Year-End Critics' Polls '08

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I always kind of liked Yancey Strickler's taxonomy of top 10 lists:

01 The Consensus Pick
The first choice sets the tone for the entire list. A critic can either go for the consensus top pick, which earn the trust of a reader, or could make a grand statement by choosing an unlikely number one. 95% of the time a critic will opt for the cultural product he likes that most other people like as well.

02 The Real Number One
I generally assume that the number two item on a Top Ten list is a writer's real number one, especially if it's something that's not especially familiar to the reader. It takes courage to put one's idiosyncratic tastes front and center; it's safer to tuck it in just a bit.

03 The One They Will No Longer Like Next Year
If any spot lends itself to listing something that a critic wants to like rather than actually likes, it's the third place. Maybe the critic likes the idea of the product more than the product itself. Maybe the critic thinks that the item gives him a certain amount of cultural capital to wield. In the movie world, this is known as The Foreign Film Slot.

04 The Disappointment
This is something that early on seemed like a potential number one, but that has not stood up well to repeated viewings/readings/listenings. Always avoid number four.

05 The Sentimental Favorite
Placed any higher and this would stick out as either pedestrian or foolhardy. Put here in the middle, it can instead be merely a curiosity. Number five is a good personality slot — you can tell a lot about a critic by what goes here.

06 Wish They Liked It More Than They Do
This is a retread of number four, only there were lower expectations going into it. There are good moments, but more than likely the critic is the only one who hears them.

07 The Popular Kid
The blockbuster/bestseller that the critic didn't completely dislike goes here, simply because it will give the reader a sense of comfort that will be needed through the final three.

08 The Token
Somewhere between number seven and number nine you'll get the token selection from a genre that a critic clearly has no business trafficking in. The token pick implies a much broader knowledge than actually exists. The token pick will almost always be laughed at by specialists in whatever genre, even if they too enjoy the product.

09 The Anonymous
It's here that the critic really shoves around his "heard it all" weight. Seemingly at random, a critic will pluck something from the abyss and declare it overlooked, then smugly sit back and admire his handiwork.

10 The Catch-All
Undoubtedly the preceding nine choices will omit some movement that the critic would be embarrassed to completely ignore, even if he did so during the previous year. To counteract that, the critic then arbitrarily chooses something that suggests that there could be 20 more items on the list that would be equally impressive and well-considered.

jaymc, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

from the land of dad-rock (it's ok, i'm a certified dad), and as a longtime eye-roller at fanboys making a case for whatever boring album paul westerberg releases in a given year, lemme just say that i think the album paul westerberg released this year (49:00) is actually his most fun thing since forever -- in a way that all the grandpaboy stuff i think was supposed to be but never really hit for me. yes i like the gimmick, but i also like listening to it.

tipsy mothra, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

(and i don't expect to see it on any of these polls, so i probably should have posted that on the other year-end thread, but whatever. i'm easily confused.)

tipsy mothra, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i really wanted to hear that Westerberg album but by the time I got around to getting it off Amazon it'd already been taken down.

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Go listen to it on Rhapsody like i did

uәʇɹɐƃu!әʍ ˙ƃ ʎәu!Ⴁʍ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

And shut it off after five songs like I did.

uәʇɹɐƃu!әʍ ˙ƃ ʎәu!Ⴁʍ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Then google pictures of Katy Perry until lunchtime like I did.

uәʇɹɐƃu!әʍ ˙ƃ ʎәu!Ⴁʍ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

well it's not great or anything. it just has a lot of nice tunes, and i like the shaggy wtf-ness of it all. i got several times my 49 cents' worth out of it.

tipsy mothra, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

done and done, at least on the last part (xpost)

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

you all find katy perry attractive?!

lex pretend, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's a guilty would blap, but a would blap nonetheless.

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 1 December 2008 18:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

she has goggly eyes and in every photo contorts her face into a try-hard pout like the most attention-seeking 8-year-old only child you've ever met.

lex pretend, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

i like the complete absence of Chinese Democracy on these lists.

abanana, Monday, 1 December 2008 18:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

katy perry is basically kendley from project runway.

Gukbe, Monday, 1 December 2008 19:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

also at the top of my guilty would blap list

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 1 December 2008 19:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

katy perry is the toyota to zooey deschanel's mercedes

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Monday, 1 December 2008 20:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

BUT KATY PERRY IS BI-CURIOUS SO YOU COULD PROBABLY GET HER IN A THREESOME RIGHT

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Monday, 1 December 2008 20:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

nah, Zooey's less hot and her music's even worse.

dumb pseud (some dude), Monday, 1 December 2008 20:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

I was going to make a "poor woman's Zooey Deschanel" comment, actually.

jaymc, Monday, 1 December 2008 20:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's encouraging to see a mention of Andrew Coltrane here!

also, new Prurient on Cold Spring is very very good. Might surpass And, Still Wanting. Cocaine Death is extremely good too...so good..man..but it's a compilation really

rizzx, Monday, 1 December 2008 20:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

both very boinkable xp

k3vin k., Monday, 1 December 2008 20:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

not so much about polls, but back on the avant- digression, i'm surprised not to see lucky dragons anywhere.

pshrbrn, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks for posting these everyone. The next ones to usually come are:

Clash Magazine
Drowned In Sound
Muzzle Of Bees
Gorilla Vs. Bear
Fact Magazine
NME

― Fastnbulbous, Sunday, November 30, 2008 4:49 PM (2 days ago)

GvB's list is up. can't tell if he's going for "20 best albums" or "20 best debut records by up-and-coming indie artists BONUS POINTS IF YR LOCAL."
predictably, it's terrible.

k3vin k., Tuesday, 2 December 2008 05:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

Any modern classical lists out there?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 10:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

both very boinkable xp

― k3vin k., Monday, December 1, 2008 8:36 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

dont say this fyi

BIG WORLD HOOS. WEBSTEEN. (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 11:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Keep it to the Katy Perry "blap or no blap" thread, guyz.

Peter "One Dart" Manley (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 11:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

i hope you're not suggesting we invite Kevin Keller to 77

dumb pseud (some dude), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 13:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Like the guy who's sockpuppeting as him isn't already a 77 regular?

Peter "One Dart" Manley (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 14:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

will plucky The Verve triumph in the Rocktimists poll?

GSOHSHIT (blueski), Tuesday, 2 December 2008 14:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

Talking about whether or not we want to have sex with Katy Perry is frankly much more interesting than talking about where the Black Kids are going to place in the Top 50 of some minor style magazine that nobody reads.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 14:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

i think ilxor is a better sock btw

deej, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 14:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

You talkin' to me?

ilxor, Wednesday, 3 December 2008 04:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Talking about whether or not we want to have sex with Katy Perry is frankly much more interesting than talking about where the Black Kids are going to place in the Top 50 of some minor style magazine that nobody reads.

I mainly use the lists to find music I may have overlooked. The good ones don't start coming for another week or two, so until then:

Favorite Albums You Haven't Seen In The Critics' Polls 08

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 3 December 2008 05:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Fact Magazine - Top 20
http://tinyurl.com/69ffhp

State Magazine - State’s 25 best albums of 2008
http://www.state.ie/blog/states-25-best-albums-of-2008/
Ireland's answer to Pitchfork magazine

djmartian, Wednesday, 3 December 2008 23:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Last.fm lists their db top 10 listened to artists, albums and songs from 2008:

http://www.last.fm/bestof/2008

Their top 10 songs feature is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Should have added a rule not to repeat song from same artists.(Just so you don't waste your time there's 6 coldplay songs, 3 MGMT and Kate Perry)

Moka, Thursday, 4 December 2008 06:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Seems like the Last.fm lists would favor albums and songs that were released early in the year, thus having had longer to rack up plays.

ilxor, Thursday, 4 December 2008 07:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

One unusual entry in Fact's list:

03. ZOMBY – WHERE WERE U IN 92? (WERK DISCS)

Anyone heard it?

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 4 December 2008 17:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard it but I noticed the eMusic bloggers were talking about it yesterday too.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Thursday, 4 December 2008 18:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Heard it. Needs less airhorn.

Enrique (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 4 December 2008 19:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

when do we usually do our polls around here?

deviants w. deliriants (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 4 December 2008 19:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

usually late at night, when there's noone else in the apartment.

Dumb Assantino (some dude), Thursday, 4 December 2008 19:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

It's nice to see Opeth placing so high on the metal lists, but I'm curious - do people really rate it higher than "Ghost Reveries" - because I don't remember that one doing as well on the year-end lists, even though to me, it's a much stronger album? Is it that the rest of the field is weaker this year, or is it maybe a case of atoning for overlooking a sleeper by overrating the follow-up?

o. nate, Thursday, 4 December 2008 19:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

musicOMH Top 50
http://www.musicomh.com/music/features/2008_best-albums-of-intro_1208.htm

Some interesting entries:
48 Thomas Tantrum (Sindy Stroker)
40 Blood Red Shoes - Box Of Secrets (V2)
31 Mystery Jets - Twenty One (sixsevennine)
23 Ladyhawke (Island)
18 Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (Roadrunner)
15 Johnny Flynn - A Larum (Vertigo)

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 4 December 2008 23:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

Elbow topped musicOMH's poll. It's easy to admire that album but hard to get excited about it enough to crack my top 20. And this album also mad an appearance in State's top 20. I'll have to check it out:

08 Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim (Virgin)

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 5 December 2008 18:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

http://www.afropop.org/multi/feature/ID/855/STOCKING%20STUFFERS:%20Afropop%20Worldwides%20Top%20Ten%20Releases%20for%202008

afropop.org (Banning Eyre & others)

Chiwoniso, "Rebel Woman" (Cumbancha) (Zimbabwe)
Aterciopelados “Rio” (Nacional) (Columbia)
Toumani Diabaté “The Mandé Variations” (Nonesuch) (Mali)
Seprewa Kasa “Seprewa Kasa” (Riverboat) (Ghana)
Seun Kuti “Seun Kuti & Egypt 80” (Disorient) (Nigeria)
Emmanuel Jal “WARchild” (Sonic360) (Sudan)
Orchestra Baobab “Made in Dakar” (Nonesuch) (Senegal)
Mayra Andrade “Navega” (Nacional/Sterns Arc Ltd) (Cape Verde)
Buena Vista Social Club "Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall(2 CD) [LIVE] " (Nonesuch) (Cuba)
Kasai Allstars "Congotronics 3" (Crammed Discs) (Congo

curmudgeon, Sunday, 7 December 2008 19:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

Theres a Congotronics 3? I must be on that right na na na

Animal Collector (The Reverend), Sunday, 7 December 2008 19:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Predictably terrible EoY list from OMM now in.

Why do I keep thinking of Stan Freberg's "Old Payola Roll Blues"?

Brother Belcher (Marcello Carlin), Monday, 8 December 2008 15:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Might as well plug the one I put together: http://idolator.com/5103876/80-08-and-heartbreak-announcing-idolators-year+end-extravaganza

Matos W.K., Monday, 8 December 2008 15:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

link does not work matos...can't access from idolators front page either :(

k3vin k., Monday, 8 December 2008 15:33 (eight years ago) Permalink


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