8 Sharon van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow

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!!

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‘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”

18 & 17 Big Thief vs Big Thief!

Both ‘U.F.O.F’* and ‘Two Hands’ are fantastic albums. Certainly, nobody has had two albums in the Necessary Evil top 20 before, and it’s certainly to be commended how an artist can release two separate albums of general quality as these two blasts of mana. But let’s temper our explosive ejaculations just a bit, yeah? The two albums last a total of 82 minutes (perhaps. I honestly don’t trust my own maths). Lupe Fiasco’s criminally underappreciated ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ was NINETY EIGHT fucking MINUTES- because Lupe is mildly insane- and was far better than either of these records. There are twenty two tracks spread across these two records. Pffff! ‘DROGAS WAVE‘ has twenty four tracks! And that was 24 tracks narrating the story of the transatlantic slave trade and making it work as an analogy for rebirth and second chances. What’s that, Big Thief? Woozy Impressionism of banal domestic themes? You’re gonna push that for twenty two tracks? Alright. Ha! You thought I wouldn’t have the chance to talk about Lupe Fiasco this year!

Yes! What’s that, Lupe?! What’s that?! He’s talking about you again! Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?!?!

 

(*Unidentified Flying Object Fuck. I mean… I assume… It doesn’t say on its Wikipedia page, so I’m out of ideas**)

(**it stands for friend! Unidentified Flying Object Friend!! Dudes, that’s so lame! I’m just saying, if I was 10 years old, I’d call it ‘totally gay’. Luckily, I’m older and wiser and fatter and gayer these days, so I understand the offensive connotations of referring to something as ‘gay’ in the pejorative sense. That’s why I am not saying that calling your album ‘Unidentified Flying Object Friend’ is ‘really gay’. So it’s not. But it totally is, do you understand?)

Continue reading “18 & 17 Big Thief vs Big Thief!”

Stats Through the Heart (and you’re to blame) 2018

Hooray for me. A winner is me. I’m the king of the world. I am a golden God. I put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. I’m that star up in the sky. I’m that mountain peak up high. Hey, I made it. I’m the world’s greatest. I assume that allows me to enslave any underage girl I want, with occasional pissing privileges. What a time to be alive.

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That’s me, that is

This week 2019 officially outstripped 2018 on Necessary Evil, with the site getting more views and more individual visitors than ever before. This despite me not even starting the end of year list, which has always been the only reason any of you miserable cunts (love you!) ever visit this piece of shit site. This is, of course, an outstanding achievement which you no doubt would have heard on the news. Whatever it is that I do on this blog is more popular than ever.  Perhaps it’s due to me writing many more non-list entries this year. In 2019, I’ve written

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I’ve written a number of non-list entries, which beats my previous record of ‘a lot less’ at best and, more commonly, ‘fuck all’. I’m not going to waste much time trying to analyse why I’m so popular- just luck at that fucking face. Adorable- but such a momentous occasion deserves something of a celebration. And I couldn’t think of a better one than this. Or, more accurately, I could think of a million better ways to celebrate than this, but this is the only one I could be arsed doing. Good? Good.

You could probably guess what I’m aiming to do. As we edge towards the end of the year, it’s obvious what needs to be done, and the fact that we are about to close on a decade that has seen the arrival SnapChat, Pope Francis, Boko Harem, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz only makes things more imperative.

That’s right: a statistical breakdown of the best albums of 2018!!

Yeah, I know, I should have done this in January when I finished the countdown, much like I published detailed breakdowns soon after 2016 and 2017 finished. But you know what? I’ve just been busy, man, y’know? Did you not notice that it took me three entries to list the greatest Money in the Bank matches ever? If I’m spending so much time on bullshit like that how am I ever going to find time for bullshit like this? Are you going to be one of those people who doesn’t like it when things they don’t like happen?? Grow up, this is neoliberalism and you’ll accept whatever we tell you that you’re happy with.

Love you!

Continue reading “Stats Through the Heart (and you’re to blame) 2018”

The Legit Bosses:136 Best Tracks of 2018

This is officially the end of 2018! And it’s only the 5th January [EDIT: Still only the 6th!]! Although there’s freaking one hundred and thirty six  tracks to get through, so this may well take until mid May! Happy Cinco de Mayo! No time to talk! A shit load of songs to get through!!

136 Candace: Rewind

Gorgeous, innit?

135 Epic Reflexes: Cha Cha

While Z-Tape’s ‘Spring’ collection was veritably busting at the seems with Legit Bosses, as you’ll soon see, this is the only similarly legitimate position of authority from their ‘Summer’ collection. They’re all still great though, as is the Epic Reflexes’s album ‘ChaChaChinatown‘.

134 The Carters: Apeshit

I had a lot of problems with ‘Everything is Love’, the surprising debut release from Beyonce and Jay-Z. Part of the reason I struggled with it was that I wasn’t sure how canonical it is. Like, is this it, Bee? Is this underwhelming collection of occasionally very entertaining rap boasts officially your actual follow-up to one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st century? It’s an album about how two very rich people love each other but probably love their money more, that includes the line “My grandchildren’s grandchildren already rich” which, despite Kanye’s crisis of publicity, is by far the line from 2018 that Donald Trump is most likely to high five in a men’s locker room. Also, there’s a moment on the opening track where Mr Carter drawls out “Let it breaaaathe, let it breaaaathe” like JB Rockefeller basking in the glory of a fart he’d just released under the bedsheets, which marks the first time in more than two decades that I’ve thought to myself that I don’t think I really like Jay-Z. However, he often wins me back with the later claim that he’s “Good on any MLK boulevard”. This song’s pretty great though

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Fucking hell, Jay, that haircut though… One hundred and thirty three more after the jump!

Continue reading “The Legit Bosses:136 Best Tracks of 2018”

11 Lupe Fiasco: DROGAS WAVE

I’m sorry to start off on a bit of a downer here, and I know that a white person mentioning these things is always a bit of a bummer. I can hear all the white readers already:

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And I hear you, bro! It’s totally easier for us rad white guys to just ignore the guilt that’s naturally eating away at every white person! It wasn’t us who enslaved an entire section of people! It was, like, our great great great granddads and shit, yeah? But, like, not my great great great granddad, he would have been totally woke in the 18th century! If my great great great granddad had slaves, then how come I have so many black friends?! Loads! Like who? Peter! He’s black! What’s that? Italian, you say? But he’s got such dark… I mean, in certain lights… So, does he not count…?

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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

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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?

Continue reading “The Legit Bosses: Best 65 Tracks of 2017”

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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4 alt-J: Relaxer

Album of the Rising Interest

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Are you an ‘early adopter’?

By which I mean: when you adopt children, do you tend to do so when they’re younger? I would definitely recommend doing so: of the seven children I’ve ‘adopted’* the ones that were easier to deal with were the babies. I mean, seriously, those little things never ask for anything! Although I suppose, slightly ironically, if they could talk they might be able to let me know where they’ve disappeared to: I’ve not seen most of them since Christmas! I’m sure they’re fine though: Gradius is probably with them, he can walk and has probably learned English by now, so I’m not too concerned.

There’s also the secondary meaning of ‘early adopter’, meaning that you’re always into art, culture, gadgets and trends first. You had an iPhone before they were even invented; you were throwing pennies at Ed Sheeran as he was busking on the streets of Framlingham, hating him with a passion way before it was cool; you practically invented ‘Fortnite’, and could easily make a smart joke here because you’re 100% sure what ‘Fortnite’ is; you have a Smart fridge, a Smart Toaster, a Smart Toilet and a Smart Colander. If it’s ever happened, if it’s happening, or if it’s going to happen: you’re there first. Being first is the best, isn’t it??

(Ed Sheeran was really born and raised in a place called fucking Framlingham?? He’s the biggest pop star in the world: how have we let this happen?)

Continue reading “4 alt-J: Relaxer”

15 Rina Sawayama: RINA

Just Preparatory Superstar

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(…) 

This placing is perhaps a little too high for Ms. Sawayama: her debut EP probably doesn’t actually have the fifteenth greatest collection of songs of 2017. Based on solely the actual musical merits it would still feature highly on Necessary Evil 2017, don’t get me wrong. Though perhaps it’d be awkwardly bumping body parts in the crowded economy section with the likes of Andrew Bird and Ghostpoet, rather than clinking champagne glasses in first class as she spreads her legs and guffaws with Lupe Fiasco over Moses Sumney‘s droll anecdote.

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But if you think pop music is 100% about the music then you’re an indefensibly dull person. Great pop music isn’t just about great music: that’s definitely a large part of it, of course, perhaps even as much as 53%, but there are so many other factors involved.

It’s those other factors, those elusive forty seven percenters, that Rina Sawayama knocks comprehensively out of the park

Continue reading “15 Rina Sawayama: RINA”

16 Lupe Fiasco: DROGAS Light

What?? I was under the impression that it was called DROGBAS light until literally earlier today! Wow. That’s a disappointment)

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Lupe’s Undervalue is a Fiasco

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Listen, I know I don’t ask for your opinion or explanation often- because, let’s face it, the vast gulf in intellect means it’d be like Jesus walking on the water past you and asking you for tips of his backstroke- but can someone please just answer me one thing?

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(…)

What is the deal with Lupe Fiasco?

I don’t need you to explain who he is, I’ve worked out that much. I don’t need you to explain how he got his name (he was such a shark around the snooker halls in his youth that they used to call him ‘Super Lupe Nuts’). I don’t need you to tell me what he does: I know he raps, like, better than nearly anyone else. I don’t need you to explain his music, because I’ve just told you that’s actually impossible. I don’t need you to explain how he once claimed that “the biggest terrorist is Obama*and the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists” because, shit, even if you don’t agree with that view you have to understand it, and admire the gall bladder of a guy willing to say it on American television.

1522177953019122921776.jpg Continue reading “16 Lupe Fiasco: DROGAS Light”