As the year winds down, summarizing the last 365 days in itemized lists slowly becomes the in-thing. Whether it’s personal life, movies, or albums, there’s always something to list. It’s completely pointless in some way, but I guess we humans like to be able to categorize and rank things, so we can write it down on a list and put it away for when someone asks us to list our 17 favourite south american jazz artists from the 70s and we’ll be able to do it just like that!
Ok, I know not everyone likes making lists of things, but most hardcore music fans will make themselves one as the year comes to an end, or at the very least read about 30 of them. It’s odd because the more I think about them, the more kinda lame they are for various reasons. Especially the music review sites, because for an album to do well by consensus it has to be one that everybody on staff already likes, therefore many of us will have already heard of. Not to mention, what more meaningless thing can be said about a work of art than ‘it is #4 on our top albums list this year.” But quite a few people and admittedly myself really do care for some reason. Metacritic has already started collecting the top tens of all the major music publications.
And yes you will have one from me soon enough, too. But mine will be different… although I’ve actually been working on it since before the end of last year-adding and shuffling albums as they were heard, reheard or reevaluated, I’m going to wait till the year is totally done to put it up, because I want to make sure I’ve heard as much as I can from other people’s lists (those of individuals are almost always more interesting than those in magazines), especially considering Lupe Fiasco’s new and quite good album isn’t even out yet and has barely even leaked.
I still haven’t decided how many albums to include.. probably 50 just to keep it long but not ridiculous (the list currently under construction goes up to 225).
Anyway, I would like to be able to see people’s best albums of 2007 lists as written 20 years from now. I think they would be very different (not just significantly shorter). I wonder, though, if they would be more diverse as people forget the hype and focus on what moves them personally, or more similar as certain albums are accepted into the elite. Then I have to wonder if I’ll care in 10 years.