Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2009 pazz & jop

I didn't say it out loud, so you'll just have to take my word for it, but I correctly predicted that Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion would win this year's Pazz & Jop music poll. I don't love the record as much as my colleagues do, clearly, but looking back on my review of the album from almost a year ago, I see that even I could tell that it was a step up for a band I think is generally overrated but admirable in its ambitions.

As for the singles chart, I never bothered making a prediction. But I still say that "Empire State of Mind" is a great Alicia Keys chorus weighed down by a so-so Jay-Z rap. (His "On to the Next One" off the same album is a far superior single.)

And what about my ballot? You can see it here. It follows my usual pattern of being more closely aligned with the consensus on the albums side. My favorite songs tend not to be a lot of other people's favorite songs -- I suspect that may be somewhat intentional. I love songs that feel personal rather than shared. In fact, three of my singles picks didn't show up on a single other critic's ballot: an Eels tune, a dance remix of Christian Bale's Terminator Salvation on-set freak out, and (to my mind) the standout track on Neko Case's acclaimed album. I think anybody with an open mind would enjoy the hell out of all three. But it don't worry me if you disagree.