Legit Bosses: 2021’s 121 Greatest Songs

You know it’s all about that boom! Legit Bosses, baybay!*

(*yeah, that song isn’t actually included. It’ll be on Legit Bosses 2022 though! I’m just a bit slow with these things…)

So, only 121 this year, a marked decline on 2020’s 125. So was it a notably worse year? Absolutely chuffing not. Despite the 2.928% drop in numbers, the quality on show is outstanding. Never mind the weight, feel the quality. The top maybe twenty songs especially are on some next level shit, and you haven’t seen so many GOATs since you traumatically happened upon Weird Uncle Colin’s problematic porn collection back in 92. I also shaved a few songs last minute, mainly because they were from albums due to be released in 2022 and I decided to make them Next Year Alex’s problem. Also, one or two I realised… weren’t… actually… that… good… So that just means the 121 that made the cut are all of such spectacular quality that you may want to warn the people around you before you start reading this list, as the floor between your legs is about to get soaked.

No, no, hey, maybe it’s you that’s too gross, ever considered that??

Anyway, let the festivities begin, here are the playlists:

Spotify

YouTube

Continue reading “Legit Bosses: 2021’s 121 Greatest Songs”

16 Sharon van Etten: epic Ten

2019 #8, 2014 #3

Don’t think aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah know?? Y’only tryna sa-ha-haave, yourself! Fuck, yes! I motherfucking love this shit! And I’m not only referring to the original songs on Sharon van Etten’s original 2010 album, her second release and one that indisputably catapulted her into that vaunted selection of artists you should perhaps, maybe, kinda care about. A lot.

While we’re here, can more artists do this please? I have a deeply psychological issue where I will only listen to records released in the same calendar year as when I’m encountering them, with the odd annual exception if you’ve died or if you’re, erm, Yeasayer. Or Prince. If you’re an artist that I’ve discovered in the past five years or so -when this strange affliction really started to take hold and become near dictatorial – then I’m just never going to have the chance to go back and appreciate your earlier stuff unless you rerelease it. Ideally encased with as many bells and whistles as possible, making it an official reissue and eligible for that year’s list. Like, Lupe Fiasco, I’ve fallen in love with you, but only since 2014, so can you rerelease your older stuff that people say is, actually, much better? Kid Cudi, you too, I only started appreciating your majesty as recently as 2016. Could you rerelease that terrible rock album you did, I am beyond curious. But not, like, curious enough to disobey the list.

TO READ THE REST WOULD BE A CRIME

35 Big $ilky: Big $ilky vol.3

2020 #26, 2020 #27

I changed so much since ‘Volume 1’

I don’t give a fuck who don’t like me…

Pandemic illuminates darkness

Uprisings just hit me the hardest

And all you virtue signalling fucks

Will not get to sample the harvest

Jesse Got Away

Hey. Hey. Hey you. Yeah, you, future cultural historian. Yeah. I’m contacting you from the past. Wooooooooooo! Wait… no, I’m not a ghost, am I? Scrap that last comment. Just put down your Diplomat smoking pipe and remove your monocle, listen to me for a second. How’s the future treating you? Flying cloud storage, you say? Electronic cigarettes with AI sentience? Well that all sounds absolutely pointless, but good luck to you. Gig economy for cultural history, is it? Because Elon Musk is now the Great Leader at more than a thousand years old and can’t afford to give any workers at all any rights because he needs to fund his great humanitarian expedition to carve a visible doge meme onto the surface of Jupiter? For the lols? You have to pay for your own monocle and pipe?? Yeah, yeah, that all sounds awful, but not much different from my time and I kinda wish you’d stop going on about it, it’s my turn to speak.

How are you currently gauging the cultural mood of the years 2020-21 out there in the year 3000? Sure, if you wanted an inspiring and comforting read on everything you could just go to Arlo Parks’s debut album. Perhaps if you wanted a glimpse into how humanity strived (and often succeeded) to make creative connections despite the viral barriers you could take a listen to Charli XCX’s magnificent ‘how i’m feeling now‘. Or, yeah, if you wanted to go all Pitchforky I guess you could name that Fiona Apple album. What’s that? You’re actually currently evaluating the era through the prism of Emily in Paris? Damn, that’s a good angle, and I’d love to see what horrors you’ve unearthed during your studies. But can I suggest something far more advantageous? How about you study the illuminating trilogy of albums released by Big $ilky over that period?

Continue reading “35 Big $ilky: Big $ilky vol.3”

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)”

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.

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2019 (92-84)”

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”

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?

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

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”