Among the many different kinds of lists, one of my favorites is the year-end list. I look forward to the last Sunday papers of the year in the hopes of learning about a great record that I missed on somebody's best of list. I also appreciate the lists that the eMusic staff makes. I know they're just trying to make it easy for me to spend more money at eMusic, and I know they're succeeding, and I do miss having a physical record or CD when I point and click and buy mp3s, but they make lists. I'm a sucker for lists, right?
Let's consider eMusic's best of 2010 list. I'm pretty sure you don't have to belong to eMusic to see the list, but if somebody could confirm that for me I'd appreciate it. This is a list of 80, but I'm just going to focus on the top 10 to keep it simple. I think when this list came out, I already knew I liked Beach House (#1), Janelle Monae (#5), and Sleigh Bells (#7), but the list got me to check out Allo Darlin' (#2) and James Blake (#8). It may have also pushed me over the edge to download a couple of tracks from Kanye West (#4) just so that I could confirm it wasn't as fabulous as everybody wants me to think. By the way, if you haven't heard Janelle Monae and you think the track starts out sort of slow, skip forward to about 2:20 into it - that's when you start seeing how she separates herself from the pack.
I could complain that the Title Tracks aren't on this list and I could complain that the Fresh & Only's are way down at #68. I could complain that Nick Cave is there with his band Grinderman at #3 even though he's past his prime, but it may be totally untrue. I haven't gotten around to listening to it. Maybe I should? Have you? If I'm going to try to keep up with current music, I have trouble spending my new-music-listening efforts on artists who I think peaked in the 80s. I want to hear actual new music, even if it's bands like the Title Tracks and Fresh & Only's who have some strong roots in the music of the 60s or even if it's Sleigh Bells sampling 70s Funkadelic. It's still new, and I like new, and I like it when people tell me what's good and new. I like it best when they tell me what's best and new.