Best Pazz & Jop Critics Poll Album 1994

Kind of a weird year - a lot of good albums, but not many I’d personally consider great. For me it came down to Pavement, Guided By Voices and Portishead - I’m going with Dummy, mostly because I feel like it won’t get any other votes. What say you?

ETA: I don’t know what new drug appeared in '94 to make critics vote for Hole as the best album of the year, but I was never on board.

Voted for Johnny, but GBV and Portishead are right there too. I did like Hole’s album quite a bit, but rightly or wrongly, I tend to think of it musically as an extension of Nirvana’s catalog.

Damn, Dummy, Mellow Gold, and Ill Communication? How on earth does one choose? Well, I voted for the Beasties last year, (double checks list). Shit, American Recordings is up there, too…

…much pondering along with a drink, doesn’t help.

Ehh, I’ll go with my first impulse, Mellow Gold

And as far as Hole goes: I’d share a story involving a public restroom, a bottle, and stardom; but that’s probably sharing too much.

Tough choice for me. I went with Green Day, but Portishead, Pavement, Johnny Cash, Beck, and the Beastie Boys were all close behind.

Green Day ahead of Beasties and Pavement.

Obvious answer: Portishead’s Dummy

Its mix of jazzy guitar lines, weird slowed-down samples, plaintive strings and groovy beats still holds up extremely well. Plus Beth Gibbons’ fragile voice, of course. It was a breath of fresh air dispelling the stale smell of grunge that was already past its sell-by date in 1994.

One of the best albums of the 90s.

Tough choice between Dookie and Superunknown. I listen to Soundgarden in the car - My Wave just works for me, as does most of the rest of the CD. But I hear Green Day simply because songs off that CD still get a lot a play - except for She, which is probably my favorite song off the CD.

Hole: Live Through This. I had more or less stopped reading music press by the time I got to this, so I was unaware of the speculation/truth? that this was really a Kurt Cobain album. As it happened I bought it shortly before flying to Germany; I ended up racing up and down the autobahn with this at full volume, and so it became cemented in my imagination.

Guided by Voices: Bee Thousand. I did not become a GBV fan until last year, but I consider this a pretty brilliant album. I will probably end up voting for it.

Easy win for Portishead this year. What a fantastic, dark, smoky, sexy album that is.

Guess I was wrong about being the only one to vote for Portishead.

*Mellow Gold * is still my favorite Beck album, so had to go with that. Love Nirvana’s Unplugged, too, and what I’ve heard from the Portishead LP I like.

I’ve been skipping the Beastie Boys for one reason or another up to now, so I guess I’ll give them the nod. If for no other reason than they introduced me to Jimmy Smith.

Went with Johnny Cash, with Nirvana, Beck, and Soundgarden closely following.