Pazz & Jop 2011 – 39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll
I was honored to be asked to contribute to the annual Village Voice critics’ poll- this is my 5th year participating.
Pazz & Jop 2011
39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll
The Pazz & Jop critics’ poll is a highly influential poll of music critics run by The Village Voice newspaper. It is compiled every year from the top ten lists of hundreds of music critics (roughly 800 in the 2004 poll). Albums have been voted upon every year since 1974 (voting also took place in 1971), and votes for singles have been tabulated since 1979.
Since the poll’s inception, critics have been invited to award their ten albums a total of 100 points, with each album receiving a maximum of 30 points and a minimum of 5. Lists submitted without points are given 10 points per album by the poll’s editors. Singles lists have always been unweighted.
Music critic Robert Christgau was in charge of the poll for 33 years, and wrote an essay every year that accompanied and framed the list. Christgau was dismissed from the Village Voice in August 2006, but the paper intends to continue the feature. Christgau continues to submit his Top Ten list and to encourage other eligible critics to do so.
The poll was jokingly given the spoonerism name “Pazz & Jop” rather than the more obvious “Jazz & Pop” because, inevitably, some detractor will claim that a nominated work is ineligible or undeserving on the grounds that it isn’t “really” jazz or pop. Since there are no formal definitions for the made-up terms “pazz” and “jop”, voters will concentrate on the actual merits of a work rather than arguing over whether it fits into this or that genre.