Music Musings

Metacritic Report

This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Top 25 Alterna-Electro-Indie-Hop List

Compiled the top 25 albums listed on Metacritic for my own amusement. Below is that chart, taken straight from the website but adjusted to eliminate reissues, boxsets, and albums receiving fewer than ten reviews (an arbitrary number admittedly, but I had to choose something).


Because I’ve been so convinced lately that I’m no longer hip and am in disagreement with music lovers everywhere, I wanted to see just how out of it I was. Turns out a lot. Out of the twenty-five here, I’ve heard seventeen (denoted in bold), and the two metal albums I consciously avoided. I didn’t care for Sun Kil Moon’s last, so I didn’t think much of the rave reviews this time around, but I might as well change my tune and give it a spin. Strand of Oaks has been sitting in my iTunes and is likely to remain there, as slow folk ain’t my jam. Similarly, I tried sloughing my way through Scott Walker’s Soused and never made it past the first track. Wild Beasts slunk by me without my noticing—I thought I’d heard it and never bothered with it again, but it turns out not to be the case. Don’t know who the fuck Electric Wizard is.

To continue with this list would take a long time. There are a lot of albums with plenty of reviews (many over twenty) that clock in with scores of 81 or 82. That’s where you’ll find other favorites thus far: Shabazz Palaces, Tune-Yards, Against Me!, Future Islands, and the like. Many of those I’ve heard as well, but what was perturbing was how few I’d graded, and more perturbing was how few I recommended. Sure, there are plenty of albums I intend to mark up before the year’s out, but I doubt they’ll all get a fair shake. Moreover, only three of those top twenty-five I’ve recommended so far (St. Vincent, Ought, Ex Hex), and I can only imagine a few more from that list will make the cut. I’ve handed more than a few of these rather low Honorable Mentions, and some of the ungraded ones will most definitely not be getting a full recommendation. Others I’ve already decided are garbage and are part of a rather large and upcoming Honorable Mentions/Lemons album dump.

I was surprised to see St. Vincent still up so high—not that she didn’t make a fine album (she did), but because no one seems to be buzzing about it as Album of the Year. RTJ2 has already created a firestorm, and people were caught completely off-guard by Richard James’s near-silent release. My own guess is that most people will go for Flying Lotus if not Run the Jewels—its appeal is mass and has delighted the right people. I’m still on the fence about it. I’m still on the fence about a lot of the above records. And that’s kind of the way 2014 has been funny; I’ve found plenty to like, but I can’t remember a time where there were so many albums I was supposed to like and couldn’t decide whether I really didn’t like them (you know, like not blown away) and that those decisions were justified or that I really was missing something. Kinda feel like it’s both. I like what I like, and a lot of folks like a lot more. C’est la vie.


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