With no thought of the massive psychological damage it would cause to middle aged children and the dread it would impose on their already suffocating sense of mortality, with no consideration given to the fact that it was Christmas 2021, like, yesterday, 2022 is soon coming to an end. In previous years I have trailed the year’s Necessary Evil’s list of the year’s best music by naming the year’s best in comparatively unimportant sectors such as films and video games. 2022, however, saw an event so momentous that it renders all other debate on art or even the wider human condition comparatively meaningless, and so I owe it to my legions of fans, I owe it to the internet, I owe it to the culture itself to mention it. Not only that, but I’ll have to try and explain its importance to non wrestling fans, which might actually beyond my ability.
The Necessary Evil Nigerian element expands. Don’t worry though, I’m not just going to talk about my ex-wife again. Seriously though, entry #20, there’s some real good stuff gonna happen there, promise. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Hit that ‘subscribe’ button as hard as you can. All of that, yeah?
Let’s talk about Little fucking Simz though, yeah? This woman is more than a talent, she’s more than merely a star, she’s an absolute presence. It’s what allows her to so easily combine and feature such disparate and unique styles and genres – as she does to her most audacious level yet on ‘Sometimes…’ – and still have them gel together so seamlessly. Track three could be a Barry White-esque excessively orchestrated soul song, track four a relentless trap/grime hybrid, track five a progressive oompah band concept piece, track six an ABBAesque medley, and track seven could be a Simpsonwave thrash metaller produced by Ryan Adams. It wouldn’t matter, they’d all be connected by that voice, that charisma, that God damn presence.
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars!! Pe-ggy! Pe-ggy! Pe-ggy! The latest astonishing collection by hip-hop’s premier avant garde electronica pushing Communist! You know what that means? That’s right: some of the most progressive and experimental music currently being made by any artist, in any genre, in the entire world. Oh, but most importantly, loads of wrestling references.
It also means that, unfortunately, there’s little space between the much appreciated wrestling call outs to actually talk about Peggy’s music. But do you need any more explanation on how he’s such a generational talent? A thousand articles by writers far more talented than me* have already written lengthy pieces and conduced many interviews that shed light on why you should be deeply ashamed if you’re not already on the Peggy Train. ‘LP!’ (always a fan of exclamation marks) retains a lot of the more melodic and slightly less abrasive styles that he presented on his recent (amazing) EPs, but uses it to only squeeze his music into more unique places. It’s a fucking banger.
Hey! Top forty ! This is a nice, normal, manageable list isn’t it? Should I maybe have just limited 2020’s best songs to this workable and succinct top 40 list? What, and not mention Wock in Stock or I Don’t Know, Burn Stuff? I’m not sure I’d ever be able to forgive myself.
That’s all the introduction you’re getting, parts oneand two were more than enough foreplay, there are some absolute modern classics in this final countdown, and if you’re as half as surprised as me at what comes out on top…
A very ‘Fiona Apple’ Fiona Apple song, but that is obviously entirely a Good Thing. Lyrically, it’s untouchable, with Ms Apple taking issue with dinner party conversation and refusing to be silenced (“Kick me under the table all you want/I won’t shut up…I would beg to disagree/But begging disagrees with me”). Amongst the barbed and often hilarious response to tension, she also manages to squeeze in some absolutely amazing lyrical asides:
I’d like to buy you a pair of pillow-soled hiking boots
To help you with your climb
Or rather, to help the bodies that you step over, along your route
So they won’t hurt like mine
I’m going to be really noncommittal and say that Under the Table is definitely one of the best lyrics of the year. Don’t make me choose. No, seriously, don’t make me choose, you know I’d just give it to a 1993 Manics’ lyric and ruin the legitimacy of the whole operation.#
You want an intro? We you ain’t getting an intro! Unless, of course, you consier this little bit of writing where I explain there isn’t an into to actually be the intro, in which case… Jesus, I can’t help you, friend, just move along… We’ve already had entries #126-#81, now let’s chomp down on part two of the list.
‘Chomp down’? The fuck am I talking about? Not a good start, Alex. Not. A good. Start.
Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch. It’s one thing to be palmed off with a lie, but to lose out to Tom Cruise using his mysterious Theten powers to somehow convince the watching public to give ‘Dianetics’ another chance by hanging out of aeroplanes and later cackling to Loraine Kelly about how he does all his own stunts, I really think you have to assume this is a problem with you, Banoffee.
Which Mission Impossible was it though?? You know there’s, like, a hundred of them now, right? Was it the best one (Mision Impossible 1-100) or even the worse one (Mission Impossible 1-100)? Don’t pretend you have any idea.
‘Athena’ is one of my favourite sounds. It’s the sound of an artist who has long been considered worthwhile and interesting deciding that, actually, they don’t just want to be considered ‘worthwhile and interesting’. It’s the sound of someone whose music may once have occupied the ‘You Might Not Have Heard…’ sections of reviews now putting forward that they should be covered in the highlight pieces. It’s the sound of an artist that may have once been cool to namedrop because few other people had heard of then wanting other people to have freaking heard of them!
I was a fan of the weird and discordant afro-futurism of Sudan Archives’ previous EP ‘Sink‘, but even in my praise I seemed to want to ghettoise her music by claiming that the best case scenario for it would be to be overplayed at artisan coffee shops and inspire several NPR beard strokes. It was very, very good, but there was a ceiling on exactly how good such beguiling and esoteric music could be. And also how big it could be- once it gets into those artisan coffee shops, there’s really nowhere else for it to go.
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.
How many words have I vomited onto my fingers then indelicately smeared across my keyboard in respect of Money in the Bank matches? Ten thousand? Fifteen? A million?? Probably closer to the latter*. A lot, I think we can agree.
Fuck… I’m not going to finish this before tonight, am I…? Yeah, it’s gonna have to be a three parter. Sorry… 22-11 is here
10: 2018 Women’s MITB
I was all set to start this entry off by explaining the massive caveat in the room. I was planning to sit you all down, make you all a nice soothing drink, lightly tickle you all round the back of the ear and in a cool, calming voice explain that no, this almost definitely isn’t really the tenth best MITB ladder match of all time. As I sensually stroked your inner thighs to calm your righteous sense of injustice I would explain how aware I was of rating the first two female MITB matches as scientifically the weakest two in the stipulation’s history, and how I must have been subconsciously desperate to rank their third go around highly in order to address this imbalance. I’d kiss your cheek as I explained how dreaded context meant it was important to slightly overrate a match that would probably be deemed little better than par for the course were it contested by people each holding a presumed pair of testicles and a thick, veiny and lipsmackingly tempting schlong swinging between their legs*. As your boorish fury at men being discriminated against once again built up, I would try and save matters by explaining that the ridiculously high placing was more in appreciation of how a perfectly serviceable ladder match was managed to be put together by wrestlers with next to no experience in the stipulation, at only the third try. As you angrily and loudly threw furniture around the room and fired off multiple Reddit posts asking whether it was even legal to talk about men any more, I would tearfully explain how I didn’t want all three female MITB matches to float around the bottom of this list, and by far the best of these three was ranked so high as mainly a symbolic recognition of great strides made. However, it’d be too late. By that point, I’d have already been officially and forever deemed a shameless ‘White Knight‘, and political correctness will have decisively gone mad.
(*apart from [WRESTLER], ammi right, lads?! I’ll let you make your own joke their, as I am unarguably better than that, whereas you are patently not)
We are all history now. Me writing this is creating an (unimaginably minuscule) part of history. When you read it and go on Twitter to gush to all your girl mates about how darn adorable I am, you’re creating history. Even when you hold your nightly WhatsApp reading group to debate the day’s findings on the Necessary Evil blog you are, in a small way, writing history. When Sarah Assbring (El Perro Del Mar’s guiding force) got tired of me direct messaging her with the latest “I’d like to bring your ass” play on words that I’d managed to think up, and successfully applied for a restraining order online, she became a part of history.
This is a fact. It has many positive consequences- I like making history all up in that prick Jamie’s face whenever he’s such an indefensible noob at COD- and many negative ones. For an example, I had to cancel my planned Christmas trip to Scandinavia because it would bring me within twelve hundred miles of Sarah Assbring’s Gothenburg home. I have also thought of exactly twenty seven new plays on her name that she might never get to hear. Oh! Twenty eight!