Pitchfork tracks list

This morning, Pitchfork finished counting down its favorite songs of the past calendar year. As someone who wrote for Pitchfork for a long-ass time, I can tell you that those guys take the task of year-end listing seriously; there are lots of sub-lists and master lists and internal debates over what should even have a shot at the final list, before all the staff members get to voting. It’s a complicated process, and the end result is a pretty undeniable set of songs. As always, there’s stuff in there that I know nothing about (apparently experimental classical music had a good year?), and the #1 pick is a bit of a surprise. Also: No “Same Damn Time.” But that top 10? That is a very good top 10. Check out the top 10 picks below.

10 Jai Paul – “Jasmine”
09 Fiona Apple – “Werewolf”
08 Beach House – “Myth”
07 Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
06 Bat For Lashes – “Laura”
05 Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”
04 Kendrick Lamar – “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”
03 Usher – “Climax”
02 Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
01 Grimes – “Oblivion”

You’ll find the complete list, along with blurbs and audio links, here.

Comments (234)
  1. Experimental Classical is where it’s at.

  2. Their obsession with Grimes is kinda offputting but besides that great list, especially them including Climax at #3. Surprised at their Dirty Projector’s pick; was sure it’d be Offspring are Blank or Gun has No Trigger. Also I wish they would’ve included Hood by Perfume Genius, but he isn’t getting a lot of love in the list world, so not surprised. Hopefully the album gets a shout out at least.

  3. This list always serves to remind me of how much rap and hip-hop I miss out on throughout the year. And with Corban gone — Well, I’ll be missing out on a ton more I am sure.

    Also, LOL at Gorilla vs. Bear for taking credit on Twitter for Pitchfork’s top three track choices. That guy…

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    • You obviously don’t read the website: They gave Kanye West 808′s 7.6. They gave Lambchop Mr. M Best New Music. And who gives a shit about Airborne Toxic Event anyway? I’m not defending Pitchfork, but if you want to criticize, please have some idea of what you’re talking about.

    • Haha, I don’t even know what this means.

      But you do have a point; Pitchfork really is pretty much the only place online where Kanye and Pavement get so much love.

    • Pitchfork in “good artists get good reviews, bad artists get bad reviews” shocker.

    • Pave,ent and Kanye West getting critical acclai,? No fucking way. Also, I feel you, Alden, the ,otherfucking m key is tough to hit.

  5. i really love stereogum. and list season. so I uploaded these : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/21m95eirt6jfpgl/eGFxL0yN-G – merry listmas guys xox

  6. ahh finally some love for “Only in My Dreams”. loved the write-up, too as I had a very similar experience – instantly liked it and on repeat for weeks. however i would say it feels like a put-on for a split second when Ariel does his almost jokey baritone during the lyric, “you’re the luckiest girl”. but that’s him and probably is 100% sincere.

  7. Weak year for standout tracks. Those tracks are good but nothing really just jumped out and separated itself from the rest of the pack. (Ok, “Pyramids” is still balls-to-the-wall brilliant.)

    • Totally agree, but it’s understandable. Standout tracks (aka singles) are very mainstream now, so it’s only natural that Pitchfork begins to laud more difficult and obscure songs/albums. In past years Passion Pit’s ‘Take a Walk’ might have landed on the list, but now that KROQ et al are pumping it, ‘Constant Conversations’ gets the spot instead. Same deal with Twin Shadow (‘Golden Light’ over ‘Five Seconds’), also artists like Arctic Monkeys, The Shins, Lana Del Rey, The Big Pink. Critic’s darlings at one point, now overlooked because they’re the new normal.

      I just don’t understand the reasoning behind their love affair with super mainstream pop. It’s sad that Carly Rae Jepsen gets a nod while artists like Band of Skulls or Cage the Elephant don’t even get mentioned on the site.

      • How are singles, or standout tracks, any more mainstream now than they were at any point in the past ten years that p4k has done lists like these? Maybe their writers think that the non-single tracks are more interesting, rather than picking them to be purposefully obscure.

        Pitchfork’s has historically tended to ignore guitar-driven alt-rock bands unless the work is pretty exceptional. It’s not like they turned against Arctic Monkeys when they got popular. You say the bands you like are ignored because they’re the new normal, I would guess they’re ignored because they don’t have anything new to say. I love rock, but look at it this way. If I listen to Grimes there is nothing else on my ipod quite like “Oblivion.” While I may prefer the style of the Arctic Monkeys, why would I listen to them when I can listen to the Clash, or The Replacements, or the first Strokes album, or countless other records?

        • I agree with you in the comparison and I actually like most of the bands you’ve mentioned A.J., including the Arctic Monkeys though. But I also find for instance, that Grimes sounds a bit like Lykke Li, which she supported in tours, and I love the Swedish singer. Can’t say the same about Grimes..

      • “Take a Walk” was embarrassingly on-the-nose. Topical!

      • Eh? Do you not remember Midnight City from last year? Everyone was poopin gold bricks over that, and I would say that really stood out.

  8. I understand how the incessant press coverage of Grimes and/or elements of her personality may be off-putting to some, but I can’t help but feel that most of the people who talk trash about her have never even heard her newest album. Visions really is one of the best albums of 2012, and no abundance of blogger obsession or corresponding backlash can change this. I’m not talking about you specifically, Naqiy, this is just a general observation.

    Regarding Pitchfork’s list: I was happy to see the best track (Flutes) off of Hot Chip’s album in the top 20, despite the fact that it wasn’t released as a single. (Also, Resident Advisor did the same thing with John Talabot’s So Will Be Now…)

    • Very true, I agree with all those points. It is a great album and Oblivion is a great pop song with possibly my favorite video of the year. It just doesn’t have the feel of the best song of the year, although I guess in a year without an all-encapsulating standout track like in previous years, it’ll do as the best song of the year. It does thoroughly represent the “small pop” trend, as P4K deemed it, along with Sky Ferreira and Solange. So I guess with those considerations it does sufficient stand out as truly a number one track, thanks you’ve convinced me now.

      • Cheers. I hear what you’re saying, too. And fwiw, Pitchfork is easily the blog most worthy of blame for forcing Grimes down the throats of the unwilling.

      • Am I the only who thinks Pitchfork’s 2012 obsession over Grimes is much better than if corporate Lana Del Rey would’ve started out the year on a good note with P4K? I’m just glad to have such charismatic girls making really good and interesting pop music such as Grimes, Sky, and Solange.

        On another note, I agree, Oblivion is most definitely not song of the year. I thought “Yet Again” by Grizzly Bear was the obvious one this year. Apparently, I was mistaken.

    • Wait. “Flutes” is #38… Sadly, because it’s better than a handful of top 20 tracks and Call Me Maybe/Nicki Minaj shit. But still it’s very high because Hot Chip are not that big in the US as I understand.

      • Thanks for catching my mistake. Need to drink coffee before putting my fingers near a keyboard.

      • I think in Pitchfork’s eyes, Hot Chip hasn’t released a song better than “Over and Over” or “Boys from School”

        Both of those songs were incredibly high ranked in 2006. In fact, it was because of their high ranking I checked out Hot Chip at all.

        Personally, I don’t think they’ve released an album as enjoyable as “The Warning”. Their album this year was good, but I like it better when they do 4-5 minute catchy songs. “Flutes” is a great track but I don’t think it’s any better than “Motion Sickness” and it’s definitely not better than “Let Me Be Him”.

        They still slay live though. They’re all incredibly talented.

  9. I mean, these are all pretty cool songs, but if that top ten is the absolute best this year had to offer, then this year sucked. At least compared to 2011.

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    • And now what almightly reason makes these the ten songs best that 2012 had to offer? How darks that tunnel you look down?

      • Why do you assume that I’m completely unaware of everything else that happened this year other than this list? I’m mad because that top ten is in no way reflective of the BEST of 2012. At least, I don’t think it is.

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        • Sorry, I just needed an excuse.

          On the real though Wesley, I think I understand your frustration and with the lack of certain things you really liked on these lists, but I think that speaks more to how GOOD of a year 2012 was. The fact that there are probably 15-20 albums that a ‘gummer could list as their #1 without taking much flack says 2012 had a huge amount of parity between a lot of great albums.

          I mean, there are 5 albums in my top 10 that could have contended with James Blake and M83 for my two top spots last year.

          All in all, I think 2012 ruled.

          IMSIO (in my sexually irresistible opinion)

  10. 100 spots for the best tracks of the year and not a single Walkmen song?? Heaven, We Can’t Be Beat, Heartbreaker, Nightingales, Line By Line: take your pick.

  11. Good list, but no Father John Misty. Not surprised though, p4k don’t seem to like him. And no Perfume Genius is disappointing.

  12. ‘Oblivion’ was released in 2011. My favourite song of 2012 was ‘Left of the Dial’ by The Replacements. Again.

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  16. TNGHT’s “Higher Ground” should have made the top ten. That song (and EP) is bugg’n.

  17. What are your predictions for AOTY? Will they surprise us and go with Grimes too?

    It’s obviously Channel Orange.
    My prediction for Top 30 (basically just BNMs in no particular order)

    1. Frank Ocean
    2. Kendrick Lamar
    3. Fiona Apple
    (stereogum in reverse order)
    4. Swans
    5. Grizzly Bear
    6. Grimes
    7. GY!BE
    8. Japandroids
    9. Dirty Projectors
    10. Beach House
    11. Tame Impala
    12. Cloud Nothings
    13. Death Grips (The Money Store)
    14. Chromatics
    15. Burial
    16. John Talabot
    17. Spiritualized
    18. Jessie Ware
    19. The Walkmen
    20. Julia Holter
    21. Killer Mike
    22. Perfume Genius
    23. EL-P
    24. Miguel
    25. The Men
    26. Bat for Lashes
    27. Purity Ring
    28. Sharon van Etten
    29. Twin Shadow
    30. Andy Stott

    • It never works out like that though, there will be a few surprises

    • Pitchfork is easy to predict. When was the last time their #1 was a shock. Other than say The Knife’s Silent Shout there have been no surprises. Which means Channel Orange is a lock. Highest score, cultural significance, boat load of Grammy noms = P4k #1

      • After # 1 there are 49 other albums on their list, I bet you can’t predict more than 5 of their top ten, even out of order. Reply with what you think their top ten will be, order doesn’t matter just give me ten albums, I say you get 5 or less right.

        • So…outside of the obvious No. 1?

          Kendrick Lamar
          Fiona Apple

          Not that I want it that way, but I’d say those are good bets.

          • Does Ryan Schreiber’s vote count more than everyone else’s or is it fairly democratic(Tom??). If he has a bigger influence don’t sleep on Chromatics as a top ten or even top five candidate. I remember him saying on twitter something like he thinks they are the best band of the past five years.

        • The obvious:
          Frank Ocean
          Kendrick Lamar
          Grizzly Bear
          Fiona Apple
          Beach House
          Tame Impala

          Possible surprises:
          Andy Stott
          Dirty Projectors
          Killer Mike
          Death Grips
          Jessie Ware

      • doubt anyone saw the knife’s “silent shout” coming in 2006. that was six years ago, mind.

    • I predict some surprises in the top 10 for Pfork. I don’t think Grizzly Bear will make it despite their high rating and despite the fact I think it’s def top 3 (for me) b/c I think it’s become in fashion (within critic world) to sort of dismiss them, even though I think Shields is far more interesting and exciting than Veckatimest. Doubt Beach House and Dirty Projectors will make it for similar reasons. Some more obscure minimal stuff I haven’t listened to will probably fill the top 10 with Tame Impala, Frank, Kendrick, Japandroids….Swans? Godspeed? I predict a lot of albums that will rank much higher in the READER’s poll, will end up in the teens or 20s. I’m guessing Andy Stott will be in there….and as of a few weeks ago I would have said “now way’ to grimes, but I Guess people really do think her album is ‘great’ even tho I think it’s based off of just a few great songs….Then again what do I know.

      Haven’t shared it, but since people are doing it my top 10 would be

      1. Grizzly Bear
      2. Tame Impala
      3. Frank Ocean
      4. Beach House
      5. Bat for Lashes
      6. Dirty Projectors
      7. Miguel
      8. Here We Go Magic
      9. Fiona Apple
      10. Sharon Van Etten

  18. Oblivion’s a really good song but I don’t think it’s number one material weird choice for sure.
    Hmm might as well but together a quich personal top ten hear it goes…
    1. Wasted Days
    2. Candy
    3. The House That Heaven Built
    4. Northern Lights
    5. Survival Tactics
    6. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
    7. M.a.a.d City
    8. Let Me Be Him
    9. Impossible Sky
    10. Runaways

  19. I’ve had that Jai Paul track on repeat since this list drew my attention to it, amazing.

    Also, CLIMAX MADE IT!!!!!!! Finally!

    Is it just me or every single year do people say that it was a poor year for music? As much as I love these lists I feel they sometimes make us judge a year’s worth of music without proper separation. I mean it’s taken me until now to realise how much I love “The Age of Adz” and there are still tracks from 08/9 that I’m only just hitting me on a deeper level and people are already starting to write of the year as having had “no standout track” and such (even though it was clearly “I Belong in Your Arms”).

    • actually, This was a very good year for music for me, many of my fav artists released new albums. They just did not make it in the year-end lists

    • Personal tracks time:

      1. Chairlift – “I Belong In Your Arms”
      2. Passion Pit – “Constant Conversations”
      3. Miguel – “Adorn”
      4. El-P – “The Full Retard”
      5. Japandroids – “Adrenaline Nightshift”
      6. John Talabot – “When the Past Was Present”
      7. Usher – “Climax”
      8. Frank Ocean – “Thinkin’ Bout You”
      9. Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”
      10. Joey Bada$$ – “Survival Tactics”

    • I always thought it’d be fun to revisit these lists (or start from scratch) a few years down the line. See what people still listen to frequently, what they’ve lost interest in. I don’t know, what are you guys doing three years from today?

  20. Who else thinks that Major Lazer and Amber Coffman’s “Get Free” is criminally low on this list?!

  21. I made a Spotify Playlist of the tracks: http://open.spotify.com/user/dubill/playlist/3f8x3JOLktj0HgvebMr4mI

    Only 91 of them were available. Add the rest of the King Tuff album to round it out.

  22. A shortlist of who seems to be coming up short far too often on best of lists this year, in no particular order: Divine Fits, Dinosaur Jr., The Tallest Man on Earth, Woods, Lambchop, Mount Eerie, A.C. Newman, Angel Olsen.

    All of these are top 15 for me, and they all have a number of jams that I would have been glad to see on this list. Alas, I’m only one person, and not a popular online music tastemaker.

    • Youre not alone man!

    • Add Perfume Genius. Really thought he’d get a lot more love, especially from pitchfork.

    • YES for Dino Jr. I would add Jens Lekman to that list too. I think it will take a little while for people to see what a touching album I Know What Love Isn’t is. It’ll be one of those ones that writers will refer back to as “his excellent 2012 LP…”

    • Just until recently Lambchop was my album of the year (The Seer pushed it down after I realised I’m obsessed with it), so I’m massively disappointed in how little attention its been getting. I think it’s more proof of January/February albums being at a significant disadvantage to albums released later in the year.

    • Solid points, all. I’d throw the Walkmen in the mix too, but they’ve been getting solid returns basically everywhere except Pitchfork.

      I will credit the Pitchfork list for this, however: it got me to check out the Mac Demarco album, and it’s pretty good.

    • Tinymixtapes really liked mount eerie and angel olsen this year (angel olsen’s at the top of my “i didn’t know that existed but now i really need to check it out” list of 2012 and mount eerie’s always fantastic.)
      but to get to that, you have to wade through a bunch of weird vaporwave shit that nobody but the people who write for tinymixtapes know about/would find interesting anyway. Their list is also so “avant-garde” it includes that cash-in album by Farrah Abraham, former MTV Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant star, citing it as some sort of outsider art schtick.

      • Yeah I just read that list this morning, and it is truly bizarre. I read tinymixtapes from time to time, and I’m often blown away by how pretentious their reviews can be –– the Farrah Abraham review is a thing to behold.

      • Tiny Mix Tapes are sort of the worst. I sometimes wonder if anyone but their own staff even reads it. I skim it about 3 X a year at this point b/c they just write about the stupidest shit. They try to be funny with their news too and at this point it’s just sort of pathetic.

        • Tiny Mix Tapes is kind of the best. That Farrah Abraham album is actually really great. you should listen to before you write it off as a cash grab. And that Vaporwave album Mediafired was my choice for the #1 album the year. Its fucking fantastic, and the song Pixes off of it, was my #2 song of the year.

          They have way better taste than Stereogum to be honest.

          If you listened to as much music as those guys, and knew as much as much about is they did, I bet you would have similar taste. You just don’t listen to as many records as they do.

          So your taste leans towards the MOR indie that stereogum likes.

          • Edit:

            Tiny Mix Tapes is kind of the best. That Farrah Abraham album is actually really great. You should listen to it before you write it off as a cash grab. And that Vaporwave album by Mediafired was my choice for the #1 album of the year. Its fucking fantastic, and the song Pixes off of it, was my #2 song of the year.

            They have way better taste than Stereogum to be honest.

            If you listened to as much music as those guys, and knew as much about it as they did, I bet you would have similar taste. You just don’t listen to as many records as they do.

            So your taste leans towards the MOR indie that stereogum likes.

      • This intrigued me so I went and found the review and uhh….wow:

        “We are all trapped in socio-political systems that resist the possibility of imagining an alternative, but we’re also trapped with our Selves and, worse, doomed to reflect perpetually upon our own Self, the secular reincarnation of the soul.”

        Dude, its a cash in album by a reality star.

      • I like the tinymixtapes lists. They cover shit that no one else will touch. I for one find a lot of what they cover interesting. I hear about as much good music from them as I do from p4k or stereogum. I have pretty weird tastes but still, no need to bash another site that covers music that you don’t like. Stick to the gum if that’s your thing.

      • That is literally the weirdest album I’ve ever heard. Sure, it probably is “outsider art”, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

        • I agree with this assessment. Even if we’re being generous and agreeing that this is indeed an actual attempt at making “art” and not simply a horrible miscalculation, its pretty unlistenable.

          Also, I’ve been listening to some of this vaporwave stuff, and so far: meh. And I like when people branch out and put some weird shit on lists –– it’s great to be exposed to that –– but I will readily admit that my tastes hew closer to MOR stuff. I think what gets me about tmt is more how they present their reviews than what they cover –– the writing is pretentious as fuck and chock full of the kind of pseudo-postmodern bullshit normally reserved for bad undergraduate term papers. Their tendency to obfuscate and over-intellectualize things gets on my nerves. More power to them for letting the freak flag fly, but seriously, just cut the shit.

          • You’re taste hew closer to MOR stuff, because your taste just isn’t very developed yet. If you ever talk to some one who has weird obscure taste in music, they more often than not have an extensive knowledge of music in lot of other genre’s as well. And almost always, people with MOR indie taste in music have a really limited knowledge of music.

            You’ll never meet some dude who is like “I really haven’t cared for Graham Lambkins post Shadow Ring stuff, I’m actually much more excited about that new Christopher Owens solo record.”

            Dudes who are excited about Christopher Owens or a new Bon iver album. Simply don’t know much else.

          • Obviously it’s kind of bullshit to claim someone’s taste isn’t “developed yet” when you don’t know that person or have any idea of what they know about music and what they want from music. There are people with a deep knowledge of music and appreciation for all sorts of shit who still mainly put on Springsteen albums –– all of this is incredibly subjective.

            Also: I realize they are just your standard examples, but I really dislike Christopher Owens and I’m deeply ambivalent about Bon Iver. Don’t put that on me, girl.

    • yeah i thought “would that not be nice” would cane it in.

    • These albums would be hire if they were more fashionable.
      The music media likes to hype up quality albums, sure, but it also helps to have a narrative. i.e. Hip-hop and RnB are coming up trumps, while Indie Rock is waning.

  23. Really bummed not to see a Jens Lekman track on there. So many beautiful tunes on that album.

    A few other of my favorites/thoughts, if anyone cares:

    Sun Airway: Over My Head, Close, or Black Noise
    The Walkmen: Heaven, or We Can’t Be Beat
    Dino Jr: Watch the Corners
    The Raveonettes: She Owns the Streets
    Veronica Falls: Teenage (!!!!)
    Wild Nothing: Only Heather (c’mon!!!)
    Allo Darlin’: Northern Lights
    Teen Mom: I Wanna Go Out (not like p4k even reviewed them though)
    Only You: Applying Myself (same)
    Melody’s Echo Chamber: Some Time Alone, Alone, or You Won’t Be Missing That Part of Me
    Dan Deacon: True Thrush
    Polica: Dark Star (seemed like an obvious choice)
    Beach House: probably would have went with Other People or The Hours
    Merchandise: would have gone with Become What You Are
    Passion Pit: would have gone with It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy, or I’ll Be Alright

  24. Was “Mind Mischief” anyone else’s favorite track off Lonerism?

  25. Gotta say…Usher ‘s Climax was a brilliant call.

  26. i can get behind this top ten, def

    anyone know if first aid kit made the top 100? my work computer blocks pitchfork

  27. And I must say this again…R&B took an amazing step forward in 2012. Great artists added new and amazing twists to its roots

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  29. My only quibble with the list is some artists like Kendrick & Frank Ocean have three tracks on it (yes, they are all brilliant no doubt), but I wish Pitchfork had made it two songs per artists, and then they can have more diversity (add Perfume Genius, The Walkmen, any track from Kindred, Evy Jane). Still a great Top 10 and I LOVE #1 choice.

    • why though? if those really are their top 100, then leaving one of the top 100 out to make room #104 doesn’t make any sense.

    • Sometimes one album-has a shit ton of stand-out tracks that deserve to be singled out. I think p4k absolutely ruined their “Songs of the ’90s” list from a few years back by limiting each artist to a single track. It might be more useful for people who weren’t around for the ’90s. But it’s not really a best of the decade list, it’s a list of 200 Artists who recorded tracks between 1990 and 1999.

      When people, at least in this community, talk about 2012 a few years down the line, they’re going to be talking about Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple, Tame Impala, Grimes, etc. Bands that are left off of this list are going to be afterthoughts. Might as well have the list reflect the probable legacy of the music released that year.

      • you make a good point in your first paragraph.

        however, i personally don’t let lists from websites dictate how i remember a given time’s music. i think many others would agree that they too can think for themselves.

        • Yeah. Maybe I wasn’t clear, but that’s not whatI meant at all. A year’s musical legacy is created by individual opinions which are turned into ‘conversations’ about those opinions. These lists are just another form of conversation that give shape to the overall body of opinion in different communities of interests.. I’m not saying that I let p4k or anybody else tell me how to remember a year. I’m just saying that these lists should reflect the ‘conversation’ we had throughout the year.

  30. I think this list basically does what a year-end list should do: be a victory lap for the obviously great songs (“Pyramids,” “House That Heaven Built,” etc.), but also make you take a second listen to songs that you enjoyed but didn’t necessarily consider great (“Oblivion,” “Climax,” etc.), possibly because those songs didn’t come in “greatness” packaging.

  31. Lots of songs you’d expect to see, maybe a different order than I expected I guess. But I’m genuinely surprised “Aimless Arrow” isn’t on there. That song fucking rips, and it’s one of the most accessible songs Converge has made, and I’m pretty sure it got some love from the site when it was released. Also really thought “Default” by Atoms for Peace was under appreciated this year. Great track, can’t wait for that record.

  32. Anyone else blown away by the fact that they forgot “I’ll Be Alright” by Passion Pit? It seemed like it would easily make the top 20 earlier this year

  33. I really don’t understand how Heems has been entirely left off all of these lists. Pick and choose the best songs from the two mixtapes he released this year, and his feature on blue magic by big baby gandhi, and you would have a pretty flawless rap album.

  34. “I can tell you that those guys take the task of year-end listing seriously”

    That might be a problem, considering Call Me Maybe appear in the list (and unfortunately not the Dan Deacon version…)

  35. Minor complaint that’s really more of a question: Is anybody else scratching their heads over why Schoolboy Q’s “Hands on the Wheel” is on all the year-end lists instead of “Blessed”? “Blessed” makes me want to cry and then ball up my fists and rage every time I hear it.

  36. Seriously though, did everyone forget “Wasted Days” existed on Attack on Memory? Or am I just the weird one here?

    • No, Wasted Days was featured in the Gummy Awards last week. Stay Useless is just the most instant and accessible choice.. but anyway the whole album is brilliant.

      • Yeah, I figured a lot of the reason Stay Useless seemed to be the go-to choice was because it was “the single”. But “I thought I would be more than this” is one of the finest punk chants in recent memory. Right up there with “You will always be a loser” and “We’re dying on the inside”. Plus, that noise freakout is legendary.

  37. To me, then picking “Oblivion” over “Pyramids,” is like in 2010 when “Round & Round” got the number 1 spot over “Runaway.” All songs I love, but five years from now which two are you more likely to remember?

    • Round & Round from me by a light year

        • Not doubting the greatness of that song in the least, just saying if you take most of the parameters for “best song” like: chart success, critical acclaim, re-playablility, impact, then songs like “Runaway” and “Pyramids” should win out by a long shot.

          • See, that’s where i think your argument get’s a bit fishy.

            1. How is “chart success” a criterion for “best song”?

            2. Apparently “Round & Round”, by topping that list, was more critically acclaimed, as it was determined by a voting process by a large group of music critics (all contributing to the same site, but none the less)

            3. I’m pretty sure I’ve replayed “Round & Round” a lot more than “Runaway”. How do you define re-playability anyway? Heck, one of my most-listened-to songs of all time is “Clara” from Scott Walker’s The Drift, which, I guess, isn’t what you’d call “catchy” at all, if that’s what your definition of “re-playable” is.

            4. “impact” is quite hard to predict in the long run anyway. I recently did an 80s playlist for a friend’s party and discovered that the 80s covered so much more ground than you’d accredit them for, and I think that that’s one of the aims of lists like this one.

            But enough already. I’m gonna be spending the rest of my day eating cookies and watching dog gifs on tumblr now.

    • Yeah, I remember that. I wonder how much of a case it was of votes getting split between Kanye songs. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy had just come out a few weeks before, and it was still kimd of an overwhelming experience. I remember trying to decide between “Runaway,” “All of the Lights,” and “Power” in the Readers poll that year. I think “Monster” might have been in my top 10 as well.

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  39. Swap out that Nicki Minaj crap with Niki & The Dove “Tomorrow”!

  40. Also: Where the FUCK is “Cartoon & Cereal”?

  41. Anyone else catching a weird Pitchfork is the new MTV vibe? They’ve followed eerily strange trajectories. Granted, P4K started in the late ’90s, but it only started gaining real traction in the early ’00s in comparison to MTV’s rise in the early ’80s. Both focused almost exclusively on rock-oriented music and gave voice to underground artists and scenes a lot of people wouldn’t have heard otherwise (hardcore, thrash, college rock, etc.). Both started receiving criticism for a lack of diversity in their focus towards the middle of their first decade; by ’92 MTV was still featuring rock artists but grunge was really the last gasp of rock music as the main focus of that station, as was lo-fi in the late ’00s for Pitchfork. Popular focus eventually turned to new jack swing, gangsta rap, and dance music for MTV, while Pitchfork’s focus has shifted towards neu R&B (a spiritual successor to new jack swing), blog rap, and…dance music.

    It’s just a really bizarre correlation I noticed.

    • Dunno man, P4k’s interest in Hip-Hop, R&B and Dance music might just be because it is presently some of the more interesting music out there.

      • This could both be true and not the reason for their interests. Some criticism of them suggests they are trendchasers or trendsetters. Recognizing continual excellence of Walkmen albums or music in the area of their roots does not satisfy either of those things. As trends evolve and previous trends or music styles mature, they just won’t seem fresh or new (at least for 20 years until some teenagers or French guy crafts some “homage in the style of” and the kids get excited about it. A lot of songs on their list last year, which I only just got through, were a little bit unexceptional or unmemorable for me. I’ll go through the list every year to hear some new stuff.

      • But what was more interesting about a post-punk revival act like The Strokes than say D’Angelo at the turn of the decade, to such an extent that they focused squarely on the former and completely neglected the latter? They’re all over his dick now, and I don’t have a problem with that, but why weren’t they there the first time? The Strokes were/are great, but their music wasn’t revolutionary. In their recent review of the Voodoo reissue P4k argues that D’Angelo was.

        Conversely, why are those genres more interesting? There were a number of great to amazing rock and metal albums that came out in the past year. Does the guitar-drums-bass-vocals set up immediately disqualify it from being interesting?

        • Yeah, I see what you mean that there is definitely a paradigm shift when you use the Strokes/D’Angelo analogy. As a dude who spent a reasonable amount of time on okayplayer message boards, this alt R&B thing is nothing new and the fact that it is only recently being recently being elevated to the status of Indie rock in what used to be indie rock blogs is indicative of something. But maybe it’s collective discovery as opposed to a cynical ploy at being hip.
          And of course there was great guitar/bass/drums music being made this year, but for the first time in my memory that they’re only given as much consideration as Hip-Hop, R&B and Electronic music. (which I think is fantastic)

    • Intriguing point. Although I’d point out that MTV was only dominated by left-field acts in their early years, because the more MOR acts weren’t making videos.within a few years MTV was much more mainstream. Even though MTV drove the conception of what is mainstream in a way p4k never has come close to. After a few years, the out-of-mainstream music that MTV pushed was mostly done on specialty shows, which had a huge influence on some of us, wasn’t watched by a ton of people.

    • I think it’s probably false to suggest they’re moving away from Rock and towards R&B, Rap etc. Rather I think they’ve widened their net a lot, considering in 2000 they were on lists of 20 albums and no tracks, now they have 100 tracks, top 50 albums AND 20 honourable mention albums.

  42. That list is lacking a good dose of Bob Mould, The Mountain Goats, and Walkmen.

  43. I prefer Stereogum’s reader’s top 20 tracks to this shit to be honest.

  44. There’s a lack of love for Gaslight Anthem – 45 on every list. That was one of my favourite songs of the year.

  45. Is there a particular reason why Disparate Youth has largely been ignored in this list cycle?

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  47. This list cuts it with me for the inclusion of Jai Paul’s Jasmine alone.

  48. I have to admit that I fell for Grimes this year – and i actually agree with her top spot in this list. Also, Jasmine on #10 gave me tons of joy!

    Say about Pitchfork what you want, but this list is pretty much spot on

    P.S.: I DO agree with the lack of Perfume Genius on any end-of-year list so far!

  49. “Five Seconds”. How does this happen? And a shout out to “Sulk” by Trust I believe is needed.

    Well other than that it’s a good list.

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