End of 2011

December 20, 2011

As the end of 2011 draws ever closer, it’s that time of the year when music sites and blogs alike compile endless lists of the favourite records/albums/tracks/compilations/gigs and just about anything else you can think of. It may seem fairly shallow. Is it fair to ‘rank’ everything against each other? Why does everything have to better than some else? Can it not just all be appreciated? Maybe.


But I have to say; I’m a big fan of lists. I think they’re a nice way to chronicle a particular year or point in time. In looking at other people’s lists, you can compare how differently they judge something and you’re also given the opportunity to discover something that you may have missed first time around. Yes, they can be predictable. There is always an air of similarity in end of year lists. It’s the bits in between that I find exciting. Maybe a certain blog or site you respect has placed an album high up that you hadn’t even considered ranking. Then you can go back and re listen, re consider, re discover it! Of course you still may not like it second time round.


I know it’s superficial, I know I should just be discovering things my self, making my own decisions about things, but in an age where everything is so overpopulated there is only so much you can take in. You’re absolutely certain to miss something and that is where the lists come in. For whatever reason I may not have listened to a certain album or maybe just didn’t even realise it was there, but looking at lists it gives me the opportunity to look at the year as a whole and go back re live times that I had missed.


People take them too seriously, they complain as to why a certain album hasn’t made that list or why a particular album is there. It’s inevitable that there will always be difference of opinion on these matters, not even thinks alike. At the end of the day though, its someone else’s opinion, not your own. It should be used simply as a tool for comparing opinions and discovering/respecting a particular point in history.


That said, I’m not going to make a list myself. If I were to make a list, I would instantly regret what I had included. Whenever I try to sum up a year, I always get my dates mixed up. I praise an album and remember how great it was only to discover that it was actually brought out the year before. They drive me crazy, but I also love doing it. It’s stressful though. I would remember something that I had left out or find something better that I wish I’d included. I’ve already written a list for White Tapes and that alone took some though and it’s still not perfect.

However, I must included one thing, my album of 2011.


Without a doubt, it has to be J Mascis – Several Shades of Why


Not only because of the link with Dinosaur Jr., I just think it is an incredible piece of work. Since it came out I’ve listened to it repeatedly. It’s the album I’ve listened to most this year and I think its perfect. Every song is brilliant. It’s just perfectly written, personal and emotional folk rock. It takes about tales of heartbreak and lost love. It’s depressing and refreshing at the same time. Also, just look at the artwork. It’s incredible. If my memory serves me correctly, I’m sure Kim Gordon had something to do with it. There are countless reasons why I love it, but I’m not going to rack my brains trying to document them here. If you’ve not heard it, you really have to. Seriously.


I’m quite looking forward to rounding up 2012 in a years time now.


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