Saturday, November 14, 2009

Underneath and unexplored

Earlier today I flicked through this month’s Q Magazine in the palatial environs of Gloucester’s historic Northgate Street branch of J Sainsbury. My heart sank. I was keen to scan the pages to discover what their favoured 50 albums of 2009 were and, alas, my view that Q is a music magazine for people who don’t really like music that much was fortified. I know I’m at risk of sounding an utter snob but the Q list was as conservative and mundane and life-unaffirming and unadventurous as I feared. The top ten contains one album I rather like (Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion) and one album I quite like and might like a bit more when I have played it a few more times (Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix). The rest is a landfill into which has been unceremoniously tipped insipid and obvious ‘delights’ by U2, Lily Allen, flippin’ Kasabian, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and, at number two, heck, the unspeakable Florence and the Machine. A couple of weeks ago I tapped out a shortlist of twelve or thirteen albums I regard as the year’s best and only four of my choices sneak into Q’s fifty. I can’t believe The Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love or The XX's sizzling self-titled, er, sizzler aren't there. I apologise if I’m sounding a touch self-regarding in sneering at this publication for daring not to share my views and I admit I’m probably over-reacting a touch but I do rely on the December issues of the music press to prompt me into hoovering* up anything lovely I may have missed over the past twelve months. I’m going to go and have a lie down. I'll put my soap-box away and look forward to my Uncut delivery.

The full list is available (and discussed very eloquently) here. It’s not all bad. An interesting list of 2009's well-reviewed albums can be found at the fascinating metacritic site.

*Other vacuum cleaning devices are available.

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