Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I just read Pitchfork's top albums of the 90s thing. I would've included these:

Bugskull: Phantasies and Sensations

Mercury Rev: Yerself is Steam

Lisa Germano: Geek the Girl

Lisa Germano: Happiness

Versus: The Stars Are Insane

Daisy Chainsaw: Eleventeen

Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do

Mouse on Mars: Autoditacker

Jesus and Mary Chain: Stoned & Dethroned

Disco Inferno: DI Go Pop

Magnetic Fields: Charm of the Highway Strip

Elliot Smith: Roman Candle

The first Tricky and Wu-Tang should both have been in the top ten. I don't think OK Computer is the best album of the 90s. To me whats notable about it as much as anything else, is that it marked a return of The Serious Rock Band Trying To Make The Greatest Album Of The Decade concept. In that respect it isn't surprising that many critics regard it as such, but to me the album as a whole seems more like a Dark Side of the Moon type effort. If one's thinking about influence, which these lists usually are, Radiohead were and are influential. Maybe I'm too much of snob, but I'll always resist the notion that influence alone equals greatness. If you mean influence over other musicians, then don't we have to start giving Steve Vai props too? He's not on Pitchfork's list. If you mean cultural influence, then doesn't Brittney Spears loom much larger in the 90's pantheon than Radiohead? A critic should suss out to some degree what was its own commodity, unlike anything else, and how it attained/attains those qualities. And yeah there is some measure of importance to be considered.

3 comments:

uncle wiggle said...

I really like some of
these entries alot!
It's tricky to be "critical"
without giving "evidence" of
why something is a certain way.
& then your like...well, who
finds valid "evidence"!?!
Did they put NMH "In The Aeroplane.." in the their frickin'
list? They love quick little bites.
Great big lists with huge fucking
pictures of people who got rich off
of pretending to be "subversive".
Yeah those mag list make me sick,
it's no different than selling sex
really, & they always pick, (in the
end) the album that sold alot or
were just plain written about the most. We know we know. There are reasons for this. Assuming that makes them "the best".
You should really write something
about that band Bugskull itself.

Mike H said...

I think good critical writing does demonstrate in some way or point to what a work does. NMH was in the top ten I believe. Those lists really are so predictable though.

Jack Package said...

Yay for Bugskull! Criminally underrated group.