Pitchfork Readers (As A Whole) Like The Music You Probably Expect They Do

Dec 12th, 2008 // 21 Comments

Pitchfork’s big pile of lists continues to grow with today’s unveiling of how its readers poll turned out. While there was some grumbling about the site limiting the number of options for each category (largely to Pitchforky type acts and albums, understandably), in the end, things likely would have come out the same way. The biggish indie-type albums in a year without a agreed-upon album of the year—TV On The Radio, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Deerhunter—rose to the top. I imagine the lists assembled by the staff will be a little more surprising in their diversity, but all in all, the results of this poll may top the 2008 list of Year-End Lists Least Likely To Expose You To Anything You Haven’t Already Heard Or Chosen To Ignore.

THE GOOD: Hmmm, each of the 150 albums chosen by the ‘fork received at least one first-place vote. Yay for diversity?
THE BAD: Nine Inch Nails’ The Slip at No. 18 is hardly a crisis of any sort, or even anything to get worked up over, but it may very well be evidence that Trent’s fanbase engaged in a bit of Terry Steinbach-level ballot stuffing.
THE WHAAA? In the current overheated age, is the idea of an “underrated” album even possible? I feel like I heard plenty hyping nearly all the albums that made that list’s top ten, especially the efforts put forth by Wolf Parade and Of Montreal. I guess there might be a woefully under-promoted and examined disc out there, but it’s definitely not going to be one on a list decided by the power of democracy.

Album of the Year
1. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
2. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP
3. Vampire Weekend
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Deerhunter, Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.
6. Portishead, Third
7. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
8. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
9. M83, Saturdays=Youth
10. No Age, Nouns
11. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals
12. Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
13. The Walkmen, You & Me
14. Dodos, Visiter
15. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
16. WHY?, Alopecia
17. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
18. Nine Inch Nails, The Slip
19. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
20. Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
21. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
22. Beach House, Devotion
23. Crystal Castles
24. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
25. Beck, Modern Guilt

Most Overrated Album
1. Vampire Weekend
2. Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak
3. Beck, Modern Guilt
4. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
5. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
6. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
7. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP
8. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
9. No Age, Nouns
10. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals

Most Underrated Album
1. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
2. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
3. Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
4. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War
5. Blitzen Trapper, Furr
6. Frightened Rabbit, Midnight Organ Fight
7. Black Mountain, In the Future
8. Mogwai, The Hawk Is Howling
9. Shearwater, Rook
10. The Magnetic Fields, Distortion

2008 Pitchfork Readers Poll [Pitchfork]

  1. Al Shipley

    While there was some grumbling about the site limiting the number of options for each category (largely to Pitchforky type acts and albums, understandably), in the end, things likely would have come out the same way.

    I dunno, I tried to fill a ballot out and was astounded by how small the list of options for each category was. It’s like those VH1 “top 100″ polls where they give 200 options and then let the public decide on the top half.

  2. dyfl

    I have to say, I don’t consider myself part of Trent Reznor’s core fanbase, but THE SLIP is actually going to rank higher than that on my personal year-end list. So I’m not displeased at all.

  3. MayhemintheHood

    The staff’s list is going to be ridiculous. Their “guest list best of” list they put out was so silly to read(I think out of all the staff’s picks for Favorite Movie of 2008, only one chose a movie that actually came out in 2008), so I can only assume it’ll get wackier and more obscure(read: way cooler than you).

  4. Brad Nelson

    I voted for Fucked Up real hard on this one. I also wrote in Cynic’s Traced in Air, which is the great return the prophet spoke of, but I wasn’t expecting it to go far (Pitchfork upped the metal ante last year, but as far as I can tell not much was lauded this year outside of Disfear, which is D-beat, which means I’m not interested, sorry, Discharge was great yes but every identical offspring mutates the style into mediocrity).

    Really lame, limited choices made for a really lame, limited list, in my estimation, but I guess I could go for the idea that everyone would really love that TV on the Radio album no matter how expanded the list was (I just have no interest in it whatsoever).

  5. Audif Jackson Winters III

    Excellent late 80s MLB reset, dude.

  6. Tauwan

    My favorite part of all this is how Erykah Badu’s album is considered MAAAD underrated to those who filled out this survey, landing her at number four on that list, and yet she is nowhere to be found on the Best Albums list. Hilarious.

  7. DocStrange

    I voted for the following albums:
    1. Los Campesinos! – Hold on Now, Youngster
    2. WHY? – Alopecia
    3. No Age – Nouns

    Although LC! didn’t get into the Top 25, it’s nice to see the other two in there.

  8. the rich girls are weeping

    Has the whole “WTF the Portishead record wasn’t THAT good” thing been flogged to death already?

    That being said: what a fucking sausagefest.

  9. the rich girls are weeping

    @the rich girls are weeping: FLACCID SAUSAGEFEST

  10. Ted Striker

    @Audif Jackson Winters III:

    Amen. Just because you have a jawbone helmet doesn’t make you an All-Star…

  11. scottpl

    I get the complaints, but the same albums would have been in the top 25 whether the choices were limited or not. This way, at the very least, we had a complete tally for the 150 records that were shortlisted, as well as a manageable number of write-in votes to scan and read.

    None of the other options make sense: Building out a new program just to see if, say, Chairlift or Sheek Louch or Meshuggah had exactly eight or 103 or 18 votes would have been wasteful and therefore was not done. And the sheer manpower needed to count and fact-check tens of thousands of ballots means this wouldn’t have been worth doing without a built-in program.

    If we had gone ahead with a hand count of all those ballots, the tallying procedure would have essentially been a keyword search for about 40 records and everything else would have been discarded– a far less complete picture than 150 total tallies and a few thousand write-in votes to read. In this set-up, every submission– from the provided list or written-in– was respected enough to be read.

    So, while imperfect, short of ballooning the shortlist to another 50, 100, etc. records this set-up offered the most reasonably complete snapshot of our readers’ opinions on the broadest number of records.

  12. Weezy F Baby

    >> Favorite Movie
    I stopped going to the theater years ago, so I’ll cop out and pick something old: The best film I saw this year was probably either Akira Kurosawa’s High And Low, or Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thieves. The biggest waste of time was finally seeing Gone With the Wind.


    BUT! alot of other people picked 2008 films.

  13. Anonymous

    I have to say that the NIN album is the one record i have been coming back to the most consistently all year. Whereas that TV on the Radio album was a big disappointment for me and i haven’t listened to it since like 2nd week it came out. Regardless, as I bitched earlier on another thread, that Pitchfork Readers poll was crap. As I recall they didn’t even include my choice (and many others) for single of the year – Estelle’s American Boy. Every time my work cell phone rings, it makes me happy!

  14. T'Challa

    @eriq78: Man, I so wanted to get on “The Slip” bandwagon. But Estelle’s entire album is pretty damn sweet.

  15. scottpl

    @Weezy F Baby: Technically, the correct translation is “Thieves”– it is plural in Italian: Ladri.

  16. Anonymous

    @scottpl: He speaks the truth. It has “thematic resonance,” which you can tell because the movie is “in Italian” and “from the 1940s.” That being said, if we’re being strict here, there should be no article in the title.

    /film snob

  17. Murk

    To LOL at someone for not referring to a foreign movie by its generally accepted but completely incorrect translation, which has been corrected on Criterion’s amazing edition, is my definition of stupid for the day.

  18. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @Weezy F Baby: Wow.

    Two Criterion releases. Who would’ve thunk it?

  19. the rich girls are weeping

    @Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee: OH BURN — FTW!

  20. Lucas Jensen

    @the rich girls are weeping: Portishead WAS that good.

  21. Anonymous

    @Lucas Jensen: for serious. that portishead album is GREAT!

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