Earlier today, esteemed MTV News senior writer James Montgomery laid out his picks for the 20 best albums of the year. It’s a solid list, full of envelope-pushing rock, head-spinning hip-hop, staggering melody and weird sonic experiments (and that’s just the number one choice, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). But after West (who would be my pick for the best album of the year as well), our tastes seem to deviate wildly. In fact, after West, my top 10 is completely different than his.
So here’s my counterpoint to Montgomery’s list. There are 10 albums here, but you should really think of the top album as “1A,” because let’s face it: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is absolutely the best album of the year, even if you think Kanye West sucks (in fact, that’s true especially if you think Kanye West sucks).
5. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
The Warpaint album features women exploring the outer reaches of their dark psyches, but Katy Perry has no time for darkness — not when you’ve got a hot wardrobe, a fun husband and a bushel full of Dr. Luke productions to keep you bubbly and afloat. Teenage Dream may seem like nothing more than an overlong sugar rush, but once you get past the singles, there is a shockingly sharp amount of acid (“Circle the Drain,” “Peacock”) and sentiment (“E.T.,” “Not Like the Movies”) to balance out the teeth-rotting goodness of the title track.