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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 Bootleg Series collection. (Whew!) The full 50 after the jump, but first, a few thoughts.
THE GOOD: Santogold at No. 6; Ne-Yo at No. 33; The Academy Is… at No. 46. There are other surprisingly in-touch-with-the-times inclusions, but those three pleased me the most on first read.
THE BAD: Carp about the list’s high quotient of people flying the Real Rock Flag as much as you want; the real tragedy here is that a list announcing the biggest music magazine’s favorite records of the year is nestled inside an issue that has on its cover an actor who has yet to release a vanity-project album. As if we needed more evidence that music doesn’t really sell, well, much of anything these days.
THE WHAAAA? You guys, no one is believing the “Chinese Democracy (No. 12) is actually good” storyline. I understand this went to press way before the album’s anemic first-week sales—and the even grimmer second-week numbers—but really, putting it on any 2008 list that doesn’t have a caveat for “albums that actually exist out of time, but at least gave our reporters lots of news fodder leading up to its release” is sort of a cheat.
Britney Spears’ triumphant comeback lost a little bit more of its romantic luster today, thanks to Rolling Stone publishing an interview with writer Jenny Eliscu where she opens up about how Spears had become much more sheltered between the time the two first met in the summer of 2001—when a chatty Spears walked Eliscu through her then-new Hollywood Hills mansion—and earlier this year, when there were instances where the two people breathed the same airspace, but didn’t speak to one another. Eliscu also talks about how Spears’ legal status affected her reporting:
Once again, we present Rock-Critically Correct, a feature in which the most recent issues of Rolling Stone, Blender, Vibe, and Spin are given a once-over by a writer who’s contributed to many of those magazines, as well as a few others! In this installment, he looks at the new issue of Rolling Stone: