Ah, old dependable Arcade Fire! I can always count on including them in the year end list with no controversy! Their sixth album is a miner return to form – not really coming close to equaling their imperial phase of their first four albums, but certainly superior to their messy and unfocused fifth ‘Everything Now’. There are real moments of stirring beauty, as the band lean into their real status as the stadium rock band that it’s not embarrassing to admit you like. Like, never embarrassing. Up to around the 27th August 2022, this statement is watertight. To me, they’re the 21st century New Order, in that their fantastic music is almost always enough to cover up for their frequently awful lyrics (“But some people want the rock without the roll/But we all know, there’s no God without soul“, uuuuuurgh, “We unsubscribe/Fuck season five“, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh!). ‘We’ is a tight, anthemic effort, which might consider pleasing the crowd more important than making any real creative strides, but nonetheless crowd pleases enough to let its lack of ambition slide.
9 Tyler the Creator: Igor
Why are you so frequently an absolute dick? Why do you find doing bad things so appealing, yet find admitting and explaining these bad things to other people so disagreeable? Why do you avoid being nice and doing simple nice things for people? Oh, that’s right, it’s just the way you are, isn’t it?
And when did you realise that this was ‘the way you are’? When you were in your early 20s? When you turned 18 and realised that now you could legally buy alcohol there was really no need to grow as a person now you could just be drunk every waking hour*? Maybe when you were 13 you realised all the cool kids didn’t pay much attention to being nice and instead sniffed glue next to the school bins and talked about how amazing football was, so you realised that would be the direction to go in for the next twenty years or so. Maybe, when you were a six year old your mother rolled her eyes as she remarked how little you liked Brussels sprouts and challenging systematic injustices, so you subconsciously noted that was your personality. I wrote about the difficulties in truly changing yourself, or even slightly altering your perceived personality, in my Govier review, so, I dunno, maybe this post will just rehash those same ideas but just in a slightly less funny way. I mean, I don’t think it will, but there’s really no way of knowing at this point. It’s gonna be fun to work out though! MORE AFTER THE JUMP!! HIT THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON AS HARD AS YOU CAN!!! VALIDATE ME!!!! VAAAAAAAAAALIDAAAAAAATE MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
Necessary Evil 2019 (16-11)
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo-yar!! This will actually take us up to the top ten! And it’s not even Christmas yet!! Just to be clear, you should all be very impressed.
16 Pickle Darling: Bigness
Just… gorgeous. ‘Bigness’ seems almost like it was intended as something of a wry, ironic name, as Mr Darling deals in ostensibly small scale music. His songs can initially seem so slight, polite, inoffensive and casual, all linked with a voice so hesitant and unassuming that it’s the volume and urgency that a fruit fly might adopt if it wanted to get the waiter’s attention at Costa Coffee to inquire as to what was taken its Hazelnut Praline & Cream Latte so long but didn’t want to make too much fuss. The tags that the album is identified with on Bandcamp are alternative; bedroom pop; christchurch; new zealand; pop; indie; indie pop; Christchurch, which tells you one thing… Well no, it firsts lets you know that Pickle Darling is from Christchurch, New Zealand, as he’s so keen for you to realise that that he states it twice, but the second thing that the tags tell you is that ‘Bigness’ is a bit of a cheery, unassuming and- in the words of Helltown– ‘bedroom bullshit‘ kind of record. It’ll be fine. It’ll be cheery, a little bit twee but well meaningfully pleasant. Most of all though, it’ll be small.
Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2019 (16-11)”
66 Charli XCX: Pop 2
“You got me doin’ all this stupid shit/You fuck me up like this/Secretly I’m into it though”
So it’s 2018, and I still think that in many ways we really need to demystify sex. I know, I know, my views on sex are probably about as valid as a chinchilla’s take on the fallout from the Arab Spring. Sure, you’ll be slightly impressed that the chinchilla (me) has at least heard of it, but you’re unlikely to think that his views on the matter carry much weight and are worth much consideration, and all things considered you’d really prefer it if the chinchilla (me) instead concentrated on learning not to shit on the carpet. Regardless, I honestly don’t think I’m going to be hurting anyone by expressing these views, and my opinions are backed with absolutely no conviction of bravery at all, so I’ll just delete this post if it ever looks like I’m likely to be included in Jon Ronson’s next book. And anyway, in terms of people thinking less of me, I don’t think there’s a lower level for me to collapse into.
27 Spoon: Hot Thoughts
Do I have to talk you into it?
Do we have to make sense of it?
They say I better seal you up in wax
So that you’re never gonna bite me back
Call me a Social Justice Cluck Snowflake (#SJCS), but I’m generally in favour of this current fad of reframing the way we view women. Apparently, females aren’t always happy with us men waving our willies in their direction, and are not actually secretly begging to be fucked roughly and painfully 24 hours of the day. You know how you’ve been taught in every movie, song and university lecture that a woman would be guaranteed to fuck you as a ‘reward’ for any achievement you manage to unlock, and even every time you exhibit the bare minimum of human decency? Like, that time you let Stacey borrow your pencil and spent the rest of your life resenting the slut because she never even gave you a quick hand shandy in thanks? You know all the women who owe you sex for various different reasons? Yeah, turns out they don’t. Actually, some scientists have posited the theory that women are actual human beings who might be full of all sorts of complex thoughts and emotions, barely any of them involving your penis.
Like, they’re usually about ponies and makeup and periods, but the important thing is they are rarely about your penis. Rarely about your specific penis.
(… I have long made my heteronormative peace with Bret Hart)