Taking You Up Where You Belong

Yes. this is it. Where the eagles fly and the… rivers… run wild…?

Necessary Evil is taking you up where you belong now, the next 11 albums are absolutely essential. Yeah, would have been more clean if t was ten albums, wouldn’t it? Well, there isn’t, there’s ELEVEN essential albums this year. Buy them all.

12 Kanye West: Ye

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Next September, it’ll be ten years since Kanye West famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA awards. Which award? Which Taylor Swift song/video/album won? Which work by Beyonce was Kanye so aggrieved didn’t win? Literally nobody knows. And yet I promise you that every person you mention the moment to will be able to do a pitch perfect Kanye West impression from the moment. It was a dumb moment at a dumb musical award that nobody (at least in this country) gives two shiny shits about, and yet that moment of Peak Megalolz was still honestly one of the biggest and most discussed cultural events of the 21st century. Such was (and still is) the cultural cache attached to Mr. West.

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13 Royce Da 5’9″: Book of Ryan

I think we just have to accept that some things that are part of a nation’s identity just don’t make much logical sense to those looking in. To an outsider, a nation refusing to tighten its laws on something that causes 11.7 deaths per 100’000 of the population is absolutely ludicrous. The country needs it though, it makes it feel safe, makes them feel like they can protect their children. And anyway, the country only uses it for fun! Why should it be blamed for the other dumb countries- usually darker skinned, let’s be honest- who can’t control themselves??

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“How can they let this continue to happen??” other countries self-righteously bray, “Can’t they see that it’s killing them??”. Other countries just don’t get it though, it’s a part of the country’s national pride! This country knows what it’s doing! It doesn’t kill people! People kill themselves! That’s, like, a mental health thing or summat, yeah?

If you’re not British, I can’t imagine you’d understand my relationship with alcohol.

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14 awakebutstillinbed: what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way other people see you

I’ve long debated that. When I go through periods of hating myself, is it actually myself that I so despise, or just how terrible I must look to other people?

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I already mentioned my mind, and how ridiculous an amount of importance I place  on other people’s perception of me in finding my own sense of self-worth*, but isn’t that logically the way I should be approaching life?? Don’t we as humans only even truly exist in how we effect other human beings and the world around us? Sure, you can be happy in yourself, and not care slightly about your consequences that your needlessly complicated existence can have on those around you. Congratulations, you’re a meaningless life form. Isn’t that sociopathic though? How can you struggle through life with any kind of happiness when surely you have to be an idiot to not even give thought to how little esteem you’re held in the eyes of so many people.

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15 Son Lux: Brighter Wounds

Son Lux are a little ridiculous. No, they’re hugely ridiculous. They’re unashamedly dramatic, oppressively portentous, and sing of ‘priest and priestesses’ and ‘phantom muses’. Every song will go ‘whoooooooooooooooah-ah-whoooooooah’ at least once. They make music that Andrew Lloyd Webber would turn down for the Phantom of the Opera sequel (‘P3: Phantom Resurrects Intolerably’) for being a bit much. They were all probably unbearable at college. Heck, they’re all probably unbearable now.

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They’re all these things and more. Plus, if anything, more silly than you’d think. It must be hard for even their biggest fans to hold in a smirk when the singer is brave enough to break out his biggest operatic falsetto at the end of Dream State. They may be the least cool artist on this list.

They are also absolutely fucking amazing.

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16 The Joy Formidable: Aaarth

Why do we stick with the ones we love? Do we even love them anymore?

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OK, OK, I’m being as needlessly cynical as only a single person can be. I’m sure that out of all the people reading this who are in a relationship, not an insignificant amount of you truly love the person you’re with. 35%, maybe even 36% or 37%. Not as many as 40%, that’d be absurd. I’m sure that a good 35% of the people in a relationship reading this would say that they absolutely love the person they’re with. The rest, though…?

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18 Zeal and Ardor: Stranger Fruit

Mmmmmmmmmmlet’s talk about cultural appropriation.

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Zeal and Ardor are one of my favourite bands. In fact, I’d go as far as calling them my favourite Swiss band. They combine black metal with ‘negro spirituals’, the bracing gospel music sung by the black slaves in the early 19th century. What’s your initial reaction to hearing that? Are you OK with it? Are you straight up against it? Do you think that merely the fact that the band are Swiss makes any use of music born from American cruelties automatically cultural appropriation? Do you want to fnd out a little more about the band before deciding your reaction? Are you immediately against it because you assume the band is white?

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20 Christine and the Queens: Chris

Remember when the game done changed?

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The last time Matt Le Tissier’s daughter Christine was on this list, Christine herself professed to, and I quote, ‘love every second of this, and the guy writing is so obviously a sexual Catherine Wheel that I felt myself falling more and more in deep, unbridled lust with him with every word’ (that last bit was more suggested than literally said). I later found out that the Christine and the Queens album I was so sexually attractive over was actually the biggest selling debut album of 2016, which actually means my review was the most enjoyed blog post of that year! Probably. I haven’t been able to crunch the numbers. I also said ‘Christine and the Queen’s next album will automatically win that year’s Necessary Evil’. It’s number 20. I lied. It was nice of the Guardian to pick up the slack and not disappointing Christine too much by naming it their album of the year though, so thanks for that, really helped.

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21 Poppy Ackroyd: Resolve

‘Resolve’ is an absolutely mind-blowing album. I don’t know why Poppy Ackroys isn’t soundtracking every movie, ever. ‘But what film could possibly be good enough for her?’ I hear you cry. I dunno. What films are good? Bumblebee? Yeah, she could soundtrack Bumblebee.

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I’m not sure I need to add anything to this colossal record aside from pathetically urging you to listen to it and, if you have any desire at all to see artists paid for the incredible work they do, buy the fucker as well, so I’m instead going to give you a harrowing and perhaps damaging journey into my mind.

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