Apple Musics’ “100 Best Albums” Shouldn’t Cause Problems

Words By Matthew Spence:
Every few months, a music publication will come through and step on the new shoes of fans. Now, it looks like we’re gonna have to break out the toothbrush once again. Why? Apple Music is coming in hotter than the “rev up those fryers” fish.
Recently unveiling their list of the 100 best albums of all time. Through Instagram (and I’m assuming other social media platforms as well), they’ve been revealing the albums by 10 every few days instead of dropping a full list on a site like many would usually do. Piece by piece, sound by sound, slide by slide—it’s a musical dick tease for everyone watching and waiting like they’re waiting for their food in a microwave. Of course, plenty have agreements and many disagreements. With the list revealed and we all know the top 10 albums are in their eyes, how do I feel about it? Eh…. whatever. At this point, when it comes to music lists or lists revolving around art in general, give me an entire month, and I’ll manage to have less to say about it than Ferb in an entire 22-minute episode.
My level of fucks is so beyond human capabilities that you can be the avatar who uses more than 10% of your brain, and you still couldn’t reach my level. The only person who can outdo mine is Timmy Turner.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to belie and make it seem like I’m some pretentious buzzkill who immediately jumps to adjust up his glasses, and button up his cardigan while cleaning his American Football vinyl to prepare to say in his Milhouse voice, “Music is subjective.” Lists deserve a place in discourse. Thumbs up to list-making yo. It’s fun. I still look at lists. We all do it at some point: from favorite movies and songs to ranking Friends characters from best to shitty. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rule 34 applied to it; there’s probably a list for everything and anything made by someone (case in point: look at WatchMojo).
Regarding the harmless lists, it’s all about fandom. Going over what’s important in the field you enjoy. Just geek out, yo. No matter how niche it is, while simultaneously opening a discussion for the whys and why nots, the how comes and the how comes not, the underrated to overrated. However, when it comes to these music lists in particular, all the fun begins to seep away when you constantly fall into the same loop of “No, this list is wrong!” “Where’s this album?” “This shouldn’t be on the list,” etc.
It’s moved away from causing discussion to immediate dismissal as the disagreements outweigh the approval. The same people who shout “Music is subjective; it’s just an opinion” trade in that record immediately once they see a Taylor Swift album ranked higher than a Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, or Kanye album. It doesn’t matter who it is or what it is: Billboard with the best rappers of all time, Rolling Stones with the greatest songs of all time, Pitchfork with the best albums of a certain decade. Whether major or indie, magazine or zine, staff or one person, no one’s list is perfect. And that’s the point.
I’m getting past looking at lists and scoffing at them for not seeing an album I like or love ranked lower or not even ranked at all. Madvillainy wasn’t even on Apple Music’s list, and I couldn’t give it 1/6 of a fuck. That’s fine. That’s their list; I’ll make my own damn list if I want to be satisfied. Lists shouldn’t necessarily validate your opinion, nor should they give you the opportunity to invalidate others. Do I think Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is one of the top 20 albums of all time? Fuck no. However, someone does, and that should make way for a convo between those who think it is and someone who disagrees, beyond the common sentiment of “this list is trash.”
Crack a smile and put on a vinyl; it’s not that serious.
Photo: High Fidelity
[No “To Pimp A Butterfly” is wild though]
This is a PSA brought to you by: “Who the Fuck asked you?”

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