#54 Mark Lanegan: Whiskey for the Holy Ghost

Dying mama
Barely breathing in a bed of nails
To wander through the ruin smoking and pale
I came upon an angel and a nightingale
Hanging where the darkness comes
Between the earth and skies above
Dead weight are my body’s bones
I think I dug too deep a hole
Think I dug too deep a hole
Better run for cover, babe, you better hide
Don’t do no good to wait ’til time decides
Time decides
Time
Time
I need a little more time

Riding the Nightingale

Right everyone, let’s get sad.

Mark Lanegan passed away on February 22nd 2022, adding to Necessary Evil’s sadly growing death list. His last appearance was as a typically commanding guest vocal on the Manics’ recent album highlight Blank Diary Entry. He actually died while I was writing the 2021 Legit Bosses list, meaning a rapid (and, to be honest, rather shocked) rewrite to that song’s entry at #93. I didn’t want that rushed and dismayed edit to be my final word on an artist unarguably an important and consistent part of the modern rock canon, and someone who had long been close to my heart. So I entered the 1994 album that I long considered his career highlight into NE2022.

RIP

#56 Lykke Li: EYEYE

Lykke Lykke Lykke! EYEYEYE!!!

Sponsored by anti-acne treatment, because wrestling is for adults

Sweden’s absolute and inarguable queen of pop heartbreak might be another artist on this year’s list suffering from their insane decision to be consistently brilliant throughout their career and making the risky move of simply releasing another brilliant record. Like, well done, you’re still incredible. ‘Ave a fackin’ biscuit.

I WOULD ACTUALLY APPRECIATE A BISCUIT RIGHT NOW

#57 Alvvays: Blue Rev

OK, own up, the lot of you, when was it all decided that Alvvays were officially ‘A Big Deal’? I loved their previous album ‘Antisocialites’ in 2018, as did everyone who heard it. But, like, ‘everyone who heard it’ was a couple of hundred worldwide, surely? It just never seemed that many people were aware of them, they’re such a minute and delicate little gem, surely more than maybe 72 people listening to their dainty little anthems would cause the band to shatter? Be careful how you handle Alvvays!! They’re fragile!

Yeah, his finishing move was him teabagging his opponent. Shut up, you just don’t understand wrestling

Yeah, I know that both of their albums have been shortlisted for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize, and that ‘Antisocialite’ won the Juno award for Alternative Album of the Year, which, yes, is a real thing and, yes, is also Canadian. But these are Canadian awards! How many people actually live in Canada? Couple of thousand, maybe? At a push? Their adorable little awards are hardly a good barometer of someone’s wider cultural impact. You know who won that Juno award this year? Mustafa the Poet! Who, yeah, actually sounds pretty awesome now I read about him, but he ain’t headlining no Superbowls, brother!

HEADLINING THE SUPERBOWL SHOULD GET YOU BLACKLISTED

#59 Tierra Whack: Pop? Rap? R&B?

Oooooooh, was that the plan all along? Were these three EPs meant to be analysed together like this, so that when the ensuing blog post is titled that way it looks like a thinkpiece on what genre you could describe the revolutionary and eclectic output of one of modern music’s most interesting artists?

Well tough, that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m not falling for that trap, this ain’t ma’ first time at the rodeooooooo-whoah-oh. And there are few debates more pointless and boorish that “What genre is this?”. Who. Fucking. Cares? This is Tierra motherfucking Whack, son! If you like or rate music based on their genre, or even profess a preference for one particular style of music, you are an extraordinarily dull person and need to sit down.

IT’S SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST AND I’LL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE

#60 The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention

Top sixty baaaaaaybeeeeeee! Let’s ‘ave a fukkin paaaaaataaaaaaay!

Hahahaha! Yes! Been posting that exact meme for more than five years now! Aaaaaw, I feel all nostalgic now. I don’t want to give myself too much credit though, as I’ve only been using that classic bantz meme for five or six years, whereas Radiohead themselves haven’t released a good album for fifteen years now, so they’re obviously far more committed to their ‘bit’.

So yeah, Radiohead are one of my favourite bands, and I was really looking forward to this debut album by a band featuring Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood.

IT ALL MAKES SENSE

#61 Superorganism: World Wide Pop

When Superorganism’s second album was announced in early 2022, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to bother. Their 2018 debut was an insanely fun paean to the kind of international house party that was now possible, where like-minded geniuses/weirdos/nerds/perverts can combine and produce something so shamelessly fun across international oceans. It caught a particular moment in time, if not for the world itself then definitely for me personally. It was so care free and effortlessly in love with the ongoing potential of international community. That 2018 debut was a special capture of lightning in a bottle that simply couldn’t be repeated.

Hey, everyone! It’s fucking four years later, shall we try and repeat it!? That’s sure to go well!

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

#63 Rina Sawayama: Hold the Girl

Get in line, pass the wine, bitch, we’re going straight to Hell

This Hell

There are few things as indicative of a grossly rotten capitalist system as Elon Musk. If this was a world that worked in the slightest way, if it was properly focused on providing correctly for all human life, or even if it were really the meritocracy that many on the right and the centre claim it to be, then people like Elon would not exist.

Elon Musk has, according to Forbes, eight two sillywillion-scumskillion-foreskillion-skatupllion dollars. Remember how arsey I got about Beyoncé? Well, Elon Musk spends ‘a Beyoncé’ every day on one of his special artisanal morning coffees (he makes it out of unicorn anuses and the condensed tears of one hundred an fifty million starving children, which needs to be collected en masse overnight. Tastes quite nutty. Because Elon nuts in it. Because the idea turns him on so much). If Elon earned this money by being especially good at something like playing billiards – even if he were the best billiard player in the God damn world – then being allowed to greedily accumulate that much wealth would still mean the system is broken. But Elon isn’t especially good at anything. It’s just the whole depressing and boring vulture capitalist, venture buyouts, stock market nonsense that all rich people do.

YOU MUST HAVE REALLY ENJOYED THIS ELON MUSK ALBUM

#64 Weeknd: Dawn FM

The Weeknd, man, he was once the most intriguing and mysterious underground artist making revolutionary electronic music since Burial (please remember how I’m pronouncing that). In the slightly more than a decade since first causing underground noise as the anonymous electronic artist creating dank and dingy exposés of the grimy perversions of the apparent high rollers, he has eventually become… the biggest male pop star on the planet?? It’s definitely a valid argument to state that’s the case. And now, rather than singing explicitly and unflinchingly about the secret angst and anxiety of those who are supposed to have it all, he… No. He still pretty much does that. Maybe his biggest ever hit was about taking so much coke that your face goes numb, remember? I mean, we have to say ‘fair fucks’ to him, don’t we?

Here, let’s make it official:

WAIT, ARE YOU STILL A PIGEON??

#65 ANGEL_TECH: INITIATION :3

Remember how much I stanned the vertical bar in BIG|BRAVEs name at #71? Bro, I was super simping for that punctuation symbol, wasn’t I? It was totally… bussin’… and… PAWG…? Look at all these hip new words I’m using! As far as you know, I’m, like, 22 years old or something. Yeah, I’m a hip young gunslinger. Yes I am. Stop gaslighting me.

Hold on, slow down *grabs pen and paper* Laugh… out… loud… Go on.

Eeeeeeeeeeew, ‘PAWG’ stands for ‘Phat Ass White Girl’?? I honestly never knew that, it’s so gross! I will state at this point that I personally will not be referring to either Melanie James/melodus nor Elora Driver/metagirl as ‘PAWGs’, though they are of course free to refer to themselves as such and may well fit the description.

‘PHAT’ STANDS FOR ‘PRETTY HOT AND TEMPTING’??