Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Top 32 of 2008 Project

Last year for the month of December, I reviewed the best 31 albums of 2007, one for each day in December. This year, I have decided to up it one and do the best 32 albums of 2008. Which means there will be 33 on next year's list and so on.

For all 31 reviews, I used a format similar to other record reviews I do. For this year's list, I plan to tweak that format a bit. To demonstrate the new format, I will review an older, more familiar album. Explanations are in italics.

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted

Thirty-Two Words: Pavement's first go at a proper album is classic. Lo-fi and absurdity rule as the band blows you away with sloppy drumming, smarter than your professor lyrics, and a sly California wit.

I always give a number count of words in my reviews. Since I am reviewing so many albums in such a short time, I've limited the word count to the number of days in the month. This year, I'm adding one word to represent the number of albums in the list. BTW-I nailed this one on the first try without counting.

The Moment of Truth: Tack one, SM sings, "Minerals, ice deposits/Daily drop off the first shiny robe/I've got a lot of things/I want to sell but not here babe/You took it allllllll..."

This is a new feature. I figured that it isn't always one song that makes an album. What often occurs is a moment when the album hits you. It might be a guitar solo, a lyric, or what you're doing when the record is playing. You'll see.

Killer to Filler Ratio: 5:2

Albums basically contain two types of songs: killer and filler. "Killer" refers to your hit singles or at least the stand-outs on any album. The "filler" refers to all the other songs: Songs that segue from one part of the record to the next or simply fill space so that the track list reaches nine.

Having more killer than filler does not necessarily make a great album. Look at greatest hits compilations. They make for terrible albums. Consider that Guided By Voices'
Alien Lanes is nothing without tracks like "They're Not Witches", "The Ugly Vision", "Auditorium", "Gold Hick", and "Ex-Supermodel" strategically placed between the album's more memorable songs. BTW-Alien Lanes' killer to filler ratio is a solid 23:5.

Be on the lookout for the top 32 of 2008. I will start posting on December 1st and finish on the 31st. Some days may feature one or more posts. Other days will be postless. For a review of last year's 31 Project, go here.

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