And by surprises, I mean that I didn't like most of the albums in the top ten. Usually I fall lock-step in with the crowd, but this year not so much, with my love for arena-rock and Americana dominating my list. Pazz And Jop is the Village Voice's annual critics' poll, with critics from music journalists inside and outside the VVM family entering their ballots for the best albums and singles of the year.
Leading the albums balloting this year was tUnE-yArDs' w h o k i l l disc, and the single of the year went to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep". Elsewhere in the top ten, Jay-Z and Kanye West, Destroyer, and Drake beating out Bon Iver by one slot.
Women figured into the ballots this in a big way, with Adele, PJ Harvey, Wild Flag, and tUnE-yArDs dominating both top tens.
No surprises here, though it is interesting to see Adele's staying power in terms of still being a critical darling, even though she has sold a quadrillion albums. Usually, it doesn't work that way. As far tUnE-yArDs goes, I dug the album, but I didn't get sucked in when I saw the material performed live. Drake overtaking the dear Bon Iver has to be a kick in the pants for ol' Justin Vernon, but Drake does whiny and morose better than most these days.
1. tUnE-yArDs, w h o k i l l
2. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
3. Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne
4. Wild Flag, Wild Flag
5. Tom Waits, Bad As Me
6. Adele, 21
7. Destroyer, Kaputt
8. Drake, Take Care
9. Bon Iver, Bon Iver
10. Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
Did you ever think you would see Britney Spears on a top ten list that wasn't derogatory or coming from a gay man? What can we say, "Till the World Ends" is probably her best single in well, ever, and production from Ke$ha - yes that Ke$ha - pushed it over the top. The teacher is now the student.
We see Lana Del Rey on the list too, the product of massive blog hype. Her recent Saturday Night Live appearance may put all that in question. We'll see what happens after she makes the rounds at SXSW in March.
M83's "Midnight City" placed suitably, with the French indie-pop group doing their best Moroder, and the lingerie ad didn't hurt either. As far as Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks", it is one for the time capsule, and one of the most scarily catchy cuts of the past ten years.
1. Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
2. Beyoncé, "Countdown"
3. Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
4. M83, "Midnight City"
5. Jay-Z and Kanye West, "Niggas in Paris"
6. Azealia Banks, "212"
7. Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"
7. Britney Spears, "Till the World Ends"
9. Adele, "Someone Like You"
10. Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
Here are some links to some notable music journalists own top ten lists. You can see my ballot here. Yes, Robert Ellis and Hayes Carll are number one and number two.
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