Yeah, I’m in a good mood, what of it? Wanna fight about it? Bring it on, I bet I’ll have you kissing me before the first punch lands, because how can you stay angry at this face?? My good mood mainly arises from three reasons. Firstly, longtime reader Beryl got in touch to tell me how she enjoyed the last post, and only made the polite suggestion that this series could be improved if it…
…incorporated more hardcore scat pornography?? Jesus fucking Christ, Beryl. Honestly, whenever I’m that close to relaxing that restraining order, you come out with something that sends us back to square one. Maybe I’m at fault here for expecting more from someone I met on the online scatological fetish dating app ‘ScatrBraind‘, but I just always assumed she was interested in the person around the fecal matter, y’know?
Anyway, the second reason is that this will definitely be the final part in this series, allowing me to abandon my blog again to return to my three real loves (masturbating, crying, and masturbating while crying. Mainly the third, if I’m being completely honest). Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we are now actually into the years where I made a point of listing the best albums, so this part should be an absolute piece of piss! Look at the header of this blog- I’ve already got my best albums of 07-19 listed! I just need to copy those albums down again for this entry! It’s 8:53 now, and I’ll have all this done and dusted in time for my traditional 9am cry! Let’s do this shit!!
You want an intro? You got that in part one! Let’s get down to the dirty, sticky and dangerously unhygienic business:
This was an important year for me, this was when shit got real. Yeah, Labour won the election, which I was aware I was supposed to celebrate but not yet conscious enough to know exactly why, just that ‘our team won*. Princess Diana died, inspiring a nationwide reaction that even 13 year old Alex Palmer recognised as being a bit fucking much**. All that was meaningless background noise though, as most importantly 1997 was the year that I became really switched on to new music. Before this point, most of the albums I’ve listed would have been discovered by me later and posthumously lusted after in the kind of nostalgic necrophilia that I would later grow to despise. Yeah, sorry if you’ve already imagined me as an incredibly cool seven year old bopping his head to Soonby My Bloody Valentine. From this point on, these important albums in my life and personal development were pretty much all discovered as contemporaries. Seriously though, ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’ was the first CD that I ever owned. Yeah. I’m that cool/weird.
This is probably the only reason i still do this stupid fucking list that nobody reads and the one post that I actually enjoy writing (because it’s basically just me making lots of pretty pictures), statistical motherfucking analysis!! The numbers, the records and the science, yo! behind Necessary Evil 2019. Let’s start with with what (spit) other music journalists thought.
OK, we all actually agree on the nest album of the year, so the critics are actually correct for once. Chill out on Jamila Woods and Michael Kiwanuka though, yeah?
OK OK OK! There were 112 amazing songs released in 2019 (or, erm, released earlier but I just listened to them a lot this year), and here is the definitive, objective and scientifically proven ranking. You can disagree all you want, just remember your disagreement is merely an opinion and this list is fact.
Or maybe not. I made a big change of tablet and therefore music player this year, and I might not have remembered all of the songs I deemed to be Legit Bosses earlier in the year. But whatever, here are 112 amazing songs, here’s the YouTube list and here’s the Spotify playlist, now please leave me alone, yeah?
Starting at number 112 wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith…
At the Little Simz entry at number 4, I worried that the ceaseless and heartless explosion of ‘news’ and ‘takes’ and ‘bullshit’ that is modern life only succeeded in confirming rather than challenging our prejudices and turning us against even family members as we’re convinced that political allegiances are the one thing that dictates whether human life is worth even considering.
Then there was Elbow at number 3, throwing their hands up in the air and wailing as they wondered what’s even the point of Elbow anymore?! There’s no sense of togetherness for them to soundtrack! The world hates itself now, and to espouse the sort of optimism and confidence that they used to would risk making them sound ridiculously out of touch! 2019 is grim, it’s paranoid, it hates it’s fellow human because, chances are, the fellow human hates them just as much so it’s best to return a shot! Then there was Sudan Archives making the second best album of the year by essentially mainstreaming her sound and making as many bangers as possible. So yeah, hear that Nick Cave? Make sure your album has as many bangers as possible, yeah?
Surely Nick Cave would be most affected by this new era of mistrust and negative assumptions. Not only has he previously made a career over detailing bad motherfuckers who would “Crawl over fifty good pussies just to get to one fat boy’s asshole“, but he would surely be more angry than most at life’s unfair and brutal nature after his 15 year old son died in 2015. He had already released ‘Skeleton Tree‘ in 2016, a broken and grim album interjected with occasional explosive pulses of agony, over which Cave sounded emotionally bereft and often numb. It was mostly a dark, hopeless reaction to a tragedy that today’s climate demands. Wallow in your misery! You’re all alone! Nobody gives a shit and anyone who does is probably racist, or something!! Mmmmm, yes, Nick Cave, feed me on your despondent tears!!
‘Little Fictions‘ didn’t even even make Necessary Evil 2017. In truth, it was probably the saddest album of the year, Elbow had long been one of my favourite bands and it was clear that they were finished as a going artistic concern. ‘Little Fictions‘, to me, sounded like ten borderline heartbreaking pathetic attempts to recapture the commercially successful sound of One Day Like This, a song they had released ten years previously.
Even though the sad, death march of an album didn’t make the cut (a year where Lil Yachty was number 44) I was still saddened enough to mention the mess in my post on the winner, Perfume Genius, stating that “Little Fictions’ was a disappointing mini-shark jumping by Elbow, failing to build on the shock factor of last album highlight Charge as I’d hoped”. Ah, Charge, a career highlight and shining light among the very good ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything‘ album. I was hoping that it was pointing to future directions as a crazy psychedelic prog rock, but instead it was obviously one last hurrah from a band now content to rest on its laurels and pander to festival crowds already won. It was a crying shame, but Elbow were dead.
(So nice of Lorde to let us reference one of her songs…)
This it it. the mathematically proven greatest record of 2017. And The Maths is in no doubt.
Perhaps you could argue that The Maths was so desperate to name an album that isn’t Lorde or Kendrick Lamar– a desperation foreshadowed by The Maths naming the Fever Ray’s album best record of 2017 before The Maths had even heard it (and then always being ever so slightly disappointed every time The Maths heard it because of this decision)- and actually conclude that ‘No Shape’ is actually just the greatest album of 2017 that isn’t Lorde or Kendrick Lamar.
The Maths appreciates that viewpoint, and The Maths is aware of how The Maths previously mocked Crack Magazine for naming Arca as 2017’s best album as obvious edgelord attention seeking. The Maths would understand if you accused The Maths of a similar exhibitionism if you were to listen to the Arca album– very good if overwhelmingly intense and rarely enjoyable ‘in the traditional sense’- and the knock-down genius of Perfume Genius’s latest– the most perfect combination of pop songcraft and overwhelming beauty you’ll have likely heard recently- and tell me they are both equally understandably considered the greatest record of any year.