03 December 2011

The Joys and Challenges of List-O-Mania

We're not even a week into December and I feel like I've already overdosed on year-end list-making/reading. As a freelance contributor to Paste, I was asked to turn my lists in BEFORE Thanksgiving. (It was culled with about two dozen others to create their master list of best albums of the year.) But here's the thing. Before you even tell me my list is WAAAAAY OFF, I'll tell you straight-up, it totally is. I left a lot of stuff off; some stuff is too high; some is too low. That's not to say anything about the albums I haven't even listened to. But such is the subjectivity (and failings) of my own ever-shifting taste and memory.

So as of November 17, these were my faves:

1. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
2. tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L
3. The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
5. Emmy the Great - Virtue
6. Larry and His Flask - All That We Know
7. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
8. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man
9. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
10. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
11. Wilco - The Whole Love
12. The Antlers - Burst Apart
13. The Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
14. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
15. Slow Club - Paradise
16. Future Islands - On the Water
17. Yuck - Yuck
18. Mister Heavenly - Out of Love
19. Acid House Kings - Music Sounds Better With You
20. Childish Gambino - Camp

As of now, well there's stuff I'd remove and stuff I'd add, but by the time you ask me about it, they will have once again changed. So there.

ANYWAYS while discussing the matters of list-making, I stumbled upon a tweet by a musician I was previously unaware of by the name of TW Walsh. It turns out his well-received album, Songs of Pain and Leisure, got a better review and higher rating by Paste than many of the albums on that comprised their list (including Wilco and The Decemberists), yet his was nowhere to be seen. I think his is a valid frustration - while lists that are cumulatively created allow for greater overall diversity, they also make it easier for low profile artists to go completely under the radar.

It turns out Songs of Pain and Leisure is pretty great. Chances are even if you haven't heard of TW, you've heard his influence - he was a member of Pedro the Lion and he mastered Sufjan's epic Age of Adz (not a bad resume this guy has, eh?). As for his own music it's at times folksy, at times bluesy; it has ample rustic charm and even when things quiet down, there's still a propulsive sense of urgency. I especially love how opener "Make it Rhyme" furiously chugs along. Best of all, you can stream it ALL here. So go give it a listen, why don't you?

1 comment:

Dinar Inc said...

You have really shared a great list. Most of the songs i liked already.