#5 Sudan Archives: Natural Brown Prom Queen

I’m back, bitches!

Oh, my God, Britt
They gon’ have a fit when they hear this shit


So, yeah, first of all this achievement is out of the window, so I’m naturally a bit bitter about that.

But I had to really slow down and take stock as I entered the top five, as these five records are so close together in terms of absolute genital bursting incredible quality that I felt I needed to take a step back and really evaluate the order that I’d placed them in. Despite what that insolent little prick Shawn might say, this is important. Also, I really didn’t want my number one album to still be number one, for reasons that will become clear.

And, yeah, after two days of solid close inspection, I haven’t changed a single thing, turns out I was right first time around. Why do I ever doubt my genius? It also means that number one album I’d been trying to avoid is undeniable. Click ‘subscribe’ as hard as you can.

And so we end up with the incredible and expansive second album by Sudan Archives’ Brittney Parks at the positively scandalously low placing of number five. Number five!? The top five records of 2022 are of such a high quality that this masterwork of genre infusion and social politics barely scrapes in?? An album as good as ‘Natural Brown Prom Queen’ finishing this low is at once a capital crime ideally punishable using the most barbaric sentence imaginable (like, we’re talking a black person killing a white police officer in Alabama levels of forfeiture here) and also a testament to the incredible quality of the next four records.

Sudan Archives’ second doesn’t just expand on their 2019 debut to such an extent that their last record (which, less we forget, was already cocking brilliant) seems like an unambitious tentative first attempt in comparison, but it marks Parks out as one of the most ambitious and experimental artists currently working. Previously, her technical talent was pushed to the fore, but here the most striking aspect is her jaw dropping inventiveness and artistic curiosity. This album is – as famed 13th century musical theorist Petrus de Cruce put it best – the absolute dog’s fucking bollocks.

OK, now I have to defend myself by listing what’s wrong with this near perfect in order to justify it not finishing first. Yeah, I know, this is a dirty business:


…it’s a bit too long. Maybe a handful of tracks could have been cut out. And I guess there are certain moments where the quality of the album dips a tiny bit. Perhaps, maybe, possibly the album should have wrapped up after Homesick (Gorgeous and Arrogant). But, Jesus, I’m grabbing a shitty straws here, this album is absolutely incredible and I wouldn’t laugh directly in your face were you to name it the year’s best.

It’s not though. It’s fifth. As long as you’re aware of the facts.


2019 #2

Yeah, I know. Much inferior album, but then 2019 was just a much inferior year for music ๐Ÿคท. Also, I actually should have put elbow in second place, but with Cave coming first I really didn’t want my list to be dominated by middle aged white guys. That’s the only time that anything like that has ever happened though, the rest of the time this list is always subjective science.

2018 #61

Metacritic: 89

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