The annual parade of lists has begun. A cavalcade of opinion that naturally coincides with the end of each year and, as a happy happenstance, with the peak purchasing period for recorded music. You can blame Christmas and unimaginative people for that.
I always read the top albums of the year lists, at least those in the publications whose tastes are usually reflective of my own. The latter qualifier seems to be harder to establish every year but so far it has included looking at Q, Mojo, Rolling Stone and The Guardian.My motivation in the past was to see how many I agreed with; lately I look to see what I’ve missed.
I am as engaged with music and have probably listened to more new things than I usually would this year but I have been moved by less of them than I’d have hoped. The lists thus far are not helping much. Naturally I’m ignoring the artists and certain genres that are outside my listening preferences even allowing for my broad tastes. I can exempt a bunch of stuff I have already heard and was ambivalent about (Alt J, Bombay Bicycle Club, et al) and ignore the swathe of similar sounding singer-songwritery types (Ben Howard, George Ezra) that have failed to move me.I have been cross-referencing where possible and presuming that if an act makes two or more lists then it must have crossed a threshold of combined tastes and quality. Doing this and even allowing for the normal ‘qualifications’ and disclaimers forged in the cauldron of subjectivity, there are a few incongruities that are beyond my comprehension.