The best Chicago albums of the 2010s: the critics’ ballots | Music Feature | Chicago Reader

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The best Chicago albums of the 2010s: the critics’ ballots

Here’s where to see who voted for what and how the points got divvied up.

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ILLUSTRATION BY JASON WYATT FREDERICK

  • Illustration by Jason Wyatt Frederick

The Reader has never undertaken a music poll like this, and we weren’t sure how many critics would want to contribute. We cast a wide net, and ultimately 57 people submitted ballots. Their 570 picks generated a ranked master list of 338 albums—in other words, less than 41 percent of the entries appear on more than one ballot, a testimony to the broad diversity of taste and opinion among those 57 writers. We’ve compiled 56 of the individual ballots below, alphabetized by surname, and we’ve left in the occasional entry that’s arguably (or obviously) not a Chicago album. If a contributor has written about a record for our master list, it’ll be linked on the relevant ballot. Happy browsing! —Leor Galil

Aaron Allen II

Freelancer

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (10 points)
2. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (9 points)
2. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (9 points)
3. Saba, Care for Me  (8 points)
4. Mick Jenkins, The Water[s]  (7 points)
5. G Herbo, Humble Beast  (6 points)
6. Noname, Telefone  (5 points)
7. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (4 points)
8. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (3 points)
9. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Mixtape  (2 points)

David Anthony

Freelancer

1. Meat Wave, Meat Wave  (10 points)
2. C.H.E.W., Feeding Frenzy  (9 points)
3. Melkbelly, Nothing Valley  (8 points)
4. Joan of Arc, Life Like  (7 points)
5. Grown Ups, More Songs  (6 points)
6. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (5 points)
7. Cloud Mouth, Keep Well  (4 points)
8. Weekend Nachos, Worthless  (3 points)
9. Immortal Bird, Thrive on Neglect  (2 points)
10. Yeesh, Confirmation Bias  (1 point)

Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle
  • Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle

Jacob Arnold

Freelancer

1. Ben Lamar Gay, Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun  (10 points)
2. Henry Threadgill, In for a Penny, In for a Pound  (9 points)
3. Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle  (8 points)
4. Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, We Are Not the First  (7 points)
5. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (6 points)
6. Jeff Mills, Emerging Crystal Universe  (5 points)
7. Jana Rush, Pariah  (4 points)
8. Nicole Mitchell, Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds  (3 points)
9. Jaimie Branch, Fly or Die  (2 points)
10. Traxman, Da Mind of Traxman  (1 point)

Steven Arroyo

Pitchfork contributor

1. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (10 points)
2. Noname, Telefone  (9 points)
3. Open Mike Eagle, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream  (8 points)
4. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (7 points)
5. Jeff Tweedy, Warm  (6 points)
6. Makaya McCraven, In the Moment  (5 points)
7. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (4 points)
8. Dehd, Water  (3 points)
9. Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone  (2 points)
10. Circuit des Yeux, Reaching for Indigo  (1 point)

Jake Austen

Roctober magazine

1. Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble, Where Future Unfolds  (10 points)
2. Avery R. Young, Tubman  (9 points)
3. Jackie Shane, Any Other Way  (8 points) [2017 Numero Group archival release]
4. AC/DC, Rock or Bust
5. AC/DC, Live at River Plate
6. AC/DC, Double Rosemont 1981
7. AC/DC, Iron Man 2
8. AC/DC, Axl/DC
9. AC/DC, The Bon Scott Archives
10. AC/DC, Hot Seams, Wet Dreams

freakwater.jpg

Noah Berlatsky

Freelancer

1. RP Boo, Legacy  (10 points)
2. Woo Park, Smokes  (9 points)
3. Mahalia Jackson, Moving on Up a Little Higher  (8 points) [archival release from 2016]
4. Freakwater, Scheherazade  (7 points)
5. Open Mike Eagle, Dark Comedy  (6 points)
6. Sun Ra, Exotica  (5 points) [1950s and ’60s recordings compiled in 2017]
7. Kid Sister, Kiss Kiss Kiss  (4 points)
8. Dustin Laurenzi, Snaketime: The Music of Moondog  (3 points)
9. Noname, Room 25  (2 points)
10. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (1 point)

Kaina, Next to the Sun
  • Kaina, Next to the Sun

Bianca Betancourt

Teen Vogue, freelancer

1. Noname, Telefone  (10 points)
2. Vic Mensa, Innanetape  (9 points)
3. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (8 points)
4. Jean Deaux, Krash  (7 points)
5. Smino, Noir  (6 points)
6. Ravyn Lenae, Crush  (5 points)
7. Tatiana Hazel, Toxic  (4 points)
8. Aaliyah Allah, Being  (3 points)
9. Kaina, Next to the Sun  (2 points)
10. Jordanna, Sweet Tooth  (1 point)

Ed Blair

Freelancer

1. Fire-Toolz, Drip Mental  (10 points)
2. Locrian, The Crystal World  (9 points)
3. Open Mike Eagle, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream  (8 points)
4. Advance Base, Nephew in the Wild  (7 points)
5. Immortal Bird, Akrasia  (6 points)
6. C.H.E.W., Feeding Frenzy  (5 points)
7. Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Intergalactic Beings  (4 points)
8. Tigress, Tigress EP  (3 points)
9. Dowsing, All I Could Find Was You  (2 points)
10. Serengeti, Dennis 6e  (1 point)

Dan Caffrey

Consequence of Sound

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (10 points)
2. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (9 points)
3. Serengeti, Dennis 6e  (8 points)
4. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (7 points)
5. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (6 points)
6. Advance Base, A Shut-In’s Prayer  (5 points)
7. Cupcakke, Ephorize  (4 points)
8. The Kickback, Weddings & Funerals  (3 points)
9. Bottomless Pit, Shade Perennial  (2 points)
10. Into It. Over It., Intersections  (1 point)

Kerry Cardoza

Bandcamp Daily, Reader contributor

1. Bruised, Rotten Codex  (10 points)
2. Noname, Telefone  (9 points)
3. The Funs, The Funs  (8 points)
4. Siamese Twins, Demo  (7 points)
5. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (6 points)
6. Negative Scanner, Nose Picker  (5 points)
7. Condenada, Discografia  (4 points)
8. CB Radio Gorgeous, Plays CB Radio Gorgeous  (3 points)
9. Coppice, Big Wad Excisions  (2 points)
10. Sin Orden, Ha Llegado el Momento  (1 point)

Aaron Cohen

DownBeat

1. Mike Reed, Flesh & Bone  (10 points)
2. Tomeka Reid Quartet, Tomeka Reid Quartet  (9 points)
3. Greg Ward, Touch My Beloved's Thought  (8 points)
4. Pastor Donald Gay, On a Glorious Day  (7 points)
5. Mavis Staples, One True Vine  (6 points)
6. Ari Brown, Groove Awakening  (5 points)
7. Ohmme, Parts  (4 points)
8. Charles Rumback, Cadillac Turns  (3 points)
9. Matt Ulery's Loom, Wake an Echo  (2 points)
10. Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle  (1 point)

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Salem Collo-Julin

Reader listings coordinator

1. Jaimie Branch, Fly or Die  (10 points)
2. Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti with Barbara Frittoli and others, Verdi: Messa da Requiem  (9 points)
3. Various artists, Bangs & Works, Vol 1  (8 points)
4. Sam Trump, Love Notes  (7 points)
5. Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Vanishing Points  (6 points)
6. Azita, Disturbing the Air  (5 points)
7. Spektral Quartet, Chambers  (4 points)
8. Blacker Face, Distinctive Juju  (3 points)
9. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (2 points)
10. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (1 point)

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John Corbett

Freelancer

1. Marker, New Industries  (10 points)
2. Living by Lanterns, New Myth/Old Science  (9 points)
3. Rob Mazurek Octet, Skull Sessions  (8 points)
4. DKV Trio, Sound in Motion in Sound  (7 points)
5. Nick Mazzarella and Tomeka Reid, Signaling  (6 points)
6. Joshua Abrams, Natural Information  (5 points)
7. Greg Ward, Touch My Beloved's Thought  (4 points)
8. Ballister, Worse for the Wear  (3 points)
9. Sun Rooms, Sun Rooms  (2 points)
10. Josh Berman Trio, A Dance and a Hop  (1 point)

Nina Corcoran

Freelancer

1. Meat Wave, Meat Wave  (10 points)
2. Yeesh, Confirmation Bias  (9 points)
3. Noname, Telefone  (8 points)
4. Grown Ups, More Songs  (7 points)
5. American Football, American Football (LP 3)  (6 points)
6. C.H.E.W., Feeding Frenzy  (5 points)
7. Braid, No Coast  (4 points)
8. Melkbelly, Nothing Valley  (3 points)
9. Saba, Care for Me  (2 points)
10. CSTVT, The Echo & the Light  (1 point)

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Tim Crisp

Better Yet Podcast

1. C.H.E.W., Feeding Frenzy  (10 points)
2. Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains  (9 points)
3. Ratboys, GN  (8 points)
4. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (7 points)
5. Mother Evergreen, Mother Evergreen  (6 points)
6. Melkbelly, Nothing Valley  (5 points)
7. Meat Wave, The Incessant  (4 points)
8. Grown Ups, More Songs  (3 points)
9. Options, Driftwood Metaphor  (2 points)
10. Bust!, Suck Kuts  (1 point)

Michael del Rosario

Lyrical Lemonade

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (10 points)
1. Kanye West, Yeezus  (10 points)
2. Saba, Care for Me  (9 points)
3. Kids These Days, Traphouse Rock  (8 points)
4. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (7 points)
5. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (6 points)
6. Noname, Room 25  (5 points)
7. Saba, Bucket List Project  (4 points)
8. Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth  (3 points)
9. Mick Jenkins, The Water[s]  (2 points)

David Drake

Freelancer

1. Chief Keef, Back From the Dead  (10 points)
2. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (9 points)
3. Tree, The Tree EP  (8 points)
4. Polo G, Die a Legend  (7 points)
5. King Louie, Tony  (6 points)
6. Vic Spencer and Chris Crack, Who the Fuck Is Chris Spencer??  (5 points)
7. Lil Durk, Signed to the Streets  (4 points)
8. ZMoney, Rich B4 Rap  (3 points)
9. Tink, Winter's Diary 4  (2 points)
10. Ty Money, Cinco de Money  (1 point)

John Dugan

The Economist and Michigan Avenue freelancer

1. Ryley Walker, Primrose Green  (10 points)
2. Gorillaz, Humanz  (9 points)
3. Mavis Staples, If All I Was Was Black  (8 points)
4. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (7 points)
5. Disappears, Lux  (6 points)
6. Circuit des Yeux, Reaching for Indigo  (5 points)
7. Liam Hayes, Slurrup  (4 points)
8. Quin Kirchner, The Other Side of Time  (3 points)
9. The Autumn Defense, Once Around  (2 points)
10. Wilco, Star Wars  (1 point)

Saba, Care for Me
  • Saba, Care for Me

Leor Galil

Reader staff writer

1. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (10 points)
2. Saba, Care for Me  (9 points)
3. Tree, Sunday School  (8 points)
4. Noname, Telefone  (7 points)
5. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (6 points)
6. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (5 points)
7. American Football, American Football (LP3)  (4 points)
8. Ty Money, Cinco de Money  (3 points)
9. Willis Earl Beal, Acousmatic Sorcery  (2 points)
10. Mines, Just Another Thing That Got Ruined  (1 point)

Meaghan Garvey

Freelancer

1. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Mixtape  (10 points)
2. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (9 points)
3. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (8 points)
4. Angel Olsen, My Woman  (7 points)
5. Sicko Mobb, Super Saiyan: Vol. 1  (6 points)
6. DJ Nate, Da Trak Genious  (5 points)
7. Lil Durk, I'm Still a Hitta  (4 points)
8. Katie Got Bandz, Bandz and Hittaz  (3 points)
9. Tink, Winter's Diary 2  (2 points)
10. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Album  (1 point)

Richard Giraldi

Freelancer, former Loud Loop Press editor in chief

1. Disappears, Guider  (10 points)
2. The Cell Phones, Get You Alone  (9 points)
3. Retirement Party, Strictly Speaking  (8 points)
4. Melkbelly, Nothing Valley  (7 points)
5. Negative Scanner, Negative Scanner  (6 points)
6. Oozing Wound, Whatever Forever  (5 points)
7. Ratboys, AOID  (4 points)
8. Absolutely Not, Mister Something  (3 points)
9. Soddy Daisy, Trashtopia  (2 points)
10. Pixel Grip, Heavy Handed  (1 point)

Janaya Greene

Reader social media coordinator

1. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (10 points)
2. Saba, Comfort Zone  (9 points)
3. Jean Deaux, Krash  (8 points)
4. Tink, Winter's Diary 2  (7 points)
5. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Album  (6 points)
6. Ravyn Lenae, Moon Shoes  (5 points)
7. Roy Kinsey, Blackie  (4 points)
8. KC Ortiz, Beach Street  (3 points)
9. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (2 points)
10. Dreezy, No Hard Feelings  (1 point)

Slow Mass, On Watch
  • Slow Mass, On Watch

Madeline Happold

Freelancer

1. Frail Body, A Brief Memoriam  (10 points)
2. Slow Mass, On Watch  (9 points)
3. No Men, Dear God, Bring the Doom  (8 points)
4. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (7 points)
5. Maps & Atlases, Beware & Be Grateful  (6 points)
6. Modern Vices, Modern Vices  (5 points)
7. Tasha, Alone at Last  (4 points)
8. Gia Margaret, There's Always Glimmer  (3 points)
9. Touched by Ghoul, Murder Circus  (2 points)
10. Payasa, Demo  (1 point)

Noname, Telefone
  • Noname, Telefone

Aviv Hart

Dxcegame

1. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (10 points)
2. Saba, Care for Me  (9 points)
3. Lucki, Alternative Trap  (8 point)
4. Hurt Everybody, 2K47  (7 points)
5. G Herbo, Ballin Like I'm Kobe  (6 points)
6. Crude Humor, Jeri's Grill  (5 points)
7. Noname, Telefone  (4 points)
8. Chief Keef, Back From the Dead 2  (3 points)
9. Joseph Chilliams, Henry Church  (2 points)
10. Ze'ev, Kismet  (1 point)

Matt Harvey

Reader and Chicago Tribune freelancer

1. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (10 points)
2. Saba, Care for Me  (9 points)
3. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (8 points)
4. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (7 points)
5. Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth  (6 points)
6. Noname, Telefone  (5 points)
7. Pivot Gang, You Can't Sit With Us  (4 points)
8. G Herbo, Welcome to Fazoland  (3 points)
9. Young Pappy, 2 Cups: Part 2 of Everything  (2 points)
10. Christian JaLon, Vinyled Love  (1 point)

Alejandro Hernandez

These Days News

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (10 points)
2. Mick Jenkins, The Water[s]  (9 points)
3. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (8 points)
4. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (7 points)
5. G Herbo, Ballin Like I'm Kobe  (6 points)
6. Saba, Care for Me  (5 points)
7. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (4 points)
8. Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth  (3 points)
9. Lucki, Alternative Trap  (2 points)
10. Polo G, Die a Legend  (1 point)

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Jill Hopkins

Vocalo Radio

1. Serengeti, Kenny Dennis III  (10 points)
2. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (9 points)
3. Mykele Deville, Maintain  (8 points)
4. Vamos, Spiderbait  (7 points)
5. Smino, Blkswn  (6 points)
6. Mavis Staples, If All I Was Was Black  (5 points)
7. Noname, Room 25  (4 points)
8. Joey Purp, iiiDrops  (3 points)
9. Mick Jenkins, The Water[s]  (2 points)
10. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (1 point)

Amelia Hruby

CHIRP Radio

1. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (10 points)
2. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (9 points)
3. Half Gringa, Grunona  (8 points)
4. Ravyn Lenae, Midnight Moonlight  (7 points)
5. Angela James, Way Down Deep  (6 points)
6. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (5 points)
7. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (4 points)
8. Negative Scanner, Negative Scanner  (3 points)
9. Impulsive Hearts, Sorry in the Summer  (2 points)
10. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (1 point)

Noah Jones

The Sick Muse

1. Ono, Spooks  (10 points)
1. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (10 points)
2. Toupee, Leg Toucher  (9 points)
3. Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle  (8 points)
4. Cordoba, Break the Locks Off Everything New  (7 points)
5. Charles Joseph Smith, War of the Martian Ghosts  (6 points)
6. Free Snacks, Fast Food  (5 points)
7. Mykele Deville, Peace Fam  (4 points)
8. Nonzoo, Wazoo  (3 points)
9. Sun Speak, Sun Speak With Sara Serpa  (2 points)

Daniel Kisslinger

AirGo Radio podcast

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (10 points)
2. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (9 points)
3. Saba, Care for Me  (8 points)
4. Noname, Telefone  (7 points)
5. Mick Jenkins, The Water[s]  (6 points)
6. Kids These Days, Traphouse Rock  (5 points)
7. Noname, Room 25  (4 points)
8. Donnie Trumpet [now Nico Segal] & the Social Experiment, Surf  (3 points)
9. Kanye West, Yeezus  (2 points)
10. G Herbo, Ballin Like I'm Kobe  (1 point)

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TJ Kliebhan

Freelancer

1. Saba, Care for Me  (10 points)
2. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (9 points)
3. Noname, Telefone  (8 points)
4. Coping, Nope  (7 points)
5. Oozing Wound, Earth Suck  (6 points)
6. The Atlas Moth, An Ache for the Distance  (5 points)
7. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (4 points)
8. Yeesh, Confirmation Bias  (3 points)
9. Joey Purp, iiiDrops  (2 points)
10. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (1 point)

Jim Kopeny

Freelancer

1. Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues  (10 points)
2. OK Go, Hungry Ghosts  (9 points)
3. The Kickback, Sorry All Over the Place  (8 points)
4. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (7 points)
5. Tom Schraeder & His Ego, Gush  (6 points)
6. Local H, Hallelujah! I'm a Bum  (5 points)
7. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (4 points)
8. Veruca Salt, Ghost Notes  (3 points)
9. Pink Frost, Sundowning  (2 points)
10. Sonny Falls, Some Kind of Spectre  (1 point)

Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
  • Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Steve Krakow

Reader contributor and freelancer

1. Mako Sica, Essence  (10 points)
2. Angel Olsen, Half Way Home  (9 points)
3. Vee Dee, Vee Dee  (8 points)
4. Great Society Mind Destroyers, Spirit Smoke  (7 points)
5. Ryley Walker, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung  (6 points)
6. Velcro Lewis Group, Amnesia Haze  (5 points)
7. Kevin Drumm, Humid Weather  (4 points)
8. Ono, Albino  (3 points)
9. Dark Fog, Make You Believe  (2 points)
10. Panicsville, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse  (1 point)

Kyle Land

Chicago Crowd Surfer

1. Noname, Room 25  (10 points)
2. Makaya McCraven, Universal Beings  (9 points)
3. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (8 points)
4. Lala Lala, The Lamb  (7 points)
5. Russian Circles, Memorial  (6 points)
6. Dehd, Water  (5 points)
7. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (4 points)
8. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (3 points)
9. Saba, Care for Me  (2 points)
10. Smith Westerns, Dye It Blonde  (1 point)

S. Nicole Lane

Reader editorial associate

1. La Armada, La Armada  (10 points)
2. Teklife, On Life  (9 points)
3. Negative Scanner, Nose Picker  (8 points)
4. Cupcakke, Queen Elizabitch  (7 points)
5. Ron Trent, Raw Footage  (6 points)
6. DJ Paypal, Buy Now  (5 points)
7. Sam Trump, Purple Skies  (4 points)
8. Daymaker, Amen/Evening  (3 points)
9. Ministry, Relapse  (2 points)
10. Mister Wallace, Faggot EP  (1 point)

Robert Loerzel

Freelancer

1. Robbie Fulks, Gone Away Backward  (10 points)
2. Negative Scanner, Negative Scanner  (9 points)
3. Tim Kinsella, Marvin Tate, Leroy Bach, and Angel Olsen, Tim Kinsella Sings the Songs of Marvin Tate by Leroy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen  (8 points)
4. Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Simultonality  (7 points)
5. The Flat Five, It's a World of Love and Hope  (6 points)
6. Mavis Staples, One True Vine  (5 points)
7. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (4 points)
8. Eleventh Dream Day, Works for Tomorrow  (3 points)
9. Dolly Varden, For a While  (2 points)
10. Treasure Fleet, Cocamotion  (1 point)

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Tara C. Mahadevan

Freelancer

1. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (10 points)
2. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (9 points)
3. Saba, Comfort Zone  (8 points)
4. Saba, Care for Me  (7 points)
5. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (6 points)
6. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (5 points)
7. Juice Wrld, Death Race for Love  (4 points)
8. DJ Taye, Still Trippin'  (3 points)
9. Kaina, Next to the Sun  (2 points)
10. Green Sllime and Qari, Operation Hennessy  (1 point)

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Patrick Masterson

CHIRP Radio, Dusted Magazine

1. Various artists, Bangs & Works Vol. 1  (10 points)
2. Chief Keef, Almighty So  (9 points)
3. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (8 points)
4. Disappears, Live at Echo Canyon  (7 points)
5. Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire for No Witness  (6 points)
6. Traxman, Da Mind of Traxman  (5 points)
7. Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Intergalactic Beings  (4 points)
8. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Album  (3 points)
9. Various artists, Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua de Chicago  (2 points)
10. Judson Claiborne, Time and Temperature  (1 point)

Timothy Michalik

Freelancer

1. Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains  (10 points)
2. Ben LaMar Gay, Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun  (9 points)
3. Lala Lala, The Lamb  (8 points)
4. The Ovens, Settings  (7 points)
5. Noname, Telefone  (6 points)
6. Tenci, My Heart Is an Open Field  (5 points)
7. Bongripper, Miserable  (4 points)
8. Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker, SpiderBeetleBee  (3 points)
9. Jeff Tweedy, Warm  (2 points)
10. Makaya McCraven, Universal Beings  (1 point)

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Philip Montoro

Reader music editor

1. Third Coast Percussion, Paddle to the Sea  (10 points)
2. Cheer-Accident, No Ifs, Ands or Dogs  (9 points)
3. Greg Ward & 10 Tongues, Touch My Beloved's Thought  (8 points)
4. Dead Rider, The Raw Dents  (7 points)
5. Ono, Spooks  (6 points)
6. Jaimie Branch, Fly or Die  (5 points)
7. Vukari, Aevum  (4 points)
8. Ohmme, Parts  (3 points)
9. Arriver, Tsushima  (2 points)
10. Rempis Percussion Quartet, Cochonnerie  (1 point)

Scott Morrow

Freelancer

1. Russian Circles, Memorial  (10 points)
2. American Football, American Football (LP3)  (9 points)
3. Tortoise, The Catastrophist  (8 points)
4. Gramps the Vamp, The Cave of 10,000 Eyes  (7 points)
5. Monobody, Raytracing  (6 points)
6. Dead Rider, The Raw Dents  (5 points)
7. Brokeback, Brokeback and the Black Rock  (4 points)
8. Serengeti, Kenny Dennis EP  (3 points)
9. Noname, Room 25  (2 points)
10. Wild Belle, Everybody One of a Kind  (1 point)

TALsounds, Love Sick
  • TALsounds, Love Sick

J.R. Nelson

Reader contributor and freelancer

Coneheads, L​.​P​.​1. aka 14 Year Old High School PC​-​Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $​$​$ From Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L​.​P​.​  (5.5 points)
DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (5.5 points)
Circuit des Yeux, Reaching for Indigo  (5.5 points)
TALsounds, Love Sick  (5.5 points)
Nicholas Szczepanik, Please Stop Loving Me  (5.5 points)
Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (5.5 points)
Angel Olsen, Half Way Home  (5.5 points)
Jeremih, Late Nights: The Mixtape  (5.5 points)
Tree, Sunday School  (5.5 points)
Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (5.5 points)

Miranda Reinert

Wendy House Press

1. Into It. Over It., Intersections  (10 points)
2. CSTVT, The Echo & the Light  (9 points)
3. Advance Base, Nephew in the Wild  (8 points)
4. Ratboys, GN  (7 points)
5. Joie de Vivre, The North End  (6 points)
6. Varsity, Parallel Person  (5 points)
7. Kittyhawk, Hello, Again  (4 points)
8. Tasha, Alone at Last  (3 points)
9. Sen Morimoto, Cannonball!  (2 points)
10. Dowsing, It's Still Pretty Terrible  (1 point)

Hugo Reyes

Freelancer

1. Two Houses, I Feel So Good I Can't Feel Myself  (10 points)
2. Yeesh, Confirmation Bias  (9 points)
3. C.H.E.W., Feeding Frenzy  (8 points)
4. Meat Wave, The Incessant  (7 points)
5. Ratboys, GN  (6 points)
6. Dowsing, It's Still Pretty Terrible  (5 points)
7. CSTVT, The Echo & the Light  (4 points)
8. Canadian Rifle, Peaceful Death  (3 points)
9. Slow Mass, On Watch  (2 points)
10. Sincere Engineer, Rhombithian  (1 point)

Mauricio Reyes

Fox 32 Chicago

1. Saba, Care for Me  (10 points)
2. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  (9 points)
3. Noname, Telefone  (8 points)
4. Smino, Blkswn  (7 points)
5. Pixel Grip, Heavy Handed  (6 points)
6. BBU, bell hooks  (5 points)
7. Drama, Gallows  (4 points)
8. Disappears, Guider  (3 points)
9. Whitney, Light Upon the Lake  (2 points)
10. Kweku Collins, Nat Love  (1 point)

double_cup.jpg

Jack Riedy

Freelancer

1. DJ Rashad, Double Cup  (10 points)
2. Noname, Telefone  (9 points)
3. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (8 points)
4. Saba, Care for Me  (7 points)
5. Jeremih, Late Nights: The Album  (6 points)
6. Kanye West, Yeezus  (5 points)
7. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap  (4 points)
8. Chief Keef, Finally Rich  (3 points)
9. DJ Taye, Still Trippin’  (2 points)
10. ZMoney and Chase the Money, ZTM  (1 point)

Nikki Roberts

Freelancer

1. Weekend Nachos, Worthless  (10 points)
2. Bongripper, Satan Worshipping Doom  (9 points)
3. Burdened, Crippled By Fear  (8 points)
4. No Men, Dear God, Bring the Doom  (7 points)
5. Beach Bunny, Prom Queen  (6 points)
6. The Kreutzer Sonata, The Gutters of Paradise  (5 points)
6. La Armada, Anti-Colonial Vol. 1  (5 points)
7. Time & Pressure, The Gateway City Sound  (4 points) [Saint Louis band, recorded in Chicago]
8. Sincere Engineer, Rhombithian  (3 points)
9. Hitter, 2018 Demo  (2 points)

arriver.jpg

Jon Rosenthal

Invisible Oranges

1. Erraunt, The Portent  (10 points) [recorded in Chicago]
2. Anatomy of Habit, Anatomy of Habit  (9 points)
3. Arriver, Tsushima  (8 points)
4. Varaha, A Passage for Lost Years  (7 points)
5. The Atlas Moth, An Ache for the Distance  (6 points)
6. Disrotted, Disrotted  (5 points)
7. Panegyrist, Hierurgy  (4 points)
8. Monvment, Geminae  (3 points) [recorded in Chicago]
9. Surachai, Embraced  (2 points)
10. Angel Eyes, Midwestern  (1 point)

Ohmme, Parts
  • Ohmme, Parts

Jessi Roti

Freelancer, formerly Chicago Tribune

1. Ohmme, Parts  (10 points)
2. Cupcakke, Eden  (9 points)
3. Angel Olsen, Half Way Home  (8 points)
4. Smith Westerns, Dye It Blonde  (7 points)
5. Chief Keef, Back From the Dead 2  (6 points)
6. Negative Scanner, Negative Scanner  (5 points)
7. Ne-Hi, Offers  (4 points)
8. Vic Spencer and Chris Crack, Who the Fuck Is Chris Spencer??  (3 points)
9. Beat Drun Juel, Suppressor  (2 points)
10. Twin Peaks, Sunken EP  (1 point)

Shannon Nico Shreibak

Bandcamp Daily contributor

1. Disappears, Lux  (10 points)
2. Dehd, Water  (9 points)
3. Mannequin Men, Mannequin Men  (8 points)
4. Bobby Conn, Rise Up!  (7 points) [2010 reissue of a 1998 album]
5. The Hecks, My Star  (6 points)
6. Meat Wave, The Incessant  (5 points)
7. Califone, Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People  (4 points)
8. Beau Wanzer, Untitled  (2014) (3 points)
9. Bloodiest, Descent  (2 points)
10. Cross Record, Be Good  (1 point)

Sasha Tycko

The Sick Muse

1. Ono, Spooks  (10 points)
2. Toupee, Dinner Parties  (9 points)
3. Haki, Positive  (8 points)
4. Hogg, Solar Phallic Lion  (7 points)
5. Angel Bat Dawid, The Oracle  (6 points)
6. The Funs, My Survival  (5 points)
7. Charles Joseph Smith, War of the Martian Ghosts  (4 points)
8. Blacker Face, Distinctive Juju  (3 points)
9. Fee Lion, Blood Sisters  (2 points)
10. Ric Wilson, Soul Bounce  (1 point)

Kevin Warwick

Freelancer, former Reader staffer

1. Melkbelly, Pennsylvania  (10 points)
1. Cave, Neverendless  (10 points)
2. Disappears, Era  (9 points)
3. Dead Rider, Chills on Glass  (8 points)
4. Raw Nerve, Raw Nerve  (7 points)
5. Oozing Wound, Retrash  (6 points)
6. Makaya McCraven, In the Moment  (5 points)
7. Cross Record, Be Good  (4 points)
8. Harm's Way, Posthuman  (3 points)
9. Olivia Block, Dissolution  (2 points)

toupee.jpg

Anna White

Freelancer

1. Lala Lala, The Lamb  (10 points)
2. Angel Olsen, Half Way Home  (9 points)
3. Toupee, Leg Toucher  (8 points)
3. Miranda Winters, Xobeci, What Grows Here?  (8 points)
4. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (7 points)
5. Date Stuff, Date Stuff  (6 points)
6. Dehd, Water  (5 points)
7. Meat Wave, The Incessant  (4 points)
8. Retirement Party, Strictly Speaking  (3 points)
9. Ne-Hi, Offers  (2 points)

Lisa White

Freelancer, former Chicagoist editor

1. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (10 points)
2. Cupcakke, Ephorize  (9 points)
3. Vic Mensa, There's Alot Going On  (8 points)
4. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book  (7 points)
5. Saba, Care for Me  (6 points)
6. Ganser, Odd Talk  (5 points)
7. Donnie Trumpet [now Nico Segal] & the Social Experiment, Surf  (4 points)
8. Noname, Telefone  (3 points)
9. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (2 points)
10. Freddie Gibbs, Freddie  (1 point)

Rivka Yeker

Hooligan Magazine

1. Kaina, Next to the Sun  (10 points)
1. Tasha, Alone at Last  (10 points)
2. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!  (9 points)
3. Russian Circles, Guidance  (8 points)
4. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Drool  (7 points)
5. Free Snacks, Eat Good Tape  (6 points)
6. Ze'ev, GTP  (5 points)
7. Russian Circles, Blood Year  (4 points)
8. Jamila Woods, Heavn  (3 points)
9. Not for You, Drown  (2 points)

Rachel Zyzda

Anchr Magazine

1. Twin Peaks, Wild Onion  (10 points)
2. Lala Lala, The Lamb  (9 points)
3. Post Animal, When I Think of You in a Castle  (8 points)
4. Ohmme, Parts  (7 points)
5. The Evening Attraction, The End, Again  (6 points)
6. Engine Summer, Trophy Kids  (5 points)
7. Tasha, Alone at Last  (4 points)
8. Dehd, Water  (3 points)
9. Deeper, Deeper  (2 points)
10. Divino Niño, Foam  (1 point)  v

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