It isn't a small pool anymore. There is so much to consider. And so, music is more subjective than it has ever been. Ten years ago, end of year LP lists from similar souls in similar environments would have heralded similar ingredients, with just the line up causing discussion and the occasional uproar. Now, I suspect, in our case, you'd be hard pressed to find one common choice between us.
Why? Is it the sheer volume? Yes. But I think it’s also the relative ease by which we are now able to consume music. Recorded music, quite literally, is worth less than ever. And I think that takes its toll. Respect for, if not the medium itself, at least the way in which the medium is procured, has been diminished, and hence music and opinions thereof, are becoming more and more fragmented. But, maybe that's a good thing. Individuals are making up their own minds, instead of being told that The Beatles are the greatest band of all time, or that Jay-Z is the greatest rapper, and all nodding and purchasing along in unison, the people are discovering new and exciting sounds the world over, for themselves, in any which format they choose to do so. Freedom.
Lists are more particular, more autonomous. They say more about the compiler then ever before. The pool may be bigger now, certainly, but that doesn't mean, as some antiquated fools would have you believe, that the quality has suffered. On the contrary, it’s just gotten personal, and everyone is involved, no one is being excluded. Geography matters not. So, with that said.
WARPAINT-"THE FOOL", THE SOFT PACK-"THE SOFT PACK", HOW TO DRESS WELL-"LOVE REMAINS", EMERALDS-"DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’M HERE?", DEERHUNTER-"HALYCON DIGEST".
10. THE KNIFE–"TOMORROW, IN A YEAR"
09. JOANNA NEWSOME–"HAVE ONE ON ME"
08. FOALS–"TOTAL LIFE FOREVER"
07. LAURA MARLING-"I SPEAK BECAUSE I CAN"
06. GONJASUFI–"A SUFI AND A KILLER"
05. ALI FARKA TOURE & TOUMANI DIABETE-"ALI & TOUMANI"
04. GIL SCOTT HERON–"I’M NEW HERE"
03. KANYE WEST–"MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY"
A veracious example of modern man in extremis. A frightening sound. Few artists are able to inhabit the many varying facets of what it is to be a 21st Century ego-centric behemoth (aka; modern man), so that the work in question wholly transcends whatever pre-supposed genre it might have begun in, becoming a piece of art unfettered by lazy categorisation in its own, unique right. Fascinating, exhilarating stuff.
02. GLENN RICHARDS–"GLIMJACK"
Esoteric, populist songwriters; it’s a tough gig, and few would opt for what is essentially a fools’ errand. However, Mr. Richards appears to revel in it. I suspect though, it’s simply all he knows. In another world, one somewhat skewed and off- kilter in contrast to our own, but perfectly ordinary so far as it is concerned, the people build statues in his honour, name streets after his songs, and in his image hone the countenance of all first borns.
01. THE WALKMEN–"LISBON"
The sound of snow falling upon the darkened city. The sound of the eloquent drunk, screaming to the high heavens from his lowly sidewalk. The sound of a band, 6 records in, finding the ideal balance between their disillusioned, urban austerity, and the soulful, heartfelt warmth to which their music has always alluded too beneath that studied, stoic cool.