Necessary Evil 2019 (72-65)

72 Kanye West: Yandhi

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You know what? I’ve got a funny feeling that this might not be my last chance to talk about him before this list is done, so I’m wary of squeezing out all my Kanye Juice before the real party starts. ‘Yandhi’ was the album that he was going to release as his follow up to last year’s ‘Ye‘ (I’m sorry, haterz/liberals, but ‘Ye’ was a pretty fine album, as were most of the eighty four records he released last year, let’s not let our reactions to his general behavior colour the history), but then it was delayed, then cancelled, then briefly revived with Ashton Kutcher playing the role of Kanye West, then delayed, then its name was changed to ‘Spunk Muffin and the Dudes With Attitude’, then it was cancelled again, then it was changed to ‘Jesus Is King’, then it was revealed that it wasn’t actually a name change but a completely separate record, then that record was delayed, then it was delayed again, until, finally, it was released, and Yandhi was cancelled, only briefly being released (seriously) as ringtones. Quite straightforward as Kanye West album launches go, really. I actually only sought out ‘Yandhi’ because I assumed it would contain intriguing scrappy demos of whatever tracks Kanye was working on for his next record (which at that point had been delayed so many times I assumed this would be the closest we’d get to a Kanye album this year), but it’s shocking to hear quite how complete a lot of songs on here are, and how realised many ideas are. New Body in particular sounds less than a tweak away from being a hit single, Nicki Minaj feature and all. Later, it was shocking how few of the songs and ideas on ‘Yandhi’ made it to ‘Jesus is King’. Like, pretty much none of it. Nicki Minaj? She’s gone. Hey, Kanye, maybe stay focused on one thing for more than three minutes? Might result in better albums? Perhaps I’ll get to debate this further later.

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The bad news: I fucking Love It is on this album, seriously one of the most abhorrent songs I’ve ever heard. Debuted at the PornHub Awards, you say?? Oh, Kanye, you’re just so edgy! So naughty! Yeah, man, I love porn too, aren’t we both such fucking legends!

The good news: like I said, it’s almost all dropped by the time Jesus Is King arrives, including that piece of shit song.

Metacritic: n/a

12 in 2018

36 in 2016

4 in 2013

 

71 Jaden: Erys

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Man, you know I love Jaden. You know I love his whole ‘Jaden’ thing and how he’s 100% ‘Jaden’ all the time. You should also know much I loved parts of his debut album ‘Syre’ and how I saw more than a few glimpses on that record to suggest that he’s a real talent that actually possesses potential to do really interesting things with his music.

Unfortunately… ‘Erys’ (‘Syre’ backwards. Do you see? Do you see? Do you fucking see?? DO YOU FUCKING SEE YOU COCKSUCKING MOTHERFUCKER???) isn’t quite yet the masterpiece that he’s definitely capable of. It sees Jaden a little to eager to make a more conventional 2019 rap album, perhaps too eager to prove that he deserves to be thought of in the same league as his contemporaries, and loses a little of the (slightly bonkers) uniqueness that made parts of ‘Syre’ so special. If he wanted to try and emulate anyone though, he should make sure he keeps Kid Cudi’s number and adopt him as a kind of standard to follow, as their work together here reveals their styles to blend perfectly and than Cudi definitely gets Jaden’s ‘thing’. Christ, guys, listening to that song now… This is a really good album, y’know? It contains arguably Tyler the Creator’s greatest contribution to music in 2019.

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(…)

I mean… ‘arguably’… You can argue whatever you like, can’t you? It’s a free country

Metacritic: n/a

What?? The fuck is wrong with you critics?

49 in 2017

 

70 Kronos Quartet featuring Mahsa Vahdat & Marjan Vahdat: Placeless

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I was playing this wonderful album out loud at work recently, because I’ve been there so long that everyone else there started after me so they just assume I’d allowed to do whatever I do (and a lot of them even think I’m the boss. Which… come to think of it… I kind of am…) and an Iranian clint came in and ask if we had a Farsi interpreter. He was confused when I said that, unfortunately, at that time we didn’t. He was confused. Then why were we playing Farsi music, he asked. What I’m saying is- I’ve marked this album down a little because it gave some of our clients false expectations that we weren’t able to live up to.

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(…)

We’ve got some Farsi speaking volunteers since then, by the way. Too many, if anything. I’ve also marked this album down because of that

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OK, no jokes for a second. On November 1st, the group released Kurdish Song on their BandCamp page, in solidarity with the Kurdish people, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders to aid their important work in the Middle East. I’m not going to just repeat all the local news to you here, the USA heartlessness and the Turkish dickishness, read up on it yourself you lazy Millenial, but the Kurds are the largest group of stateless people and have basically been treated like shit for longer than anyone can remember. A lot of my very good friends are Kurds, and I’ve offended them so many times with my attempts to speak Kurdish Arabic that I feel I owe it to them to chuck a few quid their way, and at least be aware of their struggles. OK, back to the silliness now

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Hey, hey, hey- I wrote a similar album about the time I ordered some fish and chips and only the chips arrived. Know what I called it???

Plaiceless!!

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Hmmmm… Yeah, it’s better when I’m being serious, isn’t it?

Metacritic: n/a

46 in 2018

 

69 (dude) Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky: Droneflower

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Fucking Marissa Nadler, man, she’s always there isn’t she? She’s one of the most reliable artists working today, she releases one album every year that will be guaranteed to make it to the lower reaches of Necessary Evil that year, she’s consistently brilliant, she’s honestly never written a bad song and she’s just great to have around, you know?

Stephen Brodsky? I’m not sure. Remember that guy who made a YouTube video saying that we should leave Britney alone? Pretty sure that was him. Anyway, whatever he’s been doing since then, he brings a brilliant, meaty, almost black metal feel to nadler’s music at times that’s just m-wah, m-wah, m-wah!

And their cover of Estranged, I mean… Sorry, what?

Yeah, I know I talked about it before, but can i just gush for a little longer before…?

Fine, moving on…

Metacritic: 72

Hey, everyone, an actual Metacritic rating!

45 in 2018

35 in 2016

 

68 Carly Rae Jaap Stam: Dedicated

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I used to really want to love Carly Rae, but I found her total lack of personality a bit of a hurdle when she was trying to sell her often incredible pop songs. Then, I started to believe that her lack of personality was actually a benefit, one that meant her music could be enjoyed as organically as possible, without the distraction of the person behind it. Then, I realised that everyone else really liked her, so I didn’t like her as much. That’s normal, isn’t it?

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(…)

You all realise that the only reason you know who Carly Rae Jepsen is, is because Justin Bieber once Tweeted that he liked Call Me Maybe? Yeah? Just make sure you consider that.

‘Dedicated’ is very good, but I think I’m back to wishing that there was a bit more substance and a bit more style. If everyone else didn’t like her, I’d probably think differently. It’s complicated, don’t worry about it.

Metacritic: 79

31 in 2016

23 in 2015

There isn’t a better pop song released in the Tennies than Run Away With Me. If you disagree, then I think that’s adorable, and it’s important that you practice your debating skills. But you’re wrong, as long as you know that. Have fun though.

 

67 Mannequin Pussy: Patience

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Rock has been pronounced dead now so many times and for as long as I can remember. Marilyn Manson said it was dead in 1998, which I seem to remember was a response to Billy Corgan saying it was dead, Lenny Kravitz was saying it was dead back in 1995, Tenacious D said it was dead in 2012 but, fuck, I’ve no idea what that means, maybe that they’re saying it isn’t dead, but the fact they’re making such a big deal of it actually means it is dead…

A lot of younger readers might be wondering who all these people are. Don’t worry, not a single one of them are at all relevant to anything, and I’m pretty sure a good deal of them are dead now, anyway.

What I’m saying is, saying that rock is dead is officially dead. But it’s so overdone now that arguing that rock isn’t dead is also, unfortunately, dead. Where does this leave rock? Hard to say, but mah gahd, Mannequin Pussy do it extremely well, and ‘Patience’ is a stonking album.

Now for the important stuff: Top 5 Songs Called Patience:

5. Guns n’ Roses: Patience

G’n’R are the greatest rock band ever, i don’t have time to argue about that now, but- eugh!- Patience is a fucking stinker, I’m sorry

4. Tame Impala: Patience

I’ve literally only just got round to listening to this song. It’s alright, I assume it’ll get better with more listens

3. Mannequin Pussy: Patience

An extremely admirable showing for The Pussies.

2. Take That: Patience

Yeah, I know, I take every opportunity I can to state the facts about why Gary Barlow is an absolute, shameless cockrobin (and, to a lesser extent, so are two of the other ones), but appreciate motherfucking craftPatience is just an absolutely perfect Adult Oriented Pop song.

1. Illuminati Hotties: Patience

One of the greatest rock songs released this decade (I’m making a lot of these big proclamations, aren’t I?)

Urm… yeah…

Metacritic: n/a

 

66 Uniform & The Body: Everything That Dies Someday Comes Back

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OK, so let’s accept that rock is deader than dead (shock is all in your head), and as The Body and Uniform suggest, everything that dies someday comes back. What if we all gathered together and tried to raise rock from the dead using magic and magical artifacts like they did to Buffy at the start of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6. The thing we raised from the dead, some unholy undead monstrosity that had no right to exist, an affront to God’s will, all jittering movement and dark screams, would in fact be very similar to this album. It’d be fucking horrifying… but at the same time fascinating, we wouldn’t be able to tear our eyes away as it bludgeoned us to death…

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This is also 2019’s first album to recieve and official Seth Manchester Badge.

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time- which of course you have- you’ll know that I fell in love with Seth’s production on 2016’s ‘Goodness‘ that I decided to listen to every album that Mr Manchester produced from that point on. It’s taken me to, erm, some odd places. Like this fucking album, for example. Seth actually had a banner year in 2019, and there are more to come.

Metacritic: 82

No fucking way is this on Metacritic!

77 in 2018

55 next year?

 

65 Bat for Lashes: Lost Girls

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She really is, keep it up

Metacritic: 76

14 in 2016

3rd most disappointing album in 2009

Yeah, i did that once…

5 thoughts on “Necessary Evil 2019 (72-65)

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