Year-End Analysis

Best Music 2013: Vote For The Year’s Top Albums (Part 1) — January Through June Releases

Robbie Daw | November 11, 2013 - 11:07 am

On this Veterans Day, we’re giving you, our pop-loving readers, the opportunity to exercise one of your most patriotic and democratic privileges: The right to vote! Yes, it’s finally time to begin sifting through 2013’s album releases, so we — and you — can compile a list of the best ones. As usual, the editors… More »

Vote For The Best Albums Of 2012 (Part 1): January Through June Releases

Robbie Daw | November 7, 2012 - 8:59 am

The 2012 Presidential Election is officially over, and Barack Obama has emerged victorious in his second run for Commander In Chief. But as far as we’re concerned, you, our pop-loving readers, have one more important poll to hit — our own one, for the Best Albums Of 2012! Sure, as the year winds down, the… More »

Amazon Beats The Christmas Rush, Crowns Neko Case As 2009’s Best

Maura | November 4, 2009 - 4:00 pm

Twangy spitfire Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone was selected by’s editors as the best of 2009, while U2’s No Line On The Horizon was the online retailer’s best-selling album this year. That’s according to a just-released year-end package that jumps the “happy new year” gun by quite a few days. Sure, boosting these albums now… More »

“Viva La Vida” Goes Global

Maura | February 16, 2009 - 5:30 am

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, Or Death And All His Friends was the top-selling album of 2008 worldwide, selling 6.8 million copies, according to data released today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents some 1,400 record companies around the globe. Coming in behind Coldplay were AC/DC’s Black Ice; the soundtrack to the… More »

Pazz & Jop 2008 Confirms Our Suspicions

Mike Barthel | January 21, 2009 - 11:00 am

Well, the Village Voice’s annual music-critics poll is here, and… it’s about what you would have suspected. In an oddly Grammy-like move, the top single, M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” is actually from 2007, and benefits from 50 carryover votes. And following the paper’s arguably racist cover from its 2006 P&J issue, TV on the Radio took… More »

Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift Do Their Part To Save The Music Industry

Maura | January 2, 2009 - 11:00 am

Nielsen SoundScan has released its year-end numbers for music sales, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they aren’t all that great—no albums cracked the three-million-sold mark this year, with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III almost getting there (2.874 million) and every other album in the top 10, um, not. Thanks to SoundScan’s Dec. 31-to-Dec. 28 chart year, the… More »

My Own Private 2008: Hey, There Were Actually Some Really Good Parts!

Maura | December 31, 2008 - 12:30 pm

When 2008 started, I was sure it was going to be awesome. “It’s going to be two-thousand-great,” I told anyone who would listen, ignoring the various signs (MTV ringing in the New Year with Tila Tequila, hints of economic collapse, etc.) that things wouldn’t exactly go as planned. Or even be much good at all. More »

Do Year-End Lists Suffer From Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Mike Barthel | December 22, 2008 - 2:00 am

I like You & Me, by the Walkmen, but seeing it on so many year-end lists made me a little suspicious. After all, it seems almost designed to appeal to anyone listening to it in November or December. It’s not only a wintry album, warm and soft and a little bit logy, like you’ve just… More »

Hey Everybody, It’s Time To Argue Over Pitchfork’s Best Albums List

Maura | December 19, 2008 - 9:00 am

This is what you’ve all been waiting for, right?
THE GOOD: Nos. 50-41 would have made an awesome alternate-universe top 10, what with Marnie Stern, Ponytail, High Places, and Beach House all being within. Alas.
THE BAD: I will not quibble with the No. 1 choice and the reasons for its placement being wholly… More »

“Patrol” Picks 50 Records That Have Gotta Have Faith Of Some Sort

Dan Gibson | December 19, 2008 - 2:30 am

Earlier this month, we took a look at Christianity Today’s best-of list, which seemed to judge records on an “is this Christian enough?” scale as much as it did musical merit. To balance that out, the online music mag Patrol serves up a list that looks at vaguer connections between faith and music. Patrol started… More »

“Entertainment Weekly” Decides To Celebrate The Holiday Season By Writing About Music

Lucas Jensen | December 18, 2008 - 3:30 am

Music coverage has been rather light in the post-David Browne era at Entertainment Weekly, to say the least. To be frank, their non-celebrity music coverage is moribund at best, usually gathering as much print space as the stage section does. It almost feels like an afterthought. Heck, I wasn’t even sure who they’d tap to… More »

AOL’s Top Searches: Does Internet Famous Equal Sales Famous?

Lucas Jensen | December 18, 2008 - 1:30 am

Here are some top 10 lists I can get behind, if only because they are based on something slightly empirical: AOL has posted its lists of 2008’s most-searched-for musicians, songs, and music videos. The results are not completely surprising, with the Jonas Brothers taking the top slot and American Idol-bolstered David Cook coming in at… More »

Sure, “Womanizer” Is The Best Video Of The Year. Why Not?

Dan Gibson | December 16, 2008 - 12:30 pm

The music video channel that could Fuse had been running its “Top 40 of 2008″ special over the last few days, but I just couldn’t bring myself to watch—Katy Perry wasn’t just performing two songs, she was co-hosting the whole thing. The premise was amusing, matching the year’s “best” videos against each other head-to-head, tournament… More »

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

Dan Gibson | December 12, 2008 - 1:30 am

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… More »

eMusic Turns On Its Gaslight

Lucas Jensen | December 11, 2008 - 2:00 am

Indie digital music vendor eMusic has released its year-end list, and I gotta say…wow! This is the deepest and most balanced list I’ve seen so far, and it throws consensus out the window for a broad analysis of the year in music. Sure, there are a Santogold and Deerhunter and She & Him here and… More »

“Rolling Stone” Turns On Its TV

Maura | December 10, 2008 - 12:00 pm

Rolling Stone’s year-end lists went online today, and its album rundown is topped by a relatively new band! The No. 1 record of the year in the boomer bible’s estimation is TV On The Radio’s Dear Science—although order is restored at No. 2, which is given over to the latest edition of Bob Dylan’s BootlegMore »

“Time,” “New York,” And The “Observer” Come To A Consensus

Mike Barthel | December 8, 2008 - 12:00 pm

Today sees the release of year-end lists from Time, New York magazine, and the Observer Music Monthly. Instead of our usual single-list appraisal, these three seem to offer an opportunity to try and locate some sort of consensus, since they represent (respectively) the mainstream, the middlebrow, and the muso. Compare and contrast:
THE CONSENSUS: Everybody… More » May Want To Recalibrate Their “Popular Tracks” List Next Year

Maura | December 4, 2008 - 10:00 am

The social-music site—which allows users to track the music they listen to on their computers via a process called “scrobbling,” and also has full-song streaming capabilities for certain tracks—released its “most listened to” list earlier this week. The artists list was topped by MGMT; the most-listened-to album was Coldplay’s Viva La Vida; and perhaps… More »

Coldplay’s Status As “That iTunes Band” Remains Unchallenged

Maura | December 3, 2008 - 11:00 am

Yesterday the iTunes Store released its year-end lists, and while its “best of” lists are somewhat intriguing (the albums rundown is topped by Raphael Saadiq, while the “Best Songs” list has both Motley Crue’s “Saints Of Los Angeles” and Hercules & Love Affair’s “Blind” in its top 10), it’s the sales charts, of course, that… More »

Gang Gang Dance’s Album Of The Year, As A Matter Of “Fact”

Michaelangelo Matos | December 3, 2008 - 3:00 am

London’s Fact Magazine—which runs one of the sharpest-witted, up-to-the-minute music blogs around—has been doling out year-end lists for a few weeks now, the newest of which is its Top 20 albums, preceded in recent weeks by Top 20s of reissues and DJ mixes. These lists are thankfully different than the ones you’ll find in theMore »

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