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)

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Necessary Evil 2019 (92-84)

92 Chance the Rapper: The Big Day

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Seriously, what the fuck is this? It’s almost depressing that this is technically the debut album from arguably one the most influential and critically adored rappers of the past ten years. Previously only releasing music through free mixtapes, it’s a little baffling that Chance has decided the album that sees him starting to go after that Bruno Mars crowd should be the one that people should have to pay for.

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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!

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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?

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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

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41 Shamir: Revelations

I Bet You Think This Album’s About You

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“You have a song/Which means you’re doing something wrong/Don’t think you’re special/’cause it’s about you”

On his second song from his second album* Shamir brilliantly showcases something quite perverse about the human psyche. Let’s imagine that I was once Shamir’s shitty ex-boyfriend: if I just left my clothes strewn across the hallway when getting undressed ready for bed; if I pretended to be, like, really into hip-hop as I felt it would somehow demonstrate affinity, and yet only ever listen to Lil Yachty on loop**; if every time I entered the house I’d bound over the sofa, snatch the remote from him and turn over from whatever faggy thing he was watching like ‘Narcos’ or ‘Gomorrah’ in order to immediately watch the highlights from last night’s WWE Raw (“No, Shammy***, you don’t understand! It’s being held in Chicago and, like, CM Punk is definitely going to make a comeback!”); whenever I’d finish the last of the milk I’d just put the carton back in the fridge; if I once acted surprised when he mentioned he’s black because I ‘Really, honestly don’t see colour’; if I said to friends that you ‘obviously’ didn’t vote for Trump; if I had an ‘All Lives Matter’ bumper sticker and don’t understand the problem with it; if I always had bad breath; if I was the absolute freaking worse. Then imagine if Shamir wrote a song outlining how big of a frickin’ arsewipe I was, basically just taking the 182 words above and making them rhyme (the fucking hack), and broadcast to all of his fans what a miserable waste of flabby-fucks-not-worth-giving I actually was. Have you ever thought how that would make me feel??

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26: Shamir: Ratchet

We should all raise our hands and rejoice that artists like Shamir exist, he fits in no obvious hole and listening to his music or watching him perform you at once worry that there is absolutely no crowd that exists for him and also realise with delight that he may be your favourite thing in the world. At the very least he harkens back to the days when your grandparents angrily complained that they couldn’t tell if the performer on Top of the Pops was a boy or a girl, and Shamir delights in playing up to his inherent sexual androgyny (as he considers himself neither male or female he prefers to refer to himself as ‘queer’ rather than gay. I’ve decided it best I don’t refer to him this way) His debut is marvellously constructed pop-dance, as Shamir bounces around like a toddler let loose in the Sunny Delight cupboard, coming across as the Azealia Banks it’d be super fun (rather than terrifying) to hang out with. OK, I’ll admit, of all the albums on this list it’s Shamir’s that I can most envision some people finding extremely annoying, but isn’t such what divisiveness part of what makes pop music so great?

Shamir Bailey

‘Fun’ Fact: Any night out with Azealia Banks would invariably end with you walking home alone with one shoe on.

Sounds a bit exhausting if I’m being honest: That’s always a worry, so the mid-paced ‘Darker‘ is perfectly placed near the album’s end

Album Link