Oh my God! The top twenty! If you’re interested in a bit of insider knowledge, this has been the most difficult list to write yet, it’s caused way more stress in my personal life than any before it, and it’s getting harder and harder to defend as a humungous drain on my time. This may well be the final countdown I do. Unless you all start giving me money of course. Just leave the bank notes in a burlap sack near the aqueducts, as per usual.
Six more entries to go!!
#20 Hinds: The Prettiest Curse
“I don’t want your compassion
‘Cause I was built for action“
Hinds released their 2016 debut as an amazing idea for a band but frustratingly without the tunes to back up their sizeable identities. Their second album, 2018’s ‘I Don’t Run‘, was a welcome and marked leap up in quality, with the band obviously coming on leaps and bounds as songwriters and performers. This improvement has continued at such a pace that, with the release of their third album this year, they can legitimately noe be considered one of the greatest indie rock bands in the world.
Yeah, this post is going to be a little shorter, just so you know.
#19 Young Jesus: Welcome to Conceptual Beach
Here’s my concept, here’s my conceptual beach for you to lay your towels down onto, if the young Jesus actually made music, would if sound like this? Is that a concept? Or a question? It can be both, right? Listen, between the ages of 12 and 29 we have no idea what Jazzy Jes was getting up to, so him taking the 17 or so years to brush up on his improvisational music skills and taking time out of the old carpentry game to craft an exquisitely dense and textured progressive rock album with strong jazz influences is really as good an explanation as any other with, let’s face it, about as much evidence.
There are some Arthurian legends that claim that Jesus took a trip to Britain as a young man to, I dunno, just hang about and shit. He’s apparently believed to have built the first ‘wattle cabin’ in Glastonbury while he was here. What’s a ‘wattle cabin’? One of those houses made rom latticed strips of wood, you know the one. Just picture an ‘olden style’ house from back when people were covered in mud and had no teeth. Maybe just picture the last time you went to Oldham. Did he make the first wattle cabin ever, or just the first in Glastonbury? Either way, it shows how horrible things were in this shithole country at the time if the absolute best thing they could imagine Jesus having done is maybe showing people how to build the poxy little deprived cabin that you fall asleep shivering in every night. William Blake famously asked “And did those feet in ancient time/Walk upon England’s mountain green?”, which is an easy question to answer. He might have, sure, in the same way he might have walked on the freaking moon, he might have spent the 17 years organising the first recognised international football tournament, he might have converted to Hindi, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Scientology and back to Judaism* just to make sure he had as many major religions covered at once, or maybe, indeed, he wrote and recorded an album as ingeniously satisfying as ‘Welcome to Conceptual Beach’. Oh, and “Till we have built Jerusalem/In England’s green and pleasant land”?? Nah, you’re alright mate, that sounds like a bit of a political hot potato we’d do well to avoid.
(*yeah, I know, one of those religions doesn’t really fit- Islam didn’t really get started until more than 600 years after he died, but let’s just say he saw into the future with his magical Jesus powers, alright?)
We’re allowed to just assume things with no evidence now, are we?
No, really, that’s the cover. I despair sometimes, I really do.
Great album though.
#17 Tame Impala: The Slow Rush
Listen, only one of the reasons that I’m rushing through this particular selection like I stole it – my own personal slow rush. Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?- is because I can’t wait to be finished with this stupid fucking list that ruins my life and is so much effort for so little reward. It also just so happens that the numbers 20 to 16 contain a lot of well known artists that are simply releasing more of the amazing stuff you should already know by this point they’re capable of.
And that’s the case with Tame Impala’s third. It’s more great stuff from a band well known for cooking up such great stuff. Listen, love, then die happy
Firstly, big props for the use of the exclamation mark, such an underused piece of punctuation when it comes to album titles. Remember when the Scissor Sisters released an album called ‘Ta-Dah‘?? What the fuck?? Didn’t they realise something was missing there??
Maybe it’s just taken me a couple of years to truly ‘get’ JPEGMAFIA. I really liked his 2018 album ‘Veteran‘, which is generally considered to be his big breakthrough, but I never adored it as much as other people, and his apparently ‘revolutionary’ and ‘unique’ talent to me often just sounded like he wasn’t always the biggest fan of recognisable songs, and he was occasionally a bit too in love with being a distorted and nonlinear songwriter. Sure, he was often incredibly different, and definitely producing songs completely left of centre, but if those songs’ actual quality isn’t up to much we have to ask ourselves what it is we’re actually commending- is anything outside the norm to be applauded??
I actually felt it far easier to fall for his 2019 ‘rush release’ ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’, which suggested that less Peggy thought about the albums he was releasing, the more likely I was to love them. This is perhaps proven by ‘EP!’- which isn’t even an attempt at an album, more just a compilation of all the singles and projects he released throughout the year- being by far the most I’ve enjoyed a Peggy release so far. Yeah, we let compilations of singles on Necessary Evil these days as well, so look out for another one of those soon.
‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!‘ though?? Two exclamation marks! That’s why he’s the Daddy.
Just over 1’000 words. Please, God, become the norm…
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