Usually, when we run other publications’ year-end best-album lists on this site, those lists are the products of long intra-staff email threads and target-audience triangulation. Hell, our own list will be the product of five people’s own personal lists, everything weighted and moved around so it best represents the group rather than the individual. But New York magazine has exactly one music critic on staff: The great Nitsuh Abebe, who wrote the magazine’s much-discussed Grizzly Bear cover story a couple of months back. So the magazine’s top-10 albums list is entirely Nitsuh’s own, and even though it overlaps very little with my own, I have to say: It’s smart and considered and a great read. Like every critic, Nitsuh has his own soft spots — his twee-pop and R&B are my knucklehead-rap and basement hardcore — but his writing is sharp, and his reasoning makes sense. And since it’s just one guy making the list, it doesn’t make much sense to argue over what did or didn’t make the list. Check out the top 10 below.
10 Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
09 Elle Varner – Perfectly Imperfect
08 Evans The Death – Evans The Death
07 Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
06 Mount Eerie – Clear Moon and Ocean Roar
05 Jessie Ware – Devotion
04 Death Grips – The Money Store
03 Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
02 Chairlift – Something
01 Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City
You should definitely head over to Vulture and read the stuff Nitsuh wrote about his picks.