Friday, December 19, 2014

My Top 50 Albums of 2014 (part one: the great refusal)

As we come to the purported "end" of 2014, so starts the flood of Top 10 and Top 20 and Top 50 lists. These have made their way to me through news reader and social media feeds. Each author beseeches me to listen to "the best" music, as selected through their own filter. It's not a bad approach, in theory, though how there could have been 50 worthwhile pop albums released in one year, I will never know.

I will give you but one example of such a list; to provide more would be to encourage depression. Drowned in Sound manages to be a popular music site by pandering to both Taylor Swift fans (she's at #3) and those who can bear the Swans in 2014 but would have run screaming from them in 1983 (#10).

Though their musical choices are dull, I remain interested in their name, which attempts to be both world-weary (there's so much music that we are "drowned") and all-encompassing (notice it is "sound" not "music"). Of course their name is just a pose. There is nothing outside a fairly narrow range of pop music on their charts, certainly nothing in the way of sonic art. Perhaps they are emo. Perhaps they are hipsters. I don't know, since I don't understand these terms. (But I have a comments section below, for those who wish to help.)

Looking back at my own purchases, I see that I obtained exactly one album dated 2014. It's a good album, even if it is not a career best from the artists in question. I am safe in saying it is more deserving of your time than the Drowned in Sound Top 50. So here it is. A drum-roll please.

My Top 50 Albums of 2014...


Soused by Scott Walker and Sunn O))).

In my next post I'll tell you what else I've been listening to.

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