Pazz and Jop, the annual Village Voice poll of music critics, is out. Conducted since 1971, the poll is the original metacritic, aggregating music writer's annual best of lists in to one mega list. Unsurprisingly, TV on the Radio won the number one spot, as it did in all the major music magazines, while M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" was named song of the year.
A few thoughts...
1. First, I didn't vote this year because they sent the e-mail ballot to former Music Editor Niki D'Andrea then, by the time I read through the forward, time was up. No great loss, but I'll vote next year since this is a Village Voice Media paper. My picks are here. My #1 came in at #15 on P&J, sadly.
2. I'm amazed by how right, and how wrong, the poll has gotten things over the years. For example, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was definitely the album of 2002, though most people did not have it at the top of their lists while Arrested Development winning in 1992, the year The Chronic came out is hilariously telling of how ignorant rock writers were about rap at the time.
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3. How the fuck did R.E.M. sneak on this list, even at #25? I seriously didn't know they released an album last year.
4. The poll was founded by former Voice music editor Robert Christgau, who is the worst music critic ever, in my humble opinion. I almost didn't want to vote just to avoid furthering, in any way, his legacy of shitty writing.
5. I've long said the problem with current music writing is that so much of it is a reaction to what some dudes in Chicago -- dudes increasingly over enamored of Eurotrash disco -- think. Sadly, the best song category winner, "Paper Planes" shows they're often ahead of the game. While it was huge this year, "Paper Planes" actually came out in 2007. If you read Pitchfork's 2007 best songs list, you'll see it.