I’m generally not a big fan of Pitchfork; the only times I really look at the site are when they post their year-end lists and whenever Nitsuh Abebe has a new Why We Fight column up. That said, when I heard about the People’s List project they were launching, I though it sounded like a fun exercise. List up to 100 of your favorite albums released between 1996 (when Pitchfork launched) and 2011. Simple, eh?
Not so much. For one, 15 years is a big stretch of time! It was a struggle to keep this list to 100 albums; there were some worthy candidates that got dropped, as well as some albums I’m sure I simply forgot. And I found ranking within them to be damned near an impossibility; there’s a certain point at which degrees of greatness is no longer an issue, and it’s simply that some albums go with some moods better than others. Ultimately, everything that’s made my list has both been my “favorite album” for some period or time or another, and merited relistening even after that phase.
Pitchfork has offered up a database of albums for the project, as well as the option of adding your own. I was surprised to find that only 29 of my 100 were in their database; I knew that my tastes were pretty divergent from the average Pitchforker, but if I’m understanding it correctly, this means that 71 of my 100 favorite albums of the last 15 years were never even covered by the site. I suspect that this pretty much guarantees that the vast majority of my favorites have no chance of making the site’s aggregate list, but then I imagine that would have been the case regardless. My list is also very Rock heavy; I enjoy a lot of pop music, but I think I’m generally more of a singles listener than an album listener when it comes to pop (which, at least to my mind, is the way most pop is intended to be consumed really).
If you click where it says My People’s List at the top, you can see how mine came out. From there, it’s pretty simple for anyone to build their own; I’d love to see what any of you come up with!