I’ve read enough best-of lists over the years that I’ve finally nailed down the formula.
- The blockbuster album to prove that I’m not an elitist out of touch with what’s popular but I'll rank it low on my list to prove that I’m still cool.
- The painfully obscure release that demonstrates that I listen to way more music than you do.
- The bloated reissue that I claim helped me rediscover a classic. The publicist gave me a free copy so that I could encourage you to blow your money repurchasing something you already own.
- The new album from a veteran performer that shows they are either still relevant or that they were ahead of their time. Bonus points if they’ve gotten a stamp of approval from someone younger and famous; Bob Seger would be on every list this year if Jack White had produced his latest.
- A bunch of albums that have had buzz all year as the critical concensus so that I can maintain credibility with my peers.
- The stuff I actually enjoyed and listened to repeatedly throughout the year. But I might not have the guts if it doesn't match the above criteria.
This may also be a preview of my 2015 list.