- Grouper – Ruins
- Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty
- Sun Kil Moon – Benji
- D’Angelo – Black Messiah
- Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
- Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!
- J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
- Real Estate – Atlas
- St. Vincent – St. Vincent
- The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
Now, you ask, how were these ratings derived? How can you objectively order the subjective experience of listening to music? Isn’t that Grouper album just a WASP muttering around a beeping microwave?
I understand your criticisms and hope that the following article will go a long way to assuaging your doubts. Truth be told I may never convince you, a personal failure, dooming you to untold years of debauchery in the cave of platonic ignorance, a life worth less than the paper we use to wrap gum. Nonetheless, I will attempt to outline my process, beginning with a definition of ‘Hindu Mysticism’, moving to my general research methods, discussing the findings of my research, and reiterating the conclusions of my data which, again, is outlined above.
I knew that there would be no way that I could complete this project without the input of a Hindu Mystic. A ‘Hindu’ is a practicing member of the Hindu religion and a mystic, from the Latin mystah, means a male of a certain degree of affluence. As such, I endeavoured to find a male Hindu to aid me in my spiritual journey. However, after the first set of my auditions, it was brought to my attention that this practice was simultaneously patriarchal and antifeminist. As such, not wanting to appear untoward, I widened my scope to include women. However, the entire audition process was a resounding failure (I put up a ‘Hindus Wanted’ sign at my gym but neglected to include any personal information and, as such, was unable to receive any replies).
I believed all was lost until my girlfriend revealed at the last second that she was Hindu. Unfortunately, she found my entire process ‘incredibly offensive’ and ‘unbelievably essentializing, reducing complex and dynamic people into Edward Said-esque orientalist stereotypes’ and refused to help.
However, I feel that going through this entire process gave me a greater understanding of my own spirituality and, as such, qualify me to do this on my own.
I listened to an estimated 498 albums released in 2014 and after each one I would write its name on a sheet of paper followed by a comment encapsulating the general tenor of the album (an example of this is “J. Cole 2014 Forest Hills Drive – Oreo?”). I would then take off my shirt and color the entire paper red (to mimic the appearance of Litmus paper). I would then fill a jar with a 50/50 mixture of Sprite and Cherry Soda and place the paper into the jar. Then, I would take a picture of myself beside the jar and post it on Instagram on the second Friday of every month. Whichever photo would receive the most likes, assuming it wasn’t a prime or odd number, would then be added to the list. As such, whichever album received the most likes would be album of the year and continue in descending order until I cut it off at 10.
Every picture uploaded received an average of 647.2 likes, with D’Angelo’s Black Messiah receiving the most with 9825 and Foxygen’s …and Star Power receiving 0 likes, 2 Death Threats, and a restraining order. Woof.
Interestingly, my Instagram followers that also read Pitchfork tended to respond overwhelmingly to photos pertaining to African American or Urban artists, often feeling the need to add a comment like “I love black people!”, “Ferguson, never forget”, “I identify with this so much. I guess we’re not so different you and I”, “I’m not overcompensating”, or “I know it’s offensive to women! You just have to look past it, for the beats!”. My Instagram followers that also read Stereogum tended to eat paint.
D’Angelo’s Black Messiah is the best album of the year. People that read Stereogum eat paint.