Finally, on the the 31st day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty one, we can officially put 2020 to bed. I like doing this post every year, as it’s mostly pictures and I don’t have to do much talking. Just to make it clear, I can’t stress enough how much I hate talking to you people. No, not the person reading this, you’re cool, all the other people, yeah? You know what I’m talking about! Fuck them, right?
We start off, innocently enough, by ranking the countries of nationality in a proven failsafe way to find the best country in the world.
Seriously though, USA always wins this by such a margin that it’s actually embarrassing, and I don’t expect different this year…
My tip for inevitable greatness, Dua Saleh, was born in Sudan but was forced to flee the Second Sudanese Civil War in the 90s with her family, eventually being granted asylum in the USA. I have no idea what nationality she considers herself, or even if she bothers to consider it at all, but I’m calling her half Sudanese in a desperate attempt to make this list a little more diverse
Backxwash moved to Canada when she was 17, so seems fairly Zambian. Wikipedia calls her a “Zambian-Canadian rapper“, so that’s prof enough that her album is 50% Zambian.
Listen, C.O.W. 牛 insist that they’re from China, and I’m not going to question a rare opportunity to rep the Chinese.
Hjaltilin doing there thang. Wait, did I spell that right? I’m pretty sure I’ve never spelled it correctly…
Listen, I know it would have been focussed grouped and algorithm analysed, and likely produced in secret underground sweatshops where school children work 16 hour shifts on the promise that they’ll one day be the next K-Pop star, but BLACKPINK really know how to dress.
Given that the combined age of Hinds is around 32, they’ll likely be ensuring Spain’s representation well into the 22nd century.
Are Zeal and Ardor Switzerland’s greatest ‘negro spirituals’ inspired politically charged heavy metal band? I couldn’t tell you, as per usual I haven’t done my research.
Eeeeeeeeeesh, Rina Sawayama‘s nationality and what country she can be considered a citizen of became a bit of ‘a thing’ in 2020. She technically has Japanese citizenship, but she’s lived in the UK her whole life, so I’m going to say she’s half each and then wash my hands of the subject. Thank goodness for Phew, who, as she’ll proudly tell you, is ‘unproblematically Japanese’. I mean… if being Japanese is ever completely unproblematic…
No, not getting into history, washing my hands…
A very respectable showing by Australia, even without the help of Nick Cave, with the wonderful Katie Dey the highest placed Sheila.
Strong showing from Canada, with Destroyer leading the pack. And doesn’t he look happy about it?
Tell me about it, Dua. Tell. Me. About it.
Sigh… OK, moving on…
Aw, man! I thought the list was well on it’s way to compete gender neutrality, but his is actually 1.1% down on last year! This might be down to me officially counting people as ‘nonbinary’ this year and, yeah, this might be the last time I count gender, it’s a fluid social construct and I am vastly aging myself every time I look at an artist and try to assume their genital makeup.
The most important stat first. These artiss don’t even care about what some stinking mainstream lame-o critic thinks! “Oh, look at me, I got 7.4 in Pitchfork!” Pathetic. Katie Dey’s number 4 album is the highest entry that the normies are too freaking scared to talk about.
That’s just ridiculous, come on now
Yeah, not even close. I was also going to do a mini countdown, but ‘Lil Boat 3‘ was so much lower than the second lowest score, that it didn’t feel right comparing them. You be you, Yachty, you be you.
A whole 67 more than last year, fact fans! Were there more albums though? I honestly can’t remember, and I don’t have time to check
Yeah, Phil Elverum don’t fuck about, one song, 45 minutes or so. Listen, Philly- is it OK if I call you ‘Philly’?- if you can’t think of any more song ideas, maybe just work on the album a little longer, we’ll wait. Or, split it up and just give the same song different titles- Rage Against the Machine did that all their career and nobody complained. I mean, mostly because RATM fans are generally cloth eared morons, but still, something to consider.
Hang on, is this OK? This doesn’t seem right, does it? The three disc ‘GATS‘ reissue isn’t a legitimate album, is it…?
That’s more like it. Remember: bbymutha deserves all the attention
.A whole 0.18 tracks down on last year! But, you’ll be glad to hear, a whole 0.49 up on 2018! Illuminati Hotties got so close with their twelve track effort. And, erm, no, I’m not sure what she’s doing in that photo…
If you’re finding that hard to picture, it’s just over two days and twenty one hours of music. And it’s all great!!
Well… no… Some of the tracks on these albums are absolute stinkers. Mostly by Lil Yachty, yes.
A tie for the most considerately brief record of the year, as Little Simz and Fraxiom are equally respectful of your time. Yes, I do accept that they’re unlikely to be exactly the same length, but let’s just say that seconds don’t count, OK?
No no no, hang on, we’ve already spoken about this…
Hmmmmmmmm, better, but the Burial record is still technically a compilation, so…
That’s more like it! And an important reminder of how ridiculously overlong that fucking album is.
Or, in metric terms, roughly almost an entire Beatrice Dillon (42 minutes).
Albums Released in November 2020: 2
Albums Released in October 2020: 5
Albums Released in October 2020: 5
Albums Released in September 2020: 5
Albums Released in August 2020: 6
Albums Released in July 2020: 7
Albums Released in June 2020: 7
Albums Released in May 2020: 15
Albums Released in April 2020: 6
Albums Released in March 2020: 8
Albums Released in February 2020: 16
Albums Released in January 2020: 4
Albums Released in December 2019: 3
Albums Released Earlier in 2019: 4
Albums Released in 2018: 1
Albums Released in 2017: 0
Albums Released in 2016: 0
Albums Released in 2015: 0
Albums Released in 2014: 0
Albums Released in 2013: 0
Albums Released in 2012: 1
Albums Released in 2011: 1
Albums Released in 2010: 0
Albums Released in 2009: 1
Albums Released in 2008: 0
Albums Released in 2007: 1
Albums Released in 2006: 0
Albums Released in 2005: 0
Albums Released in 2004: 0
Albums Released in 2003: 0
Albums Released in 2002: 0
Albums Released in 2001: 0
Albums Released in 2000: 0
Albums Released in 1999: 0
Albums Released in 1998: 0
Albums Released in 1997: 0
Albums Released in 1996: 0
Albums Released in 1995: 0
Albums Released in 1994: 0
Albums Released in 1993: 0
Albums Released in 1992: 0
Albums Released in 1991: 0
Albums Released in 1990: 0
Albums Released in 1989: 0
Albums Released in 1988: 0
Albums Released in 1987: 0
Albums Released in 1986: 0
Albums Released in 1985: 0
Albums Released in 1984: 0
Albums Released in 1983: n/a
Albums Released in 1982: 0
Albums Released in 1981: 0
Albums Released in 1980: 1
Albums Released in 1979: 0
Albums Released in 1978: 0
Albums Released in 1977: 0
Albums Released in 1976: 0
Albums Released in 1975: 0
Albums Released in 1974: 0
Albums Released in 1973: 0
Albums Released Before 1973: 0
That’s the best way to list that, right? Took me fucking ages to type and format all that, but it made me laugh…
Rise and Falls
Yeah, I fucking hated ‘Awaken My Love‘. I’ve since learned that I may be in the minority here, and I won’t deny Redbone is a choon with a capital ‘ch’, but I thought it was a conceptual mess and ranked it near the bottom of my 2016 list at number 115. His more than pleasant 2020 album necessitated a leap of nearly one hundred places, that will surely never be repeated. Not just because of the leap in quality, but I will hopefully never do a list again that runs as high as one hundred and fifteen freaking places! Also notable is Shamir’s leap of fifty one places actually coming within the same year, with March’s ‘Cataclysm’ placing of 95 being blown out of the water by October’s self-titled album finishing in the top 50.
Christ, look at these freefalls! I thought Car Seat Headrest would win it easily, but they barely make the top ten. I had forgotten about Royce Da 5″9’s incomprehensively dumb ‘The Allegory‘, a follow up to 2018’s wonderful ‘Book of Ryan that I think we can al agree now was a complete fucking disaster. Seriously, Royce, sort it out, and vaccinate your children!!
The search for that never before obtained… Wait a second… ‘James Dean Bradfiied‘?? Oh for fuck’s…
The search for that never before obtained second Necessary Evil winners medal goes on (speaking in March, I can say there’s a fair to middling chance of it happening in 2021), though Hjaltalin and PG get closer than most. Not really fair to include Janelle Monae’s relatively average placing for a re-review of her debut EP, and probably equally unfair for The Manics to celebrate a top 10 finish with a remastered album from 1993. Car Seat Headrest though, man. The most disastrous defence of a title since Liverpool in 2020/21 [Note: on the 31/03/2021 this reference was both appropriate and topical].Sorry I had to cut out Nicky Wire’s head, but because of the design it was between his head or JDB’s beard. I think you’ll agree I made the correct choice. Anyway, it really is Nicky’s fault for insisting on being so tall.
Shit, is one of those guys the one who was kicked out?? Please let me know how problematic this photo is.
Honestly, the best 95 seconds you’re likely to experience since that time you finally convinced the checkout assistant from Aldi to come back to your house in 1997. Especially because it won’t end with you crying for the rest of the night.
Actually two separate tracks on the album, but released as an absolutely gorgeous combined semi-epic single. Only five songs break six minutes, the days of Car Seat Headrest winning with a sixteen minute banger seem a long time ago. Not a good year for long songs. Add it to 2020’s woes. Oh, and Moses, I could have a body that looks like that, I just choose not to because I’m obviously not as vain as you, yeah? Pathetic…
Or, in layman’s terms, roughly one Violence
.Sigh… Yeah, we’re going to have to ignore those bastards again, aren’t we?
That’s more like it, as Cristalle Bowen almost matches The Manics with two solo tracks and four with Big $ilky.
A fitting award and a fitting way to end.
And we’re done!! 2020 is finally in the bag! I’ll hopefully have the immigration law exam that I was supposed to have in February in May, but after I’ve aced that I’m going to post maybe my most ambitious project yet which I just know my algorithms are going to love. Before then, stay safe, and don’t forget that, no matter how many jokes I make, I am ridiculously grateful for every reader I get, and I love you all. After COVID, let’s all meet up for a drink, yeah?
Fuck, have you thought about how many people you’ve said that to?? It’s going to be hellish if they call your bluff! I mean, you said it to Darren for Christ’s sake. Darren! Nobody wants to have a drink with Darren!