New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Paste magazine has made a list of The 40 Best Folk Albums of the 2010s, and among them are four albums familiar to readers of the Top40-Charts.com: Punch Brothers' The Phosphorescent Blues, Rhiannon Giddens' there is no Other, the Inside Llewyn Davis film soundtrack, and Fleet Foxes' Crack-Up.
On Punch Brothers' 2015 Nonesuch album, The Phosphorescent Blues, the band joins forces with producer T Bone Burnett for an examination of modern life. "Like every Punch Brothers album, The Phosphorescent Blues is defined by technical chops," writes Paste's Ryan Reed. "But its lyrical focus offers a vibrant edge over its predecessors. Thile's words are both deeply sad and quietly hopeful, meditating on the way pieces of vibrating plastic drive us both together and apart."
Rhiannon Giddens latest album, there is no Other, made with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and released earlier this year on Nonesuch, is on the list at No. 29. The Grammy-nominated album, produced by Joe Henry, is at once a condemnation of "othering" and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience. "The album is grounds for a smaller world, a beautiful narrative convincing us of our similarities, not our differences," writes Ellen
Johnson. "The stories in these songs can act as hymns, folktales or dispatches from some lost time or place, but it's really in the instrumentation where the album's deepest messages—a condemnation of "othering," the social practice of ostracizing those considered outsiders, and a campaign for the similitude of human experiences—come to light."
Joel and Ethan Coen's 2013 film Inside Llewyn Davis starred Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. Its soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, with Marcus Mumford as its associate producer, features twelve new recordings created especially for the film and soundtrack, plus a never-before-released recording of Bob Dylan
performing his song "Farewell." "While Isaac's interpretations of folk ballads like 'Hang Me, Oh Hang Me' and 'Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)' stand well on their own," writes Hilary Saunders, "this soundtrack's most impressive feat might just be introducing audiences to the music and story of Dave Van Ronk—the film's not-so-subtle muse."
Crack-Up, Fleet Foxes' long-awaited and highly anticipated third album, arrived six years after the release of Helplessness Blues (which comes in at No. 2 on the Paste list) and nearly a decade since the band's self-titled debut. "Crack-Up is at once sumptuous and ambitious, a serpentine journey from the center of harmony-drenched folk-pop out to the edge of [Robin] Pecknold's brain and back," writes Ben Salmon of the 2017 album at No. 18 on the list. "It is lovely, strange and generous, and ultimately a very welcome return for the Seattle band."
Among the other familiar names on Paste's list of The 40 Best Folk Albums of the 2010s are Mountain Man, for its 2010 album, Made the Harbor, and Iron & Wine, for its 2011 album, Kiss Each Other Clean. You can read the complete list at pastemagazine.com.