As the 2006 year-in-music critical polls continue to roll in, our cranky kvetching continues to roll out. Today, we look at best-album picks from three national heavy hitters–Rolling Stone, Spin, and The AV Club–and give our take on each list’s hits and misses.
Rolling Stone (#1: Bob Dylan, Modern Times)
THE GOOD: Sonic Youth’s solid Rather Ripped at No. 3.
THE BAD: No one who puts Stadium Freaking Arcadium near the top of its list deserves to get all self-righteous about putting Bob Dylan at No. 1. We’re just saying.
THE SURPRISE: Not one, but two hip-hop albums in the top 10. Sure, they’re from critical darlings Clipse and Ghostface, but still–baby steps.
Spin (#1: TV On The Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain)
THE GOOD: The only magazine willing to back up its “My Chemical Romance are the best talk” with top-10 placement; Welcome to the Black Parade hit No. 5, behind TV On The Radio, The Hold Steady, the Arctic Monkeys, and Ghostface.
THE BAD: A My Morning Jacket live album at number eight? That’s almost more inexcusable than the Interpol mimeographers in Editors making the list at all.
THE SURPRISE: Double-dip cover boy Brandon Flowers is probably getting pissy about the Killers being snubbed (on a 40-place list!) as we type this.
AV Club (#1: The Hold Steady, Boys And Girls In America)
THE GOOD: Finally, the indie kids of America have another place to turn when they need their taste confirmed.
THE BAD: Midlake’s No. 3 ranking is defended with the phrase “okay, it sounds like the Eagles.”
THE SURPRISE: Ricardo Villalobos’ Balkan epic Fizheuer Zieheuer, at No. 18, is first sign of consensus-cracking.