The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

20

Polling BoxLast night the voting booths for the 2007 CLUAS end of year readers' poll were opened. Keeping things simple we are this year only having one category: best album of the year.

Unlike previous years readers will not be able to vote for absolutely anything they want, instead there is a shortlist of 40 of the best albums released in 2007 from which readers can pick their favourites of the year. The shortlist of 40 was picked by the CLUAS writers (or to be more precise, 38 were chosen by the writers, and 2 slots were decided on by members of the CLUAS discussion board were, more info below). We're doing it this way as, quite simply, in previous years the counting of votes took an absolute eternity. Streamlining it with a fixed shortlist will make it a relative breeze.

In the interest of transparency and all that here's a bit of background about how the final shortlist was arrived at:

  • All the CLUAS writers were invited to submit their top 10 albums of 2007.
  • A list of favourite albums was then received, before the internally set deadline, from a total of 19 writers.
  • Ten of these writers cast votes for a full top ten.
  • A total of 159 'votes' (or album preferences) were received (i.e. on average 8 fave albums were voted for by a writer)
  • Among these votes a total of different 100 albums were declared as a favourite.
From these votes a shortlist of 38 albums was drawn up as follows:
  • The 30 albums that got voted by more than 1 writer (2 of these albums were Irish releases)
  • The 5 Irish releases that got 1 vote (i.e. making a total of 7 Irish albums in the shortlist, a healthy number in my opinion)
  • The 3 albums that were only voted by one writer but that writer gave it their no. 1 vote

That left two slots to be filled. To fill them I took all the albums that were voted for by only one writer, but which was voted as either that writer's no. 2 or no. 3 album of the year. This gave a total of 14 albums (subsequently reduced to 12 when it emerged that two of were actually released in 2006). We then ran a poll on the discussion board for users of the board to decide what 2 of those albums would make the final shortlist. In the end it was Iron and Wine and Explosions in the Sky who got the most votes for their 2007 release.

Why 40 and not 50 shortlisted albums? A shortlist of 40 was chosen as a sweet spot between providing coverage of a good number of the year's best releases and keeping to trying to keep to some sort of minimum the quantity of stuff to fit on the voting page. To be honest this is all a bit of an experiment in the sense I have never put a voting form with so many fields that voters can choose between. Will it intimidate readers and they then decide to stay off in droves? It's a possibility, we'll just have to wait until the results are counted.

At the last minute I also slipped in an extra category: "Best song of 2007". If anything meaningful in terms of a result emerges from votes cast in this extra category, great. But to be honest, based on past experience, I expect votes to span a huge range of songs and no real consensus to emerge. May I be proven wrong!

Here is the final shortlist of 40 albums, from which readers can now indicate their favourites (a minimum of 3 albums need to be selected by a voter for the vote to be valid, they can also indicate in their vote a maximum of 10 albums).
  •  A Lazarus Soul - Graveyard of Burnt Out Cars
  •  Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
  •  Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 
  •  Battles - Mirrored
  •  Blonde Redhead - 23
  •  Bruce Springsteen - Magic   
  •  Cathy Davey  - Tales of Silversleeve
  •  Damien Dempsey - To Hell Or Barbados 
  •  Editors - An End Has A Start
  •  Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday 
  •  Explosions In The Sky "All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone"
  •  Feist ''The Reminder'' 
  •  Future Kings of Spain - NervousSystem 
  •  God Is An Astronaut ''Far From Refuge'' 
  •  Handsome Furs - Plague Park 
  •  Headgear - Flight Cases
  •  Interpol, Our love to admire
  •  Iron and Wine "The Shepherd''s Dog" 
  •  Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
  •  Laura Viers 'Saltbreakers'
  •  LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
  •  Low - Drums and Guns
  •  Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers
  •  Mark Ronson - Version
  •  MIA - Kala
  •  Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Sank 
  •  Mumblin'' Deaf Ro ''The Herring And The Brine'' 
  •  Nina Hynes - Really Really Do 
  •  Of Montreal ''Hissing Fauna, Are You Listening?'' 
  •  Panda Bear - Person Pitch 
  •  PJ Harvey White Chalk 
  •  Radiohead - In Rainbows
  •  Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raining Sands 
  •  Robert Wyatt - Comicopera 
  •  Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover 
  •  The Field - From Here We Go Sublime 
  •  The Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times 
  •  The National - Boxer 
  •  The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
  •  Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

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