Tag Archives: World Party

The Best CDs of the 1990s

Below is my Best CDs of the 1990s list. I never kidded myself for a second that I could produce a definitive review – if I can’t even convince myself that the list is as good as I’d like it, I can hardly fault others for disagreeing here and there, can I?

In the end I wound up deciding on a Top 25 list, and I also offered comments on 25 more honorable mentions. The whole thing, top to bottom, is something like 10 pages worth of reviewing, analysis, and self-defense. I even employed multiple methodologies. First, I tried laying it out by a “connoisseurship” model – that is, I made my own estimates based on my own sense of how things qualitatively met the criteria I established for the project. Then I played a little game where I weighted each criterion and then rated each entry mathematically, thereby generating a quantitative estimate. This had the effect of making me seriously reconsider my initial rankings (for instance, it forced me to give Pearl Jam more credit than I really wanted to – see below for more on that).

Then I sent the list to some friends whose opinions I respect and invited criticism (which I got, in spades – thanks, Greg). That forced some more noodling. Then I set about writing and justifying my picks, and that ALSO led to some revision (if I have a hard time justifying its place in the Top 25, that could mean I’m over-relying on my “like” reflex). Read more

The Best CDs of 1997

This was the hardest time I’ve ever had trying to put my year-end list together. Maybe I’m not being “critical” enough or something, but I liked a lot of music this year.

Also, I decided to change my format a bit. Every year I do my Top Ten, then spend the first two months of the following year finding music that would have been on my list. No list is ever complete, of course – none of us has time to listen to even a percent of what we “ought” to listen to – and this is also a function of an R&R industry which simply sucks at getting music before us in a timely fashion.

So this year, instead of rating the best of 1997, I’m rating the best of 1997 that I found so far, as well as the best of 1996 that I found since last year’s list. Basically, it’s the best of 1996-7 that hit my personal radar screen in 1997.

This also makes the job harder, since now there’s twice as much music I want to applaud here. As such, I won’t be doing a Top Ten this year – it’s a Top 25. And if I had the time, I’d do a Top 50 – like I said, I got a lot of good stuff this year, and the difference between #10 and #25 isn’t as great as usual. Feel free to move on anytime you get bored.

So, here’s the list:

1. World Party, Egyptology Read more