Each December, I'm invited to participate in Pazz & Jop, the Village Voice's annual "best of" poll.
P & J is restricted to less than 1500 so-called professionals, which means armchair critics are shit out of luck.
I'm a rarity in my guild; I hate compiling lists. I submit to the Voice, however, because they appeal to my inner elitist.
Also, they pay an infinitesimal amount for comments. And I have been known to be motivated by my wallet.
Here are my picks:
#1. Antony & the Johnsons — I Am a Bird Now. Read my interview with Antony here. Reviews here and here.
#2. Sunn O))) — The Black One. Read my review here.
#3. Six Organs of Admittance — School of the Flower. Ben Chasny finds discipline, records outside of his bedroom.
#4. Dengue Fever — Escape from Dragon House. Khmer Rouge can't keep a good band down!
#5. irr. app. (ext.) — ozeaniche gefühle. Read my review here.
#6. Gang Gang Dance — God's Money. Heard it a bit late, but I'm totally convinced.
#7. Deerhoof — The Runners Four. The Bay Area's finest.
#8. Opeth — Ghost Reveries. Ain't no Blackwater Park. Still, it's a fantastic metal-prog mood piece.
#9. The Howling Hex — All Night Fox. Hagerty is God.
#10. Feist — Let it Die. The new Broken Social was a bust, but Leslie's solo release is supa sexy!
For some reason. I wasn't overly impressed with any hip-hop or electronic albums this year. M.I.A. gave me a headache; Kanye was disappointing, and grime just a buncha hype.
You might notice that there aren't any post-punk/disco-dance/boy-bands in my top ten. That's because I'm fucking sick of them!
There's also a conspicuous absence of meta/indie-lit/AV Club releases among my faves. This is because I lack the free time to properly digest them.
All in all, a fair-to-middling year. Some of my favorite records were re-issues or stuff from the vaults: Comus, Bill Fay, Terry Reid, Lee Hazelwood, The Grateful Dead.
Faithful readers, feel free to post your picks below the fold. I promise there shall be no shame or judging. Well, maybe just a little.
Stay tuned for New Year's Resolutions!