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Do you agree with the critics?

It's very interesting to see that at the end of each year a significant number of people disagree with the critics about the most acclaimed album. This year it's Sufjan, last year you said that Franz Ferdinand were overrated, and the year before that you were criticizing the critics because they put "Elephant" in the top. A lot fewer people are criticizing the number ones from earlier years.

On the other hand, "Illinois" easily won the Acclaimed Music P&J-type poll. Therefore I want to know, do you agree to a lesser extent with the lists of 2003, 2004 and 2005 compared to, say, the lists of 1965, 1975 and 1985?

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

My take is this: Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. Those that are arrogant enough to offer their opinions as fact not only have assholes, but ARE assholes.

That having been said, I think that people agreeing with the earlier years' lists on this site more than the later lists is a product of how old the average Acclaimed Music reader is. For example, I was born in 1972 and it wasn't until the early to mid '80s that I started getting into popular music. Because of that, I'm more familiar with music from that era through today than I am with anything prior to that time.

My personal knowledge of the past two decades coupled with the expansion of number of artists makes it more likely that I would disagree with the average critics' list from that period, because I have a larger pool of artists to choose from.

For anything predating the early eighties, I only have a couple of sources for my music knowledge: oldies radio stations and literature on the subject. Since most oldies stations play what is considered classic rock, and most of the books on the matter are written by the same critics responsible for a lot of the lists on Acclaimed Music, I have only limited, second-hand knowledge of music during that time. Combined with the fact that there were relatively less artists during the '60s and '70s, it makes it more likely that the music I like from those decades would coincide with the critics who I've used to enhance my knowledge of the era.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

I don't think that I disagree more with newer lists than with older ones. In each list, I find music that I adore and music that just isn't for me.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

OMFG YES, HAHA. WOAH. See? What did I tell you? Havent i been posting a bunch of this stuff? About the critics? They arent doing this right. I swear to god, if they were doing this right, I guarantee that Tanglewood Numbers by the SJ's would be right in the top 5, long with Broadcast's Tender Buttons and Animal Collective's Feels. M.I.A. would stay right where it is, because that record is great.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

M.I.A. is awful. It's dance music with no danceable beat, no hooks and lousy vocals. I don't understand why so many critics think it's great.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

I don't think that necessarily the critics are more "wrong" nowadays than in the 60s or 70s. For example, I looked at the Pazz 'n Jop lists Harold Wexler posted a while ago. Take for example 1977, one of the most highly regarded years ever:

1. Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols - 9
2. Elvis Costello, My Aim is True - 79
3. Television, Marquee Moon - 27
4. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours - 52
5. Steely Dan, Aja - 267
6. The Ramones, Rocket to Russia - 246
7. Talking Heads: 77 - 295
8. Randy Newman, Little Criminals - 804
9. Garland Jeffreys, Ghost Writer - ---
10. Cheap Trick, In Color - 1072

If this year would be 1977, the critics would proably be heavily criticised by some (including me) for putting a bunch of poseurs on n° 1, while ignoring the Clash's excellent debut. Or for putting Steely Dan's boring old-people music above the vibrant Talking Heads.
But since 1977 is almost 30 years ago, nobody is as passionate about something as unimportant as a silly critics' list.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

Just wanted to clarify - the reason THE CLASH didn't make the Pazz & Jop list in 1977 is because the album did not receive a U.S. release until two years later (the reconfigured U.S. version placed at #3 on that year's P&J poll). The poll didn't include imports until much later. (I believe that BOY IN DA CORNER made the 2003 top ten as an import, as it wasn't officially released Stateside until early '04.)

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

I think people have little problem with the past lists since they are mostly based on the albums/songs that have lasted. There is value in looking at the list made in the year and the lists made later.

Re: Do you agree with the critics?

You can bitch all you want about these lists, to me they're just suggestions of what to look for. Hey, I personally thought that the new bright eyes album was better than illinios, but I can see why people still like it.

"Different Strokes for different Folks"

-Sly Stone