This is probably the only reason i still do this stupid fucking list that nobody reads and the one post that I actually enjoy writing (because it’s basically just me making lots of pretty pictures), statistical motherfucking analysis!! The numbers, the records and the science, yo! behind Necessary Evil 2019. Let’s start with with what (spit) other music journalists thought.
OK, we all actually agree on the nest album of the year, so the critics are actually correct for once. Chill out on Jamila Woods and Michael Kiwanuka though, yeah?
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 Bandcampare 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.
OK, let’s just quickly get this out of the way: this is definitely Bongiovi “Bon Iver” Iverlenko’s weakest album. OK, OK, OK, I never listened to his second album as much as I would have liked, but… yeah, this is his worst. Actually, his second album was self-titled, which as I’ve previously mentioned I frigging hate, so… maybe… that takes it down toooooooooo… No. No this is his worst.
‘i,i’ was actually dead last on this list for the longest time when I first heard it, before Chance the Rapper’s ‘Big Day‘ redefined and lowered the bar on what dog shit I’d let onto the countdown. When I first heard it, I hated it. It sounded like a poor man’s retread of his previous album- ’22, a Million’, one of the decade’s legitimate greatest records- with none of the songcraft, little of its experimentation and fucking none of its autotune! Don’t you dare take my autotune, you flannelly fuck!! The more I listened to it though, little by little it began to climb up the ranking. New nuances presented themselves, little wonders that I hadn’t previously noticed revealed themselves to me like Bon Iver politely flashing me his genitals as I walked home through the park after dark. Even now, on roughly the 7’654th listen I keep noticing and appreciating things about this actually rather accomplished record. If this year continued for another 12 months (clerical error), could it eventually reach number one???
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.