Album of the Year Part 1: The Bracket

Welcome to my three-part series detailing the exhaustive process that will ultimately end with me choosing my top ten albums of the year. Why don’t I just pick ten albums that I like and say a few words about each of them? Ha, ha. You can be so naive sometimes. Of course I can’t do that. At the very least, I have to convince myself that I have (A) Listened to all the noteworthy rock albums of the year at least twice, and (B) That I didn’t leave anything out that is particularly heinous. Then, I have to further trick myself into believing that the process I used to select my favorites was remotely scientific (though it depends entirely on subjective tastes and biases). Thus, I decided to form a pool of 32 potential artists (taken from my own favorites, friend recommendations and a few groups that I previously overlooked that seem to be worth a damn). Much like March Madness, I’m going to “play” these albums against one another until I’ve whittled the list down to 16, then 8, then a best album of the year! Here are some things I have considered:

  1. Isn’t it difficult to compare two completely different artists? For example, White Lung faces off against Leonard Cohen in the first round. Aren’t they so different as to be incomparable? Well, yes and no. On one hand, it is completely true that those two artists are almost nothing alike. However, I am of the firm opinion that both artists are aiming to create an experience of some sort with their music, and using that general principle I think I’ll have no trouble determining who was more successful at creating their specific experience. Also, “losing” albums have another chance to place highly thanks to the “Loser’s Bracket.” Also, this is mostly for fun.
  2. How are you going to compare an album that you are familiar with and already enjoy to one that is essentially brand-new? Wouldn’t the new album suffer even if it was technically better?  This is a problem, I agree. The best thing I can offer you is that I’m using these next few days (tournament “officially” starts on Dec 16th) to become intensely acquainted with as many of these albums as possible. My hope is that, after (at least) three listens to each album, I’ll be in a position to judge fairly which one I like better.
  3. What is the point of all this? Well, I don’t really enjoy basketball, but I like obsessing over brackets just the same. Can’t a thing just be fun?

Check out the below link to check out the bracket. Once the tournament officially starts, it will be updated every day by me! Let me know about your own picks below!

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