Today, influential music-crit site Pitchfork really italicized its "influential" modifier by releasing the results of its Pitchfork People's List, a Converse-sponsored "readers' poll" of the best albums from the first 15 years of the site's existence (1996-2011). There were—to invoke the words Radiohead, which had three albums place in the Top 10—no surprises.
The majority of the nearly 28,000 of voters were male (88 percent) and in the 21-25 age range. Moreover, the entire list is a regurgitation of all that Pitchfork holds dear. No album in the People's List's Top 10 was rated under a 9.1 on the site's 1-10 scale of rankings that accompany each review. Here's a look:
1. Radiohead – OK Computer – Pitchfork rating: 10
2. Radiohead – Kid A – Pitchfork rating: 10
3. Arcade Fire – Funeral – Pitchfork rating: 9.7
4. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Pitchfork rating: 10
5. The Strokes – Is This It – Pitchfork rating: 9.1
6. Radiohead – In Rainbows – Pitchfork rating: 9.3
7. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Pitchfork rating: 10
8. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Pitchfork rating: 9.6
9. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Pitchfork rating: 10
10. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois – Pitchfork rating: 9.2
To break down the process here, Pitchfork essentially dictated what was cool and then its readers dictated it right back to them. McDonald's customers like Big Macs, Bravo viewers like affluent trash and Pitchfork readers like Pitchfork-approved albums.
It would all seem pointless, but as my colleague Max Read pointed out on Twitter earlier today, the poll has some upside: Its advertising package.
There's value in that, to be sure.
[Image via Getty]