Best Of The Decade, I suppose.

November 28, 2009 at 9:14 am (Uncategorized)

So over the last few weeks various online publications have come forward with “Best Of The Decade” lists.

Here’s the Onion AV Club list.

Here’s the Pitchfork list.

Go ahead and skim. I own a lot of records that show up on both those lists. Fair enough. Thing is, both those lists are annoyingly similar, as if the same publication came up with the entire mess and then sort of copy-and-pasted it around. Now, I’m not sure how many folks compiled the lists for both those online sites, and how many people wrote the review text up for them…but I’m betting it was a few more reviewers than write I’m guaranteeing it, in fact.

And here’s the thing: those are the two most vanilla, disappointing lists I’ve ever read. Those lists are utterly safe, extra-vanilla chops of shallow rock-critic doublespeak. You can almost hear the wheels turning: “Dudes, we’ve gotta put something by Modest Mouse in there somewhere…” (No, you don’t.)

At any rate, inspired by how dull and predictable those two lists are, my hobby for the next month or so is going to be to count down the Popnarcotic 50 Favorite Records Of The Decade. A couple of things to know going in:

1. That’s 50 favorite records of the decade, not 50 best. I would be able to argue vehemently that perhaps this Radiohead album or that Roots disc is one of the best of the last ten years or one of the ten most important…but not that either would be my choice to listen to recreationally, push-to shove. Stuff I love passionately makes the list, so going in…apologies to Cat Power, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Outkast, Kanye, and Radiohead. Those folks all made amazing, must-own records during the last 10 years which no collection is complete without. Buy them…

…and read about ’em somewhere else. What can I say? I’m feeling irascible and idiosyncratic.

2. I aim to try to post two or three albums every day, with links to previous picks in each post to make the navigation easy. Goal is to be done by New Year’s Eve.

3. Yes, there will be plenty of music to sample. If you hear something you like and want to investigate, buy some music.

4. I’ll try to go roughly in order, but c’mon. One day I’ll listen to a record by Jim Noir or The People Under the Stairs and think “This is one of the best albums of the last ten years, easily.” Then two days later, I’ll come to my senses. Today’s record I list in the mid-40’s I could end up wishing I’d put in the top ten instead. It happens.

5. This is a chance for reassessment of the Year-End Best Records lists I do annually. Some of my picks absolutely hold up, some…don’t. (Did I really have When I Pretend To Fall as the best disc of 2003? Really?) Sometimes I missed a record during a year, heard it a few years later….and oops. Perhaps I can do some atonement for that here.

So there’s the background. We’ll see you in a bit to start things off.

1 Comment

  1. Beth C said,

    Sweeeeeeeeeeet! Irascible!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: