Something Like Sound

Tag: Neko Case

A Statistical Survey of the Best Albums of 2009

by on Jan.13, 2010, under "Best of" Lists

It’s officially 2010! That means that we can all take a few moments to judge the art and culture that 2009 wrought. Most people come up with lists based on personal feelings, record fidelity, or any number or other random factors. Here at Something Like Sound I’ve decided to take a slightly more objective and analytical approach. Rather than compiling my own list of “the best albums of 2009″ I decided to perform a statistical survey on what other people thought.

A few notes about the statistical methods employed here:

  • The sample size was 35 lists, gathering mostly from local sources (such as Westword, Reverb, etc.). 35 is an important number in statistics because it is the lower threshold for large-sample stats. In all statistics more samples = better results. If I had time to do every list out there my certainty would go way up (but there’s simply not time for it).
  • Ranking vs. Points: Most other surveys of this type use a linear scale where a rank of 1 correlates to a point value of 10, rank 2 with 9 points and so forth. This is fine and dandy, but does not give terribly distinct results. Therefore, I used a point/rank scale based on an exponential curve. The steep, immediate drop-off of this curve provided results that were slightly more interesting. (See the graph of Rank Vs. Points below, with information on the resulting coefficient of correlation).

  • Most lists focused on “college rock” or “indie” records (read Westword’s description of the ambiguous genre here). So results are slanted toward such records. Sorry, there aren’t any heavy metal or country records on there.
  • To find more “best of 2009″ lists go to Largehearted Boy, they’ve got an excellent and comprehensive collection of lists from around the world.

Without further ado, THE LIST!

  1. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  2. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
  3. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
  4. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
  5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
  6. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
  7. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
  8. The xx – xx
  9. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
  10. Girls – Album

… and now some graphs!

Clustered Results

Clustered Results

Stacked Results

Stacked Results

To download an Excel file containing all raw data and graphs, click here.

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