NObody does music lists like Largehearted Boy does music lists. If you’ve got a list, he’ll post it. Meaning every shoegazer with a laptop is free to post their choices. So, you’ll likely want to winnow out at least 80% of the stuff on his site. But, trust me, there’s something there for everyone’s tastes, and I mean EVERYONE. From death metal to rap to the most obscure of the obscure, it’s there. As is much more mainstream fare.
I view these lists more as providing readers with musical suggestions for further discovery, and I took some successful stereophonic sidetrips based on what I read. Serious music people like X-Stryker should love these lists. And Largehearted Boy also has a whole slew of Best of the Decade (2000-09) lists there as well.
2009 featured one album that emerged as the consensus top album of the year, and it was released in the first week of the New Year: Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion”. I fully expect it to win the Village Voice’s annual “Pazz & Jop Poll”, which is the most definitive reflection of critics’ favorites.
While there is no denying the creative inspiration behind this album, my ‘old ears’ gravitate more towards songs as opposed to sonic constructs. I also tend to like ‘em loud and rocking. My Albums of the Year and Songs of the Year lists reflect that aesthetic. Except when they don’t. Here are my lists as I submitted them to WXPN for their end-of-the-year countdown:
1. Chuck Prophet-Let Freedom Ring
2. Rosanne Cash-The List
3. Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
4. Chris Smither-Time Stands Still
5. Kurt Vile-Childish Prodigies
6. Reigning Sound-Love & Curses
7. Bill Callahan-Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
8. James Maddock-Sunrise on Avenue C
9. Bloodkin-Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again
10. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart-The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
1. Chuck Prophet-American Man
2. Rosanne Cash-Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow
3. Chuck Prophet-Where the Hell Is Henry?
5. Kurt Vile-Freak Train
6. Bill Callahan-The Wind & the Dove
7. Shemekia Copeland-Never Going Back to Memphis
8. Chris Smither-Time Stands Still
9. Bloodkin-Easter Eggs
10. James Maddock-When the Sun’s Out
Hey, I’m a listaholic. It’s what I do. I make lists.
I would love to see other readers’ choices. It takes a long time and lotsa listening to put together lists like these. However, please share with us your personal faves, even if it’s just one or two albums or songs. There are no right or wrong answers, but it gives us a chance to explore on our own.
Which, after all, is the purpose of today’s lists of lists.