We in the Popblerd stable are an eclectic group. This is why we generally elect to post individual year-end lists, as opposed to a larger catch-all: simply put, there’s rarely a consensus. We have metal people, hip-hop people, indie people, nostalgia-trip people, rockers, pop lovers — and, of course, we all love our local music (and hail from different locales). This makes our individual lists eclectic and exciting, but a master list a messy affair. Still, just in case you were curious: here’s the closest thing we have to a consensus, with links to insight from our writers where available. Enjoy!
20. The Carpenter, The Avett Brothers
19. (tie) Black Radio, The Robert Glasper Experiment / How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, Sinead O’Connor / Sunken Condos, Donald Fagen
18. Halcyon, Ellie Goulding
17. Port of Morrow, The Shins
16. Mirrorwriting, Jamie Woon
15. (tie) MMXII, Killing Joke / Oceania, Smashing Pumpkins / Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel
14. Vows, Kimbra
13. Cancer4Cure, El-P
12. Life Is Good, Nas
11. Some Nights, fun.
10. (tie) Channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean / The Sound of the Life of the Mind, Ben Folds Five / Locked Down, Dr. John
9. Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen
8. The 2nd Law, Muse
7. Gossamer, Passion Pit
6. Born and Raised, John Mayer
5. Making Mirrors, Gotye
4. Blunderbuss, Jack White
3. My Head is an Animal, Of Monsters and Men
2. The Idler Wheel…, Fiona Apple
1. Celebration Rock, Japandroids
As you’ll notice, it’s a remarkably eclectic list, as all good year-end lists should be; we have aging icons like Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, and Donald Fagen rubbing elbows with newbies Of Monsters and Men, Kimbra, and Gotye. Also, we’re suckers for beloved acts breaking long silences, as evidenced by Fiona Apple, Ben Folds Five, and The Shins.
Also, it’s important to note that so many albums were consumed (and loved) by our writers that there was no true consensus. Japandroids’ stellar sophomore set made a lot of lists, but only took the number one spot twice, which should give you some indication of how wide the spread was. (Conversely, Gotye’s record made it to #5 despite never cracking the top ten on any individual lists.) It’s a lot to corral, particularly when you consider that there are three three-way ties in the top 20 alone, thus essentially making this a top 26. Hey, more bang for your buck! Enjoy that!
Finally, to further illustrate the point: Twin Shadow’s Confess, American Aquarium’s Burn.Flicker.Die., The Coup’s Sorry to Bother You, The Devin Townsend Project’s Epicloud, The Phenomenal Handclap Band’s Form & Control, Two Door Cinema Club’s Beacon, Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse, and Lost in the Trees’ A Church That Fits Our Needs all formed a massive-ass 8-way tie for #21.
In conclusion: we have an eclectic crew, and we’re awesome. Thank you.