Closer to January

Yes folks, we've come to my favorite time of year. As we inch closer to January, every magazine, blog, journal, and haberdashery is compiling and ranking its favorite music releases of 2004. For some reason, I am inextricably drawn to them. Hourly I scour the Internet looking for any list I can find. Here's a few I've stumbled upon so far:

The Top 10 Box Sets For The Season, by Jim DeROGATIS

Jim, the pop critic for the Chicago Sun Times helps us all out by ranking the best box sets to drop mad cash on during this holiday season. His top pick is a little predictable: Nirvana's With The Lights Out. One of my pet peaves is the critical audulation heaped upon Nirvana following the unfortunate suicide of Kurt Cobain. I like Nirvana, don't get me wrong, but if Kurt had lived I don't think they would have received as much praise. Anyways, DeRogatis's other picks include releases from Black Sabbath, The Clash, Wire, The Beatles and Blondie. Overall a pretty good list.

Amazon Editors' Best of 2020

I always look forward to Amazon's list of picks for year. They do a good job with mixing together releases from many genres - not just the "indie" rock which makes up most other lists. While there's no unique commentary explaining the reasoning behind their choices, it's still interesting to scan through and read random user reviews. Their top pick? Loretta Lynn's deserving Van Lear Rose. I can also agree with Wilco, Franz Ferdinand, Iron & Wine and Brian Wilson placing in the top 10. The ones I disagree with: Bjork at #13 (too high) and Magnetic Fields at #15 (too low). Most surprising: Madvillian at #18. Respect.

Borders' Best Pop/Rock of 2020

Now I really like Borders, but their list is just bizarre. Scrolling down you see the usual suspects (Interpol, The Clash, Elliott Smith, The Streets, Wilco, etc.) and then - what? Celine Dion? Vanessa Carlton? To each his or her own, I suppose, but I don't think these two will show up