From Pitchfork’s generally worthwhile list of the top 100 albums of the last five years comes this week’s nominee for Worst Simile of the Millennium:
“Even more far-reaching was 2003’s Kish Kash [by U.K. dance artists Basement Jaxx], which at its best, sounded like the aural equivalent of Shiva’s rainbow cumshot.”
For the record, I am the proud owner of Records Nos. 99, 96*, 94*, 91-, 89, 86-, 78*, 77*, 72, 71*, 70-, 62*, 61, 60*, 58, 57*, 56, 54, 53, 51*, 50, 48-, 47*, 46-, 45-, 44*, 43-, 42-, 41-, 40, 39-, 38, 36-, 35, 34*, 31, 27*, 25-, 23-, 21*, 20, 16, 15, 14*, 13*, 11-, 10, 9-, 8-, 7-, 6-, 5-, 4, 3, 2-, and 1-.
(Since these lists exist solely for the purpose of promoting discussion: Asterisks designate albums I would bump up to a higher slot; minuses tackle the [in this web site’s considered opinion] overrated. Please note that a minus doesn’t by any means indicate the album in question is bad. The Avalanches’ Since I Left You is frickin’ awesome, for instance. But the fifth-best album of the last half-decade? ‘Tis far too slight for that.)
Some artists whose work would have made my own 2000-2005 list, despite falling short of official Pitchfork deification: Belle & Sebastian, Beulah, Calexico, Neko Case, Clem Snide, Consonant, DJ Shadow, Enon, the Exploding Hearts, Luna, Malkmus, Mojave 3, the Mountain Goats, My Morning Jacket, Pernice Brothers, Rjd2, Tahiti 80, the Thermals, and the Weakerthans.
Also, including only Iron & Wine’s first album is an insult to its amazing second.
I like these regular Pitchfork lists because it gives them a chance to reevaluate their past critical pronouncements — or, to put it less generously, to clean up after their horrible errors.
F’rinstance: Just a few weeks ago, the ‘Fork proclaimed the Arcade Fire’s debut album to be The Best Album of 2004 and King of the Holy Roman Empire. Now, it’s just the 45th-best album of the last five years. Either 2004 was a spectacularly bad year for music or (more likely) the ‘Fork has recognized the error of its ways. (Me, I like the album, but it most certainly ain’t all that.)
F’r anuth’r instance: The Rapture’s debut album was allegedly The Best Album of 2003 and Czar of All the Russias. But now it only ranks No. 38 — a much more fitting placement.
Special Top 10 pronouncements: No matter how many times I try, I simply cannot get into the Animal Collective (No. 9). The love of Modest Mouse (No. 7) is, like an all-consuming foot fetish, a love I shall never understand. And I think we as a nation are still giving Radiohead (No. 1) too much credit for being difficult.
(Quoth the review: “Consequently, in the months following its release, Kid A transformed into an intellectual symbol of sorts, a surprisingly ubiquitous signifier of self. Owning it became ‘getting it’; getting it became ‘anointing it.’ The record’s significance as a litmus test was stupid and instant and undeniable: In certain circles, you were only as credible as your relationship to this album.” These three sentences manage to summarize my problems with the indie-rock world quite neatly.)