The British Music Magazines Have Gone UKrazy

Dan Gibson | November 25, 2008 4:00 am

It’s still a little strange to see top 10 lists now, but if it’s not too early for the onslaught of Christmas music to invade every public space I seem to go to, I suppose it’s OK to start trying to wrap 2008 in a cute bow. Which brings us to what’s apparently British music mag list day, with the once-entertaining Q and the real-rock bible Mojo battling it out to see, once and for all, which publication has better taste in American music.

THE GOOD: Both lists feature titles I assumed would have been on more lists already (Coldplay, Hercules & Love Affair, Drive-By Truckers, Portishead), so it’s nice to be validated a bit. Personally, I was happy to seerecent Pitchfork discovery The Gaslight Anthem on the Q list (No. 20), although the violent involuntary headshaking that ensued upon seeing Razorlight a spot below erased that brief moment of joy. Also, the Mojo list has a good number of British acts I’ve never heard of that I can proceed to champion for a few weeks to my unsuspecting friends on the basis of their American obscurity alone.THE BAD: I suppose this is going to be a trend, but seeing the Fleet Foxes disc ranked near the top on both lists (Q, No. 2; Mojo, No. 1) makes me think that at some point in the near future I’m going to refer to 2008 as “The Year of the Bland.” I don’t mind the Fleet Foxes as much as some around here, but it’s hard for me to swallow the idea that this is the shining example of what’s great, exciting, and/or wonderful about music in 2008. When Rough Trade (the store) called the band “Seattle’s answer to CSNY,” they hit on an appropriate and damning description. (Even if the store’s list had Fleet Foxes at No. 2 as well.) I’m not someone who expects every bit of music I listen to be challenging aesthetically, but at very least, I expect it to be sorta moving. (See also Bon Iver: Mojo, No. 4; Q, No. 34.)THE WHAAAA?:I say this as someone who actually enjoyed both of their previous releases to differing degrees, but having Keane’s Perfect Symmetry place as high as No. 12 seems like Q is trying to ham-fistedly apologize to British musicians for the deluge of American acts surrounding them. Speaking of Q and American musicians: John Mellencamp (No. 41)? Huh.

Mojo 1. Fleet Foxes 2. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age Of The Understatement 3. Paul Weller, 22 Dreams 4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago 5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! 6. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive 7. Glasvegas 8. The Week That Was, The Week That Was 9. The Bug, London Zoo 10. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark 11. Portishead, Third 12. Don Cavalli, Cryland 13. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark 14. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music? 15. Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves, Roll With You 16. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) 17. Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust 18. Pete Molinari, A Virtual Landslide 19. Beck, Modern Guilt 20. TV on the Radio, Dear Science 21. Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali 22. Mercury Rev, Snowflake Midnight 23. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid 24. Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life 25. Randy Newman, Harps and Angels 26. Peter Broderick, Home 27. M83, Saturdays=Youth 28. Neon Neon, Stainless Style 29. Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals 30. The Night Marchers, See You in Magic 31. Duffy, Rockferry 32. Seasick Steve, I Started Out With Nothin’ and I Still Got Most of It Left 33. Kasai Allstars, In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic 34. Fuck Buttons, Street Horrrsing 35. Our Broken Garden, When Your Blackening Shows 36. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular 37. Gavin Bryars & Philip Jeck & Alter Ego, The Sinking of the Titanic 38. Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree 39. Abe Vigoda, Skeleton 40. The Black Keys, Attack & Release 41. The Fall, Imperial Wax Solvent 42. Juana Molina, Un Día 43. Aimee Mann, @#%&*! Smilers 44. Goldmund, The Malady Of Elegance 45. Metallica, Death Magnetic 46. James Hunter, The Hard Way 47. Flying Lotus, Los Angeles 48. AC/DC, Black Ice 49. The Neil Cowley Trio, Loud… Louder… Stop 50. Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul

Q 1. Kings of Leon, Only the Night 2. Fleet Foxes 3. Coldplay, Viva La Vida… 4. Vampire Weekend 5. Glasvegas 6. Duffy, Rockferry 7. TV On The Radio, Dear Science 8. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid 9. The Raconteurs, Consolers of The Lonely 10. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! 11. Sigur Ros, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust 12. Keane, Perfect Symmetry 13. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular 14. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads 15. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III 16. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark 17. Adele, 19 18. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music? 19. Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree 20. The Gaslight Anthem, The ’59 Sound 21. Razorlight, Slipaway Fires 22. The Killers, Day and Age 23. Beck, Modern Guilt 24. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of The Understatement 25. Metallica, Death Magnetic 26. Conor Oberst 27. Neil Diamond, Before Home 28. Paul Weller, 22 Dreams 29. AC/DC, Black Ice 30. Portishead, Third 31. Black Mountain, In The Future 32. Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul 33. Hercules & Love Affair 34. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago 35. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive 36. R.E.M., Accelerate 37. Lykke Li, Youth Novels 38. John Mellencamp, Life Death Love And Freedom 39. Santogold 40. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges 41. Lindsey Buckingham, Gift of Screws 42. Liam Finn, I’ll Be Lightning 43. Joan As Police Woman, To Survive 44. Black Kids, Partie Traumatic 45. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through Static 46. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue 47. The Verve, Forth 48. Randy Newman, Harps and Angels 49. Emmylou Harris, All I Indented To Be 50. Dido, Safe Trip Home

50 Best Albums of the Year [Q]Best of 50, Mojo [In New Music We Trust]