Rest in peace, 2009.
Embarrassing fact: I start preparing my Top Twenty as soon as I have twenty records to work with. That’s just the way it is. A few years ago that would mean my first draft would be scribbled out in April or May. This year, I started in February, and have since compiled no less than one hundred (I’m being conservative) drafts in preparation for this very moment. Regardless of when I started, the majority of jumps, drops and general changes in my list typically slow down by mid October and cement themselves by the end of November. 2009 has proven to elude this trend, forcing me to choose the final #20 spot out of a shortlist of twenty-two artists and keeping me unsure of the exact, final order up to the last minute. Another embarrassing fact: I kind of prefer it this way.
After all, compiling year-end lists isn’t supposed to be exhausting work so much as the enthusiastic/nerdy sport of assembling your perfection summation of 2009. Those albums you immediately welcomed into your life, the ones that continually crept into your headphones; that’s what these lists are in pursuit of. So forget the hype machine and its cliquey lemmings chasing shadows. Forget objective viewpoints, how we discuss music as if the whole world is listening and consider varied tastes. Forget SCQ Ratings. Year-end lists are nothing if they aren’t personal, mere statistics if they lack conviction. And adding one more to the countless millions, Skeleton Crew Quarterly presents the Top Twenty Albums of 2009; a collection of the very best LPs I turned to consistently, releases I’ll champion in conversation through the years to come.
2009 has been a wild ride for me, as I've met wonderful people and been introduced to so much incredible music. Thank you to all the artists and labels who have contributed to Skeleton Crew Quarterly's year and special thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read a review or two. To turn last year's habit into an official SCQ tradition, I hope some of you will add your own Top Albums lists in the comments section of this post.
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and will see you in 2010!!