When music magazines and website, ours included, publish year-end best-of lists, those lists are basically composites. All the people on staff get together to haggle, deliberate, and argue, and hopefully the end result comes out looking like the result of a coherent viewpoint. But when a general-interest magazine like New York publishes a year-end best-of list, that list is, in many cases, the work of the one music critic that the magazine has on staff. And in the case of New York, that one critic happens to be Nitsuh Abebe, a terrifically smart and capable writer with an interesting array of tastes.
I don’t agree with all of Nitsuh’s list for New York (and, in fact, we don’t share a single album on our respective personal top tens), but that’s because no two lists should look alike. I can say that it’s a smart list, a product of a restless ear. Check out New York’s top 10 below. Also, everyone who was mad at the Shabazz Palaces album not ending up in our year-end list should be a bit happier with this one.
10 Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
09 Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
08 Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
07 tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l
06 Iceage - New Brigade
05 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
04 Destroyer – Kaputt
03 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
02 Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
01 Austra – Feel It Break
(via New York)
You can check out Stereogum’s Top 50 Albums Of 2011 list here.