Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Worst Best of 2010 List (Right?)

In making sure I hadn't missed anything particularly righteous in my music listening last year, I looked at a lot of year-end lists - and none of them was as smug, trendy, and lightweight as Stereogum's.  I genuinely like the site, mostly for its mass of information but also for good taste, so it's a little weird.  Here are the most odious of their picks, and their positions:

49. Small Black - New Chain: Not everything has to be "new" to be "best," but this recycling of New Romanticism was just about adequate regardless of innovation.  I gave it a 3/5.

41. Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal: This is probably hair splitting, but putting this record this far down is fucking criminal.

26. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker:  A solid record, and it's good to know someone is following the legacy of late-stage Earth, but this feels like the token 'metal' pick.

23. Salem - King Night: This is where Stereogum really starts getting on my nerves - admittedly, along with everyone else who tried to hype this record.  It's bad, warmed-over dubstep/noise, or whatever, I can't even be bothered to invent a descriptive conglomerate.  They'd contribute more to society as full-time models.

06. Sleigh Bells - Treats: More of the same - really hip band, really overrated album bandwagoneering.  Not feeling it, and we're beginning to sense a trend.

01. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Pardon me for being suspicious when an indie-rock blog puts a hip hop record at number one.  It's not that this is a bad record per se, but it's also crafty, 'artsy' crit-bait. The best album of the year should be something really revolutionary, something equally mixing inspiration and craft, crazy energy and crazy skill.  West has all the craft and skill, and definitely has the work ethic, but everything here is so calculated and careful, and none of it feels really new.

Kanye West at #1 is what really seals the verdict, but a look at Stereogum's whole list is important too - this is a painfully predictable list, and would be more accurately titled "50 Coolest Albums of 2010."  Dissapointing.

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