I know Pazz and Jop’s so Wednesday but I just wanted to clarify the comments attributed below: It’s not that comfort itself is a bad thing—if it was, “One Touch” would have been left out of my top 10 in favor of that aggravating Le Tigre full-length. It’s more this: The job, the full-time, well-paying gig ($50k+, according to the critic from one of Ohio’s dailies—he mentioned his salary during a particularly obtuse aside in his flawed, poorly written thesis on hard rock—plus all the free CDs, demos, and singles that cross these people’s desks on a regular basis) of many of these voters is not only to confer their knowledge on the Creed-purchasing public: It is also, in part, to seek out things they might not already be cognizant of in hope of, perhaps, finding things—new bands, old bands reissued, one-off tracks on white-label compilations of powerpop—that they can then tell their readership about. Isn’t that what good reporting is? Shouldn’t those writers who are in the full-time employ of ‘music criticism’ make at least the slightest effort to go out and experience new things, or, hell, even peek inside a package from an unfamiliar PR company’s address? Or has the idea of market populism—affirming tastes on a constant basis, stroking and soothing the individual and the masses until the entire populace fusses only because their bellies are full of too much candy—taken over rock writing as well? (I have a feeling the answer to that question isn’t “no, and it never will.”)