Year-End Critics' Polls '08

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Me and Ruth Lorenzo, Rollin' in the Benzo (Noodle Vague), Monday, 24 November 2008 16:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

go torche!

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 24 November 2008 16:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

I still haven't listened to Fleet Foxes or the new TV on the Radio tho, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I might like them.

― With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Monday, November 24, 2008 10:40 AM (1 hour ago)

TVOTR = v. good
FF = exalted background music

k3vin k., Monday, 24 November 2008 16:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, FF definitely SOUND good, but there's not a lot of substance there.

i'm whine btw (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

The Blender list is like a list of albums.

i'm whine btw (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

Still no Cut Copy, no Wolf Parade, no Blitzen Trapper, no Jay Reatard.. we have 1 mention of No Age, and 1 mention of The Sword..

These lists can suck a D.

billstevejim, Monday, 24 November 2008 17:17 (5 years ago) Permalink

Man, people really do get worked up over lists that were compiled back before the year was even three-quarters finished. I've already turned in a couple lists for polls that were two months early, roughly speaking, and am putting some together before the year is up as well; the way "the year in" has dialed back further and further makes me uneasy. I kind of read them with a grain of salt that way.

Matos W.K., Monday, 24 November 2008 17:26 (5 years ago) Permalink

there is no excuse for putting that astonishingly bad My Morning Jacket anywhere near a top albums list, even if it's "top albums that came out that week"

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:27 (5 years ago) Permalink

Hey, I've complained about the She & Him win elsewhere! I'm not making fun at all. I just find it kind of oddly encouraging that people actually care about this stuff.

Matos W.K., Monday, 24 November 2008 17:29 (5 years ago) Permalink

(I'm almost certain I've said that before on a previous year-end poll thread, but I've been up all night and am spacey. Onward.)

Matos W.K., Monday, 24 November 2008 17:35 (5 years ago) Permalink

I don't really understand why people ever get outraged about their favorite albums not showing up on a particular year-end list (a need to confirm one's subjective opinion, maybe?), but especially when there are zillions of lists these days: no publication really has the authority anymore to single-handedly canonize albums, so why sweat it?

xpost haha (jaymc), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

be happy you have better taste than these schlubs!

aaaaa (jergins), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

I really like that Cut Copy disc, and I'm glad to see it not turning up on these lists...

henry s, Monday, 24 November 2008 17:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

you're right, but I like to see my favorite artists do well, so that's one reason. when p4k (for an obv example) puts you in their top ten, sales and concert tickets are gonna swell, no?

xp jay

k3vin k., Monday, 24 November 2008 17:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

xxp:

I am happy! it's just weird I guess -- I haven't really listened to that much new music this year, but most of the stuff from these lists that I've heard is so dull that I wouldn't have even remembered it came out this year.

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Monday, 24 November 2008 17:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

when p4k (for an obv example) puts you in their top ten, sales and concert tickets are gonna swell, no?

Yeah, I guess I've never really understood why people are invested in their favorite bands getting popular, either. As long as they're doing well enough to keep putting out albums and touring on a semi-regular basis, I don't care how many units they shift.

xpost haha (jaymc), Monday, 24 November 2008 18:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

anyone else shocked to see this on the mojo list?...

37 - Gavin Bryars & Philip Jeck & Alter Ego - The Sinking of the Titanic [2007]

was considering this for my list, but who turned those guys on to something like this???

psychgawsple, Monday, 24 November 2008 18:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

no Blitzen Trapper

they're #1 on my list of bands who, from reading reviews, i think will be awesome, but are completely disappointing to listen to.

Moreno, Monday, 24 November 2008 18:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think it's entirely depressing that anyone would pick a fifth-wave freak folk act as their #1 album of the year. surely something original happened in 2008?

psychgawsple, Monday, 24 November 2008 18:42 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think it's entirely depressing that anyone would keep count of how many waves of freak folk there have been now

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 24 November 2008 18:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

whats the Don Cavalli album like?

Michael B, Monday, 24 November 2008 18:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

yes yes, i clearly have a tally on my wall. apparently it's the most relevant form of music in 2008 though, so...

psychgawsple, Monday, 24 November 2008 19:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

8 - The Week That Was - The Week That Was

glad this is getting props somewhere, i'm really into it at the moment

ciderpress, Monday, 24 November 2008 20:27 (5 years ago) Permalink

Do you mean Fleet Foxes psychgawsple?

I don't think they really sound like a freak folk group or even the descendants of freak folk (though they probably listened to the last Grizzly Bear album). Which is not to say they're doing anything new.

I like the album, but I'd be depressed if was number one on my list. Having said that, I think it's far more likely that it'll do well this year not because some people think it's the best thing of the year, but because heaps and heaps of people are ranking it about ten.

I kinda ruined my singles poll list for Pitchfork (in terms of expecting to have any effect on the outcome) by stuffing it with UK funky house tunes.

Tim F, Monday, 24 November 2008 20:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

indeed, it is not very 'freaky', but it is folksy psych-pop in that lineage (imo). and it seems to have a weird appeal to the more dance-music oriented set, which i simply don't understand (it looks like this'll be the #1 album over at djhistory!?!?!). it's easy to like but there's nothing exciting going on by any means.

and god bless you sir for bringing more funky UK house to the Pitchfork list

psychgawsple, Monday, 24 November 2008 20:59 (5 years ago) Permalink

I doubt any will make it into the final list though! This is the problem with these sorts of consensus lists, and exactly why something like Fleet Foxes tends to get overrated. In fact I think I'd say what Fleet Foxes have going for them is that they are a point where people with bad taste and people with good taste converge.

Tim F, Monday, 24 November 2008 21:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah but you guys do show individual lists too, right?

that's where you find the real gold

psychgawsple, Monday, 24 November 2008 21:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

The inclusion of Staind, Trivium, and Slipknot all make me cringe, but still, Metal Edge's EOY list is better than Decibel's, I think.

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 03:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

Without my vote I'm pretty sure Belphegor's Bondage Goat Zombie wouldn't have even made the Metal Edge top 50!!! (Also, my #1 vote for Equilibrium must have helped its placing.)

Dimension 5ive, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 04:19 (5 years ago) Permalink

Tremendous variety in that Metal Edge list. I didn't vote for Equilibrium, but I sure as hell admire it. That album is nuts.

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 04:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

21 Erykah Badu - New Amerykah: Pt. One (4th World War)
19 Katy Perry - One Of The Boys

Trik Turner Fan Club President (Tape Store), Tuesday, 25 November 2008 04:44 (5 years ago) Permalink

the motherfuckers

Mikaael Jackson (The Reverend), Tuesday, 25 November 2008 04:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

yall didnt know matt armstrong was the editor of blender?

racist (J0rdan S.), Tuesday, 25 November 2008 04:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

was considering this for my list, but who turned (MOJO) on to something like this???

For all the Boomer Rock worship and Beatles covers the MOJO writers have actually been right there in terms of championing great bands early on.

Cunga, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 05:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

"One Of The Boys" is an abortion

billstevejim, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 05:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

No Gym Class Heroes, no dice

Dimension 5ive, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 05:39 (5 years ago) Permalink

yes but MOJO have never really been into experimental electronic or minimal composition in the past have they?

the bryars/jeck/alter ego project is not a band, it's actually jeck and alter ego re-working the classic bryars piece into something almost akin to 'the disintegration loops'

psychgawsple, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 05:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

this is starting to be like in high school when jocks would ask, "Wait, you like rap? I thought you were into alternative."

Matos W.K., Tuesday, 25 November 2008 06:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

it's just that that album, and maybe Peter Broderick as well, are far more experimental/esoteric than the rest of that list. no need to call names matos, just wondering if this type of dabbling was something MOJO did more often

the previous lists had a predictable aesthetic (at least with Paste and Blender), i thought this was part of why writers contributed different lists to different magazines?

psychgawsple, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 06:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

I have to recuse myself from commenting on the metal lists, but otherwise, Blender's is by far the best of these so far.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 06:58 (5 years ago) Permalink

yes but MOJO have never really been into experimental electronic or minimal composition in the past have they?

I don't know what the staff's iPod's look like but they seem to have an in-house expert on everything. (And if they don't have one for something they usually know where to find a good one)

Their canonizations and monthly covers can obscure that finer point though.

Cunga, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 07:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

It's probably a bit like Pitchfork's 2000 list where Gas' Pop stood out like a sore thumb amidst all the indie-rock (obv. Pitchfork's end of year lists are a bit different now). I queried this at the time and Mark Richardson (who obv likes a lot of electronic music) explained that he'd loved that album and converted several other writers. Pitchfork weren't trying to say this was the only good electronic album of that year, it's just that several writers happened to vote for it. I'm sure that Mojo has its equivalent or equivalents to Mark.

Which is totally fair enough. But it still points to the problem with tabulated lists generally: one reads meaning where in fact there is only statistical randomness.

Having said this, the "nine similar things plus one different thing" approach to individual end-of-year listmaking is always (to my mind) a sign that one should not take said list too seriously. The presence of the one different thing can only be seen as perplexing, ultimately meaningless - remember all those indie rock + Outkast album lists of 2003.

Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 07:35 (5 years ago) Permalink

ultimately meaningless

No, not at all. All those indie rockers came to the album for that one song. I think it was "Ghetto Musick."

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 07:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

i mean, "hey ya" was no pushover either

k3vin k., Tuesday, 25 November 2008 07:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

I queried this at the time and Mark Richardson (who obv likes a lot of electronic music) explained that he'd loved that album and converted several other writers.

I think the exact same thing happened the next year with Fennesz's "Endless Summer" at #2!

I agree with Tim for the most part, but statistical randomness in poll results is somewhat dependent on the point tallying system for the poll (yeah, I harp on this every year) ... so for example, one person might convert a bunch of colleagues to something completely new (to them), but chances are they'll toss that album in at #8 or #9 on their list, not #1 or #2, so if pollmakers choose an unweighted (50, 49, 48, ... 3, 2, 1) point scheme or even a mildly weighted scheme, then they're opening themselves up to having a poll that's inexplicably dominated by a bunch of #9 throw-in votes.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 09:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

The statistical-randomness bit is much closer to what I was referring to w/my high-school crack: it would be more unusual to not see those kinds of deviations on long lists like these ones.

Matos W.K., Tuesday, 25 November 2008 11:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

OTOH the very fact that a single record stands out as a "deviation" on a list tends to suggest that the reigning ideology at that publication is a little too well entrenched.

(metal mags tend to be more honest about this - no non-metal whatsoever)

Tim F, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 11:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

Surely Lil Wayne will be the main beneficiary of the 9th/10th votes this year. People who like hip hop but don't listen to it all the time tend to feel odd about not including at least one example in their top 10, even in a weak year, but what they intend to say - "I like hip hop even though I haven't heard much good stuff this year" - reads more as "I don't really like hip hop but feel obliged to include one album in order to seem eclectic", ie a sincere motive (at least in some cases) reads as a bogus one. Hence an album which even most Lil Wayne fans admit is patchy ends up, once the votes are tallied, looking like a masterpiece for want of any serious competition. Like Tim says, the same thing happened with OutKast in 2003, although I unfashionably still think that was genuinely deserving.

Anyway, the lists so far prove that my theory about Portishead placing highly in P&J obviously derives from hanging out with an unrepresentative number of Portishead fans.

Dorianlynskey, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 12:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

Q Magazine

1 Kings of Leon - Because of The Times
2 Fleet Foxes - s/t
3 Coldplay - Viva La Vida...
4 Vampire Weekend - s/t
5 Glasvegas - s/t
6 Duffy - Rockferry
7 TV On The Radio - Dear, Science
8 Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
9 The Racontuers - Consoluers of The Lonely
10 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
11. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
12 Keane - Perfect Symmetry
13 MGMT - Orcular Spectacular
14 Kaiser Chiefs - Off With Their Heads
15 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
16 Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
17 Adele - 19
18 British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
19 Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
20 The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
21 Razorlight - Slipaway Fires
22 The Killers - Day and Age
23 Beck - Modern Guilt
24 The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of The Understatement
25 Metallica - Death Magnetic
26 Conor Oberst - s/t
27 Neil Diamond - Before Home
28 Paul Weller - 22 Dreams
29 AC/DC - Black Ice
30 Portishead - Third
31 Black Mountain - In The Future
32 Oasis - Dig Out Your Souk
33 Hercules & Love Affair - s/t
34 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
35 The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
36 R.E.M. - Accelerate
37 Lykke Li - Youth Novels
38 John Mellencamp - LifeDeathLoveAndFreeedom
39 Santogold - s/t
40 My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
41 Lindsey Buckingham - Gift of Screws
42 Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning
43 Joan As Police Women - To Survive
44 Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
45 Jack Johnson - Sleep Through Stattic
46 Jenny Lewis - Acid Tounge
47 The Verve - Forth
48 Randy Newman - Harps and Angels
49 Emmylou Harris - All I Indented To Be
50 Dido - Safe Trip Home

Mitchell Stirling, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 12:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

How can all these mags release their best-of-2008 lists now, when there's still more than a month left of 2008?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 12:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

he had a track on it :-/

twitty milk (deej), Sunday, 1 February 2009 10:24 (5 years ago) Permalink

with a few glaring exceptions, I was surprisingly happy with the results of this year's WXYC DJ poll:

The Top 20 of 2008 (technically the Top 21 b/c the #20 slot was a tie):

1. Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (TYPE)
2. Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont (Kranky/4AD)
3. Tape - Luminarium (Häpna)
4. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguar)
5. Lil Wayne- tha carter 3 (Cash Money)
6. Robbie Basho - Bonn Ist Supreme (Bo'Weavil)
7. Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull (Southern Lord)
7. Fleet Foxes- fleet foxes (Sub Pop)
9. 70's Thai Orchestra - 70's Thai Orchestra (MISSISSIPPI/EXILED)
10. Lau Nau - Nukkuu (Locust)
11. v/a - 1970's algerian proto-rai underground (SUBLIME FREQUENCIES)
12. Alan Licht & Aki Onda - Everydays (FAMILY VINEYARD)
13. Gang Gang Dance- St. Dymphna (Social Registry)
14. Animal Collective - Water Curses EP (Domino/Paw Tracks)
14. Man Man - Rabbit Habits (ANTI-)
16. The Cool Kids - The Bake Sale EP (Chocolate Industries)
17. Girl talk - Feed the animals (Illegal Art)
18. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing (ATP Recordings)
18. The Hospitals - Hairdryer Peace (self-released)
20. Ponytail- ice cream social (We Are Free)
20. Burning Star Core - Challenger (Hospital/Plastic)

if you like it then you shoulda put a donk on it (bernard snowy), Saturday, 7 February 2009 15:27 (5 years ago) Permalink


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