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Positive Feedback ISSUE 59
january/february 2012


Sonic Satori - Mine is No Better Than Yours Top Ten List for 2011
by Michael Mercer


I still like the phrase "Desert Island Disc List"—but the commercialization of any fitting term will soil it forever. It's a shame actually, as the term more closely expresses the personal nature of any top ten list ( favorite songs, sports, authors, furniture, presidents, sex toys, or favorite speakers and amplifier). While the act of making a list displays a certain level of selfishness (assuming other people would care about your taste—as if your choices hold a deeper significance than your readers), and the competition aspect of the exercise can get downright ridiculous. I mean, we're sharing our favorite music for the year for Christ's sake—we're not offering economic predictions that directly effect the middle-class, or exchanging our views on string theory.  

Music is art, and all art is in the eye of the beholder, period. Having stated that obvious point, there's no guarantee you're going to like my list, or hate it for that matter. I offer it up merely as a looking glass into certain albums that touched me deep enough to garner continues spins in our household, and, most importantly, have aided us in times of great sorrow and pure joy. Perhaps you'll find something that you haven't heard before, and you'd like to check it out, or you may find a familiar artist name, but you didn't know they released a recent album. I love lists as I am very interested in what certain people are listening to, and I cherish any opportunity to discover new music, through whatever mechanism. I also find it comical that more and more music writers are spending equal time on lists of albums they don't like as opposed to lists of albums they love. Personally, I see this as a terrific waste of time, a futile exercise. One man's treasure is another man's trash, and vice versa. We're human, therefore our individualistic tastes will differ. I recently read the top ten list of a music writer whose opinion I hold in the highest regard, and while we shared some love for a couple of albums he also listed one of my favorites as a sleeper (it was actually placed in his version of a "worst of 2011" list). I wasn't insulted. I know I love the album, and that's all that matters. 

So, why the long-winded introduction to this particular list? To be brutally honest, I'm not quite sure. I attempted to clarify my motives (or, at the very least, try to explain what this list is not). In the end the competitive nature of journalism tends to bring out the silly in people sometimes, to say the least. Bottom line: We're not rock stars. The moment the writer became the rock star (or tried too hard to be one) the downfall began towards "my johnson is longer than yours" lists and essays. I am merely a fellow confessed music addict saying: Yo, check this list out, you may find something that moves you in here. All of these records helped us through troubled times in their own way this year:

Mine is no Better Than Yours Top Tunes List for 2011

James Blake – self-titled debut album (Review HERE, Enough Thunder EP (Review above, this issue)

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys Review HERE

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up Review HERE

Still Corners - Creatures of an Hour

Hecq - Avenger

Eskmo - Cloudlight (don't think this is a 2011 release, but its getting tons of spins in this house)

Mogwai - Earth Division EP Review HERE

The Staves - Facing West EP Review HERE

Radiohead – King of Limbs Review HERE

TKOL RMX (double disc remix set) Review HERE