Necessary Evil 2020 pt.16 (3-2)

#3 Hjaltalín: Hjaltalín

Firstly: what up brothers and sisters? Put you’re hands in the air, yeah? Like you just don’t care, yeah? Can I get a ‘what what’? Respect the flex of Necessary Evil 2020! We might have finished Necessary Evil 2015 by the 13th December, but that was beginning to feel like a much missed byproduct of a far simpler time. We didn’t finish Necessary Evil 2016 until November the 5th. Of 2017. Necessary Evil 2017 didn’t come all over all of your apathetic and disinterested eyeballs until the next year again, but at least had the grace to finish by April the 8th of 2018. Necessary Evil 2018 got so close to finishing in the year it was referring to, eventually wrapping up January the 3rd of 2019. And God fucking damnit Necessary Evil 2019 managed to bow for applause just one day into 2020. This year!! Baring an absolute calamity, Necessary Evil 2020 will somehow be finished before even Christmas, as we enter the final post on December 23rd and- holy shit!- I might get to relax and enjoy my festive period for the first time in five years!!

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Necessary Evil 2020 pt.10 (30-26)

#30 Luke Haines & Peter Buck: Beat Poetry for Survivalists

Luke Haines is always going to earn a place on this list. Aside from his near legendary cantankerousness these days best evidenced through his Twitter account now that he doesn’t sell anyway near enough records for any journalist to want to bother talking to, but he might actually be one of the most influential and important British music artists of the last 30 years without anyone really noticing or caring (least of all Haines himself). Unfortunately, a lot of that influence and importance isn’t really valued in 2020, like Haines has spent a large part of his career building up a collection of several billion Yugoslav Dinar. His previous band, The Auteurs, didn’t just release the greatest album of 1996, but are widely considered to have been the first Britpop band and their 1993 debut ‘New Wave‘ is considered the first album and perhaps the ultimate example of the genre. Unfortunately, crowing about an artist’s importance to Britpop in 2020 is like raving about one of the most important engineers ever because of their revolutionary idea to build houses using asbestos. People are unlikely to share your enthusiasm, and will likely debate whether it should be considered a ‘good thing’. Regardless of the nonsense that Britpop quickly descended into though, it still can’t be denied that Haines played a central part in solidifying the importance and artistic/financial viability of British guitar music at the beginning of the 90s, and without him we may never of had… erm… what British guitar band are they nowadays? Royal Blood. Without Luke Haines we may never have had Royal Blood. Can you even imagine? But, yeah, he doesn’t care, he’s happy enough by ow (all relative, of course) releasing extremely decent but lower scale and borderline comedy solo albums.

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2020 pt.10 (30-26)”

Necessary Evil 2020 pt.7 (45-41)

#45 Jarv Is: Beyond the Pale

I mean… that kinda works, right? Jarvis Cocker splitting his first name into two words, then adding the title of the album to make it seem that you’re making the statement that “Jarv is beyond the pale”. Like, OK, I get it, but to buy into the pun yo have to accept that Jarvis now goes by the name ‘Jarv’ which, come on, mate, that’s a dumb fucking name that ain’t nobody going to answer to. I’m calling you out, Jarvy Boy! I don’t buy into the conceit that the title of your fourth solo album aims to evoke!! Bring it on, Jarv! Anytime, any pla… Actually, not any place. My choice of place. I worry that he’ll have us both do battle in Sheffield, and according to my beliefs about the Steel City that may well resemble the closing scene of Terminator 2. I worry that wouldn’t play to my strengths as a fighter. It’ll likely to be in the Ippon Judo Club in Cheadle. I got a green belt there about 20 years ago, so watch your fucking back, Jarv!!

The album’s great though, successfully hitting references and inspirations as diverse as Leonard Cohen and Kraftwerk. Also, the line “Dragging my knuckles/Listening to Frankie Knuckles” is worth a bump of a few places at least.

Metacritic: 86

The highest so far. Because, unlike me, other critics are scared of his bullshit!!

2009 (no.28)

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2020 pt.7 (45-41)”

My Life in Albums (part 3 07-20/death)

Put my mind at ease, pretty please, I need your hands on me, sweet relief, pretty please…

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…

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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!!

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Entry #3 FKA Twigs: Two Weeks

“It’s all about the music, man”

A Boring Cunt

What makes a pop star/musical artist an actual star? What makes them compelling? What makes them inspirational?  What makes them essential? What exact element compels you to drop to your knees and pledge eternal allegiance to some pop stars, making an oath that even if they were to release autotuned snippets of gas being released from their intestinal tract you would crawl naked over broken glass to purchase it the second it’s released? What renders them different from those artists who are given short tenancy in your consciousness, occupying next to no time in your thoughts and plans outside the three to four minutes it takes for their music to pass between your ears?

Photo of Rik Waller @ The Roadhouse - 26/02/02
Why do we still hang on Rick Waller’s every word?

If you’d said ‘the music’, you’d be completely wrong. You’re an idiot and I never want you to talk to me again. Yes, that’s it, turn your chair around. Bow your head. Think about how fucking stupid you are.

Continue reading “Entry #3 FKA Twigs: Two Weeks”

The Legit Bosses: Best 65 Tracks of 2017

EDIT: a full 16 days after publishing this piece, I finally got round to making a Spofify Playlist. The best songs of 2017. In May 2018)

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OK, 20th April and we’re almost done. Never apologise for your own timing: genius cannot be standardised by your plebeian calendar. Good things are always worth waiting for. Patience, motherfuckers, patience.

Remember (kayfabe) last year, when I broke the Legit Bosses down into about a million parts? Ten freaking YouTube videos every post?

That was a really dumb idea. You’re getting all 65 songs in one list this year.

There were exactly sixty five amazing songs released last year. If you believe that there were any more or less then you are either massively mistaken or just plain stupid. Listen and learn:

65 Vince Staples: Alyssa Interlude

00 (alexanderlpalmer@hotmail.co.uk)

Finding out that the voice sample explaining the pain that’s sometimes needed to inspire creativity is actually Amy Winehouse pushed this interlude into ‘AMAZING’ classification.

Barely two minutes long, but exhibiting the kind of experimental genius that was slightly lacking on the rest of the album. More of this in the future please, Mr Staples, and less of… erm…

Less of, like, whatever I said in my review. It was quite a long time ago…

64 Young M.A: M.A Intro

Freaking perfect introduction to the record, which I can’t help but shout along to the “Who dat?/Who dat?/Never who dat” intro with all the gusto and passion a middle aged white guy is legally allowed.

63 St Vincent: Los Ageless

Despite what my review may have led you to believe, not actually about my ex-wife wrongly claiming credit for my suicide.

My ex-wife read that review, by the way, and got in touch to correct a lot of my false assumptions. Yeah, I’ll definitely talk about that at some point. Make sure to click ‘subscribe’…

62 Tove Lo: Hey You Got Drugs

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A lovely ballad about a subject that I think is vastly underrepresented in sad songs. I may have slightly overrated it in my review of the album, which shows how relatively underwhelming the rest of the album is.

Also: invest in a comma maybe, Ms Lo?

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Stats Off To You, Sir 2017

The Only Reason I Do This Fucking List

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Yaaaay!! A statistical breakdown of 2017’s albums!! Suddenly, all those wasted evenings desperately bashing out 1000 words of utter shite on Muna or something finally comes to fruition!! I get to do a mathematical breakdown of the findings!! Kinda get tired reading more than 100 words but enjoy looking at pretty pictures? Yeah, me too…

This post is just for you!!

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(number 3)

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1 Perfume Genius: No Shape

L.O.S.S.L.E.S.S Generation

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(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.

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2 Lorde: Melodrama

She is Lorde, Ya-ya-ya

(get that out of the way, that’s your lot)

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Yep, neither Lorde nor Kendrick Lamar is my number one album: who could it possibly be?!

Have a think about it…

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Yeah, it’s that one.

Maybe you haven’t heard Lorde’s Stone Cold Masterpiece of a second album, because you’re a fucking idiot, but you know what it’s about don’t you?

I mean, her 2013 debut was written when she was only 14 years old

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and showed a prodigious level of writing ability that arbalested her to worldwide attention. It was a far better written (and plain better) debut album than the Arctic Monkeys’ was in 2006, and back when that was released there were some people unconvinced whether lyrics so good could have been written by someone in their late teens, and conspiracy theories abounded. There was no such debate over the much younger Lorde, because she was (and, brace yourself, still is) female, and so all of her art will always be undervalued, and people will just assume that a more naturally talented man was actually responsible for writing the songs, and Lorde just added bits about makeup and Kim Kardashian to get the writing credit.

(Hmmm, if you haven’t seen ‘The Trip‘, that Michael Caine picture might look a bit like I’m accusing him of something rather uncomfortable. Mind you, this is a guy who said he legally changed his name to Michael Caine because of ISIS, so I don’t really care)

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6 Fever Ray: Plunge

I Decided to Love Her.

but She Didn’t Make it Easy

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Sometimes I envy NME. And The Guardian. And Pitchfork. And Melody Maker. And Q Magazine. And the Manchester Evening News. And Rolling Stones. I envy The Roling Stone’s money, but I don’t envy being them, as that would mean losing 50 years of my life and a complete morality lobotomy. And Crack Magazine.

How many others are there…?

And Kerrang. And the Telegraph And NME. I said that one, didn’t I? I envy it twice. And Mojo. And Uncut. And Mixmag.

I envy all these vessels of music journalism- to different degrees and holding it to varying degrees of importance- because, I don’t know if you ever noticed, but they manage to get their albums of the year list out at the actual end of the year!!

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(Falling)

How do they do that?? I mean, even if Mojo is in a terrible place mentally, and is considering if it’s really worthwhile writing anything anymore, it still manages to garner up the motivation to try and and convince us that David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ was the best album of 2016 (nonsense, I have the science to prove it was actually 27th) on December 11th!! I didn’t even get around to explaining the truth until October 30th 2017!!

Continue reading “6 Fever Ray: Plunge”