Good point, although someone new to the National really can’t go wrong with any of Alligator, Boxer, or High Violet.
Actually…now that I think about it, I can’t reduce my list past these 14 (which incidentally does not include Daughters), in no particular order:
Terrible Love (alt)
Afraid of Everyone
So Far Around the Bend
The Geese of Beverly Road
Racing Like a Pro
Daughters of the Soho Riots absolutely belongs on this list, along with Abel and the Geese of Beverly Road.
That “Sleep All Summer” cover is pure magic.
Agreed. I audibly gasped when I opened my email and saw a message with “R.I.P. Jason Molina” in the title.
I’m in the same boat (having trouble getting into PV). It’s an interesting observation about the sequencing, too… Sometimes when I’m having trouble getting into an album, I’ll hack up the track order and re-arrange it in a different way (or just listen to certain songs individually before listening to the whole). It’s how I came around to Ryan Adams’ 29, for example. Having the slow, 8-minute “Strawberry Wine” in the #2 spot was throwing me off the album for the longest time. Once I started listening to the tracks out of order, I was able to appreciate them individually, which later extended to the album as a whole (including, by the end, “Strawberry Wine”). Now it’s one of my personal favorite RA albums, but it took a long time to get there.
21 was Adele’s Jagged Little Pill.
What happened to the sad pop songs?
(Seriously – radio used to have them. Where’d they go?)
Absolutely. Maybe it’s because Winter was my point of entry for FR, but I don’t understand the distaste for that album. It’s got “Swim If You Can’t See Land,” for chrissakes!
This post deserves so many more upvotes. “Risk” – man, you nailed it.
I have to say, every time Mumford and Sons come up on this site, it makes me uneasy. Part of that is because I truly don’t think they’re as bad as Stereogum commenters like to pretend (and part of THAT is because – and this always gets me downvoted, but whatever – there is an awful lot of groupthink going on here). So I feel like I have to defend a band I don’t actually like. But I can’t say I dislike them either – it’s just that, for whatever reason, their music doesn’t click with me. And maybe that’s enough. Maybe we spend too much time convincing ourselves that the “MUSIC ISN’T VERY GOOD” (as Hartford said a few comments above) when really it’s just “THIS DOESN’T CLICK WITH ME FOR AN UNKNOWABLE REASON.” I dunno.
But I really dig this “risk” thing, and that’s what I meant to say when I started typing…
I probably would have gone M.I.A., PSY, and Grimes in the 1-3 spots, but still a very good list.
I wonder if Jack and Tom would be up for some kind of competition. A battle of wits to settle once and for all: Who is the Bigger Asshole? We could come up with categories and have the guys submit their reasons why they (or the other guy) deserves to win. I’ll start:
Who is Trying Harder to Look like Johnny Depp?
Who has Spoiled More Surprises?
Just to clarify, I wasn’t necessarily directing that last line at David, although I can somewhat see why it might appear that way. However, what he stated was not a fact; it’s an opinion – albeit an opinion that was stated AS a fact. But, hey…it’s December in music-land.
I’m shocked by that, too. I’m still working on my list, but I started writing it before the big sites/publications began publishing theirs, and just assumed Grizzly Bear would be near the top. This is what I wrote about Shields: “It’s likely to rank highly on most lists, and the comments section for those it doesn’t will likely be filled with complaints that it isn’t higher.”
Oddly enough, neither of those things have happened. I’m really surprised. Shields is probably my favorite album of the year.
We’re assuming another video won’t get filmed before Dec 21…
Sorry Dave, but if you don’t see the age-related dismissiveness in Tom and Michael’s lead-in summaries, then I’m not sure what else to tell you.
While it’s easy to say they’re, you know, not making good music anymore, some of those albums have been highly praised elsewhere. So to claim that they don’t “deserve to be anywhere near the top of anything” is a bit over the top.
I’m just tired of the usual smugness and condescension that people seem compelled to throw around during year-end list time.
Definitely thought you wrote “Rick James’ cooch.”
I think I need glasses…
Wait, you were being sarcastic?! //switches upvote to downvote//
Oh, good. Another Stereogum writer doesn’t think older musicians shouldn’t rank highly on a Best Of list.
It all makes sense now!
For all that social technologies have pretended to bring us closer together, they’ve really only served to keep us farther apart. It’s kinda like what Arcade Fire were saying in “Deep Blue”:
Put the cellphone down for a while
In the night there’s something wild
Can you hear it breathing?
Put the laptop down for a while
In the night there is something wild
I feel it, it’s leaving me
If that’s his point, it’s dumb. I can’t get into rap. I’ve tried, it’s just not my thing. That doesn’t make me a bigot.
Really. It’s not possible for rock’s elder statesmen to continue recording good music? That’s ridiculous.
Man, I just don’t know what to think about eels’ new stuff. E is probably my favorite songwriter; I really think some of his stuff is just genius. But I couldn’t get into Tomorrow Morning (to be fair, I didn’t really give it a chance), and this song seems quite literally no deeper than opening the window to smell the peach blossoms. I realize that not every song a guy writes needs to be as gut-wrenching as “Dead of Winter,” and the girl in this video is adorable as hell, so that’s good. I’m glad E has found a brighter place, too, so more power to him…