I will just chalk its absurdly high placement up to "yet another reason why this year needs to be put out to pasture ASAP.There's a bit of variation on most of the lists this year, save for a few staples. But there is something that needs to be said, so I'm going to say it: TV on the Radio can eat my ass. They're just okay . Got it? They're certainly not the new goddamned Radiohead where they can do no wrong.
Rolling Stone, Spin, and everyone else who fawned over Dear Science and Return to Cookie Mountain: please let's all just relax, take a breath, have a Fresca, and calm down. Hell, I liked "Dear Science," and the band is fine with me overall, especially if you're into listening to songs that sound like they're the intro to other songs and you like staying rivetted to the speakers as you keep waiting for the damn thing to kick in already.
They can be just okay. We forgot somewhere along the way that bands are allowed to be decent musicians without either being the second coming of Hipster Jesus or a tragedy to all sounds ever made that warrants cutting off your ears and shutting down iTunes.
That said, here's my completely unscientific, unreliable, poorly vetted, terribly thought out and ultimately indefensible list.
10.MGMT - Oracular Spectacular*
9. Lupe Fiasco - The Cool
8. Fleet Foxes - s/t
7. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
6. Bitzen Trapper - Furr
5. Okkervil River - Stand Ins
4 Santogold - s/t
3. She and Him - Vol. 1
2. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
1. Vampire Weekend - s/t
I was reluctant to put VW at the top of the list, but it's hard not to argue that it's the most innovative album that came out this year, with afro-pop sounds and undeniably catchy rhythms that managed to maintain replay value even in the face of all the hype. The [ed not: as I'm typing this, they started playing Mansard Roof at Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope. Point illustrated] album is summery party music for the neo-Paul Simon set, and I don't see any problem with that. Also, the Columbia boys are helping to stem our nation's tragic dearth of songs about esoteric punctuation terms, and I think we should be grateful.
*Also hesitant to put this on the list since we all got it back in 07, but I guess we aren't counting non-Radiohead digital releases yet.
Movies- In which I realize I didn't see nearly enough good movies this year:
1. The Dark Knight
2. Wall -E
3. Slumdog Millionaire
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
5 Iron Man
7. Pineapple Express
9. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
I was really tempted to call Wall-E the best movie of the year. It certainly was the most endearing love story movie since Before Sunset, and it didn't even have any damned speaking for half the film. But Dark Knight was just too jawesome to deny.
[RELATED: here's the column I wrote last year about the rules for making a top 10 list. Follow it or be subject to weeks of angry sneering glances shrouded in ironic mustache coming at you from under American Apparel hoodies.]