Considering neither The Manic Street Preachers or Lupe Fiasco were scheduled to release an album in 2019, I don’t think I was looking forward to any record this year as much as Ms Van Etten’s fifth. Her fourth, ‘Are We There’, was one of the three albums released in 2014 that were legitimate GOAT contenders and all kinda given my joint album of the year. It was such an amazingly accomplished and powerful record, one that moved the more eloquent reviewers to state that it was “an absolutely devastating Sturm und Drag bulldozer of emotion, a sharp piercing blade of hopeless heartache that is as heartbreaking and moving as any movie you’ve seen since ‘Toy Story 3“. I have to assume that Toy Story 3 was still totally a topical reference point when that prodigiously insightful yet dangerously sexually alluring reviewer wrote that. While I spend all of my time excruciatingly droning on about how artists/people should be constantly evolving and pushing their sound/personality forward, I often catch myself just hoping that artists responsible for my favourite things will just do those favourite things again! Hey, Jazz Cartier, why isn’t the new album just Red Alert ten times?? Hey, Tegan and/or Sara, why aren’t you just giving me Walking With A Ghost?? Lil Yachty!! Why are you… why are you… Why are you doing any of this…? I… I’m not sure what exactly I want from you… But do that, please. Do Minnesota again, that’ll cheer me up. Sharon van Etten! I can’t wait to see where you take your sound and evolve your music on this new album! But, having said that, please make it exactly the same record as ‘Are We There’! You can, I dunno, add a few trap beats to a couple of songs and have track eight heavily influenced by Hardware, but make sure that, at the base level, it’s exactly the same as ‘Are We There’!! Give me those exact feels! Reach into my bloodied chest and tear out all of those emotions like you did in 2015!!
‘Remind Me Tomorrow’… isn’t that record. It’s an incredible reimagining of what weight, muscles and undeniable gall bladders* her songwriting can achieve. Synths blast all over the place like the sounds of invading forces damaging the outer wall of the claustrophobic shelter she’s built herself to evade the apocalyptic terror of her mind outside. The first line of the album is ‘Sitting at the bar I told you everything/You said “Holy shit, you almost died!” and the following songs act as almost a flashback, telling the listener exactly what these near fatal experiences were. It’s an amazing album. Look above, it’s the eighth best album of the year. It was considered for number one, but holy shit, you’re about to see how hotly contested that accolade is this year. Like I said, every top ten album is merely different levels of essential. Buy them all, you cheap fuck.
Continue reading “8 Sharon van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow” →
“You know the reason I really love the stars? It’s that we cannot hurt
Them. We can’t burn them. We can’t melt them or make them overflow
We can’t flood them or blow them up or turn them out
But we are reaching for them. We are reaching for them”
In a strange way, the influential 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth might have unintentionally and semi-ironically doomed us all. It has had very inconvenient consequences, you could say. But absolutely don’t, because that’s a rotten line.
Now, I’m not arguing that An Inconvenient Truth didn’t do a lot of good. I was.. younger… when it came out, and I have to say that, while maybe not a climate change denier, I was probably sceptical of the threat based on my own scientific research uncovering statistics like the fact it snowed a couple of years back and it was sometimes really cold. The film actually convinced me of the facts, using simple statistics and arguments that, if I’m being honest, I was probably too lazy to read for myself. I was a child, I decided that believing that climate change was at least overstated would mean I needn’t change anything about my behaviour, and so only searched out articles and columns that supported the theory I had chosen to believe. I was a child. I saw An Inconvenient Truth and realised what a child I was being. And how stupid I was. I imagine many people had similar epiphanies upon watching it. I was a child, and I still can’t believe how stupid I was. A child,
Continue reading “46 Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet: Landfall” →
The Teens are Revolting
A revolution doesn’t mean that things are being changed for the better. It just means that things are being changed
It’s for this reason that Donald Trump
is probably the most revolutionary American President in generations.
Barack Obama certainly wasn’t revolutionary: he was a notable and genuinely inspiring representation of the progress made in perhaps considering the possibilities of equal opportunities in the country (and by extension the western world) but aside from the colour of his skin his rise to power (best at school – notable stint at very high paid but extremely dull job – moves into politics – doesn’t do anything horrendously embarrassing for about a decade – gets good at public speaking – becomes president) and pretty much the entirety of his term in office was generally a cut and paste job from near enough every democratic president in history (Republicans are nearly exactly the same, except they claim their family owned a farm, wear cowboy hats on distinctly more occasions, and actually talk about guns rather than change the subject in fear of losing votes). He was smart, he said the right things, he wore the right suits, he never slagged off Will.I.Am on Twitter for declining record sales after he stopped working with him. Hopefully Obama’s time in office will encourage far more non-white feasible presidential candidates in the future, but right now the most revolutionary thing to come out of his presidency may be the future popularity of drone strikes.
Continue reading “44 Lil Yachty: Teenage Emotion” →