So we’re deep into list season, and in music that means another excuse for bloggers and critics to assume the thinking-man position and pore over the magnificent bounty of the year, decade, epoch, etc.
Given how much music has floated past (and through) the average person’s ears, and the relentless torrent of releases from labels big and small, it is probably impossible to arrive at anything near “definitive” in such endeavors. Still, we try. Below, some random thoughts on the decade. (I’ll post a ten gems of 2009 in the next week or so.)
Songs We Heard Endlessly and Are Still Somehow Thrilled By
“Crazy”: Gnarls Barkley
“Toxic”: Britney Spears
“Get Ur Freak On”: Missy Elliott
“Rehab”: Amy Winehouse
“Bootilicious”: Destiny’s Child
Artists Whose Contributions This Decade Will Loom Larger Over Time
Norah Jones, The National, J Dilla, Sigur Ros
Artists Who Are Ubiquitous Now But May Not Be Forever
Kanye West, The Black Eyed Peas
Albums That Deserved Wider Attention (And Will Someday Be Seen as Influential)
Juana Molina: Segundo; Vijay Iyer: Reimagining; Jason Moran: The Bandwagon; Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts; Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago.
Albums That’ll Be Studied In Record-Making Schools For Years To Come
Radiohead: Kid A; Outkast: Stankonia; Beck: Midnite Vultures, Sea Change; The Arcade Fire: Neon Bible; Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Coldplay: A Rush of Blood To The Head.
Genre Most in Need of Life Support, Based on This Decade’s Releases
Genre Poised For Creative Resurgence, Based on This Decade’s Releases
Most Interestingly Varied Discography of the Decade (includes collaborations, etc.)
Most Interesting Collaboration (A crowded field that includes Jack White and Loretta Lynn, etc…)
Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: In the Heart of the Moon
Most Inventive Launch Campaign
U2: “Vertigo” (Apple)
Most Dismaying Launch Campaign
U2: No Line on the Horizon (Blackberry)
#1 from Anastasia - 12/10/2009 9:48
Thanks for this Tom—an interesting way to summarize! I’m thankful for finding music through your blog / site (especially Juana Molina, who is on your “deserves wider attention” list above; although I still go straight to Un Dia, rather than Segundo).
I’m looking forward to your 2009 list; somehow I have this nagging feeling that I’m missing some great music that came out this year, and interested to see what you’ve enjoyed.
#2 from Michael K. Denny, Minneapolis, MN - 12/19/2009 9:27
Albums that deserved wider attention and that’ll be studied in record school: Fijacion Oral/Oral Fixation by Shakira.
(Sad, tragic shame about the She Wolf album.)
Songs heard and are still thrilled by: Shakira’s “La Tortura.”