21 November 2008

Brooklyn Vegan asks "When did the Best Album of 2008 actually come out?"

So it's that time of year again - the time when self-appointed critics everywhere start compiling those best-of-year lists. While lists exist pretty much for the sole purpose of debate, usually its the contents of the list that are debated, not the year of their release. Because, um aren't the best albums of 2008 supposed to come out in, uhh 2008?

Not so. Brooklyn Vegan makes this excellent point:

"According to the aggregated critics at MetaCritic, this is what was best this year...

1 London Zoo by The Bug
2 Fed by Plush
3 For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
4 Dear Science, by TV On The Radio
5 Exit by Shugo Tokumaru
6 Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
7 Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
8 Robyn by Robyn
9 Hercules And Love Affair by Hercules And Love Affair
10 What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective by Steinski

Does when an album actually came out matter?. Bon Iver's album actually came out in 2007, but was reissued in 2008. Shugo's album came out in 2007 in Japan. Plush's album actually came out in 2002 in Japan (I still haven't heard it). Robyn's album came out in Sweden in 2005. Steinski came out in 2008, but as the title suggests, is actually a compilation of tracks that were released between 1983-2006."

(Read the full article here)

Ahhh, I'm so confused. So I ask you dear reader, as we here at VK rack our brains trying to rank the oh-so-many quality records that came out this year, how do we sort through this sort of hullabaloo? And more specifically, even though we first heard Bon Iver in 2007, can we please include him, since the "For Emma Forever Ago" wasn't WIDELY released until this year? Pleeeease?

Oh and while you're at it, re-visit our Best of 2007 list>

Flume - Bon Iver

1 comment:

boyhowdy said...

Among other reasons, I'd suggest that since most blogs only allow voting until the end of Nov/beginning of December, in order to be fair to albums and give each a chance to mature in our ears before we must vote, I'd use "in wide release by Nov." as a measure of eligibility. I THINK Bon Iver would clear that line, yes?

(And yes, I know that it is both arbitrary and vague, not to mention totally opposed to the method used by, say, the Oscars. But that's okay; embracing vagueness is fine with me in a subjective medium. And the Academy Awards ceremony isn't until next year; meanwhile, bloggers are all fighting to be first up with their polls, so it bumps the process earlier. )