Thursday, December 19, 2013

Strugglin' with that year end list...

Usually I take great joy in putting together a list of my favorite 20 albums at the end of each year. And yes I wait until the end—especially now—since you never know what might come out in the month of December; a time when most other publications have already long ago published their own lists. Which, an aside, seriously?! I know it's an arms race to get your list up first, but the days after Thanksgiving, when many lists were released this year is too early. Add to that the fact that most are formed by committee and you end up with things that give you an idea of what was most written about in regards to each publication's particular audience but you don't get good recommendations with heart. That tend to come from the music writers who put together their own lists. Writer like, O.K., me.

So many lists this year, even personal ones, go on and on about what a great year it was for music. To this claim I say, "Whaaaaa-?!" It was a year for huge disappointments from people that should have delivered better and underwhelming albums from underground artists who had credit heaped upon them because people still want heroes. But it was not a great year for music.

Was there good music? Hell yes. But I'll be honest, this may be the first time I cut my list from 20 to 10 because I'm not sure there are more albums than that able to hold my attention for the whole year. And I think that's one point of these lists. It's not just music you could appreciate upon hearing it for the first or second time. It's music you still love after hearing it over and over and over and over and over again.

So I'm struggling. Usually I try to name what knocked me out off the top of my head before revisiting my library to refresh my memory and fins something I listened to rabidly months ago to give it a few re-listens to make sure it still holds up. So far I can count the number of bands that leap immediately to the top of my head on one hand.

So no, this year was not an embarrassment of riches in the music world. It was just another year that saw the musical landscape become even more flooded with lots of bands that are really pretty god but quite definitely not great. At least to my ears.

But I haven't lost hope because there were a couple greats in there too.

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