Pitchfork Predictions

I’ve had some fun the past few years trying to predict Pitchfork’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, usually with little success. But 2009 looks to be a bit easier - if I was a betting man I’d put money on the following 10 being in there. And the top 3, well, that’s seemed set in stone for most of the year anyway. We’ll see this Friday if the old ‘fork has any surprises up their sleeves. In this order, mind you:

1. Merriweather Post Pavillon - Animal Collective
2. Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
3. Bitte Orca - Dirty Projectors
4. Only Built For Cuban Linx, Pt.2 - Raekwon
5. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - Phoenix
6. xx - The xx
7. Album - Girls
8. Psychic Chasms - Neon Indian
9. Embryonic - The Flaming Lips
10. Tarot Sport - Fuck Buttons

The top three were the only (I think) three from 2009 to make an appearance in their Top 200 of the Decade earlier this Fall, so those spots seem pretty safe. Besides, the entire internet seems to think they’re the best three albums of the year, and even Stereogum’s feisty readers said MPP>Veckatimest>Bitte Orca when all was said and done. Raekwon comes up 4th to break up indie-rock’s dominance this year. I’m listening to that as I type this and thinking it needs to be higher on my own list. Phoenix is going to ride its two monster singles into the top 10, but that whole album is top notch. The debuts from The xx and Girls have been getting universal blog love for months (years) and seem to be a lock. Neon Indian are going to represent that “glo-fi/chill-wave/hypnoblogic-whatever” stuff that was everywhere for most of the Spring/Summer and made for some interesting singles (but not albums, IMHO), and The Flaming Lips made a triumphant return to the conversation this year with Embryonic. Rounding out the 10 is going to be Tarot Sport. First alternate is Logos by Atlas Sound. Put money on that shit. Although I may be wrong.
So, what do you think? What am I missing? Do you even care at all?


alanj said...

I'd like to see Bat for Lashes in the top ten, and I honestly think it has a good chance. I think it came out around March or April, and it was the main thing I listened to for the next month or so.

For some reason, I feel like Phoenix might not make the top ten. It's a darn good album, but it's been a good year in general, so there's plenty of competition.

I haven't even listened to the Dark Was the Night compilation, but I sense that it may make the top ten. I read Pitchfork so regularly that I feel I can make that claim based on nothing more than a sort of spiritual connection with the entity that is Pitchfork.

alanj said...

Looks like I was wrong about Dark Was the Night--it merely made Pitchfork's "Honorable Mentions" list.

James said...

Alan - Other than "Daniel" I was kind of so-so on the BfL album, so I guess I never really thought of it as a contender. Who knows though, could be.

I think the Phoenix album is a no doubt entry, as it should be.

Thanks for the feedback..

James said...

Boom - 8 out of 10, and the 2 I got wrong were #'s 11 & 13. Not bad.

Good call on Bat For Lashes Alan, though I just listened again to it the other day I don't get the fuss.

Fever Ray - totally forgot about that album.

How about Grizzly Bear dropping down to #6? That was very unexpected, would've put money on them coming in at #2.

alanj said...

Yeah, I figured I'd probably be wrong about Phoenix after they had two songs from that album make the top ten for the tracks list.

I think one reason I like Two Suns is because I live in Tucson, and I like the fact that Natasha Khan was inspired by landscapes and imagery of the Southwest. But though the album works well in that context, ultimately it's her voice that keeps me coming back to this album.

And yes, Grizzly Bear being as low as six was somewhat surprising. I wonder when or if Pitchfork will post the individual writer lists.

Good job with the 8/10, in any event. This was easily more fun than trying to predict the Oscars each year. Or the Grammys [shudder].