZ – OPUS
Biggest hits: Generate, Opus, Every Day
Though Eric Prydz had already flirted with stardom at the turn of the ‘teenies’, the Swedish producer – at the time, best known for his sexually provocative video ‘Call On Me’ – ended the decade as one of the biggest stars in the world thanks to his insane live visual shows, and superbly crafted progressive house. This was the album that changed it all, thanks to hits like ‘Liberate’, and ‘Breathe’.
JACK Ü – SKRILLEX & DIPLO PRESENT JACK Ü
Biggest hits: Where Are Ü Now, Take Ü There, To Ü
At the start of the decade, very few could have predicted that the small chipmunk-like child that sang a pop ballad titled ‘Baby‘ would transform into an edgy vocalist featuring on an EDM track sprinkled with heavy elements of trap and dubstep. In addition to reviving Justin Bieber‘s career, Skrillex & Diplo‘s ‘Jack Ü‘ project may have been short lived, but gave us some of the freshest tracks ever made.
THIRD PARTY – HOPE
Biggest hits: Live Forever, Lions In The Wild, Everyday Of My Life
Whilst many artists used 2010-2019 to dip in and out of various sub-genres of the EDM world as trends started to rise and fall, one act who stayed true to their progressive roots was UK duo Third Party. Packing 11-tracks of pure euphoria into their 2017 album ‘HOPE’, the pair accompanied the release with the hashtag #ProgIsAlive, a sentiment echoed through the superb craftsmanship of this album.
PORTER ROBINSON – WORLDS
Biggest hits: Sad Machine, Divinity, Sea of Voices
At the age of just 22, Porter Robinson proved everyone why he was one of the most promising artists in the scene. In 2014, the talented American producer, wrapped up this amazing 12-track compilation that offered something we were not use to hear; a melancholic and why not, sad progressive house music. Inspired by the idea of escapism, nostalgia and alternative reality, Porter Robinson gave us one of the most iconic albums of the decade.
SKRILLEX – SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES EP
Biggest hits: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Rock ‘n’ Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain), Kill EVERYBODY
The EP that kickstarted his career, Skrillex found himself being thrust to the top of the dubstep genre extremely quickly. Presenting the community with something that was unlike any previous release from any artist, his iconic signature sound made millions of people all over the world flock to him. Like a cult classic of sorts, this is an EP that has never receded in quality over the years.
MADEON – ADVENTURE
Biggest hits: You’re On, Pay No Mind, Imperium
Finding the sound that fits him best, French powerhouse Madeon blew expectations with his debut album ‘Adventure’. Produced entirely by himself, he showcased a sound that felt true to him and felt most natural. Taking the number one spot on Billboard’s US Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, he proved to be a force of nature and managed to create an album with such a powerful cult following that it still gets hyped up just as much today as when it was first released.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN – INTENSE
Biggest hits: This is What it Feels Like, Beautiful Life, Intense
While holding the crown of No.1 DJ in the world for the 4th time, Armin van Buuren explored on his fifth artist album, a genre-bending production work that redefined the trance scene. ‘This is What it Feels Like’ skyrocketed to Top 10 radio charts all around the world, bringing the genre into every household, old and young, the world sang with Trevor Guthrie. Thanks to the 23 chapters of Armin Only Intense: Road Movie, millions of people followed week by week, his biggest tour up to date, that took 30 performers to 35 countries in a never before seen show combining theater, dance, acrobatics and the best of Armin’s iconic music.
KYGO – CLOUD NINE
Biggest hits: Firestone, Stole the Show, Nothing Left, Stay, Raging
The ‘teenies’ played in favor of Kygo as well, who released his first breakthrough single, ‘Firestone’, in 2014 and his journey to conquer the radio charts globally has begun. After multiple successful hits, he announced his debut album ‘Cloud Nine’, that features several golden collaborations with well-established pop artists like John Legend, Labrinth, Julia Michaels, and Tom Odell. Besides the premier album, he set sail for his first world tour and landed 33rd on the DJ Mag Top 100 list as a new entrant.
ZEDD – CLARITY
Biggest hits: Clarity, Spectrum, Fall Into The Sky, Follow You Down
Anton Zaslavski‘s style may have changed dramatically over recently years, but his earlier Zedd production’s included some of the greatest EDM tracks of all time. Taken from the album with the same name, ‘Clarity‘ became a worldwide sensation, and along with an additional 9 tracks – featuring the iconic ‘Spectrum‘ feat. Matthew Koma – Zedd became a household name. The vocals provided by Foxes on that particular track took it to a new level, but ultimately the credit must go to Zaslavski for an impeccable album.
TIËSTO – A Town Called Paradise
Biggest hits: Wasted, Red Lights, Written In Reverse
Bringing the singalong element out in full force, Tiësto fused pop elements with his own signature sound to create an album full to the brim of euphoric anthems that became worldwide hits instantly. Of course, the biggest hit from ‘A Town Called Paradise’ was ‘Wasted’ and it still is to this day. This album showed Tiësto exploring other avenues in terms of musical genres and he found what could fuse with his music well enough. Still to this day, multiple tracks from the album are seen as staples in his sets.
FLUME – FLUME & Skin
Biggest hits: Holdin On, Insane, On Top, Never Be Like You, Say It
Flume burst out onto the scene well before his critically-acclaimed album ‘Skin’ earned him the unprecedented international attention that shot him into the stratosphere. Spearheading the Future Bass movement that encapsulated the world some years back, his debut, self-titled album set the bar well & truly high, earning 2x Platinum certification in Australia, as well as Gold in New Zealand. However, when ‘Skin’ arrived on the EDM world’s doorstep and spawned tracks such as ‘Say It’ and ‘Never Be Like You’, an avalanche of success would ensue for the Australian producer. Earning Platinum certification back home once again, the album also took home the Album of the Year award at the 2016 ARIA Awards. However, this proved to merely be the tip of the iceberg. 500,000 units sold in the U.S saw the album notch up Gold Certification in the biggest Future Bass market in the world, as well as taking home a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Furthermore, ‘Never Be Like You’ earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, helping solidify Flume’s status as one of the most prominent artists of the decade.
THE PRODIGY – The Day Is My Enemy
Biggest hits: The Day Is My Enemy, Nasty, Ibiza
This year saw the tragic passing of The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint, a loss which shook the music industry to its core. As the world continues to mourn the loss of one of the industry’s most talented musicians, we’ve selected one of The Prodigy’s greatest albums as one of our top albums of the decade. With their 6th album ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ The Prodigy chose to commemorate 25 years of existence. The album’s influence can still be felt through all manner of loud, aggressive transgressive and fragmented electronic music today. In fact, the sound can be considered a genre of their own. After 7 years of silence, they didn’t want to bring change, but to sound harder and faster, in a way that influenced the music scene of the moment. This immediately made a statement: “We are Back”.
KÖLSCH – 1977
Biggest hits: Goldfisch, Opa, Der Alte, All that Matters
Released in 2013, Kölsch‘s album ‘1977‘ remains one of the greatest electronic masterpieces to ever be released. With Kölsch’s signature sound running throughout each individual track, the album flows effortlessly from start to finish. In particular, ‘All That Matters‘ remains a timeless hit, proven by its reception during Kölsch’s performance at the Tomorrowland MainStage during 2019. A celebration of the Danish artist’s dexterity in production, the minimalism and melodic nature of this album are undoubtedly the qualities that will enable it to remain iconic for years to come. In fact, the albums that followed this release have further cemented Kölsch as one of the greatest artists of the decade.
PAUL KALKBRENNER – 7
Biggest hits: Cloud Rider, Feed Your Head, Battery Park
Widely regarded as one of the most talented electronic musicians on the planet, Paul Kalkbrenner has earned his position amongst the most celebrated talents in the industry. His unique signature sound sets him apart from the crowd, and his album ‘7‘ is a great example of his prowess in production. From start to finish the album has a flowing quality that allows all of the tracks to blend into one extended story, guiding the listener through a melodic journey. In fact, the album is highly hypnotic, which is a testament to Kalkbrenner’s abilities musically.
JUSTICE – Audio, Video, Disco.
Biggest hits: New Lands, Audio, Video, Disco. Civilization
French duo Justice have made a lasting impact on the music industry that continues to cement their position amongst electronic royalty. Merging influences from a variety of genres, their sound is unmistakeable and can be immediately identified in every single one of their releases. Their album ‘Audio, Video, Disco.‘ has undoubtedly earned its place amongst the top albums of the decade, featuring countless timeless anthems. Tracks like Civilization became instant global hits, making Justice a household name and proving the duo’s abilities as musicians.
STEVE ANGELLO – WILD YOUTH
Biggest hits: Children of the Wild, Remember, Wasted Love
Serving as the debut studio album as a solo artist for Steve Angello, ‘Wild Youth’ is referred to as the soundtrack to his life. Exploring a more vulnerable side of the Swedish artist, it showcases his abilities to deliver raw and unfiltered storytelling through beautiful and hard-hitting tracks. Featuring some massive collaborations with many talented singers and producers alike, this shows off his versatility as a producer in a more than perfect way and is still as beautiful and effective today as it was in 2016.
ALESSO – FOREVER
Biggest hits: Heroes (We Could Be), Cool, If I Lose Myself
‘Forever’ is quintessential Alesso. An impressive album packed full to the brim of now classic and timeless hits that still give out a strong magical feeling, it’s extremely impressive for a debut studio album. Describing the album as ‘very personal’ to himself, it managed to secure the top spot on Billboard’s US Top Dance/Electronic Albums and continues to still be relevant, never losing it’s special qualities over time.