Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let the year-end lists begin

Play it: Amazon Editor's Picks for Top 100 Albums of 2005

Along with the early holiday music and decorations, retail sites also get the year-end lists season going early. Amazon jumps the gun here to try and get some holiday buying action, and I guess I can't blame them for that. But I can blame their editors (and believe me, I know a few of 'em,) for some blatant mistakes in their top 100.

Their top 5 read 1. Sufjan Stevens (Illinois,) 2. M.I.A. (Arular,) 3. The New Pornographers (Twin Cinema,) 4. My Morning Jacket (Z,) and 5. Amadou & Mariam (Dimanche a Bamako.) The top four, I have no problem with (all make my current top 6,) while the fifth only seems to serve as a quota (need to have an album of 'world' interest in there... which I'd argue Arular already serves that purpose.) Dimanche a Bamako is a fine album, but top 5? Come on!

My main beef with the list isn't necessarily with the order (although, there is a beef there to be argued,) but rather with the glaring album selections that were left off the list (it's 100 albums, remember.)

In no particular order, here are albums that left off that leave us all scratching our heads:

Andrew Bird And the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Wolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary
Eels Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
The Go-Betweens Oceans Apart
Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

There's many more, as you'll see, but these are the ones that even taking into account subjective tastes, make this list feel like a big mistake. Other mistakes include the burying of Stephen Malkmus' Face the Truth (#56,) Sleater-Kinney's Into the Woods (#60, one place ahead of Mariah Carey [?],) Animal Collective's Feels (#66) and LCD Soundsystem (#94 [!]) At least they had the good sense to bury Coldplay's latest at #77 (it made #1 on customer favorites.) Anyway, there are a lot more problems that I have with the list, but those are purely subjective.

What else do you see that stands out from this (mostly commerce-driven) list?

Amazon Editor's Picks for Top 100 Albums 2005

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drake leLane said...

Amazon's 2005 Top 100 Albums Editors' Picks

* "Fire, Fire" - M.I.A.
* "Use It" - New Pornographers
* "Off The Record" - My Morning Jacket
* "La Réalité" - Amadou & Mariam
* "Epistrophy" - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
* "My Lady Story" - Antony and the Johnsons
* "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Demo)" - Bob Dylan
* "Girl" - Beck
* "Extraordinary Machine" - Fiona Apple
* "This Modern Love" - Bloc Party
* "Gold Digger (Album Version (Explicit))" - Kanye West
* "Mushaboom" - Feist
* "For Real" - Okkervil River
* "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" - The Hold Steady
* "Cease Fire" - Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion
* "Two Sides/Monsieur Valentine" - Spoon
* "Soul Meets Body" - Death Cab For Cutie
* "Ekta Deshlai Kathi Jalao (Light a Match)" - Kronos Quartet
* "Quem Sabe Isso Quer Dizer Amor" - Milton Nascimento
* "Weight Of The World" - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
* "Catch My Disease" - Ben Lee
* "Feels Just Like It Should" - Jamiroquai
* "Lyla" - Oasis
* "My Doorbell" - The White Stripes
* "Do You Want To" - Franz Ferdinand
* "Welcome To Jamrock (Clean)" - Damian Marley
* "Benzi Box (w,Cee-Lo)" - Danger Doom
* "Sofa King" - Danger Doom
* "I May Hate Myself In The Morning" - Lee Ann Womack
* "I Predict A Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs
* "Forever Lost" - The Magic Numbers
* "Taper Jean Girl" - Kings Of Leon
* "My So-Called Celibate Life" - Pernice Brothers
* "Statues and Stories" - Adam Guettel
* "16 Military Wives" - The Decemberists
* "Onda Callejera" - Ry Cooder
* "The Corner (Album Version (Explicit))" - Common
* "Help Me" - Gerald Toto, Richard Bona, and Lokua Kanza
* "Run Away!" - Monty Python's Flying Circus
* "Love Seals Us From Loneliness" - Idlewild
* "Tive Razao" - Seu Jorge
* "Gong" - Sigur Ros
* "Afro-Blue (Live At The Half Note)" - John Coltrane
* "Walk In Fire" - Doves
* "Fake" - The Frames
* "California" - Low
* "Rough Justice" - The Rolling Stones
* "Andalucia" - Crooked Fingers
* "Lazy Lover" - Brazilian Girls
* "Give Them What They Want" - John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz, and Sherie Rene Scott
* "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz
* "Freeze The Saints" - Stephen Malkmus
* "Goodnight Goodnight" - Hot Hot Heat
* "This Old Guitar" - Neil Young
* "Joy" - Bettye Lavette
* "Entertain (Album)" - Sleater-kinney
* "It's Like That" - Mariah Carey
* "Old Man" - Lizz Wright
* "Sni Bong" - Dengue Fever
* "J'en Connais" - Carla Bruni
* "Grass" - Animal Collective
* "Ventura" - Lucinda Williams
* "Empty" - Metric
* "I Hear The Bells" - Mike Doughty
* "B.Y.O.B." - System Of A Down
* "Fastlane" - Esthero
* "Ocean Breathes Salty" - Sun Kil Moon
* "Highway 5" - John Doe
* "The Hand That Feeds" - Nine Inch Nails
* "Revelation of Love" - The Blue Van
* "Fix You" - Coldplay
* "Winter in the Hamptons" - Josh Rouse
* "Naci Orishas" - Orishas
* "Voice of the Moon" - Anoushka Shankar
* "Anakin vs. Obi-Wan" - John Williams
* "Say Anything" - Dios Malos
* "Dandelion" - Audioslave
* "Krafty" - New Order
* "Passing Over" - Brian Eno
* "Don't Save Us From The Flames" - M83
* "Modern Music" - Black Mountain
* "Shine It All Around" - Robert Plant And The Strange Sensation
* "God Knows" - Mando Diao
* "Breathe Me" - Sia
* "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" - LCD Soundsystem
* "Khaki and Corduroy" - Laura Cantrell
* "Paperthin Hymn" - Anberlin
* "Sugar" - The Concretes
* "Club Foot" - Kasabian

Robert 0f The Radish said...

It's all subjective, isn't it? For example I am going to be crucified for leaving out stuff that just doesn't move me, even though the critics are gaga over them. M.I.A. "Arular" for example, it still sounds like an epileptic episode to me. I understand the appeal, but The best of the year? Not in my book. I can't wait for the emails on that one!

Also Gorillaz "Demon Days" won't make my list, some great tracks, but as a complete album it's weak, you also won't find the Coldplay or Nine Inch Nails discs on my list.

Omissions on Amazon? Well the biggest ones for me are Fruit Bats "Spelled in Bones", Chad Vangaalen - "Infiniheart" and Bebo Valdes "Bebo De Cuba" (which won a Latin Grammy by the way) I also agree with you about the Eels, Andrew Bird and Wolf Parade.

The hard part picing only 100 is that there is much more than 100 worthy of being selected. This year, I am going to base my selection on only one criterea. Which albums did I find myself going back to, over and over again?

On top are Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Fruit Bats, Chad Vagaalen, BRMC and My Morning Jacket I haven't put them in order yet though.