Listless

I'm not going to lie to you. I love lists. I love ranking things. Give me a topic - most bitter Dylan songs, best Gilbert Arenas buzzer beaters, even something as stupid, say, as 10 random songs heard on a generic radio station - and I'll give you some rankings. But sometimes it just gets to be too much. It mostly gets to be too much when the calendar changes from November to December and we get bombarded with year-end "Best Of" lists. There's nothing wrong with a year-end list. You better believe that you will see a whole bunch of them on this very blog. But you've got to make it mean something, man. There needs to be some purpose, some identity, something interesting to say. This hit me when I was looking over Paste magazine's list of 2007's 100 best albums.

It's not that Paste's list is filled with bad music. Many of my favorite albums of the year can be found on the list of 100. But doesn't that sort of go without saying? It's not like Paste covers an extremely wide spectrum of music. It's mainstream nu-indie, with a nod toward the "chosen few" of other genres (Kanye West, Justice, Amy Winehouse, etc.). The top 10 includes The National, the Arcade Fire, the White Stripes, Feist, Band of Horses and Iron & Wine. Can it get much more predictable than that? (And can it get more beardy than those last two?) Is this list really helping anyone out? And is there really a need to go 100 deep? Is anyone going to say, "Well, I'm on the fence about this new Jesse Sykes album, but Paste says it's the 92nd best album of the year, so I think I'll pick it up!" The only people being helped by that are PR folks who get something they can put on a sticker for the next batch of CDs being shipped out to retailers. Everyone in the world has a say at the end of the year. So why not makes yours mean something?

By David Malitz |  November 29, 2007; 11:30 AM ET Rankings , Screeds
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Comments

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The most accurate, trustworthy year end list is definitely from www.metacritic.com

Posted by: Ben W. | November 29, 2007 2:36 PM

I don't know what Paste was thinking. I for sure would have had Josh Rouse 72 and Bettye Lavette 71 and not the other way around.

Posted by: T.Y. | November 29, 2007 7:04 PM

Whoever puts that list together at Largehearted Boy needs to get a day job.

Posted by: Seth | November 30, 2007 4:34 AM

"Paste" must stand for bad taste? Or is it because there is not an original thought and everything is "pasted" to the wall. I'm from their hometown and would like to support them, but they seem to not have met a record they did not like.

Posted by: Anthony | December 2, 2007 10:46 PM

Yeah, I thought their list came off more like 100 albums that were out in 2007.

Posted by: Chip Chanko | December 3, 2007 11:32 AM

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