Pazz & Jop Poll Results Announced… Yawn?

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The Village Voice‘s annual poll of music critics, “Pazz & Jop,” came out this week, and even though the format has always seemed designed for somewhat conservative outcomes, this year’s lists are just… boring. After one and a half months spent adding up the votes (why does it take so long, incidentally? Don’t they have Excel?) they come up with the same #1 album as Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan’s Modern Times. Wow. At least TV On the Radio’s masterpiece came in as a close #2 (apparently beating Dylan in number of mentions, in an event eerily reminiscent of Bush v. Gore). The only thing separating their albums list from every single other critical year-end roundup is… hmmm… the presence of Tom Waits at #10? Well, fine, I guess. The singles list is even more dull, with the typical Gnarls / T.I. / Timberlake / Furtado / Aguilera party posse sitting on top. It’s basically right, but jeez, Peter Bjorn & John all the way down at #25? For shame.

I used to check the Village Voice website obsessively, starting in mid-February every year, desperate to see the definitive year-end best-of list. There were always a couple surprises that would turn out to be totally right on, like Magnetic Fields’ toweringly great 69 Love Songs jumping in at #2 in 1999 based on far fewer votes than the #1 album, Moby’s Play. Perhaps something’s changed in the methodology: it looks like there’s over 300 fewer critics in the poll this year (2005’s 795 versus 2006’s 494). Where did everybody go? Perhaps they got their points-allocation jollies out over at music blog Idolator’s copycat/takeoff/nose-thumb “Jackin’ Pop” poll, whose results came out much earlier, and are somehow more satisfying. Plus Idolator’s faux-naive MS Paint drawing of TV On the Radio standing on a mountain of cookies is way better than the Voice‘s elaborate painting of Dylan running over Kyp Malone. Hate to say it, newspaper: the intertubes are totally beating you.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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