The Legit Bosses: Best Tracks of the Year (90-81)

90 Jamila Woods: VRY BLK

I’ve no idea why I love this song so much, it’s mostly just a reworking of that irritating ‘Hello Operator’ kids song with more racially conscious lyrics. But it has something, from the alluring wavey intro to the euphoric chorus of ‘I’m very black, black, black/Can’t send me back, back, back/You take my brother, brother, brother/I’ll fight back, back, back’ that gets me evry tm

89 Chairlift: Unfinished Business

Fuck me, that chorus though…

Continue reading “The Legit Bosses: Best Tracks of the Year (90-81)”

107 Sleigh Bells: Jessica Rabbit

Capturing lightning in a bottle is difficult enough to do in the first place


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I mean, how would you even go about doing that? Are you climbing trees in a thunderstorm with an empty jam jar with a magnet inside?



Perhaps more difficult though, is perfectly capturing frogs in a box


A box full of frogs sounds insane to the uneducated ear, yet if done right such madness can be absolutely exquisite. Already on this list Childish Gambino has attempted the first frog boxing of this career but fell short of majesty and Primal Scream have tried and failed to recapture the glorious frog boxing that they stumbled upon with their glorious ‘Xtrmntr’ album, an album that’s a perfect example of how fantastic capturing frogs in boxes can sound when it is done right


Such success is extremely rare, which makes the fact that The Sleighbos managed to achieve it on their debut album ‘Treats’


in 2010, an astonishing album of which the inclusion of Rill Rill on some recent advert for bubble gum tampons, or some shit, has provided near constant recent reminders of its genius


I used to be dead against artists selling money for adverts, because that’s the opinion you’re supposed to have, until a friend pointed out that if I had ever illegally downloaded an album then I had absolutely no right to complain. I quickly realised that I had succumbed to the horrible Millenial idea that everything should be provided to me without me exerting any effort or money and that artist should produce work solely for the privilege of pleasing my fat ugly ginger self, and felt ashamed



The fact that I parted with ten pounds of my heard earned Employment and Support Allowance for Sleigh-Sleigh’s


fourth album <you said that with such confidence, is it actually true??- Ed> such a crushing disappointment


It definitely resembles Him enough to win

5 Prince Points,

but unfortunately it sounds more like the stuff He came out with in the mid-90s by when insanely prolific recording and releasing had left Him closer to artistically spent


It’s far from a bad album, and has more fabulous songs than many releases (cough) this year, but the glorious insanity that once came naturally to them now sounds contrived and forced. The production can’t decide if it’s a dance album or 80s rock pastiche, and many songs are almost turned legitimately bad by the horrendous idea to add crunching rock guitar riffs to their unbroken sound, which strikes me as a last minute addition to the record and may well be the worst decision of 2016


Metacritic: +72

Length 43 minutes… +3

Best Lyric: ‘Big homie better grow up/Me and my whoadies ’bout to stroll up/I see them boppers in the corner/They sneaking out the back door’ +1

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukelele? No -1

Total 53

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108 The 1975: I Like It When You Are Asleep Because I Can Look At Whatever I want to on Your Laptop And You Are So Unaware of It



Have you ever been down with the kids? I have



‘Down where?’ you ask, which someone who was really down with the kids would never have to ask


If you were down with the kids, you’d know it was more a question of ‘down what (and how vigorously)’


It’s nice being down with the kids, you feel connected to the Matrix (or as the kids say now ‘Snapchatting with Zoella’s Hippie Peppa Pig Crack’), you know what’s hippity-happening in hoppity-town, and the odd envious glare you receive from less cool adults as you attempt to trade hot cultural tips from students outside the secondary school in exchange for sweets from your van is a small price to pay to be with it



Yeah, so I just Googled ‘youtube celebrity’ to know who exactly ‘Zoella’ is, but in a way doesn’t that make me more cool, yeah?


However, being so cool that you frequently Air so many BnBs that you Uber all over your Nintendo Switch brings with it a near overwhelming sense of status anxiety, and that when you one day wake up no longer being the hip daddio that you went to sleep as. You’re no longer down with the kids, the kids have changed what down is, and now when you even peek at what’s down it instils you with a sickening sense of acrophobia


Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to me yet, but an almost equally terrible sensation is when you’re not down with the kids because the kids are wrong


The 1975: what the fuck are they? This was NME’s album of the year, and I imagine NME is as dependable a bastion of what’s down with the kids as it ever was, as I imagine every issue must be feted over by almost a dozen cool and groovy young trend-makers across the globe. It’s a prize once handed out to only the coolest bands: your Public Enemies; your Spiritualizeds; your Björks; your Sugars (you’ll have to trust me on that last one)…



But… this…??


‘I Love It When Your Asleep Because You Don’t Notice Me masturbating Outside Your Window’ is perfectly decent album, but it’s an album of inoffensively pleasant pop songs doused in a sedative treacle of prosaic production. It sounds like it was released in 1984 by Phil Collins, and widely regarded as his best album, like, but stillI thought we were supposed to be fighting this!!


It actually most reminded me of those cheap synth albums that Bruce Springsteen released in the 1980s that were a bit shit but we forgave him because he’s Bruce Springsteen. Only The 1975 are not Bruce Springsteen. Honestly, not even one of these 17 tracks is Bru…


Seventeen tracks!?!? You absolute cunts!!



Never use that word


The 1975 will never write a song as good as Tougher Than the Rest


I mean, I’m with it enough to know that Ed Sheeren isn’t cool, but I’ve always imagined his music inhabiting a similar glossy populism to The 1975, even though the only song of his that I know if the one featuring Pharell with all the muppets in it


that goes ‘whoah-woah-oah’, a song that sounds about a thousand times more current and provocative than anything on ‘I Like It When Your Asleep Because I Can Pretend Your Dead While I Squeeze Your Boobs’


there are, however, enough pale allusions to win

3 Prince Points

Hearing The 1975 I had a similar feeling of dread to when I heard that glorified The War on Drugs album, which was similarly drooled over despite a similarly feverish adoration to similar tropes for 80s stadium rock that I thought we all agreed was worse than cancer. Did older people feel similarly dumbfounded by The Strokes, a band I quite happily ejaculated over intensely for roughly 18 months, because it was simply referencing music that they had assumed was dead?


Maybe I’m coming at this from the wrong angle, maybe if I’d been into The 1975 from the start, followed their career from that first handful of promising singles, to a debut album that thrillingly set out their intentions whilst still being lovably imperfect, maybe I would greet this second album as the joyous culmination of all their potential….


No, this is dull, the kids are wrong


I thought The 1975 were that band with the guy that looks like Richard Osman that did that Gold on the Ceiling that I enjoy playing on Guitar Hero… Christ, I’m old….


Metacritic: +75

Whoooooooah! Spooky!

Length 73 minutes.

No, honestly, that’s not me just making up the highest number I can think of in order to make some obscure joke that you’re too stupid to get, this album- an album of nice little pop songs that pale in comparison to a proper pop music like Carly Rae Jaap Stamm


is an hour and seventeen cocking minutes long!! I blame all of Zayn Shagik’s Muslim mates


Best Lyric: ‘Yeah, yeah, she gon’ slang/Too smart to crave material things/Stacking her paper/Stacking her cake up’               +1

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 53

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109 Zayn: Mind of Mine

Zayn Malik? He loves the sex, he does. Like, really loves it! Loves chucking it up and in every hole he sees. ‘Every hole’s a goal’, he says. All day long, he’s like: shag, shag, shag, shag, shag. ‘Zayn Shaggik’ he calls himself, even though it doesn’t really scan, he just wants to make it absolutely clear how big a fan of the old shake and whack he is. Loves it. Loves sex



Sex on vaginas! Oh, God, he can’t stress that enough! Definitely on vaginas! Sex on girls’ pulsating vaginas as he pokes their boobs. Their massive boobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with the bum sex, Zayn stresses, it’s just that he used to be in a boy band and for some reason wants to make it very clear that he only has eyes for vaginal intercourse.


He loves the vaginal intercourse


Like, he doesn’t even wipe his bum after going for a poo, less he accidentally poke his anus. Not his bag, y’hear? Not for Zayn!



I once saw a movie where a man and woman engaged in what I can only assume was the ‘heavy petting’ that mother had always stressed to warn me about, and enjoyed it to such a degree that I felt confident in describing my profession as ‘Copulation Devotee’ on the last government census, but next to Zayn O’Mac Daddy I feel like such a casual fan of the sex: he’s been a fan of sex since before it was cool, before all those teenage girls got into it and ruined it for the proper fans like the ancient Greeks


‘Mind of Mine’ is perhaps the most successful album of 2016 in terms of what it sets out to do: it utilises absolute top shelf, million dollar pop writing and production, and achieves in positioning Zay-Zay as a credible ‘adult pop star’, convincing the listener that Zayn has had consensual vaginal intercourse with literally loads of women, and doesn’t even know the meaning of The Kinsey Institute’s ‘Prevalence of Homosexuality Study’.


It’s inevitable that such a categorical attempt at constructing Zayn’s new ‘brand’ is often a little artificial sounding, and obviously most jagged edges of potential interest are sanded off at first opportunity less they don’t play well on Radio ASDA


….so it has some pretty gash tracks…


But there are moments, like the first single Pillow Talk and Rear View (y’know, like an arsea woman’s arse!), where despite the cynicism of the project it’s impossible to not be taken on board.





There are encouraging glimpses of Shaggik’s potential though (yeah, I’ve accidentally changed the font, get over it, gosh): perhaps inspired by Bill Maher (rated at an impressive 36 in The Economist Magazine’s 2016 list of ‘World’s Biggest Absolute Cock-Monkeys’) hilariously stating how he resembled the Boston Marathon bomber- because Bill Maher has evidently only ever seen two people with lightly brown skin and figured Muslims don’t get told they look like terrorists enough- ‘Mind of Mine’ contains a pleasant amount of confirmations of Shaggik’s religion. From him frequently thanking ‘Allah’ for a particular woman’s particularly pleasant vagina, to one (disappointingly short) album highlight sung in that language what all them Arabs use…



These allusions are minor, but they lend ‘Mind of Mind’ enough personality and variety to save the album from more comprehensive indistinctiveness, and suggest Shaggik may grow into something far more interesting


Metacritic: +69

Length 45 minutes.

Good boy, Zayn, keep it brief and then put it away


Best Lyric: ‘I always keep the top tier, 5 star/Backseat lovin’ in the car/Like make that wood, like make that wood/Holly like a boulevard’ +1

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 52

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110 Mogwai: Atomic


I adore Mogwai. Like, love them at least as much as your puny human brain has convinced you that you love your mother, just because she once let you suck milk from her breasts


Look what you did to that poor woman’s breasts. You call that love? You sicken me


Look at them!!


So, ‘Atomic’ isn’t really a ‘proper’ album, just like Stuart isn’t really your ‘proper’ Dad, but you can enjoy them both if you just gave them a chance and maybe buy him a Christmas gift this year? I don’t think he’s going to buy that you ‘didn’t think he’d be coming’ for a fourth consecutive year



After ‘Rave Tapes’ was a full on hummer in the middle of the afternoon when it’s not even your birthday as Mogwai stuck their left finger rapidly in and out of your bum hole (which they know you like but have sworn to secrecy, though you swear that Mogwai’s friends Arab Strap and Godspeed You! Black Emperor giggle at you when you enter a room these days), ‘Atomic’ is more of a wink from across the room while your building your Lego Deathstar: it reminds you of their qualities, but steps aside for now to let you concentrate on important business


Does your Mum do those things to Stuart…?




It’s epic, it’s inspirational, it’s stirring, it should probably be higher, but Mogwai don’t mind sitting this one out.


Metacritic: 77

Length 48 minutes. -2

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 43

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111 Meilyr Jones: 2013

I had previously planned to make some hilarious joke about releasing an album called ‘2013’ in 2016, but considering that it’ll likely be 2021 before my list of the best albums of 2016 is actually finished <it definitely isn’t finished now, when you’re publishing this- Ed>, I have to cede defeat. You win this round, Mr Jones




‘2013’ is a perfectly adequate collection of arch chamber pop that’s straight up lovely in places and impossible to dislike


But it’s general amiability makes it difficult to garner any real strong reactions toward it



It’s also 2013’s… I mean 2016’s


inaugural recipient of my One Track Mind award, bestowed upon albums that may or may not have more than one good song (nothing off ‘2013’ is any way substandard, as that would require inspiring emotive reactions, which is not its forte), but one song is so much better than the album surrounding it that you wonder why they bothered still turning up at the studio after it was finished


How to Recognise a Work of Art really is bloomin’ marvellous though


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The other 11 tracks are far less interesting though, and seemingly evidence that Mr Jones is the only person alive who believes the world is crying out for a successor to The Divine Comedy (ask your Dad) or My Life Story (ask Jake Shillingford, the lead singer of My Life Story and a decent bet for the only other person in the world who remembers that band)


Metacritic: +79

Length 49 minutes -3

Best Lyric: ‘You go to the bathroom to apply your mother’s lipstick/Somewhere no one can find you/You must wear it like she wears disappointment on her face’ +1

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 41

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112 Joy Formidable: Hitch


I still remember the first thing my second wife ever said to me: our eyes met as she left the blood and feather strewn supply cupboard that she had been hosting that afternoon’s cock fighting event in, and she blushed slightly before shouting “Whassuuuuuuuuuup!” at me


Now this was 1999, the Budweiser commercial was only in its infancy, so to see this young beauty so expertly reference high culture so topically rendered me immediately smitten. We were married later that evening, with the winner of that day’s cock fighting tournament serving as both the best man and the reception meal


Unfortunately, it rather quickly became apparent that my second wife had never even seen the Budweiser advert that I assumed she was referencing, in fact she spoke next to no English and so could not possibly have utilised the citation accurately. What she was actually saying was “Hua saaaaaaaaarp!” which was a bizarre greeting in her native Moldova literally meaning “play my hula hoop like a harp”. We were quickly divorced, and I never loved her again as much as I did when she first introduced herself


I was equally taken with my fourth wife, when I paid her administrator the agreed upon 1600 Thai Baht for her services for the evening and entered her office she greeted me with a similarly effusive “Whassuuuuuuuuuup!”


Now, this was 2011, when such references to a naff decade old catchphrase were adorably ironic, and for my fourth wife to callback to it betrayed a keen sense of the ridiculous and a knowing sarcasm. We were married later that day, and her administrator also performed the ceremony as a kind added extra after I had paid him the appropriate money to release my fourth wife from her contract


Alas, as we travelled back to Britain on a fishing boat it became awfully clear that my fourth wife hadn’t used the reference ironically at all, as she would reply to nearly everything I said with “Whassuuuuuuuuuup!”, obviously considering the phrase genuinely appropriate. As I slid her limp body into the sea under cover of moonlight, I sadly considered how she could never be as precious to me as she was when I first laid eyes upon her and she uttered those beautiful words



I think of my second and fourth wives as I listen to ‘Hitch’ (which, again, I paid fucking money to have on CD!!): I love The Joy Formidable. I mean properly love them, not like the love you pretend to have for your husband because you know that attracting someone else since you let your looks go would be far too much hassle and you worry about how the seperation would affect the kids. They write sublime pop-rock, they never forget to be fun, and, like, dude, they rock


However, I’d say roughly 78.6% of my love is down to The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie, the opening track on their debut album which is a seven minute and forty four second specimen of the absolute heights of humanity’s potential, and literally better than anything you or anyone you know has ever done, heard or thought about


But… Everything they’ve done since that very first introduction has been * sniff * just that little bit more inferior each time


And unfortunately ‘Hitch’ continues this sad trend, being just a little bit worse than their previous album ‘Wolf’s Law’, which was already a step down from their debut. A debut that, if I’m being completely honest, never quite matched up to its incredible opening track



There are great songs here, though they’re sadly not as frequent as you’d like, and the production seems at time determined to sand off any interesting edges to render the album as indistinct as possible


I still love Jo-Jo though, and will still buy their next album like a mug, though I dread how disappointed I’ll be to hear them somehow manage to step down from such already compatatively low standards


However, they know their way around a good riff, so deserve at least

7 Guns n Roses Points

Metacritic: +72

Length 65 minutes.

See? This is why this forfeiture has to exist, there is no way on freaking Earth that a pop rock album needs to be that long! Even after, because I am after all is said and done such a nice guy, I considered the radio edit of Last Thing On My Mind a bonus track and so didn’t count it. This is why the world’s in the state it’s in


Best Lyric: ‘I think of lovers as trees/Growing to and from one another/Searching for the same light’             +1

Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1

Total 40

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