What Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 SHOULD Be

With a great deal of time on my hands, I’ve decided to try to decipher what Pitchfork will unveil as its Top 50 Albums of 2010. But instead of analyzing what has gotten more coverage and hype from them and all that jazz, I’ve decided to look at it at the lowest common denominator: the ratings. After all, Pitchfork ratings are what everyone looks to, myself included, to see if something is good, along with that coveted “Best New Music” label. So what should Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 be?

For this, I just did albums and EPs. I ignored reissues and compilations because that just gets a little confusing. I still included Forest Swords because both the original and the expanded edition were both 2010 releases, and there was not that big of a difference between them, as far as I was concerned. I went through and categorized every review from 8.0 and up and organized the releases in a Word document according to rating. If it didn’t get a “Best New Music” label, I added a little “(-BNM)” symbol next to it to designate that. This is what I came up with:

  • One album scored 10.0
  • Four album scored 9.2
  • Two albums scored 9.0
  • Two albums scored 8.8
  • Seven albums scored 8.7
  • Six albums scored 8.6
  • The 22 albums that scored 8.6 and above all got Best New Music
  • 13 albums scored 8.5
  • Two of these 13 albums did not garner Best New Music honors (Agalloch, The Body)
  • 16 albums scored 8.4
  • Five of these 16 albums did not garner Best New Music honors (Forest Swords, Supersilent, Kylesa, Drake, Alcest)
  • 19 albums scored 8.3
  • Six of these 19 albums garnered Best New Music Honors (Emeralds, James Blake, Broken Social Scene, The Radio Dept., Fang Islands, Pantha du Prince)
  • 31 albums scored 8.2
  • Three of these albums garnered Best New Music honors (Wild Nothing, Morning Benders, Surfer Blood)
  • 24 albums scored 8.1
  • One of these albums garnered Best New Music honors (Liars)
  • I don’t know why it was BNM’d.
  • 38 albums scored 8.0
  • None of these albums garnered Best New Music honors
  • Overall, 163 albums scored 8.0 or over
  • Overall, 54 albums garnered Best New Music honors in 2010
  • Feel free to correct any of this math

From this, I can take two directions on making Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 list: I can go with the Best New Music or I can go with the ratings. I could also go with weighing which albums have had more impact since their initial reception and which ones have been better received with time or ones that people have realized that suck as time has gone on. Of course, I know that when Pitchfork picks their Top 50, they have the various writers and contributors submit their lists and then scores are tallied and weighted based off that. So the Top 50 Albums of 2010 list from Pitchfork will probably be much different than what the ratings and BNMs indicate. But that’s expected.

Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 based on ratings and Best New Music status (line breaks indicate where the rating changes; albums grouped together have the same rating):
1. Kanye West — My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

2. Deerhunter — Halcyon Digest
3. LCD Soundsystem — This Is Happening
4. Big Boi — Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty
5. Joanna Newsom — Have One On Me

6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — Before Today
7. Beach House — Teen Dream

8. No Age — Everything In Between
9. Flying Lotus — Cosmogramma

10. Titus Andronicus — The Monitor
11. Girls — Broken Dreams Club
12. Sleigh Bells — Treats
13. Das Racist — Sit Down, Man
14. How To Dress Well — Love Remains
15. Robyn — Body Talk
16. The National — High Violet

17. Arcade Fire — The Suburbs
18. Vampire Weekend — Contra
19. The Walkmen — Lisbon
20. The-Dream — Love King
21. Owen Pallett — Heartland
22. Four Tet — There Is Love In You

23. Julian Lynch — Mare
24. OFF! — First Four EPs
25. Robyn — Body Talk Pt. 1
26. Gorillaz — Plastic Beach
27. Crystal Castles — Crystal Castles
28. Janelle Monae — The ArchAndroid
29. The Tallest Man On Earth — The Wild Hunt
30. Gil Scott-Heron — I’m New Here
31. Tame Impala — Innerspeaker
32. Male Bonding — Nothing Hurts
33. ceo — White Magic

34. Sufjan Stevens — The Age of Adz
35. Twin Shadow — Forget
36. Wavves — King of the Beach
37. Best Coast — Crazy For You
38. Curren$y — Pilot Talk
39. Caribou — Swim
40. Delorean — Subiza
41. Local Natives — Gorilla Manor
42. Hot Chip — One Life Stand
43. Gonjasufi — A Sufi and a Killer
44. Matthew Dear — Black City

45. Broken Social Scene — Forgiveness Rock Record
46. James Blake — CMYK
47. The Radio Dept. — Clinging to a Scheme
48. Fang Island — Fang Island
49. Pantha du Prince — Black Noise
50. Emeralds — Does It Looks Like I’m Here?

Other BNM albums that did not make this list (all on list are 8.3 and above):
Wild Nothing — Gemini
Morning Benders — Big Echo
Surfer Blood — Astro Coast
Liars — Sisterworld

Now, to incorporate ratings and giving less weight to Best New Music.

Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 based on ratings (same thing with the line breaks as above; additions are bolded):

1. Kanye West — My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

2. Deerhunter — Halcyon Digest
3. LCD Soundsystem — This Is Happening
4. Big Boi — Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty
5. Joanna Newsom — Have One On Me

6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — Before Today
7. Beach House — Teen Dream

8. No Age — Everything In Between
9. Flying Lotus — Cosmogramma

10. Titus Andronicus — The Monitor
11. Girls — Broken Dreams Club
12. Sleigh Bells — Treats
13. Das Racist — Sit Down, Man
14. How To Dress Well — Love Remains
15. Robyn — Body Talk
16. The National — High Violet

17. Arcade Fire — The Suburbs
18. Vampire Weekend — Contra
19. The Walkmen — Lisbon
20. The-Dream — Love King
21. Owen Pallett — Heartland
22. Four Tet — There Is Love In You

23. Julian Lynch — Mare
24. OFF! — First Four EPs
25. Robyn — Body Talk Pt. 1
26. Gorillaz — Plastic Beach
27. Crystal Castles — Crystal Castles
28. Janelle Monae — The ArchAndroid
29. The Tallest Man On Earth — The Wild Hunt
30. Gil Scott-Heron — I’m New Here
31. Tame Impala — Innerspeaker
32. Male Bonding — Nothing Hurts
33. ceo — White Magic
34. Agalloch — Marrow of the Spirit
35. The Body — All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood

36. Sufjan Stevens — The Age of Adz
37. Twin Shadow — Forget
38. Wavves — King of the Beach
39. Best Coast — Crazy For You
40. Curren$y — Pilot Talk
41. Caribou — Swim
42. Delorean — Subiza
43. Local Natives — Gorilla Manor
44. Hot Chip — One Life Stand
45. Gonjasufi — A Sufi and a Killer
46. Matthew Dear — Black City
47. Forest Swords — Dagger Paths
48. Kylesa — Spiral Shadow

49. Alcest — Ecailles de Lune
50. Drake — Thank Me Later

There isn’t too much different there, but there are still some additions that are worth taking a look at. So there we have it. When Pitchfork releases their Top 50 Albums of 2010, you’ll have an idea of what it would look like if the Fork went by its all-knowing rating system and BNM label.

Feel free to leave comments and correct me where I’m wrong. And leave your input. That’s the most important part of this.

–Daniel

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4 Comments

Filed under Music

4 responses to “What Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 SHOULD Be

  1. man who doesn't care

    WOW A BLOG BLOGGING ABOUT PITCHFORK…

    WHO FUCKING CARES.

  2. I found this to be incredibly interesting. thanks for doing the analysis.

  3. NotafanofKanye

    I listen to mainly Alternative music and with all the hype I really have tried to listen to this Album. I know someone might not like this analogy but here I go…There are porn movies out there that someone spent millions on and someone that see’s it will say “Wow they really made a porn movie that looks like Pirates of the Caribbean” I see the fake boobs and ugly tattoo’s and the bad acting and that is what Kanye West’s music is for me.

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