#7 Prince: Dirty Mind

We’re into year three of my potentially lifelong commitment to annually live with and reevaluate each one of Prince’s officially released albums. Why? Because shut up, that’s why. We’re due to finish with ‘HITnRUN Phase 2’ in 2046 if we ignore those weird years where he didn’t release an official record (1983, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2011-13. What are known as the ‘dark ages’). Currently, we’re still on a somewhat appropriate 40th anniversary flex, so in 2020 we come to 1980’s seminal* ‘Dirty Mind’.

(*or should that be semenal?? No. No, ‘seminal’ is the correct spelling. I just checked)

After his first two albums, all things considered, Prince was really nothing special aside from an admittedly talented performer with the nice little gimmick of being able to play a lot of instruments. Aside from taking a little detour into filthiness with Soft and Wet and proving his rock chops, if only briefly, with I’m Yours, his first album was deserving of little more than a polite applause for the ability on show. His second album, although technically superior in almost every sense, containing his first hit in the heavily disco influenced I Wanna Be Your Lover and, to me, his first stone cold classic in When We’re Dancing Close and Slow* , it was actually frustrating to listen to 40 years later with the benefit of hindsight and knowing exactly what this talent would one day become. There was close to nothing to these albums, they were more often than not box ticking genre albums. Where was the invention? Where was the subversion? Where was the star quality? There was next to no clue where Prince was about to take his sound, his image or his provocativeness.

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NE2019 Prejaculate (The Best Songs of 2019 So Far That You Might Not Have Heard)

Why are we encouraged to state what ‘The Best [CULTURAL CONTENT] of the Year So Far’ is at the start of June? It isn’t half way through the year. It’s just over five months in. The Guardian stated what were the ‘Best albums of 2019 so far‘ on June 4th! That’s only 154 days into the year!! That’s only 42.19% of the way through!!! Unless I’ve forgotten how to work out percentages!!!! Which is very possible!!!!! Wow, I’m using a lot exclamation marks in this paragraph!!!!!!

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Well, anyway, I want in. I want a mouldy old piece of that rotten SEO pie, though released far closer to the actual year’s mid point of July 2nd. I’m not going to list the best albums of 2019 though, because I already often struggle to think of things to write come December, and I don’t want to waste that awesome simile I’ve devised to explain my thoughts on the new Jonas Brothers album six months early. Be patient. It’ll blow your mind. So I’ve decided to list the best songs of the year so far, similar to what I did in 2016. Although this time I didn’t just want to add my feeble, narcissistic voice to the chorus of intellectual critics praising songs like Old Town Road or Sweet but Psycho. You already know these songs are great, yeah? So I’ve tried to shine light on amazing songs by amazing artists off (mostly) amazing albums that there’s a chance you might not have previously heard. Get investigating, yeah? They’re in pretty much the order I remember to list them, because, seriously, fuck lists.

(If you can’t bother reading, there’s a handy Spotify playlist for the illiterates)

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30 Jherek Biscoff: Quartet for Delores +

The internet’s given us tons of cool shit. Now, for the first time since I spent musch of my young life scrawling obscene graffiti onto the wings of backpoll warblers before they migrated across the Atlantic I can quite casually call a 12 year old in Arkansas a ‘faggot’ to wonderfully exorcise my dangerously incompetent belief in what freedom of speech is. Jamie in Arkansas can even call me a ‘faggot’ back, if he could catch a backpoll warbler to save his life and I was doing something as irredemably faggy as attempting to capture the flag in Call of Duty 6 armed with only a M1903. What the fuck are you doing, Jamie?! Quit being such a faggot!

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It’s also given every person on Earth ability to hear from a previously unimaginable variety of voices and perspectives. If you ever hear somebody say that ‘people are offended too much these days’, what they actually mean is that their killer joke about a black lesbian picking the seeds out of her watermelon used to do gangbusters when the only people who ever heard them tell it were horrible white men. Now, women, gay people and other ethnicities are hearing it. They don’t like it. Because it’s offensive. And they’re the people being offended. Don’t blame the internet because suddenly people can hear how gross you are.

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54 Ursula’s Cartridges: Aqua Placenta

Language is very much like that green growth on my left testes, in that it keeps growing and changing in occasionally unpalatable ways, no matter what we intend and what efforts we take.

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Words rarely mean the same thing for too long.  ‘Faggot’ used to be a derogatory slur of homosexuals, but now it apparently just means someone whose opinion you politely dispute online. ‘Gay’ used to mean happy, and it seems now many people are so against this shift that they attempt to make gay people’s lives as unhappy as possible. That’s brilliant! I love irony! Sherlock Holmes ejaculated over Doctor Watson many times in the 19th century, and though he would also do so countless times in early 2010s Benedict Cumberbatch fanfic, the meaning was not quite what Conan Doyle had originally intended. There have actually been over a dozen officially recognised semantic shifts that have happened since dawn this morning. At 6:46 GMT it was decreed that the word ‘viscous’ now refers to Beijing Opera. At 8:12 GMT we received news that ‘tableware’ was actually a derogatory term for people of South Vermont. We heard at 11:02 GMT that dogs were now called cats, cats were now called mice, and mice were now called Total Network Solutions. Most confusingly, we were informed at 11:53 that we could no longer call a spade a spade, but a digidigdigdigdigdigdigdigggytron*

(*I had a… different joke there… but I chickened out… Feel free to tell it if you can tell what it would have been, but give me full credit. It it’s funny. If it’s racist, then that’s your fault)

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78 Lil Yachty: Nuthin’ 2 Prove

 

Longtime readers of this blog (hi, Mum!*) will know I have a bit of an obsession with Lil Yachty. I honestly think he’s a fascinating figure who has the sufficient lack of self-awareness and disregard for the supposed former statesman and accepted tropes of his genre that he could potentially create something very special. His sound is obnoxious, flagrantly disrespectful and nonchalantly artless. But then, I’m a depressingly old white idiot: the sound of 2018 should sound borderline offensive to me! Lil Yachty is 21 years old, he’s already released one stone cold classic song (fight me) and a patchy and imperfect debut album that nonetheless showed flashes of the buoyant/obnoxious/genius/overjoyed style that is all his own and that could see him take over the world before too long, to the fabulous irritation of old farts everywhere. Whether you like it or not, this was evolution and it was frickin’ exciting!

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(*My Mum has far too much self-respect to read my blog. Only people with a base level of pitiful self-respect would ever waste time reading this shit. Yeah, I’m talking about you. Aunty Cheryl, however, loves it! She is, however, a shameless crack cocaine addict and, if I’m being completely honest, has been dead for 12 years next April)

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