Pazz & Jop 2012 Tabulation Notes

Weak consensus versus inspiring diversity

(See the full singularity table here.)

The last meta-analysis we do is a similarity matrix. This process identifies similar albums and similar songs by voter overlap, and similar ballots and voters by album/song/artist overlap. In some ways, this is actually the most interesting view of the poll's data, as it identifies voting patterns that are not otherwise readily apparent. It reveals, for example, that the voters for Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple, Japandroids, and Miguel overlap substantially in all directions (more than usual for a top five), but Tame Impala at #6 has a different faction (who also like War on Drugs, Cut Copy, Cloud Nothings, and Beach House), as do Swans at #7 (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, El-P, Baroness, and Spiritualized) and Grimes at #9 (Beach House, Andy Stott, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, and Scott Walker). This analysis includes all data from 2008 to 2012, so we see, among other things, that the most similar album to Taylor Swift's Red is her own 2010 album, Speak Now, but that there are actually 11 other albums more similar to Red, by voter overlap, than Swift's Fearless.


See the full 2012 Pazz and Jop Critics Poll.


Miguel Is Living The Dream
Sex takes center stage on his sophomore album
By Brian McManus

Frank Ocean's Sea Change
His musical and personal honesty made waves in 2012
By Eric Sundermann

A Trip Through Fiona Apple's Wheelhouse
The singer-songwriter wrestles with the idea of mind as machine
By Audra Schroeder

Kendrick Lamar, Finally Compton's Most Wanted
It took quite some time for the rapper to become an overnight success
By Jeff Weiss

The Confounding, Inexplicable Splendor of Rapper Future
Space is the place
By Rob Harvilla

Pazz & Jop: Taylor Swift, Grimes, and Lana Del Rey: The Year in Blond Ambition
How dare they have an image
By Jessica Hopper

You Don't Know Jack (White)
After a dozen years in the public eye, the man proves he can still surprise us
By Alan Light

Riff Raff Is Keeping It Surreal
He's believable as a hip-hop star because nothing he says is true
By Ben Westhoff

Travel Tips From Touring Bands
By Kiernan Maletsky

A Note on Crap
True art lives where no one is paying attention. Or probably not.
By David Thorpe


Top 40 Albums
The year's big albums, from Frank Ocean on down

Top 42 Singles
"Call Me Maybe" kicks off the top of the pops

Pazz & Jop Comments
The who, the what, the where, and the why, why, why

The Top 25 Album Covers
A lovingly hand-assembled gallery

Tabulation Notes
Weak consensus versus inspiring diversity
By Glenn McDonald

Click any album, song, or voter in any of the lists linked above to see a consolidated profile page with similarity rankings for albums, songs, artists, ballots, and/or voters. The whole stats site is cross-linked in this way, with a page for every voter who has participated in the poll in the past five years and every artist for whom they have voted. Arguably, this explorable critical hyperindex is what the poll really exists to build.

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