There’s this weird thing about music appreciation, where, in our cultural reaction to emotional and subjective pieces of art, we sort music into lists. The 100 best guitar players of all time, best albums of 1975, top 5 track 1 side ones, greatest accordion album of the century, that sort of thing. Here’s an activity for you: think of a situation, any situation. Break-up, quitting your job, graduation, shopping, sports victory, whatever. Now type “best (situation x) songs” into Google and see what it spits out.
The best thing about these lists is that, by design, every single person who reads one will disagree with it. Obviously, individual writers have
stupid opinions unique perspectives, but more importantly, the list is inherently a critically vacuous tool that attempts to describe value not through actual merits but placement relative to other music.
Year-end lists are probably my favourite in this regard. At every step, the list-maker undermines the very premise. The list claims to consider all the music released in a year, but is published in early December, so as to get more hits from Christmas shoppers. Oops, you’re a human experiencing time linearly, you’re not physically capable of listening to all the music produced in a year. Stick to major label releases and other albums that hit a moderate level of success, because a personal connection to music isn’t important unless other people share it. Under no circumstances should the list include an a bestselling album, though. Anyone who listens to more than a few albums will be comparing apples to steak anyway, so the numbering comes out arbitrary.
Anyways, here’s my top 10 albums of 2015: Continue reading