Don’t get me wrong. I like Songs of Innocence. If you look beyond all the detritus surrounding the way it was released through iTunes, it’s a very good album. But for Rolling Stone to pick it as the best album of the year? Seriously?
Maybe I’m too cynical about how the business works, but I can’t help wonder if there was any back-and-forth dealmaking involved. “If you give us an interview, we’ll put you on the cover. Then we’ll give serious consideration to ranking SOI highly on our year-end list.” Quid pro quo, you know?
Could it be that Rolling Stone has a bias towards heritage acts, the sort with fans who still buy Rolling Stone? I mean, looked what finished at number two: Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes.
Or maybe the editors of Rolling Stone really do think it’s the best record to come out anywhere in the world in 2014. They rank it higher than the Black Keys’ Turn Blue (#3), St. Vincent’s self-titled album (#4), Run the Jewels second album (#8) and Canadian Mac DMarco’s Salad Days (#9). My pick, War on Drugs’ Lost in the Dream, finished at #23.
The blowback on this choice has been interesting so far. Any thoughts?