Another year has ended; another list has been compiled. Often I get this feeling that in 100 years, all that will remain of today’s pop culture will be a number of well-thought-out lists. While many critics are driven to paroxysms at the thought of another year-end list, the fact is that they are essential to annual retrospective analysis. There is a feeling of security and consistency in ‘Best Of’ lists; inasmuch as one can feel safe in the presence of a numerically-ordered selection of things. But in truth, the rapid acceleration of technology and the advent of social media has completely changed the way humans organize their internal thoughts. We no longer think in prose, or even full sentences; we think in lists.
For his ninth album, Lenny Kravitz found much of his inspiration close to home. In fact, the very spirit of Black And White America came from the locations in which the music was made—from a tiny, 400-person community in the Bahamas to the streets of Paris. And out of his experiences as a true citizen of the planet, his first new songs in three years became the most personal and diverse collection of his career. “No doubt, my environment definitely lends a lot to the creative process,” he says.
Lady Antebellum was the big winner at the Grammys with five awards, including record and song of the year for the band’s yearning crossover ballad “Need You Now,” but rockers Arcade Fire won Sunday’s biggest prize, album of the year, for their highly acclaimed The Suburbs.
Arcade Fire’s Win Butler was visibly stunned as the group accepted their trophy and then quickly rushed to perform the last song of the night.
“THE MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF THE NEXT 12 MONTHS”
To look forward we must first look back…
…Back to 2010. Based on the success and failures, the hype and thus inevitable underwhelm, Pitchfork 10.0s and Internet buzz – we can better understand and predict the coming months ahead. The trends and patterns that dominated 2010 will surely continue into 2011, and will shape the year to come for better or for worse.