The Pazz & Jop 2013 Critic's Poll Is Out
The results are in, and there are a few quirky choices among the bunch -- maybe even a snub or two. But regardless of who made the cut, you can be damn sure that much speculation and dissection will ensue.
So we're referring to the Oscar nominations, right? Nah. Actually, it's our sister publication the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop music critic's poll, which dropped today and heralded the choices of more than 450 scribes from around the nation, including a few of our own.
Kanye West's contentious and controversial disc Yeezus unsurprisingly won album of the year honors while Daft Punk's effusive disco-funk track "Get Lucky" nabbed single of the year.
Other artists and bands making the top 10 album-wise were Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City, Chance the Rapper's Acid Rap, My Bloody Valentine's m b v, Janelle Monáe's The Electric Lady, and Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze.
In the singles category, the top vote-getters include many of the songs that have been pounding you eardrums all of last year, including Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (natch) and Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home," as well as Lorde's "Royals" Haim's "The Wire," and Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop." Oh, and a few songs from Kanye to boot.
West's attention-grabbing 2013 was also the subject of Village Voice music editor Brian McManus's piece "Yeezy Does It," one of the many thought-provoking essays that accompany the Pazz & Jop poll each year and were contributed by music critics from our sister alt-weekly papers.
The Village Voice's Jeff Weiss, for instance, proclaims that hip-hop stars like Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore have surpassed their backpacker past to conquer the rap world while Jessica Hopper (of "Fan Landers" and Pitchfork fame) declares that 2013 was the year of Miley Cyrus, and the always entertaining punk icon and LA Weekly columnist Henry Rollins penned a six-string soliloquy titled "The Guitar Will Never Die."
Closer to home, a handful of New Times writers past and present also contributed their votes to the Pazz & Jop poll, each following their own music muses.
To wit: Longtime contributor Serene Dominic, for example, thought Neko Case's excellent The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You was the album of the year and "Get Lucky" was 2013's best single.
And as she explained last week, writer Melissa Fossum stepped away from the critical pack and gave female-fronted Brooklyn pop punk group Chumped and their self-titled EP the nod instead of Yeezus. Kanye's track "Black Skinhead" was her choice for the top single of the year, however.
Our copy editor Jay Bennett also went his own way by throwing his votes behind nothing but the work of Arizona bands such as Destruction Unit's outstanding and critically lauded Deep Trip, Blanche Beach's self-titled effort, the Mission Creeps' Midnight Blood, and Fervor Records recent collection never-before-released Jetzons songs.
Meanwhile, Tempe Carnivore blogger and metal stalwart Mike R. Meyer went the hard rock and indie hip-hop route with a list of doomy and gloomy acts like Lost Society and Carcass, as well as such rappers as Joey Bada$$ and Moodie Black.
The Arizona Republic's Ed Masley also participated in the poll -- naming Modern Vampires of the City as his top album and David Bowie's "Where Are We Now?" as a number one single. The vocalist/guitarist also had the distinction of being both voter and votee by virtue of his power pop band The Breakup Society and its current 12-song LP So Much Unhappiness, So Little Time being included on the list.
Be sure to peruse Pazz & Jop's complete rundown of the best in music in 2013 or add your own choices for the biggest songs and albums of the year in the comments below.
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