EOY predictions

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EOY predictions

Postby Nassim » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:14 am

As the first record store lists will probably be released this week and Mojo, Q and Uncut will shot the first eligible lists probably next week, it’s time for EOY predictions… and I don’t think I have ever been that much in the dark !


Album of the year :

Not sure there will be one big critic favorite, seems more like a year of lots of great albums without a specific one really standing out. That being said, I expect Lemonade and Black Star to lead the pack ; they both got a big pull from both old school and left field sources, had real cultural impact and can be editorialized as something relevant to 2016 news.

Behind them, I’d expect a very close race of about 12 albums (the other 8 albums from Megacritic top 10 + the Colour in Anything, Coloring Book, Puberty 2 and Wildflower). I hope Teens of Denial can save its top 10 placement, I’m fairly confident though as there haven’t been a lot of very good “classicaly rock” albums this year.

Songs of the year :

That’s where I am the most at loss. I don’t feel that there has been a big song that everyone raved about this year.

You would guess Beyonce would have one, but her album could be victim of a LOT of vote splitting if the “best songs of the year so far” of this summer are any indication, I think I remember seeing at least 5 songs of her, including Formation, Freedom and All Night. Possibly Radiohead will have the same issue with Burn the Witch, Daydreaming and True Love Waits but I’d think one would end up more popular than the others (but no idea which).

A bunch of critically acclaimed albums seem to have one big favorite, so for that I expect Chance the Rapper – No Problems, Anohni – Drone Bomb Me and Mitski – Your Best American Girl and Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (surprisingly for an album with that many standouts) to rank fairly high.

On tracks from outside of acclaimed albums, I only see Nobody Speaks that might be in lots of lists (I mean, if a rap song can make it through the AMF charts, sky’s the limit).

When all is said and done, who will stand tall on top of the year ? I’ll put my money on Ultralight Beam for now.

The biggest winner (vs Megacritic) :

There is always that one album that ranks way higher than Megacritic would have suggested, this year my money is on Wildflower : it got some backlash from “not being Since I Left You 2”, but it’s a brilliant album, a real grower and being a staple name usually helps too. For the same “I’m famous and you love my work” reason, the Life of Pablo should at least make it to top 20.

The biggest loser (vs Megacritic) :

There are 2 kinds of albums that fall way below their Megacritic ranks, those from genres that few sources like/cover (see From Kinshasa last year) and those whose love for some reasons disappears as quickly as it first appeared (see Compton last year).

This first category is surprisingly rare in this year top 20, Sturgill Simpson could suffer from country disregard (though a lot of sources usually have “that one country album” in their list) and Tim Hecker (ambient !!!) and Kate Tempest (British female rapper!!!) probably won’t be able to consolidate a top 20. A bit further, Dillinger Escape Plan is a more obvious case of “my genre is too extreme to rank high in EOY”.

On the 2nd category, I have my doubts about the Colour in Anything and My Woman, not to fare as poorly as Compton but still not to keep as huge a momentum as when they were released.

There is another “issue” this year, the big number of acclaimed rap and R&B albums. I could see some rock magazines reluctant to have too many of those genres in their list, the poppiest (Coloring Book) or universally beloved (Beyonce and Frank Ocean) should be safe from that, but the oddest (Atrocity Exhibition) or lesser known (Freetown Sound) will struggle. Not too sure how Untitled Unmastered will figure, on the one hand Kendrick is on a huge streak of acclaimed work, on the other hand early release date, no single and “not being a proper album” won’t help.
Last edited by Nassim on Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby spiritualized » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:20 am

Interesting post, Nassim. Thank you for this, it sheds some light on what we can possibly expect.
I will not post my predictions, as I proved twice this year that I am pretty crap at this game (Brexit + Trump). However, I will concur with you on the seriously disturbing lack of rock albums in 2016, making it a pretty unsavvy year for me.

Fortunately, some stand out, namely :
The Julie Ruin
Preoccupations
White Lung (excellent)
King Gizzard
Parquet Courts

I still have to listen to a fair few, but it looks like 2016 is another nail in the rock coffin. :(

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:18 pm

I've found that my EOY lists are a semi-decent bellwether as to what the eventual critic's EOY lists will end up looking like. Although the critic's top songs of the year are somewhat hard to call, I think we might be able to look at what I've put as my top songs of the year thus far as an inidcator of things to come.

For comparison's sake, I'm going to list out my top 3 songs of the year for 2012 to 2016. What's notable is that these top 3 songs of the year lists were all finalized before any critic's lists started coming in for their respective years, and haven't changed at all since they were finalized (my lists very rarely change). Below I will list my top 3 songs of the year, as well as where they ended up placing on the AM list in parenthesis.

2012

1. Frank Ocean- Pyramids (#1)
2. Japandroids- The House That Heaven Built (#3)
3. Grimes- Oblivion (#2)

2013

1. Daft Punk (featuring Pharrell)- Get Lucky (#1)
2. Arcade Fire- Reflektor (#2)
3. My Bloody Valentine- Only Tomorrow (#59)

2014

1. Future Islands- Seasons (Waiting On You) (#1)
2. Todd Terje- Delorean Dynamite (#49)
3. Todd Terje (featuring Bryan Ferry)- Johnny and Mary (#23)

2015

1. Tame Impala- Let it Happen (#3)
2. Courtney Barnett- Pedestrian at Best (#4)
3. Jamie xx- Gosh (#33)

2016

1. Anohni- Drone Bomb Me
2. Kanye West (featuring Kendrick Lamar)- No More Parties in L.A.
3. James Blake (featuring Bon Iver)- I Need a Forest Fire

...So if the pattern holds true for this year, we can expect that 2 of my top 3 songs of the year will make the critic's top 5.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby DaveC » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:02 pm

I'm sure Wildflower will be top 10, but I suspect the biggest winner vs Megacritic will be "The Hope Six Demolition Project" or "Preoccupations". The former suffered from initial comparison with "Let England Shake", but it is a grower. The latter just seems to have been under appreciated on first review.

The obvious loser is "My Woman". "Burn Your Fire for No Witness" is a great album, but "My Woman" just doesn't hold up in the same way to multiple hearings.

The only song prediction I will dare to make is that "Present Tense" will be right up with "Burn The Witch" and "Daydreaming".

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Future Critic » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:22 pm

I'll add my predictions to the mix:

Albums:
01. Lemonade, Beyoncé
02. Blond, Frank Ocean
03. 22, A Million, Bon Iver
04. A Seat at the Table, Solange
05. You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
06. A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead
07. Blackstar, David Bowie
08. My Woman, Angel Olsen
09. Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
10. The Life of Pablo, Kanye West
Alt: Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest

Songs:
01. Ultralight Beam, Kanye West
02. Burn the Witch, Radiohead
03. Nikes, Frank Ocean
04. Formation, Beyonce
05. Cranes in the Sky, Solange
06. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales, Car Seat Headrest
07. 22 (OVER SOON), Bon Iver
08. One Dance, Drake
09. Your Best American Girl, Mitski
10. You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
Alt. Cold Little Heart, Michael Kiwanunka
Alt. Sorry, Beyonce

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby notbrianeno » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:25 pm

Predictions:

Album: David Bowie | Blackstar
Song: Solange | "Cranes in the Sky"
Current AOTY 2018: SOPHIE | Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
Current SOTY 2018: SOPHIE | "Is It Cold in the Water?"

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby spiritualized » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:47 pm

Well the first EOY list is already out by Rough Trade, one out of your top 3 is number 6, so starting well !

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:51 pm

notbrianeno wrote:Predictions:

Album: David Bowie | Blackstar
Song: Solange | "Cranes in the Sky"


I'm going to second this.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby BleuPanda » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:15 pm

I'm entirely clueless on songs; here's my prediction for top 10 albums:
1. Beyonce - Lemonade
2. David Bowie - Blackstar
3. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
4. Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book
5. Bon Iver - 22, A Million
6. Frank Ocean - Blonde
7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
8. Anohni - Hopelessness
9. Solange - A Seat at the Table
10. Mitski - Puberty 2

That would push My Woman, You Want It Darker, and Teens of Denial out of the top 10. I've heard nothing about My Woman since it came out, so it feels like a record that will get a lot of mentions but few high placements. You Want It Darker might get a boost from Leonard Cohen's death, but there's so many prominent death albums this year that I doubt all will make it. Teens of Denial simply feels overshadowed, even though I'd love to see it maintain its place.

Coloring Book feels bigger than what its score lets on, and I feel Solange will get boosted mentions so that critics can put her beside her sister. Mitski is my surprise pick.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby ordinaryperson » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:22 pm

For albums:
Without a doubt Lemonade will end up in 1st place. That leaves the rest for speculation, Blackstar, A Moon Shaped Pool, A Seat at the Table, and Skeleton Tree will probably round out the rest of the top 5. The Life of Pablo could make it in the top 10 with help from pop and rap year end lists. I think we may also see Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Bon Iver, and Danny Brown in the rest of the top 10.

For songs:
Just like last year at around this time there wasn't an obvious choice for what the number 1 song of the year could be. So I could imagine another surprise pop song becoming number 1. But the question is what could it be? Closer seems to have been successful so that could bring in the electronic lists to the table. Could it be Heathens with Twenty One Pilots huge success over the year, plus it could bring in the rock lists. Or could it be One Dance or Work performed by last year's surprise winner. I could also see Burn the Witch, Drone Bomb Me, Cranes in the Sky,or Ultralight Beam become number 1 also.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:24 pm

Here's my stab at a top ten...

1. David Bowie- Blackstar
2. Beyoncé- Lemonade
3. Radiohead- A Moon Shaped Pool
4. Frank Ocean- Blonde
5. Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial
6. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Skeleton Tree
7. Solange- A Seat at the Table
8. Anohni- Hopelessness
9. Bon Iver- 22, A Million
10. Danny Brown- Atrocity Exhibition

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby BleuPanda » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:04 pm

BleuPanda wrote:I'm entirely clueless on songs; here's my prediction for top 10 albums:
1. Beyonce - Lemonade
2. David Bowie - Blackstar
3. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
4. Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book
5. Bon Iver - 22, A Million
6. Frank Ocean - Blonde
7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
8. Anohni - Hopelessness
9. Solange - A Seat at the Table
10. Mitski - Puberty 2

That would push My Woman, You Want It Darker, and Teens of Denial out of the top 10. I've heard nothing about My Woman since it came out, so it feels like a record that will get a lot of mentions but few high placements. You Want It Darker might get a boost from Leonard Cohen's death, but there's so many prominent death albums this year that I doubt all will make it. Teens of Denial simply feels overshadowed, even though I'd love to see it maintain its place.

Coloring Book feels bigger than what its score lets on, and I feel Solange will get boosted mentions so that critics can put her beside her sister. Mitski is my surprise pick.



I'm going to change this; We Got It From Here will be my number 8, shifting Hopelessness and A Seat at the Table down a spot and removing Puberty 2.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Rob » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:18 pm

I'm not very good at these predictions, but there is still one thing I'm wondering about: Is Blond by Frank Ocean really such a sure shot for a top 10 spot? Everybody seems to rank him in there, but to me the reception seemed positive in a muted way. Of course it was hard to top the response Channel Orange got, yet that still seems to hamper Blonde a lot. The vibe I got from the reception of Blonde is that it is definitely good, but not particularly something many people rank as a favorite. I feel there are quite a lot of albums that got a more powerful reception. Maybe I just missed the real praise.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby BleuPanda » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:44 pm

Rob wrote:I'm not very good at these predictions, but there is still one thing I'm wondering about: Is Blond by Frank Ocean really such a sure shot for a top 10 spot? Everybody seems to rank him in there, but to me the reception seemed positive in a muted way. Of course it was hard to top the response Channel Orange got, yet that still seems to hamper Blonde a lot. The vibe I got from the reception of Blonde is that it is definitely good, but not particularly something many people rank as a favorite. I feel there are quite a lot of albums that got a more powerful reception. Maybe I just missed the real praise.



That's one I'm cynical about. I feel it will have a high entry and then slowly fade over the years. Any all-time or decade ranking will focus on Channel Orange or a hopefully better future album, but I also feel Frank Ocean is the type of artist the majority of critics will feel the need to include even if they didn't fully connect; it's still a high quality big-name release this year.

That's one thing I'm concerned about with this year; will the new stuff by David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, A Tribe Called Quest, and Nick Cave continue to be mentioned after this year, or will they be pushed aside for the usual classics by those artists? Nick Cave thankfully doesn't have a 'usual classic,' but the others do. And if Blackstar tops the EOY lists and then never gets featured on All-Time lists due to Bowie saturation, will that ultimately harm the albums of 2016 on the acclaimed music rankings, if those albums are all compared to the top of their year to determine their placement?

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby BleuPanda » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:14 pm

Now that I'm thinking about it, does anyone know what albums from the 2000s match my thoughts in the post above? What are the notable albums that placed in the top 10 for their year and slipped away? What about albums that simply got no mention at first and steadily became classics (I believe at least Discovery is one of these...)? I know it's off topic, but I'd like to know...I guess it can also reveal to me whether albums truly slip. I know a few that have lost a place or two, but that's to be expected.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nassim » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:48 pm

Looking at all its EOY appearances, I'd guess The Rising was top 10 of its year back then but I don't have the file so it's a hunch.
From 2015, Kate Bush's The Aerial also has way more EOY showings than EOD or all time, so does Beck's Guero, don't think any started in the top 10 of the year though.
Wouldn't be surprised if Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards was top 10 of its year too.
Less extremes examples from 2007 ; Neon Bible, Graduation and Strawberry Jam all suffer from the comparison to their bands' other albums.
From 2008, Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust barely gets any mentions anymore.
2009 has a lot of examples of albums that did very well EOY wise but barely got any mentions since : Embryonic, Wilco (The Album), The Crying Light, Humbug...

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Henrik » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:08 pm

Here you can have a look at the AM standings since 2003.

https://web.archive.org/web/20030901000000*/http://www.acclaimedmusic.net
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby BleuPanda » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:10 pm

Get Ur Freak On at #14 of all time????? What happened there?


...hold on, I should probably make a separate topic for this discussion...

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby PlasticRam » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:47 pm

BleuPanda wrote:Get Ur Freak On at #14 of all time????? What happened there?


...hold on, I should probably make a separate topic for this discussion...

Makes some sense that it would've been that high cos it did so well in EOY lists and there wasn't many new all-time lists I guess.
I feel like that

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Henrik » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:14 pm

PlasticRam wrote:
BleuPanda wrote:Get Ur Freak On at #14 of all time????? What happened there?


...hold on, I should probably make a separate topic for this discussion...

Makes some sense that it would've been that high cos it did so well in EOY lists and there wasn't many new all-time lists I guess.

That eoy winning streak was amazing. With the algorithm I use today, it would maybe have been a bit lower, but still very high.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Rob » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:26 pm

BleuPanda wrote:That's one thing I'm concerned about with this year; will the new stuff by David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, A Tribe Called Quest, and Nick Cave continue to be mentioned after this year, or will they be pushed aside for the usual classics by those artists? Nick Cave thankfully doesn't have a 'usual classic,' but the others do. And if Blackstar tops the EOY lists and then never gets featured on All-Time lists due to Bowie saturation, will that ultimately harm the albums of 2016 on the acclaimed music rankings, if those albums are all compared to the top of their year to determine their placement?


This is indeed very hard to predict, though personally I think Blackstar should be relatively safe. It will probably not get the same amount of attention as Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory or Low, but in my opinion it is more consistent than many of his other albums. It's a grower too. Nick Cave is always hard to predict, but the backstory of the making of this album might keep it easily in memory.

Now Leonard Cohen is an interesting case. I was really surprised to see his two previous albums make the list. I like Old Ideas and Popular Problems, but they hardly seem top-tier Leonard Cohen to me and I myself would swap them for New Skin for the Old Ceremony and The Future (especially the latter is one of his best in my opinion). I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Popular Problems especially would never get a vote again. So when You Want It Darker landed as high as it did on the MetaCritic list I was really struck, but also skeptical. Was this another good-but-not-surprising late entry to the Cohen discography? Listening to it I found it actually very different than Old Ideas and Popular Problems. Cohen is really exploring new forms and sounds again and from a purely musical standpoint it might be his best since, well, his debut! Add to that now that it has the name of being a sort farewell album (and it does sound like one) and it could leave a lasting impression on the minds of people. It's like Blackstar actually: not just a last album, but a major last statement and a last deep dive into the world of music.

Late albums by old legends can easily be overlooked by the albums that made them legends, even if they are very good. On the other hand, sometimes such an album might strengthen the legend, as the song Hurt perhaps did for Johnny Cash. I feel that Blackstar and You Want It Darker can do this for their respective creators, but maybe its just my feeling overriding my judgment.

I never heard a Tribe Called Quest album, so I can't comment on that.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:16 pm

Henrik wrote:Here you can have a look at the AM standings since 2003.

https://web.archive.org/web/20030901000000*/http://www.acclaimedmusic.net


Henrik, I just poured through the updates from several years, and started to notice less steep drops and gains over the years. Outside of a huge groundswell like Daft Punk's Discovery, or Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over the Sea have seen in the past 10 years, are we done with seeing major gains, and are most albums somewhat "fixed" now?

On topic...Lemonade will take the American lists, Blackstar will take the British lists, and Skeleton Tree will take the rest of the world. A Moon-Shaped Pool might take the top spot though by being a top 3 worldwide.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby notbrianeno » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:35 pm

My official picks.

Albums:
1. David Bowie | ★
2. Beyonce | Lemonade
3. Chance the Rapper | Coloring Book
4. Radiohead | A Moon Shaped Pool
5. Frank Ocean | Blonde
6. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds | Skeleton Tree
7. Solange | A Seat at the Table
8. ANOHNI | Hopelessness
9. Bon Iver | 22, a Million
10. Mitski | Puberty 2

Songs:
1. Solange | "Cranes in the Sky"
2. Beyonce | "Formation"
3. Kanye West | "Ultralight Beam"
4. Chance the Rapper | "Same Drugs"
5. Radiohead | "Burn the Witch"
6. Mitski | "Your Best American Girl"
7. ANOHNI | "Drone Bomb Me"
8. Drake | "One Dance"
9. Rihanna | "Work"
10. Frank Ocean | "Nikes"

Hip-Hop/R&B continues its dominance of the 2010s!
Current AOTY 2018: SOPHIE | Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
Current SOTY 2018: SOPHIE | "Is It Cold in the Water?"

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Maschine_Man » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:16 am

My EOY predictions are:

I'm going to be whelmed by the choices by critics. There was a lot of average music released this year by big names who are at the peaks of their career and that's what we will see a lot of in the top 10.

We won't see a Top 10 with at least 5 albums made/lead by women.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby prosecutorgodot » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:30 am

Jonathon wrote:On topic...Lemonade will take the American lists, Blackstar will take the British lists, and Skeleton Tree will take the rest of the world. A Moon-Shaped Pool might take the top spot though by being a top 3 worldwide.

I like this prediction a lot. I second it.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:51 am

prosecutorgodot wrote:
Jonathon wrote:On topic...Lemonade will take the American lists, Blackstar will take the British lists, and Skeleton Tree will take the rest of the world. A Moon-Shaped Pool might take the top spot though by being a top 3 worldwide.

I like this prediction a lot. I second it.


There are a couple of truths to be examined here.

So many high rankings are based on Zeitgeist + Musical quality. There are a lot of great albums ranked 501-3000 that are perhaps, compositionally superior to albums ranked higher than them, but really don't stand well in musical history as a classic.

Lemonade in many cases, fits the narrative of album of the year best, especially in keeping with the trend towards hip hop, R&B, and urban albums topping the year end lists most years this decade. However, I believe there will be enough push back against the idea of ranking a Beyonce album #1 to really give her the nod. Compare her recent high metacritic scores, to those self-same albums rankings, and you will see a large gap.

David Bowie's Blackstar has lots of elements that are great for it's chances. It's a fantastic album, and it posits Bowie in a familiar light, but with enough new elements to justify itself as an artistic statement. Unfortunately, I feel like the album might be too far away from what's going on around it, a bit like Brian Wilson's SMiLE or Bob Dylan's Love & Theft, to make a serious bid at the top spot.

Nick Cave tends to obtain high review scores, and great year end list finishes because his albums are by and large, excellent. I predict Skeleton Tree will become Cave's highest ranking album, just like Abattoir Blues did 12 years ago. Unfortunately like Abattoir Blues, when critics go back and assess the decade, they will realize that the album doesn't sit well in the narrative of the 2010s, and it will drop precipitously.

Ultimately, Radiohead is a band that everyone agrees on, and while Skeleton Tree and Blackstar will get attention due to the circumstances surrounding their releases, Radiohead's new album feels fresh, yet familiar, and is by the most acclaimed act of the last 30 years. There is no prejudice against them for being a pop act (Beyonce), for being older (Bowie), or for being a bit more obscure (Cave.) It's not the greatest album of the year choice, but I think it is the album of the year we will get.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:30 am

My only problem with the idea that Radiohead will win the AOTY is the fact that Radiohead already has 3 AOTYs under their belt (and seeing as the #2 album of 1995 is "The Bends", it's basically 4). On top of that, "OK Computer" and "Kid A" are among the first albums to be mentioned when people go on about the best albums of the 90s/00s. My idea is that the critics are either going to want some "new blood" (Beyoncé), or are going to want someone who hasn't put out an amazing album in many years (Bowie). I'm inclined to side with Bowie. "Blackstar" is already one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the year, and the bulk of that acclaim comes from reviews released before he died. Had Bowie died a week before it was released, I have no doubt that its position on Mega-Critic would greatly increase. It feels bad to talk about death in terms of some cold numerical calculation of critical acclaim, but the whole "death narrative" has helped fuel the legacy of many albums ("In Utero", "Closer", the later works by Johnny Cash). I could see it happening here.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:40 am

Nick wrote:My only problem with the idea that Radiohead will win the AOTY is the fact that Radiohead already has 3 AOTYs under their belt (and seeing as the #2 album of 1995 is "The Bends", it's basically 4). On top of that, "OK Computer" and "Kid A" are among the first albums to be mentioned when people go on about the best albums of the 90s/00s. My idea is that the critics are either going to want some "new blood" (Beyoncé), or are going to want someone who hasn't put out an amazing album in many years (Bowie). I'm inclined to side with Bowie. "Blackstar" is already one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the year, and the bulk of that acclaim comes from reviews released before he died. Had Bowie died a week before it was released, I have no doubt that its position on Mega-Critic would greatly increase. It feels bad to talk about death in terms of some cold numerical calculation of critical acclaim, but the whole "death narrative" has helped fuel the legacy of many albums ("In Utero", "Closer", the later works by Johnny Cash). I could see it happening here.


My counterargument to that would be that anytime Radiohead makes a great album (I don't think either Amnesiac or HTTT are truly great) they get #1 (or at least a rotating #1, as The Bends has proven to be.) I'd say Blackstar is likely #2. I think in 3 years though, we'll see Chance the Rapper or Beyonce taking the #1 for the year via decade end polls.

Interestingly, on the topic of Bowie and Blackstar, I think the album will forever cement his #4 artist of all-time status. His single ranking already cements it, but any chance that Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young or Radiohead had of beating Bowie as an album artist. Radiohead might have ensured themselves a higher ranking, possibly up to #5.
Last edited by Jonathon on Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:47 am

Jonathon wrote:
Nick wrote:My only problem with the idea that Radiohead will win the AOTY is the fact that Radiohead already has 3 AOTYs under their belt (and seeing as the #2 album of 1995 is "The Bends", it's basically 4). On top of that, "OK Computer" and "Kid A" are among the first albums to be mentioned when people go on about the best albums of the 90s/00s. My idea is that the critics are either going to want some "new blood" (Beyoncé), or are going to want someone who hasn't put out an amazing album in many years (Bowie). I'm inclined to side with Bowie. "Blackstar" is already one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the year, and the bulk of that acclaim comes from reviews released before he died. Had Bowie died a week before it was released, I have no doubt that its position on Mega-Critic would greatly increase. It feels bad to talk about death in terms of some cold numerical calculation of critical acclaim, but the whole "death narrative" has helped fuel the legacy of many albums ("In Utero", "Closer", the later works by Johnny Cash). I could see it happening here.


I'd say Blackstar is likely #2. I think in 3 years though, we'll see Chance the Rapper or Beyonce taking the #1 for the year via decade end polls.


I could definitely see Beyoncé getting the number 1 spot. At this point (in my mind) it's about a toss up between her and Bowie.

Very skeptical about Chance though. "Coloring Book" is only #17 on Mega-Critic and the general vibe I've gotten from the online hip-hop community has been that the album is seen as inferior to "Acid Rap". "Coloring Book" really seems like the sort of album that gets a lot of attention upon its release, but come EOY time has a disappointing showing.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:53 am

Nick wrote:
Jonathon wrote:
Nick wrote:My only problem with the idea that Radiohead will win the AOTY is the fact that Radiohead already has 3 AOTYs under their belt (and seeing as the #2 album of 1995 is "The Bends", it's basically 4). On top of that, "OK Computer" and "Kid A" are among the first albums to be mentioned when people go on about the best albums of the 90s/00s. My idea is that the critics are either going to want some "new blood" (Beyoncé), or are going to want someone who hasn't put out an amazing album in many years (Bowie). I'm inclined to side with Bowie. "Blackstar" is already one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the year, and the bulk of that acclaim comes from reviews released before he died. Had Bowie died a week before it was released, I have no doubt that its position on Mega-Critic would greatly increase. It feels bad to talk about death in terms of some cold numerical calculation of critical acclaim, but the whole "death narrative" has helped fuel the legacy of many albums ("In Utero", "Closer", the later works by Johnny Cash). I could see it happening here.


I'd say Blackstar is likely #2. I think in 3 years though, we'll see Chance the Rapper or Beyonce taking the #1 for the year via decade end polls.


I could definitely see Beyoncé getting the number 1 spot. At this point (in my mind) it's about a toss up between her and Bowie.

Very skeptical about Chance though. "Coloring Book" is only #17 on Mega-Critic and the general vibe I've gotten from the online hip-hop community has been that the album is seen as inferior to "Acid Rap". "Coloring Book" really seems like the sort of album that gets a lot of attention upon its release, but come EOY time has a disappointing showing.


I see Pitchfork giving it a high ranking, which results in people revisiting it over the years. See Aeroplane Over The Sea, Silent Shout, Discovery, etc etc etc

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Nick » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:02 am

Jonathon wrote:
Nick wrote:
Jonathon wrote:
I'd say Blackstar is likely #2. I think in 3 years though, we'll see Chance the Rapper or Beyonce taking the #1 for the year via decade end polls.


I could definitely see Beyoncé getting the number 1 spot. At this point (in my mind) it's about a toss up between her and Bowie.

Very skeptical about Chance though. "Coloring Book" is only #17 on Mega-Critic and the general vibe I've gotten from the online hip-hop community has been that the album is seen as inferior to "Acid Rap". "Coloring Book" really seems like the sort of album that gets a lot of attention upon its release, but come EOY time has a disappointing showing.


I see Pitchfork giving it a high ranking, which results in people revisiting it over the years. See Aeroplane Over The Sea, Silent Shout, Discovery, etc etc etc


Pitchfork gave "Coloring Book" a 9.1, which ties it for "A Moon Shaped Pool" for highest ranking album of the year on Pitchfork. Naturally, this should make the album a front runner for Pitchfork's AOTY, and if it does get the AOTY, we will probably see the album get the same sort of exposure as "Aeroplane...", "Silent Shout", "Discovery", etc.

That being said, there's one major reason why I'm skeptical of "Coloring Book" placing all that high on Pitchfork's EOY list. Back in late June, the Pitchfork staff published their list of the top 50 rap mixtapes of the millennium. "Coloring Book" was at #12.

So that's not the #12 album of the millennium. It's not even the #12 rap album of the millennium. It's the #12 rap mixtape of the millennium. Even "Acid Rap" ranked higher (coming in at #4). Hell, Nicki Minaj's 2009 mixtape "Beam Me Up Scotty" managed to place at #8.

Now, being the #12 rap mixtape of 2000 - 2016 is nothing to scoff at, but if that's the highest ranking the site can muster for the album, then "Coloring Book"'s 9.1 is looking more like a fluke than a prediction of an AOTY placement.

But, of course, this is all speculative tea-leaf reading on my part.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby notbrianeno » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:47 am

Nick wrote:
Jonathon wrote:
Nick wrote:
I could definitely see Beyoncé getting the number 1 spot. At this point (in my mind) it's about a toss up between her and Bowie.

Very skeptical about Chance though. "Coloring Book" is only #17 on Mega-Critic and the general vibe I've gotten from the online hip-hop community has been that the album is seen as inferior to "Acid Rap". "Coloring Book" really seems like the sort of album that gets a lot of attention upon its release, but come EOY time has a disappointing showing.


I see Pitchfork giving it a high ranking, which results in people revisiting it over the years. See Aeroplane Over The Sea, Silent Shout, Discovery, etc etc etc


Pitchfork gave "Coloring Book" a 9.1, which ties it for "A Moon Shaped Pool" for highest ranking album of the year on Pitchfork. Naturally, this should make the album a front runner for Pitchfork's AOTY, and if it does get the AOTY, we will probably see the album get the same sort of exposure as "Aeroplane...", "Silent Shout", "Discovery", etc.

That being said, there's one major reason why I'm skeptical of "Coloring Book" placing all that high on Pitchfork's EOY list. Back in late June, the Pitchfork staff published their list of the top 50 rap mixtapes of the millennium. "Coloring Book" was at #12.

So that's not the #12 album of the millennium. It's not even the #12 rap album of the millennium. It's the #12 rap mixtape of the millennium. Even "Acid Rap" ranked higher (coming in at #4). Hell, Nicki Minaj's 2009 mixtape "Beam Me Up Scotty" managed to place at #8.

Now, being the #12 rap mixtape of 2000 - 2016 is nothing to scoff at, but if that's the highest ranking the site can muster for the album, then "Coloring Book"'s 9.1 is looking more like a fluke than a prediction of an AOTY placement.

But, of course, this is all speculative tea-leaf reading on my part.


I will say that numerical score or place on one list is no indication of how an album will finish on another pitchfork list. Benji scored a 9.2 and came in at 9th in the 2010-2014 list, yet ended up as the 8th best album in 2014. Black Messiah scored a 9.4 yet only finished as the 7tth best album of 2015 despite having a higher score than any other 2015 release.

That being said, Chance is a young relevant artist, and his chances (*ba-dum tiss*) of a high finish are definitely greater than Radiohead or Nick Cave on Pitchforks part.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Henrik » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:46 am

BleuPanda wrote:Now that I'm thinking about it, does anyone know what albums from the 2000s match my thoughts in the post above? What are the notable albums that placed in the top 10 for their year and slipped away? What about albums that simply got no mention at first and steadily became classics (I believe at least Discovery is one of these...)? I know it's off topic, but I'd like to know...I guess it can also reveal to me whether albums truly slip. I know a few that have lost a place or two, but that's to be expected.

Not from the 2000s, but in Andre's newly posted eoy spreadsheet of 1992, Arrested Development's "3 Months..." is number 1 (yes, ahead of "Automatic for the People"). It is the 14th album of 1992 on AM now.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Rob » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:30 am

One more thing in favor of Blackstar: it was really the "event" album of the year. Now that people focus more and more on playlists instead of albums it is harder to release an actual album that seems like a shared event. I think Blackstar achieved that, it was talked about a lot. Bowie's death played a part in that of course, but the attention the album drew in combination with the quality of the music should really help it to a high placement. The only other album that really felt like an event was Lemonade. Well, The Life of Pablo tried to be the biggest musical happening of the year, but in the end I don't think people in general cared enough about the end result. I think the endgame will be between Beyoncé and Bowie.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Pierre » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:42 pm

Well, early UK lists are here with Uncut and Mojo. Lessons so far:

- UK is all behind Blackstar
- Skeleton Tree and You Want It Darker doing pretty good too
- Lemonade around ~10
- PJ Harvey much higher than her MCCh rank
- It seems Radiohead is going to end up very high when all is said and done (too high for my tastes, but oh well), which is not unexpected
- Frank Ocean and Anohni divisive
- Yeezy snubbed so far

I don't at all believe it's indicative of things to come, although I don't see Bowie, Radiohead and Nick Cave leaving the top in the end. Not sure about Leonard Cohen.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:15 am

Pierre wrote:Well, early UK lists are here with Uncut and Mojo. Lessons so far:

- UK is all behind Blackstar
- Skeleton Tree and You Want It Darker doing pretty good too
- Lemonade around ~10
- PJ Harvey much higher than her MCCh rank
- It seems Radiohead is going to end up very high when all is said and done (too high for my tastes, but oh well), which is not unexpected
- Frank Ocean and Anohni divisive
- Yeezy snubbed so far

I don't at all believe it's indicative of things to come, although I don't see Bowie, Radiohead and Nick Cave leaving the top in the end. Not sure about Leonard Cohen.


I'm so fascinated with Skeleton Tree in the context of Nick Cave's artist ranking. It stands a good chance of being his (currently only) Universally acclaimed record, as all of his albums are outside of the top 500. He still manages a top 40 artist ranking and a top 30 album ranking without it.

What would a say, 320 of all time ranked Skeleton Tree do for his ranking?

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby spiritualized » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:23 pm

Most of you may have already noticed this, but isn't it a bit early for EOY ? we're in the middle of November ! Does this mean that there are no decent releases planned in the next 6 weeks ? No bomb is potentially being dropped ?
It feels like the supermarkets putting the toys out at the end of October...

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Pierre » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:07 pm

spiritualized wrote:Most of you may have already noticed this, but isn't it a bit early for EOY ? we're in the middle of November ! Does this mean that there are no decent releases planned in the next 6 weeks ? No bomb is potentially being dropped ?
It feels like the supermarkets putting the toys out at the end of October...


Yes, it's been discussed already in the past years, especially with the releases of Beyoncé's self-titled or D'Angelo's Black Messiah, for instance. I thought about it Friday, with the release of Metallica's new album, now Decibel Mag must regret having released their EOY list so soon.

The case of late-November and December releases being disadvantaged on EOY lists is a real problem, and only My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't really suffer from it, and that's an understatement.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:25 pm

A lot of the early ones are shops trying to get you to buy before Christmas and it gets earlier every year. Others are magazines trying to get you to buy the magazine to help you decide what to buy for Christmas. Others are just websites trying to get you to visit the site (and bring in advertising revenue) to help you decide what to buy for Christmas ...

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby prosecutorgodot » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:28 pm

spiritualized wrote:Most of you may have already noticed this, but isn't it a bit early for EOY ? we're in the middle of November ! Does this mean that there are no decent releases planned in the next 6 weeks ? No bomb is potentially being dropped ?
It feels like the supermarkets putting the toys out at the end of October...

I feel that these early lists are for the purposes of boosting holiday shopping. Of course there's going to be great albums (and songs!) dropping from here til December 31.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:16 am

Pierre wrote:
spiritualized wrote:Most of you may have already noticed this, but isn't it a bit early for EOY ? we're in the middle of November ! Does this mean that there are no decent releases planned in the next 6 weeks ? No bomb is potentially being dropped ?
It feels like the supermarkets putting the toys out at the end of October...


Yes, it's been discussed already in the past years, especially with the releases of Beyoncé's self-titled or D'Angelo's Black Messiah, for instance. I thought about it Friday, with the release of Metallica's new album, now Decibel Mag must regret having released their EOY list so soon.

The case of late-November and December releases being disadvantaged on EOY lists is a real problem, and only My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't really suffer from it, and that's an understatement.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy DID suffer from it though. The album debuted at 230 of all time, and #2 of 2010, behind The Suburbs. It's placing on all-time lists drove it to it's current status.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Pierre » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:32 am

Jonathon wrote:
Pierre wrote:
spiritualized wrote:Most of you may have already noticed this, but isn't it a bit early for EOY ? we're in the middle of November ! Does this mean that there are no decent releases planned in the next 6 weeks ? No bomb is potentially being dropped ?
It feels like the supermarkets putting the toys out at the end of October...


Yes, it's been discussed already in the past years, especially with the releases of Beyoncé's self-titled or D'Angelo's Black Messiah, for instance. I thought about it Friday, with the release of Metallica's new album, now Decibel Mag must regret having released their EOY list so soon.

The case of late-November and December releases being disadvantaged on EOY lists is a real problem, and only My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't really suffer from it, and that's an understatement.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy DID suffer from it though. The album debuted at 230 of all time, and #2 of 2010, behind The Suburbs. It's placing on all-time lists drove it to it's current status.


Well, not THAT much because #230 is a pretty awesome ranking anyway. But I see your point.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:22 pm

The 2 early ones that count Uncut & Mojo have Teenage Fanclub high up (9th & 13th) compared to MCCH (126th). Some good tracks but not that high on my list currently. Think I'll give it another spin.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:09 am

Pierre wrote:
Jonathon wrote:
Pierre wrote:
Yes, it's been discussed already in the past years, especially with the releases of Beyoncé's self-titled or D'Angelo's Black Messiah, for instance. I thought about it Friday, with the release of Metallica's new album, now Decibel Mag must regret having released their EOY list so soon.

The case of late-November and December releases being disadvantaged on EOY lists is a real problem, and only My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy didn't really suffer from it, and that's an understatement.


My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy DID suffer from it though. The album debuted at 230 of all time, and #2 of 2010, behind The Suburbs. It's placing on all-time lists drove it to it's current status.


Well, not THAT much because #230 is a pretty awesome ranking anyway. But I see your point.


If the lists had waited, Dark Fantasy would've at least been equal to the 100 of all time To Pimp a Butterfly is set to debut at, possibly higher.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Henrik » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:47 am

I'm not so sure. I think the #2 placement had a lot to do with that Kanye just wasn't that admired in Europe at the time.
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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Jonathon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:43 pm

Henrik wrote:I'm not so sure. I think the #2 placement had a lot to do with that Kanye just wasn't that admired in Europe at the time.


That's true. It's easy to get sucked into your countries critics view of things, because unless you go out of your way to pay attention to other critics, that's what you always encounter first.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Pierre » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:30 pm

With Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound's lists out, there's already a pattern for #1 for US critics: Lemonade all the way. But Blackstar is never far behind. I think I'm not taking much risks by saying that Lemonade will probably top the EOY spreadsheet for US critics, but I picture Blackstar gathering more support from international critics and taking the upper hand in the end.

Congrats to Rolling Stone for "Blue & Lonesome" at #7 while it's not even out yet. You guys never disappoint me.

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby PlasticRam » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:08 pm

Hard to see Blackstar not getting #1 spot in overall spreadsheet after such a strong early showing.
I feel like that

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby PlasticRam » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:19 pm

Pierre wrote:Congrats to Rolling Stone for "Blue & Lonesome" at #7 while it's not even out yet. You guys never disappoint me.

Haha, I was gonna comment that I didn't even know the Rolling Stones released an album this year :D
I feel like that

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Re: EOY predictions

Postby Harold » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:32 pm

PlasticRam wrote:
Pierre wrote:Congrats to Rolling Stone for "Blue & Lonesome" at #7 while it's not even out yet. You guys never disappoint me.

Haha, I was gonna comment that I didn't even know the Rolling Stones released an album this year :D


It's out this week - it's a collection comprised exclusively of blues covers (with Eric Clapton guesting on a couple of tracks), and while it is odd (and, hilariously, completely unsurprising at this point) for RS to put an as-yet-unreleased album by one of its touchstone artists in its EOY top 10, the album is actually at least getting a fair amount of praise. Yes, it's a transparent "back to our roots" move, but by most accounts it's a very effective one. So this is probably somewhat more defensible than RS placing Jagger's Goddess in the Doorway - the album that Keith Richards retitled "Dogshit in the Doorway" - at #3 on its 2001 list (following the infamous 5-star review written by Jann Wenner himself).


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