Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pazz & Jop 2010 Results

On the first day of this blog I posted my ballot and comments for the annual Village Voice Music Critics' Poll, AKA Pazz and Jop. The results of the poll were released today.

In my household, Pazz & Jop is as big a deal as the Oscars, and I always enjoy going over the results, looking for bands I've never heard of, and then sampling their wares from the cloud. As usual, the essays and comments from other critics are more entertaining than most Oscar speeches - and you can check out your favorite writers' individual ballots to see if they have something idiosyncratic to turn you on to.

There were not a lot of big surprises in this year's poll. As expected, Cee Lo Green's instant classic "Fuck You" was chosen single of the year, almost by unanimous consent. As expected, Kanye West vaulted past fellow 2-time winners Elvis Costello (1978 & 1982), The Clash (1980 & 1981) and OutKast (2001 & 2003). West is now second only to Bob Dylan (1975, 1997, 2001 & 2006) for sheer critical clout. And 2007 winners LCD Soundsystem finished in a distant second place behind Kanye's landslide, with Arcade Fire in third.

Low-sales critics' favorites like Joanna Newsom, Robyn and Ariel Pink scored respectful finishes, as did cool bands I really like but didn't vote for, like The National, Vampire Weekend and Beach House. Jamey Johnston and Taylor Swift (who had the best-selling album of 2010) represented for country music at #s 20 and 26, respectively. Eminem's Recovery, festooned with Grammy nominations, was in 57th place.

Of note, it's been twelve years since a woman won this poll, though back in the 90s it happened 4 out of 10 years. Janelle MonĂ¡e's fourth-place finish was the highest for her cohort, with Robyn and Newsom lurking in thirteenth and fourteenth place.

Now head on over there, and don't let me hear you complaining you never heard of these people. You have now.

Note: My #1 pick, Sufjian Stevens' The Age of Adz, finished in thirty-seventh place. The rest of my Top Tens finished at 9, 3, 31, 1, 4, 10, 2, 106 and 181 respectively.

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