Never been in Pitchfork?? That can’t be right, those motherfuckers review everything. When I released my first mixtape, ‘Phish Pale’, back in 2011, they even reviewed that piece of shit and gave it a respectable 6.8. I get it, that line is obviously meant to emphasise how bafflingly obscure she remains despite being consistently responsible for some of the greatest hip-hop of the past decade, but it’s not meant to be taken literally. Let’s just search the Pitchfork site:
Released in December last year, don’t make me come at you.
Kid Cudi, if you don’t love him your opinion and emotions are wrong and you should be extraordinarily ashamed. He could very well be argued to be one of the absolute most important musical artists of the past twenty years, so maybe that could be a reason you don’t love him. You don’t like ‘modern music’, right? Because you’re a cantankerous old fool? Well, the way it sounds is very much Kid Cudi’s fault, so boohoo him all you want. You do realise that everyone who ever loved you is now dead and you’re likely to follow them off this mortal coil sometime very soon? Cool. Just making sure you were aware how grossly old you are and how you are now impossible to love.
I can actually do a pretty good Kid Cudi impression. No, wait, come back! I promise it’s not racist!! Well, not that racist… It might be a little racist, but not that much! I can basically write a fictitious Kid Cudi song, with all the ‘Mmmmmm‘s and all the ‘Woah-uh-woah’s and all the ‘Yes yes yes yes yes’ followed by ‘No!’, or potentially the other way around. It’s fucking uncanny. But I don’t know anyone who would appreciate it. Sigh, I can’t wait to start my TikTok, it’s gonna be freaking lit bruh!!
Some people really rate ‘The Life of Pablo’. Not me, personally. I think it has cheeky splashes of genius amongst its giant conceptual mess, but if we were to compare it to an actual Picasso it would be a part way beautiful Les Demoiselles d’Avignon only with each of the women’s faces replaced by flaming poo emojis, some pencil sketchings still unfilled and a blank canvas for the unfinished bottom third. I did and do really rate ‘Ye’, which is a wonderfully concise and incisive record concerning West’s mental struggles and his first emotionally raw and conscious presentation of his bipolar disorder. But not everyone agrees. Few people agree. And it was largely ignored at the end of year back slapping events, with it still today scoffed at as a undercooked and uninspired minor addition to his canon. Everyone hated ‘Jesus is King’ because that was a fetid pile of donkey faeces. We all agree on that. It’ll soon be nine years since West released a largely agreed upon classic record. Apart from everyone loved 2018’s amazing ‘Kids See Ghosts’ album, but let’s ignore that or lay it 100% at the feet of Kid Cudi, because otherwise my snappy and incisive introductory paragraph doesn’t make sense.
(these are all fan made versions of the ‘Donda’ album cover, by the way, because I thought you all deserved to see what a bit of fucking effort looked like)
Yeah, you know how JPEGMAFIA’s album was just a collection of singles from the previous year? Well, Burial sees that effort and raises it by releasing a collection of singles and EPs from the better part of the last decade. Might have made sense to split the two albums up on the list. This list isn’t about aesthetics and sensible ordering though. It’s pure science. And if the science states that they should be placed next to each other, perhaps both fitted with a secret microchip so Bill Gates can track their movements, then who are we to argue?
Sigh… I’m going to have to start with an embarrassing confession. I know, many of you reading this already think all the things I write are shamefully embarrassing, but this is a distressing mark against my musical knowledge which, come on, up until now was unimpeached. In November of 2019, roughly a month before this collection came out, I wrote this:
‘Waterfowl’ is a pretty perfect rock album. I spent an inordinate and unnecessary amount of time just now trying to decide which subgenre to place it under, but it’s such a varied and ambitious record that it near enough encompasses all of them. It dabbles in punk, takes brash detours through folk rock and indie, skids its way through shoegaze and math rock, and even chooses to dabble in post-punk and grunge. I ‘reviewed’ it back in February, then because I don’t think I’d properly got across how good the album was, I wrote another post in March just to make sure I was clear how freaking good this record was. Come on, if there was any 2020 album you don’t need further convincing of its quality, it’s this one. It’s actually quite worrying how much I have to spoon feed some of you people. Sort your lives out.
Remember: this is probably actually the best album of the year, I’m just too afraid to say so
69 Underworld: I Exhale
I Exhale is amazing: it blatantly and shamelessly rips off The Clash’s Train in Vain, Bowie’s Sound and Vision AND The Fall’s Hit the North, yet still manages to be a cast-iron banger. I couldn’t include the surrounding album on the Necessary Evil countdown, as they can’t go unpunished for such things, but this song is wonderful (especially the album’s 8 minute cut)