This month I’m featuring my top 20 albums of the past decade, to celebrate 10 years of This Must Be Pop! Click here to see all the Decade of Pop posts so far.

I credit Lady Gaga with leading the great pop revival of the past five years. She reminded the world of how exciting and innovative pop music can be, and although at times it got a bit pretentious, she still remembered the most important factor: the tunes. Without the teapots and meat dresses, The Fame Monster would have still been a very solid pop album, and I hope that when people look back on this era in the future the context won’t overshadow the brilliance of Lady Gaga’s music.

For me, The Fame Monster was more about RedOne than Lady Gaga. The Moroccan producer, who moved to Sweden to be near his idols such as Max Martin and ABBA, is more than capable of creating pop-by-numbers massive chart hits, but Gaga seems to bring another level of talent out of him. Bad Romance is the ultimate example, the perfect combination of pure pop joy and attention-grabbing eccentricity. Alejandro also has a special place in my heart, as I loved its summery Europop sound, as if Ace of Base has collaborated with Madonna. As much as I’m a fan of Swedish artists, I feel that music like this needs a confidently flamboyant yet commercially-minded international star like Lady Gaga to fulfil its true potential.

Listen: Spotify / Buy: iTunes