Tis the season for year end lists

by Jason Gross

30 November 2007


It’s not even December yet and already I’ve been asked to submit year-end best of lists to four different places.  Scary, ain’t it?  Not just that they’d ask for my opinion but that all these publications, zines and newspapers are so enthrall to this idea.  Not that it’s unique to music either as witnessed by this PR Week article.  Obviously, we can’t get enough of ‘em but that doesn’t mean that these kind of lists don’t have problems.
I was gripping about this on my other blog back in ‘05 and I think the same issues and problems still apply.

“It’s a nice ritual in that you might learn about some music you hadn’t heard about or just learn how much consensus there is about certain albums. The one thing that cheeses me off about this is that there’s never just 10 albums that I love in a given year but that’s what I’m (and other writers) are stuck with. Another problem is that as soon as you hand in these lists, you think “maybe I should have included (insert record of your choice) instead…” These lists are usually just snapshots that change with time and such but we’re not given the opportunity to update our thoughts and taste. That’s why I think it’s better to allow a larger list of albums to draw on which you may change the order of but you’ll probably always find a bunch of favorites there. Of course, that doesn’t account for albums that you find out much later after the fact but then again, these kind of things are always works in progress, truth be told.”

And so it goes- I was thinking of doing a top 10 list of why top 10 list sucks but maybe I’ll save that for next time.  I’m not actually gonna have a top 10 list of fave records of ‘07- it’ll be more like a top 30 or maybe 40 plus some really nice reissues (not to mention a HUGE bunch of singles).  How do you chop that down to 10?  And what’s the purpose?  To show a mass consensus among scribes in a horse race?  I like the idea above of exposing some lesser known material out there so anyone who might be curious.  I mean, I do like the Kanye West record but I gotta assume you’ve heard about it already, right?  You might not have heard about a Raekwon mixtape or albums by Bikerider, Gonazales, Dalek, Mas Rapido!, Clorox Girls, Broken West, a Pish Posh compilation, the Busy Signals, Sarah Borges, the Dirty Truckers, a sprawling Soul Patrol collection, a DubKraft collection and a bunch of others though.

In the end, I’ll cave in and serve up lists of 10 all around but I’ll also make a more complete list for you fellow record nuts.  Hopefully, you’ll do the same and share yours too.

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