I am a bit narked with the estimable DJ Martian (archives not working so you’ll have to scroll down). First of all he hypes his end-of-year list on the forum about five lengthy times and then doesn’t get it up, but more importantly he posts a long screed about how people who don’t do end-of-year album lists are pussies who are afraid of putting their “online reputations” at risk after witnessing the savaging meted out to Pitchfork’s e-o-y round-up.

Now, for one thing I would be surprised and disappointed if anyone at Pitchfork gives an eighth of a shit about what any of us think of their albums list. But the main point to make is this: not doing an end-of-year list does not mean you’re failing to uphold your reputation online (whatever that is!) or that you must like tedious Q music. Lists in and of themselves are boring – most people present theirs with only the barest smidgen of commentary and the impression is they’re doing it out of mistaken duty or simply to show off.

Meanwhile if somebody hasn’t heard much that’s grabbed their ear in a year on album format then they may simply have higher standards than the people who can list fifty albums without breaking a sweat. Or they may have found that the stuff going on in their lives hasn’t meshed with the music in a way which means connections have got made – and I think that’s more interesting, writing about that kind of context, than just listing a load of records.

As for me, I’m doing what I’ve done since 1998 – a rundown of musical moments, which generally means individual tracks. Given my track-at-a-time preferences doing album lists has seemed hypocritical for a while now, and I’m gratified to find that wider culture has caught up with me and is wisely shunning the limiting album-rundown format and greedily hoovering up fantastic songs, tracks, and fragments of musical jetsam from a hard drive near you. (My personal selection is more commercial and pop-based than it has been before, but that’s a different aesthetic bone to pick.)