“Pitchfork” Heaps Its Praises On Panda Bear

Dec 18th, 2007 // 58 Comments

pandabearz.jpgPitchfork makes it easy when it comes to guessing its Top 50 albums of the year in advance, thanks to the “Best New Music” and “Recommended” stickers it slaps on the records it likes best. So if you’ve been paying attention to the bottom-left corner of the site for the last 12 months, P-fork’s 2007 list, headed up by Animal Collective member Panda Bear’s Person Pitch, should feel like a bunch of old friends getting one last shout-out before the end of the year. That, or it’s another chance to curse the site for over-praising a bunch of records that don’t really deserve the dap.

THE GOOD: U.K. post-punks Life Without Buildings’ career-capping live album and Stars Of The Lid’s six-years-in-the-making follow-up to a sleepy ambient classic sneak into the upper reaches. Plus all the other records everyone else with even a toe dipped into indie rock liked this year.
THE BAD: Way too much tooth/brain-rotting twee Nordic indie pop/dance. What’s that you say? That’s only like three or four albums out of 50? It’s still too much.
THE WHAAAA? “With Burial’s 2006 debut, it helped to have some investment in dubstep; Untrue is for everyone.” Really? Everyone?

50: Tinariwen, Aman Iman: Water Is Life
49: Dizzee Rascal, Maths + English
48: Robert Wyatt, Comicopera
47: Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals
46: Marissa Nadler, Songs III: Bird on the Water
45: Ricardo Villalobos, Fabric 36
44: Les Savy Fav, Let’s Stay Friends
43: Stars of the Lid, And Their Refinement of the Decline
42: Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab
41: Life Without Buildings, Live at the Annandale Hotel
40: Beirut, The Flying Club Cup / Lon Gisland EP
39: The White Stripes, Icky Thump
38: Wu-Tang Clan, 8 Diagrams
37: Grizzly Bear, Friend EP
36: Iron and Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog
35: Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil
34: James Blackshaw, The Cloud of Unknowing
33: King Khan & the Shrines, What Is?!
32: Sally Shapiro, Disco Romance
31: Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity
30: Caribou, Andorra
29: Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
28: Dinosaur Jr., Beyond
27: Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
26: Various Artists, After Dark
25: The Tough Alliance, A New Chance / New Waves EP
24: Dan Deacon, Spiderman of the Rings
23: Studio, Yearbook 1
22: Okkervil River, The Stage Names
21: Dirty Projectors, Rise Above
20: Liars
19: Feist, The Reminder
18: Kanye West, Graduation
17: The National, Boxer
16: Lil Wayne, Da Drought 3
15: Justice, &8224;
14: Deerhunter, Cryptograms / Fluorescent Grey EP
13: Jay-Z, American Gangster
12: No Age, Weirdo Rippers
11: Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
10: Burial, Untrue
09: The Field, From Here We Go Sublime
08: Battles, Mirrored
07: Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
06: Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam
05: Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
04: Radiohead, In Rainbows
03: M.I.A., Kala
02: LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
01: Panda Bear, Person Pitch

Top 50 Albums Of 2007 [Pitchfork]

  1. Jfrankparnell

    @Labtheque: It did, I believe. Is Schreiber DeRogatis-ing writers all the time out there?

  2. Jfrankparnell

    Let’s think about this too much:
    If we/they went by their rating system alone, assuming there was a science and consistency to it, their top ten, at least, would be (i did this quickly, please forgive omissions and correct my mistakes sympathetically):

    1. 9.4 tied: Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam and Panda Bear (9.4)
    2. 9.2 LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (9.2)
    3. 9.1 Battles – Mirrored (9.1)
    4. 9.0 tied: Jens Lekman – NIght Falls; The field – from Here we go Sublime (9.0)
    5. 8.9 tied: Deerhoof (on list waaaaay down at #31), Deerhunter, MIA (8.9)
    6. 8.8 Feist – The Reminder (8.8)
    7. 8.7 tied: Kanye West, Of Montreal, Dan Deacon, Villalobos’ Fabric comp, Life Without Buildings, James Blackshaw, Okkervil River
    8. (8.6) tied: Jay-Z, The National, Stars of the Lid, Iron & Wine, Tough Alliance
    9. (8.5) tied: Lil Wayne, Menomena,* Spoon, Grizzly Bear, Sally Shapiro, Liars
    10. (8.4) tied: Justice, Black Kids*, UGK*, Throbbing Gristle*, Arcade Fire, Pipettes*, Simian Mobile Disco* Dinosaur Jr, Dizzee Rascal, Burial

    *Not on full list at all

    A lazy list? An arbitrary rating system. When it was reviewed, Menomena scored an album rating that was better than 42% of the albums listed here, but didn’t make it onto the list. UGK, Pipettes, Simian Mobile Disco, Black Kids, and Throbbing Gristle all review-rated above 32% of these listed selections, and didn’t make the list. Lower, more well-rated and ignored albums show up, naturally, some with good arguments (!!! gets an 8.0 but doesn’t beat Lon Gisland (7.8) to the party?) some not (Icky Thump (8.0) but no Papercuts (8.3).

    Boy, I bet Throbbing Gristle is mad.

  3. scottpl

    ha, yes.

  4. the rich girls are weeping

    @pgwp: No, I listened to it and wept profusely. The whole swirly-jam angle really bummed me out. Zzzzzzzzzzz. I used to love Andrew Bird (and have the pictures from SXSW 2002 to prove it, as well as all the Squirrel Nut Zippers records he guested on…), but I cannot get behind his new stuff. At all.

    @Jfrankparnell: Wait, didn’t P-fork spooge all over Bon Iver originally? That’s why I avoided for so long, but to my peril. That record is gold, and the Bon Iver live experience is AMAZING.

  5. scott pgwp

    @therichgirlsareweeping: whoa, really? I think you forgot to listen to the album. Armchair Apocrypha is my favorite album of the year.

  6. Jfrankparnell

    Maybe I’m losing my mind, but I don’t remember Caribou’s Andorra getting a good rating originally, but there it is, 8.3, when I just looked. Same goes for Bon Iver. Did they change it? Dunno. They’ve edited ratings before.

  7. Labtheque

    @SuperUnison: No, because I’d've rather seen Japanther.

  8. Anonymous

    Panda Bear? Explain? Somebody? Please?

Leave A Comment