When you write about music (or maybe anything, I suppose), there's a desire to try to step outside of the maelstrom of popular opinion. After all, if people are already interested in and buying the best music out there, what purpose do critics have?
A few places asked for my top pick or picks of the year, and I did some waffling, trying to convince myself that I enjoyed the National's album High Violet or the Black Keys' disc a bit more than I did, but in the end, you have to try to be honest and pick the work that meant the most and pushed the conversation forward. For me, that was Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and not surprisingly (since it received their only perfect score of the year), Pitchfork picked it as their number one as well:
Bearing witness to Kanye West's very public 2010 has featured many joys, none greater than watching everyone unspool his myriad updates, achievements, and indiscretions into piles of meaning. His persona went to cataclysmic places this year— there were times when he deserved his own cable news ticker. But, somehow, West managed to transcend the preposterous talk show appearances, the too-good-to-be-true Twitter account, the live breakdowns, the Horus chain, the free-MP3 stunt(ing), the press blitz, the breakups, the make-ups, the dick pics, the furniture pornography, the Rosewood movement, the NO NEGATIVE BLOG VIEWING, the living paintings, the short film, and the rest of the lot. Through all that noise, we obsessed first and most deeply over the eye of the storm: the album.
Did the Tucson Weekly's music writers agree? Look for their lists in the next two issues of the Weekly, on stands the 23rd and 30th.