Thursday, January 24. 2008
The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll is out now. I made a set of predictions last week before the Idolator poll came out. The Voice poll has more critics (577 vs. 451). I speculated then that the Voice would have more mainstream print critics, and would trend slightly toward more mainstream rock albums, less techno, probably more hip-hop. Also that those trends would make my predictions look a bit better. That's pretty much what happened.
LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver still won, but this time it was a close three-way race, and it only won on points (1662 to 1611 for both Radiohead and MIA). Radiohead actually got the most ballots (148 to 144 for MIA and 141 for LCD Soundsystem). I don't recall that sort of split ever occurring before, or for that matter any contest that close. I did a lot of research, pouring over various year-end lists, trying to figure out what would happen. It looks now like my predictions underrated LCD Soundsystem (4 on my list, 1 on both polls), Amy Winehouse (7 on my list, 5 Idolator, 4 Voice), and Against Me (38 on my list, 21 on both polls). I overrated White Stripes (6 on my list, 16 Idolator, 14 Voice), Jay-Z (14 on my list, 23 Idolator, 18 Voice), Les Savy Fav (19 on my list, 44 Idolator, 161 Voice).
I had Bruce Springsteen at 12. He came in 25 Idolator, but rebounded to 9 Voice, so maybe that wasn't so bad. The Voice generally favored age over Idolator: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss improved from 19 to 8 (my guess was 20); Wilco from 20 to 12 (I had them at 16); Bettye Lavette from 45 to 30 (28). Some alt-rock bands also improved, e.g. the Shins from 46 to 19 (21), Band of Horses from 49 to 24 (25). Conversely, electronica slipped a bit: Battles to 11 from 17 (15), Burial to 15 from 27 (41), Justice to 31 from 36 (30), the Field from 24 to 37 (not on my prediction list). Many of the records that did better than predicted on Idolator slipped: Of Montreal to 22 from 10 (22), Jens Lekman to 23 from 17 (not on my list), Okkervil River to 31 from 22 (31), Andrew Bird to 43 from 28 (not on my list).
Of the 10 records I had in the top 50 that missed Idolator's top 50, 7 improved (Common from 113 to 42, Kings of Leon from 102 to 55), 3 dropped (2 marginally; Menomena from 56 to 109). Of the 10 that not on my top 50 list that made Idolator's top 50, all slipped in the Voice poll (Britney Spears from 33 to 62, Amerie from 48 to 118).
I found and reported at least a dozen errors in the initial Voice totals. Youssou N'Dour's Rokku Mi Rokka was listed three separate times, totalling 12 votes, 122 points, enough to raise it from 171 to 79. Similar errors cost Davendra Banhart, Andy Palacio, Kevin Drew, Loudon Wainwright III, Holy Fuck, Gram Parsons, the Ponys, and a few more.
PS: The Voice website has been updated fixing a bunch of these errors. Youssou N'Dour is now at 80. I've edited the text above to reflect some of the new numbers, but haven't rechecked everything.