Spin, America's Snottiest Mainstream Music Rag, and Rolling Stone, America's Grumpy-Old-Man-iest Music and Whatever Else They Damned Well Feel Like Publication, just posted their best albums and best singles lists, respectively, and there aren't really too many surprises. Spin goes out on a limb with their #1 slot, awarding Against Me's New Wave "Best Album" honors. It's a good CD, but the choice smacks of a certain "we're down with the mall-rat Hot Topic punk-rock haircut emo kid crowd, please buy our magazine" desperation that Spin, in their insecurity, descends to a lot of the time. Other than that, you couldn't get a more same-old, same-old two through ten:
10. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
9. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
8. Jay-Z - American Gangster
7. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
5. M.I.A. - Kala
4. Kanye West - Graduation
3. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
2. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
1. Against Me! - New Wave
Actually since they seem to just be averaging out a lot of other lists, they're pretty much on target there, although Icky Thump should probably be at like #30.
Rolling Stone's best songs of the year crowned Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" #1, and it's a kind of random pick off American Gangster, but that's no problem compared to their #2: Randy Newman's "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country," a soul-crushingly awful pseudo-political ramble that makes me want to become a Republican and go hunt cute cuddly animals just to express my sheer fury at the universe for creating such terrible crap. Wanna join me? Watch it here:
This beats "Umbrella"?!! Anyway here's their whole Top Ten:
10. UGK "International Player's Anthem"
9. M.I.A. "Boyz"
8. Bruce Springsteen "Long Walk Home"
7. Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
6. Lil Wayne "Dough is What I Got"
5. Bright Eyes "Four Winds"
4. Justice "D.A.N.C.E."
3. Rihanna "Umbrella"
2. Randy Newman "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country"
1. Jay-Z "Roc Boys"
Most of these are pretty familiar territory, other than the Bright Eyes track: from Cassadaga, this sees the Omaha combo in full-on Americana territory, with a swinging, violin-led sound behind the angry lyrics: "The Bible's blind, the Torah's deaf, the Koran's mute/If you burned them all together, you'd get close to the truth." The video, in which a crowd turns against the performers, makes me really uncomfortable: