It’s customary to start year-end lists by chewing some fat about how making them is strange and difficult work, and in general, I find that these intros can be exceedingly skippable. Everyone knows that album rankings are subjective (even when they’re created on behalf of a publication or website), and no one needs to be reminded that the list maker didn’t listen — and couldn’t have listened, of course! — to every single thing that came out in the preceding 12 months. You don’t share Santa Claus’ knack for bending the space-time continuum. Understood. But before I get to my Top 10 albums, I would like to share a quick story about how I came up with my list, and how Beyoncé helped me find meaning in this whole strange and difficult exercise.
See that menacing-looking bloke in the Jurassic Park shirt? That’s my brother-in-law Brian. He’s married to my sister and plays guitar in the Chicago-based metal outfit, Czar. I’m exceedingly proud to report that one of the tracks on Czar’s upcoming album No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive (due out November 5) just got exclusive premiere treatment from Revolver Magazine.