Lots of people love the month of December. This is the magical time of year for them to partake in the joys of drinking eggnog, singing holiday tunes, and shopping until they’re physically unable to walk anymore (yes, believe it or not, some people do find joy in this).
Music critics love the month of December–maybe not so much for the reasons mentioned above–but because this is the time of year for them to release their Top-10 (20,30,40, 50, whatever) albums of the year list. I always find it a tad unbelievable when a handful of music outlets share the same #1 album, this year being no exception.
Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine have named TV on The Radio’s Dear Science their top album of 2008. Indie nation–judging by the Pitchfork barometer–also agrees, as Dear Science ranked #1 in Pitchfork Media’s 2008 Reader’s Poll (this Thursday, Pitchfork will unveil their albums of the year, and I wouldn’t be shocked if TV On The Radio topped that list as well).
With thousands of albums being released in 2008, how did TV On The Radio manage to top all three of those lists (not to mention being named #2 album of the year by Britain’s NME)? Was the album that much better than any other release this year? In a blog-eat-blog world where people can hardly agree on anything, how did so many people come to the conclusion that Dear Science was head and shoulders above everyone else?
Now don’t get me wrong. I love TV On The Radio–there’s also a Pittsburgh-connection in the band that makes me even more bias to their cause–but I didn’t think Dear Science was ammaaaaaaazing enough to top everyone and their mother’s best-albums of 2008 list.
Was it good? Without question. Was it the end all be all of 2008? I don’t know?
On one hand, part of me loves the fact that people are championing the efforts of TV On The Radio. On the other hand, in a music culture where the indie elite scoff at conformity, putting one album alone on the mountaintop seems to contradict the mission statement.