49 Ezra Furman: Transangelic Exodus

Earlier in the year, I went to the cinema with my brother Mizdow. In the 72 minutes of adverts beforehand, one advert obviously aimed at people with no taste included one with that terrible singer* with a hat. You know that one? With a hat? Yeah, that one.

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(*I don’t know he’s terrible, only that everything I’ve heard that has definitely been by him has been terrible. Never assume you’ll hate something. Also, as will soon become clear, I don’t really know who he is. I just know he exists and he does things)

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60 Soccer Mommy: Clean

By many definitions of the word, I’ve been ‘clean’ for about three years now.

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By which I mean I no longer drink alcohol. As for other drugs, I’m fond of saying that “I’m either never high or high all the time, depending on how you look at it” due to the cocktail of prescription drugs I consider essential to my psychological upkeep and the fact I’m a stone cold banter merchant. However, as wry and cheeky as the statement may be, it’s not strictly true, and a far more accurate statement would be “I’m either never high, but sometimes really fucking high, or high all the time, and sometimes really fucking high, depending in how you look at it”, as I still enjoy recreational drugs. Because of course I do- drugs are awesome. Kids, just say ‘yes’. If more kids tried drugs we’d have far less problems in the world as potential alcoholics discover a cleaner way to search for the experience of another body. I mean, yeah, sure, we’d have a lot more heroin and crack cocaine addicts, but you’ve got to break a few omelettes to make a good egg, or something

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1 Perfume Genius: No Shape

L.O.S.S.L.E.S.S Generation

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(So nice of Lorde to let us reference one of her songs…)

This it it. the mathematically proven greatest record of 2017. And The Maths is in no doubt.

Perhaps you could argue that The Maths was so desperate to name an album that isn’t Lorde or Kendrick Lamar– a desperation foreshadowed by The Maths naming the Fever Ray’s album best record of 2017 before The Maths had even heard it (and then always being ever so slightly disappointed every time The Maths heard it because of this decision)- and actually conclude that ‘No Shape’ is actually just the greatest album of 2017 that isn’t Lorde or Kendrick Lamar.

The Maths appreciates that viewpoint, and The Maths is aware of how The Maths previously mocked Crack Magazine for naming Arca as 2017’s best album as obvious edgelord attention seeking. The Maths would understand if you accused The Maths of a similar exhibitionism if you were to listen to the Arca album– very good if overwhelmingly intense and rarely enjoyable ‘in the traditional sense’- and the knock-down genius of Perfume Genius’s latest– the most perfect combination of pop songcraft and overwhelming beauty you’ll have likely heard recently- and tell me they are both equally understandably considered the greatest record of any year.

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2 Lorde: Melodrama

She is Lorde, Ya-ya-ya

(get that out of the way, that’s your lot)

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Yep, neither Lorde nor Kendrick Lamar is my number one album: who could it possibly be?!

Have a think about it…

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Yeah, it’s that one.

Maybe you haven’t heard Lorde’s Stone Cold Masterpiece of a second album, because you’re a fucking idiot, but you know what it’s about don’t you?

I mean, her 2013 debut was written when she was only 14 years old

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and showed a prodigious level of writing ability that arbalested her to worldwide attention. It was a far better written (and plain better) debut album than the Arctic Monkeys’ was in 2006, and back when that was released there were some people unconvinced whether lyrics so good could have been written by someone in their late teens, and conspiracy theories abounded. There was no such debate over the much younger Lorde, because she was (and, brace yourself, still is) female, and so all of her art will always be undervalued, and people will just assume that a more naturally talented man was actually responsible for writing the songs, and Lorde just added bits about makeup and Kim Kardashian to get the writing credit.

(Hmmm, if you haven’t seen ‘The Trip‘, that Michael Caine picture might look a bit like I’m accusing him of something rather uncomfortable. Mind you, this is a guy who said he legally changed his name to Michael Caine because of ISIS, so I don’t really care)

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8 LCD Soundsystem: american dream

LCD Go Down Cistern

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…is what I’d call this piece if the album was rubbish. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for ages to use that pun.

Down the toilet, see? Like crap. Because the album’s crap. Utter faecal matter.

Unfortunately, LCD are yet to afford me an opportunity to use it, and I’m really starting to think they might not ever. They are an irritatingly consistent band.

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14 Ibeyi: Ash

Sick of ‘Strong Women’

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Don’t you just hate Strong Women?

Not strong women, I’ve got nothing against women who are strong, fair dos to them. I’m sure there are plenty of strong women that I really like. There are just as likely to be a lot of strong women that I simply can’t stand. Human beings are very complex beings, I couldn’t simply group them under a single adjective and know enough about them to profess any strong feelings toward them. I wouldn’t be able to say I love garrulous men, or hate sticky women*. Real people are far more complex than that.

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20 Tyler, the Creator: Scum Fuck Flower Boy

Sara May Never Get What She Was Promised

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Yeah!! ‘Sum Fuck Flower Boy’! It’s not just feebly called ‘Flower Boy’ on this blog! You won’t see no censorship on Baboon Etiquette*! Yeah, motherfucker, we punk rock, yo!! I hereby promise that you will never, ever see censorship on this blog!! Unless somebody starts actually paying me for it!! Then I’ll do whatever the fuck they want!! Because I’m far too poor to put any principles before money!! Holler at your boyeeeee!!!

I never actively disliked Tyler, the Creator. I mean, whenever I’m complaining about the paucity of decent rappers’ names these days (‘Vince Staples‘? Really?? So, do I call you ‘Vincent’, or…?) his is always the first exception that comes to mind. He always just had a pretty poor reputation to me.

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The Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi writes in her Taylor Swift inspired book ‘Reputation‘ (although it was of course initially released under it’s Italian title of ‘Ayyyyy! Reputationalio! Mama Mia!’. Yes, of course that joke’s racist) that we all have two selves. There’s the physical and mental sensation of being you, which is what you (wrongly) consider to be your actual self. Then there’s The Alex Palmer Existence, which is a hazy and constantly changing image of what you are in the eyes of Alex Palmer.

I’d argue that the latter is actually your ‘true’ self. You might believe that you truly exist within yourself, that only you truly understand the real you. This is bunkum. I’m not saying that you have no say in what kind of person you are, but you actually only exist through how you interact with the outside world. If you ask all the people you know to describe you, then even if it greatly contravenes what you believe, it’s their opinion that’s going to be true. Trusting a person to be truthful about what they are is like me trying to find out if your pet dog is nice by asking the dog itself. The dog’s inner beliefs don’t matter, because it’s far too swayed by its overriding desire to eat and to lick its own genitals, very much like yourself.

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(…)

For example, if you asked me how big my penis is, I would say with typical modesty that it is rather humble. Not small per se, but definitely politely unimposing and considerate. However, if you asked my friends how big my penis is, they would actually confirm that it’s humungous, that they wonder how I even stay upright with that monster swinging from me, and that I must be the only man in history to ‘dress on both sides’. I’m saying that my friends are way more likely to be true, and my contact details are available on this blog.

But, I digress:

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23 St Vincent: MASSEDUCTION

MASSDELUSION

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“How can anybody have you and lose you
And not lose their minds, too?”

That’s a really nice little couplet, isn’t it?

It relates to the similarly awesome surrounding song’s Los Ageless*‘s themes of  desperately attempting to battle the horrifying and corrosive party-pooping  efforts of aging. It’s so cleverly written though, that Annie Clark is aware how it could potentially become an anthem for jilted lovers and soundtrack many traumatic break ups. Annie Clark is clever enough to realise that, realistically, the largest effect any song written and performed by a woman can hope to have on wider culture is if it’s included on the soundtrack of a ‘Bridget Jones’ movie, so she might hit paydirt with this one.

I really love the line. I love how it flows, I love how many ways it could be interpreted. I love how Clarky sings it. I love it so much I actually got it as a tattoo.

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…which, given the things I’m about to talk about, might have been a mistake…

Imagine if the lyrics were slightly different. Imagine if the song was actually about how finishing a relationship with Annie is likely to send someone loopy, because she’s so fucking awesome. The chorus would instead go ‘How can anybody have me and lose me/And not lose their minds too?’.

It would still be a pretty boss lyric, wouldn’t it? I mean, a little less nuanced and subtle than Clark’s songs usually are, but still an exhilarating anthem of female empowerment that is once again guaranteed that Bridget Jones movie spot.

However, what if the lyrics were: ‘How can anybody have me and lose me/Move to a different country for three years/Finally divorce me/And not lose their minds too’?

It’d be a bit weird, wouldn’t it? I mean, the rhyming scheme has been completely compromised, and the song’s whole melody would probably have to be rewritten in order to work it in.

Don’t worry, I am actually going somewhere with this:

Let me take you back to April 31st 2010:

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26 Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley

The Mining Industry’s Colapse is Unfortunately Not Always Super Entertaining

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I don’t think any widely used (and often misquoted) maxim gets me more riled* than the one that supposes all the world’s problems could have easily avoided if people just payed a little more attention in history class.

History’s great: the past was fucking mental and studying quite how bananas it was is always fascinating. In fact, I’d say that out of all the school subjects history was definitely my favourite ‘ry’, better than chemistry, carpentry and podiatry (my school was very weird). But to say that knowledge of it would prevent making similar mistakes in the future just completely misunderstands human psychology: when you hear of past logistical failures, you don’t wisely choose to avoid making the mistakes, you do it all exactly the same because, deep down, you know that it’ll work when you do it because you’re frickin’ awesome. Do you think that in late 1942 some bespectacled nerd Nazi soldier (a ‘nazerd’? A ‘nerdzi’? Yeah, I like that second one) hurried to the front of the battalion encroaching on Russia with his school history text book shouting at the admiral “Hey, mate, hey! I’ve just read up a bit on this whole ‘invading Russia’ lark, and it turns out it might not be a good idea…!”

No. Hitler knew all about his history. He just assumed that he would be able to get it done right. Because he was Adolf fucking Hitler and he didn’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuck, yo.

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(…)

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39 ANOHNI: Paradise

Distant Wonder Rumbles

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This mini-album is a threat. It’s an aggressive and intimidating declaration of intentions. It’s subtle, but there are people (or perhaps just ‘person’: me) smart enough to decipher it. Like when Donald Trump

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visits Kim Jong Un for a state banquet, and Jongy spends the entire meal flicking peas directly into Trump’s mashed potatoes, particularly around the east side of the plate. Trump won’t understand the suggestion, of course, because [DONALD TRUMP IS STUPID JOKE] and the fat fuck is just happy that he’s getting a little extra food. But us smart people (yes, you. And you. And you! Not you though. You know why. You know why) will see the threat being made, we’ll know some pretty awesome shit’s about to go down!!

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