Home Music The Dean’s List: Christgau’s Best of 2011

The Dean’s List: Christgau’s Best of 2011

Robert Christgau begins with an essay:

My own statistics, based solely on my increasingly private judgments of quality, compute similarly. Every year since 1974 I’ve compiled the Dean’s List, which ranks every record I’ve graded A minus or above during the previous 12 months. Where in good years, including the last couple, it would reach 80 or so, in 2011 it zoomed all the way to 107…

Few of my dad-rock cohort finished top 20; sans Wussy, a cross-generational anomaly I’ll explore in full soon, and the McGarrigles, twentysomethings when most of their bonus disc was recorded, we’d be down to Paul Simon’s mortality album, the Mekons’ history album, and a Buddy Holly tribute dominated by reinvigorated young adults. For the second straight year—and though I don’t do trends, this might be one—nothing felt momentous no matter how much venture capital Watch the Throne put into trying. Yet though most of my 15 hip-hop picks were culturally marginal, it was a hip-hop album by 2010 mixtape phenoms Das Racist that ended up bowling me over with its bad manners, stealth politics, scattershot laughs, casual musicality, and willingness to give Williamsburg bands meaningful work…

Read The Dean’s list here