Why Make a List When I Can Slag Yours?

In the interest of all thing negative and reductive, here’s a response to the top ten albums of 2008 as chosen by Penusfork.

I did like the “Brooklyn Anthem,” despite the carpetbagging. But while most tracks are accomplished dancehall-dubstep-electro hybrids, I still can’t get the memory of bad drum n’ bass/jungle out of my head when I hear dubstep. This also makes me think of Ali G, and that’s not a good thing. And this is just a DJ mix. Play some instruments. Or dig deeper. This only skims surfaces.

9.Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair
Interesting for Antony’s vocals +disco, but they think it’s corny in the clubs. ‘Cept in Chicago, I guess.

Deserved much higher. My #2

7. Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend
Cultural carpetbagging by a walking Benneton commercial does not justify expanding three decent, even interesting songs into a 10 track yawner. Not even in my top 50. Thank god I didn’t buy it.

6.TV on the Radio
Dear Science.
Total dud. I’ve already destroyed any memory of this release so I can enjoy their next album.

5. Deerhunter
Microcastle/Weird Era Cont
For sure, Mr. Cox’s constant feeding of news material, to p-fork, assisted ranking. As for me, not sure why (yet), but I can’t get my nails into this one. Their first release means so much to me, and their second, Cryptograms, was such a giant, towering effort, that this seems sterile in comparison. I may have to let the unfair analysis stick.

4. Cut Copy
In Ghost Colors
The album that #9,#7, and #6 weren’t. Against all my learned skepticism, it hit me right in that secret nucleus accumbens I’d suppressed since Duran Duran. Or I’m not as hetero as I thought. Don’t tell my wife. Although she knows.

3.No Age
I pitch mad respect, but there’s so much lo-fi garage out there, and No Age doesn’t exactly surpass it all, that I couldn’t give the time.

2. Portishead
My number one of the year. Few albums rarely shatter the rest of the pack like brittle glass figurines, and even fewer are comeback albums after a chunk of silent years. Recorded music ought to sound like its creators had to make it for no other reason than something would have consumed them had they failed to do so. The Who comes to mind. More bands should make less albums, and Portishead is the reason.

Fleet Foxes
Sun Giant EP/Fleet Foxes
It’s official: Pitchfork has had their Hootie & the Blowfish moment.


4 thoughts on “Why Make a List When I Can Slag Yours?

  1. I tried but couldn’t get into the Portishead. My loss, I guess.Didn’t try as hard with M83, so maybe I’ll give it a go.While I agree with you that Vampire Weekend had some tracks that were stronger than others everyone in my family responded so strongly to it that we listened to it *a lot.* And I have some nice memories because of that.Merry Christmas!


  2. Dear J Frank,I don’t wanna seem thick, but I’m not quite sure how you meant the Fleet Foxes link. Are Pitchfork the DeRogatis or the Rolling Stone in this story?The reason I ask is because Fleet Foxes feels like the Hootie this year in the sense that we are all supposed to like them. They’re fine, but they were far from the most interesting or entertaining moment in music this year, and I’m saying that as someone who adores harmony. Is it because they produced the album that Evil Urges wasn’t? Dunno. And as long as we’re kvetching about Jizzfork, where were The Dirty Projectors? Or the Magnetic Fields as a Top 100 album? Or Radiohead? They far from outdid themselves I think, even by their own standards. And those are just the obvious mentions. And where was the rock on their list? No Gaslight Anthem? No Two Cow Garage? More remixes than you can shake a stick at, but no mojo. Two last things:Portishead: Hell yeah. Vampire Weekend: Unfairly slagged for their influences. Very good album, no caveats. d


  3. D –Fleet Foxes: Pitchfork is the rolling stone/Wenner here; someone at Pitchfork must be a Derogatis, I hope. I also hope Fleet Foxes go away soon. I never liked Crosby Stills & Nash, neither. The omission of Magnetic Fields' latest was also a large oversight on their part. In my top ten, that one. The Radiohead too. Glad you're down on the Portishead too. But I can't do Vampire Weekend. They remind me how much better Haircut 100 was. Pretty western-world richboys in sweaters doing township jive should have ended with Paul Simon (&I like Graceland). But VW doesn't sound like they're listening to the Mahotella Queens or Miriam Makeba. I hope they are. I also think they omitted (didn't they?): The new Robert Forster, Breeders, The Week That Was. I think there's a few more. Maybe I should make a list.


  4. Yeah, they missed those as well. Also, Horse Feathers, Thao and Dr. Dog, all of which grabbed my ears this year, too. dp.s. Love the You Had Them All Wrong feature. Neil Finn!


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