So, in the near future, I will be starting a series called The Erik Gonzalez 100. This is a list. I know you love lists! I actually usually hate lists because they usually try to call them things like “The best albums of the last 20 years” or “The most important albums of the decade”. Anyone (or group of ones) that claim that they can define “the best” or “most important” empirically is full of s&%t, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
How is The Erik Gonzalez 100 different? It is a list of my current, all-time favorite albums ever. Note the usage of the term “favorite”. This does not mean I think they are the “best” music. They are not albums I think everyone should own (although you might be happy if you did). These albums are not the most important or most influential of their time. They are not the most timeless or poignant. “What are they?” you ask. They are the albums that I love the most, albums that I return to year after year, albums that when I remember they exist, they warm my heart when the sound comes out of the speakers. They are my favorites.
However, this does not mean it is an entirely qualitative list. No, I don’t think my brain could deal with trying to rank 100+ albums purely qualitatively. So, what am I doing to try to add some quantity to my quality? Here are the criteria (Inspired by some of the equations in John Sellers’ Perfect From Now On. Rated 1 to 10 – low to high, unless noted):
- Repeated listenability: Does the album stand up to repeated listening?
- Great track proportion: More or less, the # of “great tracks” (to me) divided by total tracks. This will be normalized after all the albums are assessed and then scored as above.
- Terrible track proportion: The same as #2, but in reverse. How many “terrible tracks” (to me) divided by total tracks.
- “Filler”: What portion of the album smacks of filler, e.g., skits, instrumentals, gibberish, etc. More filler takes away from the overall “greatness” of the album.
- Timelessness: Do I love the album as much now as when it was first released? Do I love it more?
- Album Cover Art: A minor component, but great albums tend to have great cover art as well.
- Album in the Oeuvre: Where does the album stand in the overall discography of the artist?
- Overall greatness: How would I define the wonderfulness of the album compared to other albums on the list.