18 & 17 Big Thief vs Big Thief!

Both ‘U.F.O.F’* and ‘Two Hands’ are fantastic albums. Certainly, nobody has had two albums in the Necessary Evil top 20 before, and it’s certainly to be commended how an artist can release two separate albums of general quality as these two blasts of mana. But let’s temper our explosive ejaculations just a bit, yeah? The two albums last a total of 82 minutes (perhaps. I honestly don’t trust my own maths). Lupe Fiasco’s criminally underappreciated ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ was NINETY EIGHT fucking MINUTES- because Lupe is mildly insane- and was far better than either of these records. There are twenty two tracks spread across these two records. Pffff! ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ has twenty four tracks! And that was 24 tracks narrating the story of the transatlantic slave trade and making it work as an analogy for rebirth and second chances. What’s that, Big Thief? Woozy Impressionism of banal domestic themes? You’re gonna push that for twenty two tracks? Alright. Ha! You thought I wouldn’t have the chance to talk about Lupe Fiasco this year!

Yes! What’s that, Lupe?! What’s that?! He’s talking about you again! Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?!?!

 

(*Unidentified Flying Object Fuck. I mean… I assume… It doesn’t say on its Wikipedia page, so I’m out of ideas**)

(**it stands for friend! Unidentified Flying Object Friend!! Dudes, that’s so lame! I’m just saying, if I was 10 years old, I’d call it ‘totally gay’. Luckily, I’m older and wiser and fatter and gayer these days, so I understand the offensive connotations of referring to something as ‘gay’ in the pejorative sense. That’s why I am not saying that calling your album ‘Unidentified Flying Object Friend’ is ‘really gay’. So it’s not. But it totally is, do you understand?)

Alright alright alright alright alright alright, so maybe The Thieves are to be commended for releasing two markedly different records so close to each other. Which…

img_0791

Really? Really? Are they really that different? In reality, ‘Two Hands’ and ‘Unidentified Flying Fucktard’ had to be released so close together. If ‘Two Hands’ was released in 2021, people would still like it- even love it– because it’s an absolutely amazing record, but there would be murmurings that it didn’t really build enough on their last album and their sound hadn’t evolved as we all hoped in the period between releases. They work so well because they were released so close together, where their similarities can be hailed as ‘consistent themes’ and their minuscule differences in sound are subtle enough for you to get, like, a million hipster points when you point it out to the impressionable arts school students gathered outside your local Archie’s. Everyone wants to have sex with you. In reality, ‘U.F.O.F’ and ‘Two Hands’ is essentially just one double album ‘Two Unidentified Flying Hands’?) that Big Thief have got you to pay twice for. Suckers!! It’s a very, very, very, very good double album though. But which disk is better? Only one way to find out:

Two Hands VS U.F.O.F!!!

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Number of Tracks

An easy one to start with, ‘U.F.O.F’ has twelve tracks, ‘Two Hands’ has ten, meaning ‘U.F.O.F’ races into an early lead.

U.F.O.F +1

 

Album Length

This is getting embarrassing now, ‘U’F’O’F’ packs in 43 minutes compared to ‘Two Hands’s paltry 39. ‘U.F.O.F’ races into an early two goal lead and ‘Two Hands’ (Jesus, I am going to get really sick of writing these titles out…) must be wondering if it was worth them even turning up. I’ve seen albums turn it around after such a nightmare start, John, but it’s going to take a lot of work an the whole of ‘Two Hands’- from Rock and Sing to Cut My Hair– really has to focus now and try to get their heads back in the game.

U.F.O.F +1

img_0793
(…)

But Actually…?

Aren’t shorter albums actually better? I don’t want to sit here and twiddle my thumbs while your dumb band ‘explores the potential of your art’ for 70 minutes! I’d hate to be seen as condoning simple length as a positive thing, so this is actually a shock leveler after a disputed VAR decision.

U.F.O.F -1

Two Hands +1

 

Number of Singles

Do ‘singles’ still exist? Isn’t just, like, everything everywhere at every time? Didn’t Ed Sheeren once had sixteen songs in the top twenty because out charts are now officially bullshit and only the absolute weakest piss imaginable qualifies as a single? What even is a single in 2019?? Does your manager have to phone up Capital FM and stress that they really should be playing track four, not track seven? Do we still get singles artwork?? Well anyway, Not and Forgotten Eyes were apparently singles from ‘Two Hands’, while ‘U.F.O.F’ had the title trackCattails and CenturyI guess that explains the Hype Williams videos and performances on Total Request Live.

U.F.O.F +1

 

Legit Bosses

This is what people really care about, how many of the songs on each album have been scientifically proven to be among the year’s best? Well, without giving too much away, they share three slamming legitimate motherfuckers between them, but ‘U.F.O.F’ has two of them while ‘Two Hands’ only has two.

U.F.O.F +1

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(…)

The Not Factor

I feel like I could have done better with that title. Like, maybe, this is not the factor… No… What’s hot and what’s not… Tying themselves up in nots… This song is on ‘U.F.O.F’, not!! Kids still say that, right? Anyway, could have sworn that Not, potentially the greatest song across this double album, was actually on ‘U.F.O.F’. It’s actually on ‘Two Hands’. Yeah, I know, shocking, right? Because any song could be on either fucking album because they’re really not that different!! #TruthBomb #UnafraidToSpeakTruthToHipsters #Paypig

Two Hands +1

 

Jenni Somehow Would

For the longest time, I thought the chorus of Jenni was ‘Jenni somehow would’, which, I dunno, I really liked, as its phrasing and composition as a lyric aren’t really that common. And I thought the lyrics made all sorts of sense (‘Too hot to breathe/Jenni somehow would’). But, no, the lyrics are ‘Jenni’s in my room’, which is just bleh, ammi right??

U.F.O.F -1

 

Number of Hands

Again, rather simple. ‘Two Hands’ has two of them, while ‘U.F.O.F’ doesn’t seem to have any.

Two Hands +1

 

Alternatively…

If we actually look at the album covers:

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So called ‘Two Hands’ only actually has one hand! We’re getting shortchanged by 50%! And yet, ‘U.F.O.F’, which never even boasts about its amount of hands:

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Four whole hands!! Wow, ‘Two Hands’, this is pretty embarrassing for you.

U.F.O.F +1

 

Wrestling References

An absolute pasting. All three of the wrestling references you see on this page are from ‘Two Hands’

Two Hands +1

 

Hmmm? Oh, you only see two? Yeah, that’s because I had one for Shoulders (‘The blood of the man who killed my mother with his hands’) that I decided against because it was in really bad taste. If you know wrestling you might be able to guess it. In fact, ‘Two Hands’, that’s really not cool you making me think of that

Two Hands -1

 

Best Album

‘U.F.O.F’. Can we stop this now?

U.F.O.F +1

U.F.O.F Wins 4-3!!

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Alright, settle down, you couldn’t really lose

Metacritic: 85 (Two Hands) 87 (U.F.O.F)

47 in 2017

https://bigthief.bandcamp.com/

4 thoughts on “18 & 17 Big Thief vs Big Thief!

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