Year-End Critics' Polls '08

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or maybe not.

dow, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 18:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, you can certainly never accuse Chuck of going along with the crowd.

Agent ov Fortune (J3ff T.), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 18:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not that I've heard a note of it, so shall now shut up.

dow, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 18:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

Pete Margasak of the Chicago Reader has been counting down his 40 faves ten or so at a time. He's into jazz, Brazilian, whirled, and rock

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 20:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Elbow's Mercury Prize-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid is UK music critics' album of the year, a survey says.

The "poll of polls", conducted by retail chain HMV, took into account votes from media critics as well as the firm's staff and online customers.

The Seldom Seen Kid was nominated by 18 out of the 35 outlets polled, with Portishead's Third coming second on 17.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Dig, Lazarus, Dig came third, followed by Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend.

Their self-titled debuts came fourth and fifth respectively.

TV on the Radio and MGMT also featured in the top 10, as did Bon Iver, Glasvegas and Hot Chip.

The year's biggest-selling album, Duffy's Rockferry, came 28th in the list.

Last year's album of the year was LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver.

"The poll reflects an excellent, eclectic year in music," HMV rock and pop buyer Damian Evans said.

"Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Bon Iver have really made their mark with wonderful debut albums, underlining how vibrant the music scene is right now.

"Established artists such as Portishead and Nick Cave have also returned to great acclaim, although I suspect few people would dispute that Elbow have given us the album of the year."

1) The Seldom Seen Kid - Elbow
2) Third - Portishead
3) Dig, Lazarus, Dig - Nick Cave
4) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
5) Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
6) TV On The Radio - Dear Science
7) MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
8) Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago
9) Glasvegas - Glasvegas
10) Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
Source: HMV

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 21:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

Elbow's Mercury Prize-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid is UK music critics' album of the year, a survey says.

The "poll of polls", conducted by retail chain HMV, took into account votes from media critics as well as the firm's staff and online customers.

Everyone is a critic these days...

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 21:39 (eight years ago) Permalink


Meanwhile here's Margasak's top 10--

I left in his comments below for groups/artists I knew less about and cut out the ones for folks I know!

10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig! (Anti-/Mute)

9. Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, The Bairns (Real World)
I doubt this British folk outfit would've landed so high on my list if they hadn't completely wowed me during the World Music Festival. Rachel Unthank and her small but resourceful band use gorgeous vocal harmonies, clever arrangements, and a subtle pop sensibility to bring new life to tunes that have survived centuries--and the easy charm and wit of their live set made their striking inventiveness seem totally nonchalant.

8. Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12)
Probably the most original jazz guitarist to emerge this decade, Mary Halvorson has already distinguished herself in projects with Anthony Braxton, in a folksy, genre-bending duo with violist Jessica Pavone, as a member of Taylor Ho Bynum's sextet, and in the art-rock duo People, among many other contexts--but on Dragon's Head, with bassist John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith, she distills all her vast talents as a composer, improviser, and sound explorer into one compact ensemble.

7. Martial Solal Trio, Longitude (Cam Jazz)
On the one hand, Longitude is just another album by veteran French pianist Martial Solal, who's now 80. But on the other hand, every album he makes reasserts his brilliance in redefining and revitalizing post-Monk piano playing. The rhythm section--twin brothers François and Louis Moutin on bass and drums--does an especially fine job anticipating and accommodating Solal's curious lines and chords.

6. Deerhoof, Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars)

5. Kassin + 2, Futurismo (Luaka Bop)
It's hard to separate Futurismo from the two preceding records by what's come to be known as the "Plus Two"--Alexandre Kassin, Moreno Veloso, and Domenico Lancellotti. Like the others, Kassin's outing is cool, cosmopolitan, and diverse, casually shuffling between Brazilian forms, electro, rock, pop, and just about anything else that strikes his fancy. I prefer to think of it as the last disc of a mind-blowing three-record box set that just happened to be released across eight years.

4. Mike Reed's People, Places & Things, Proliferation (482 Music)
Local drummer Mike Reed transcends homage by reinventing overlooked tunes from Chicago's late-50s postbop heyday. His killer quartet, which also includes reedists Greg Ward and Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke, updates the songs with fierce multilinear improvisation and free-jazz techniques, allowing them to be heard afresh, but doesn't diminish their soulful core. The best part is the joy and mutual trust these guys radiate onstage--they're my favorite working band in town.

3. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (Downtown)

2. Donny McCaslin Trio, Recommended Tools (Greenleaf)
Saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been one of the most reliable players in jazz since the mid-80s, and in the past few years he's become one of the most exciting as well. This lean trio session with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Johnathan Blake is a genuine tour de force: McCaslin pushes his granite-hard tone anywhere he wants it to go, from tender ballads to harmonically adventurous barn burners.

1. Atomic, Retrograde (Jazzland)
On Retrograde this Scandinavian quintet--bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and pianist Havard Wiik from Norway, trumpeter Magnus Broo and reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist from Sweden--opts for a set of compositions much looser than its usual repertoire. The musicians' intuitive rapport and high-level communication skills allow them to transform even the sketchiest melodic or rhythmic structures into gripping narratives--they nail this new paradigm with all the gusto and daring they brought to their old freebop-based approach.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 17:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

I had a hard time including the Kassin album for this year, as it was out in 2006 in Brazil I think and I reviewed it in 2007. It's pretty good, especially towards the end.

Dimension 5ive, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 17:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

He listed a number of Brazilian acts and I was curious about that one. Thanks

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 18:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

So, not sure if this has been mentioned before, but it seems like previous years' Pazz & Jops are no longer available online.

Martin Van Burne, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset=best name in a while! Rachel Unthank the Academy for me, okay? Specially when it comes to Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and Vampire Weekend, though the latter are pretty fly for a white guy and could make a good back-up band, especially in boot camp for Obama's Afghanistan campaign (winning hearts & minds, people). I'll check Rachel and Mary, based on his descriptions (he didn't try to justify Cave and Barkley, which is okay by me)

dow, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

Margasak did say why he went for Cave and Gnarls Barkley I just left it out of my cut and paste!

Halvorson keeps showing up on jazz lists. Youtube seems to only have her quieter acoustic duo side though.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 21:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Year-End Summary & Fester's Lucky 13s

Includes a top 100 list and genre lists as usual. Have a happy New Year.

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 31 December 2008 22:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

Cokemachineglow had some interesting hip-hop choices. Invincible - Shapeshifters, hrm.

Silent Ballet. As usual, I've only heard 25% of their list, just 3 of the top 10.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 2 January 2009 18:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

From cokemachine glow:

If two of the best hip-hop albums (the other being Hell Hath No Fury) production-wise of the past three years are also the most innovative, the reason they’re innovative is…(quiet voice) they don’t just rely on an Akai sampler. But where the Neptunes have their cred elsewhere, and so they don’t need to worry so much, Black Milk is taking a huge risk by foregrounding his adoption of synths—rather than just quietly using them like everybody else does.

Question: I haven't heard Black Milk yet, but is he really taking such a "huge" risk?

curmudgeon, Friday, 2 January 2009 18:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think we can assume from the Hell Hath No Fury hyperbole that the guy simply doesn't know shit and move on.

some dude, Friday, 2 January 2009 18:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

That Rick Springfield album didn't make my top 10, but it was close. The only other album in Chuck's whole 150 that I liked at all was way down in the 130s somewhere, though, so it's hard to say I'm agreeing with him in any meaningful way. (And I still think the idea of ranking 150 albums is perverse.)

glenn mcdonald, Friday, 2 January 2009 19:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

From the Alibi(Albuquerque's main weekly). I types this out from the newspaper, so there are probably some mistakes:

The Alibi: “Twenty (or so) of the year’s best big-time albums”:

Ani DiFranco: Red Letter Year
Avishai Cohen: The Flood
Blitzen Trapper: Furr
Colourmusic F: Monday, Orange, February, Venus, Lunatic, 1 or 13
CSS: Donkey
Dafnis Prieto: Taking the Soul for a Walk
DeVotchKa: A Mad Faithful Telling
Donny McCaslin: Recommended Tools
Dr. John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot
The Dresden Dolls: No Virginia
Eagles of Death Metal: Heart On
Islands: Arm’s Way
Keane: Perfect Symmetry
The Knux: Remind Me in 3 Days
My Brightest Diamond: A Thousand Shark’s Teeth
Omar Sosa: Afreecanos
Portugal: The Man Censored Colors
The Roots: Rising Down
Tilly and the Wall: o
Tom McDermott & Connie Jones Creole: Nocturne
TV on the Radio: Dear Science

Best Albuquerque releases of the year:

The 2Bers: Children of a Mortal Sun
Bellemah: Low End Hum
Charmed: BitterSuite 7
Eva Ave and Carlosaur: Den of Drowning Rattlesnakes
Fast Heart Mart: Cheap & Sunny
The Grave of Nobody’s Darling: Firedbird
Hillary Smith: No Easy Way
Hit by a Bus: The Optimist’s Handgun
Le Chat Lunatique: Demonic Lovely
Leeches of Lore: Leeches of Lore
Mei Long: Mei Long
Old Man: Untitled
Patti Littlefield and Mark Weaver: Resonance
Suspended: Prelude to Indignance
Trilobite: Silver Skin
Unit 7 Drain: LoveCraft
We Were Born as Ghosts: Brightly, Brightly, and with Beauty

_Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 2 January 2009 20:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not exactly critics top 10s, but here's WNYU's lists:

jonathan - stl, Friday, 2 January 2009 20:14 (eight years ago) Permalink


1. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal (Back Porch/Manhattan) -- 88 -- 14
2. Hayes Carll, Trouble In Mind (Lost Highway) -- 44 -- 6
3. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark (New West) -- 43.5 -- 8
4. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges (ATO) -- 39 -- 5
5. Ben Sollee, Learning To Bend (self) -- 37.5 -- 5
6. Lucinda Williams, Little Honey (Lost Highway) -- 37 -- 7
7. Shelby Lynne, Just A Little Lovin' (Lost Highway) -- 37 -- 6
8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Anti-) -- 37 -- 6
9. Randy Newman, Harps And Angels (Nonesuch) -- 36 -- 6
10. Kathleen Edwards, Asking For Flowers (Zoe/Rounder) -- 35 -- 6
11. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) -- 33 -- 5
12. Santogold, self-titled (Downtown) -- 33 -- 5
13. SteelDrivers, self-titled (Rounder) -- 29 -- 5
14. Hold Steady, Stay Positive (Vagrant) -- 28.5 -- 7
15. Glen Campbell, Meet Glen Campbell (Capitol) -- 28 -- 5
16. Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet, self-titled (Nettwerk) -- 28 -- 4
17. Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song (Mercury Nashville) -- 27 -- 4
18. Old 97's, Blame It On Gravity (New West) -- 27 -- 4
19. Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Columbia) -- 26 -- 3
20. Basia Bulat, Oh, My Darling (Rough Trade) -- 25 -- 3
21. Fleet Foxes, self-titled (Sub Pop) -- 24 -- 3
22. Calexico, Carried To Dust (Quarterstick) -- 23 -- 3
23. Various, Como Now: The Voices Of Panola Co., Miss. (Daptone) -- 22 -- 3
24. R.E.M., Accelerate (Warner Bros.) -- 21 -- 4
25. Justin Townes Earle, The Good Life (Bloodshot) -- 21 -- 3
26. Tift Merritt, Another Country (Fantasy) -- 20 -- 3
27. Teddy Thompson, A Piece Of What You Need (Verve Forecast) -- 18.5 -- 3
28. Gary Louris, Vagabonds (Ryko) -- 17 -- 3
29. Caroline Herring, Lantana (Signature Sounds) -- 16.5 -- 2
30. TV On The Radio, Dear Science (DGC/Interscope) -- 16 -- 3
31. Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely (Warner Bros.) -- 16 -- 4
32. Felice Brothers, self-titled (Team Love) -- 16 -- 3
33. Ani DiFranco, Red Letter Year (Righteous Babe) -- 16 -- 2
34. Buika, Nina De Fuego (Warner International) -- 15 -- 2
35. B.B. King, One Kind Favor (Geffen) -- 14 -- 3
36. Jolie Holland, The Living And The Dead (Anti-) -- 14 -- 2
37. She & Him, Volume One (Merge) -- 13 -- 4
38. Michael Franti & Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers (Anti-) -- 13 -- 3
39. Giant Sand, Provisions (Yep Roc) -- 13 -- 2
40. Raphael Saadiq, Sure Hope You Mean It (Columbia) -- 12 -- 4

President Keyes, Friday, 2 January 2009 20:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

FWIW, the pick for best of 2008:

_Rockist__Scientist_, Friday, 2 January 2009 21:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Black Milk is taking a huge risk by foregrounding his adoption of synths—rather than just quietly using them like everybody else does.

This makes it sound like he stopped listening to rap sometime before Lil Jon hit.

The Reverend, Friday, 2 January 2009 23:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Conor Oberst didn't make the top 40 of No Depression? This is an outrage.

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 3 January 2009 00:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

wtf does 'quietly using' synths even mean

choom gangsta (deej), Saturday, 3 January 2009 01:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

theyre waiting for a depression year-end list

k3vin k., Saturday, 3 January 2009 01:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

^^ the dadjoke force is strong in this one

some dude, Saturday, 3 January 2009 02:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

Question: I haven't heard Black Milk yet, but is he really taking such a "huge" risk?

Not sure if his beats are risky... but personally, I find them really satisfying.

I think there's a full song on the Cokemachineglow list, embedded track. Did you listen?

ilxor, Saturday, 3 January 2009 06:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yes and it does not prove his point

curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 January 2009 14:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Did you watch the embedded YouTube video, also?

ilxor, Saturday, 3 January 2009 17:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm not going to typet his out but here's Philadelphia City Paper's list:

With supplemental material:

_Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 3 January 2009 21:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

x-post to ilxor,


curmudgeon, Sunday, 4 January 2009 00:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

Here ya go:

ilxor, Sunday, 4 January 2009 01:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

im hearing basically no synths

choom gangsta (deej), Sunday, 4 January 2009 02:01 (eight years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Sunday, 4 January 2009 05:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

did not know the lex had a lj

k3vin k., Sunday, 4 January 2009 19:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

poptimist polls so far:

xhuxk, Sunday, 4 January 2009 19:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

here's my top 100 if anyone cares:

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 4 January 2009 19:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

wtf does 'quietly using' synths even mean

Think he means not having album covers like this:

Which is a "risk" because real heads, true schoolers etc. will reject you.

subroc back to haunt, Sunday, 4 January 2009 20:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

My top 50 albums, top 75 tracks, top 63 gigs.

And, rather more thrillingly... The Disastrous Rocktimists UK Pop Critics Poll 2008!

mike t-diva, Monday, 5 January 2009 00:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

^change you can believe in

The boy with the Arab money (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Monday, 5 January 2009 00:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

I thought I might have more of the Disastrous Poll up before it showed up here. Instead I have been drinking cans in the hope I fall asleep sometime before I gotta get up for work.

Enrique (Raw Patrick), Monday, 5 January 2009 01:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Mixmag's 2008 Top 100 Tunes (copied from

1. Hercules And Love Affair – Blind
2. MGMT – Kids
3. Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor
4. Johnny D – Orbitalife
5. Fake Blood – Mars
6. Radio Slave – Grindhouse
7. The Kills - Cheap And Cheerful
8. MIA – Paper Planes
9. Eric Prydz - Pjanoo
10. Mujava – Township Funk

11. Crystal Castles – Crimewave
12. SIS – Standing
13. Sia – The Girl You Lost To Cocaine
14. Friendly Fires – Paris
15. Surkin – White Knight Two/Next Of Kin
16. Mgmt – Electric Feel
17. Little Boots – Stuck On Repeat
18. Wiley – Wearing My Rolex
19. Sam Sparro – Black And Gold
20. Portishead – Machine Gun

21. Zomby – Zomby EP
22. Afefe Iku – Mirror Dance
23. Deadmau5 – I Remember
24. Matt John – Boeing Highfly
25. Sebo K – Diva
26. Booka Shade – Charlotte
27. Zoo Brazil – Technik
28. Midnight Juggernauts – Into The Galaxy
29. N*E*R*D – Everyone Nose
30. Underworld – Ring Road

31. ZTT – The Worm
32. Ilario Alicante – Vacaciones En Chilie
33. Underworld – Beautiful Burnout
34. Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Soulwax Re Mix
35. Sis – Trompeta
36. The Chemical Brothers – Midnight Madness
37. Guillame & The Coutu Dumonts – They Only Come Out At Night
38. Heartbreak – We’re Back
39. Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down
40. Melchior Productions – Who Can Find Me

41. Late Of The Pier – Bathroom Gargle
42. The Bug Feat. Killa P & Flowdan – Ganja
43. Estelle – American Boy
44. TRG – Broken Heart
45. Sebastian Teller – L’Amour Et La Violence
46. Friendly Fires – Jump Into The Pool
47. Mathew Johnson – Marionette
48. Chase & Status – Eastern Jam
49. Audion – Billy Says Go
50. Sasha – Mongoose

51. Mark August – Warm
52. Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes
53. Alphabeat – Boyfriend
54. DJ Shah – Back To You
55. D’Julz – Just So You Know
56. Fabrikat Feat. Peter Juergens – Discolicker
57. Felix Da Housecat – Radio
58. Grace Jones – William’s Blood
59. Larry Tee Feat. Princess Superstar – Licky
60. Lemon & Einark – Anticipation

61. TC – Where’s My Money
62. Solomun Vs Ost & Klex – Federgewicht
63. Santogold – Say A-Ha
64. Stereo:Type Feat. Foreign Beggers – Bangers & Mash
65. Mandy Vs Booka Shade Feat. Laurie Anderson – O Superman
66. Tricky – Council Estate
67. Andy Duguid – Wasted
68. Dizzee Rascal Feat. Calvin Harris – Dance With Me
69. Don Rimini – Rave On
70. Luciano – Nin

71. Flying Lotus – Parisian Goldfish
72. Foals – Hummer
73. Friendly Fires – Ex-Lover
74. Geiom Feat. Marita – Reminissin
75. Pedro – Fleute And Clarinette
76. Kabala Und Lauhus – Makake
77. Kris G – Feel My Love
78. Kuffdam & Plant – Burning Up
79. Late Of The Pier – The Bears Are Coming
80. Martina Topley-Bird – Carnies

81. Math Head – Turn The Music Up
82. Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch – Minor Nine
83. Moby – I Love To Move In Here
84. Shonky – Time Zero
85. The Ting Tings – Great DJ
86. Italoboyz – Bahia
87. The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
88. Tyrrell – Lalalalalala
89. Buraka Som Sistema – Sound Of Kuduro
90. Christian Burkhart – Maison Noire

91. Crystal Fighters – I Love London
92. Deadest – Acid Radar
93. Toddla T – Manabadman
94. Bloc Party – Mercury
95. Flying Lotus – Breath
96. Hercules And Love Affair – Raise Me Up
97. Joker – Snake Eater
98. Martin Eyerer – Furthermore
99. Drums Of Death – Cursed By Magick
100. Utah Jazz – Back In Time

Matos W.K., Monday, 5 January 2009 05:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm glad "Wearing My Rolex" is getting so much <3

The Reverend, Monday, 5 January 2009 05:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm sorry it took me so damn long to hear it! Would have been in my Top 20 easy.

Matos W.K., Monday, 5 January 2009 05:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

is little boots any good? i downloaded them but it was from the same ppl who recommended me garbage like fleet foxes, bon iver and little joy

k3vin k., Monday, 5 January 2009 06:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

she's ok, definitely much better than those people, but if that's the sort of thing you're after you may as well just go get the last roisin murphy album instead, next to which little boots is sort of redundant

'wearing my rolex' fans should also hear 'if you're going out, i'm going out too':

lex pretend, Monday, 5 January 2009 09:44 (eight years ago) Permalink


jordan s (J0rdan S.), Monday, 5 January 2009 10:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

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