Find Me On:
I never dug either of these bands, or late 90s pop-grunge as a genre. You could say I’m on the outside of this conversation but I’m looking in. I can see through you, see your true colors.
Man in Black: You are amazing.
Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Man in Black: Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.
Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.
I’ve been looking forward to this sucker for over a decade in theory, and for almost three years in concrete fact (that GQ profile that teased a very near release date came out in May 2012). Questlove said the album was all but done in early 2013. He said something similar this summer. So I’m not so sure about the “out of nowhere” bit.
On December 2, on the 50 Best Albums List, I commented:
“But here’s a question. What’s going to this year’s “Beyoncé,” the surprise December release that comes out too late to get its rightful place on these lists? Can I just be a wishful thinker and list the new D’Angelo album we were promised this year at #1? That would truly be the gift that keeps on giving.”
You’re welcome, America.
Weird year. Usually, I have 2-3 “impeccable work of genius” albums vying for the top spot, then around a dozen in the merely “not transcendent, but still quite good” category. This year there hasn’t been really any of the former, but the latter category is deeper than usual. My lists look a good bit like your list (yes, your list), so I won’t bore you with the particulars, especially since I’m likely going to decide that you’re absolutely wrong (yes, you), and that my list actually more closely resembles that other commenter (a true tastemaker). I’ll limit myself to adding (haven’t seen many others do so) that I have enjoyed the Ought album this year, and it’s probably my third favorite rock album of the year behind War on Drugs and Parquet Courts.
But here’s a question. What’s going to this year’s “Beyoncé,” the surprise December release that comes out too late to get its rightful place on these lists? Can I just be a wishful thinker and list the new D’Angelo album we were promised this year at #1? That would truly be the gift that keeps on giving.
Where’s Bon Iver?
Just a few minutes in, but this Africa Express version of “In C” might be my favorite of the many performances I’ve heard. It’s gorgeous in aspiration and execution.
I fucking love this analogy. Reminds me of how I used to get a kick out of pissing people off by claiming that the latest Paul Simon album was a Vampire Weekend knockoff.
I was really surprised to see “Dreams” off the list. That was the first song that I heard of theirs way back in 2004, and it absolutely floored me. I bought Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes on the strength of that song alone. In my opinion, the only songs that comes close to it are “Wolf Like Me” and “Staring at the Sun.”
So at first I thought its omission was one of those “leave off the obvious choices” that pops up on these lists every now and again. But then I read the comments and was kinda surprised to see that only a few people even mentioned it. I was also surprised to see all the love for Dear Science, which I’m fond of, but thought was a somewhat disappointing follow-up to Return to Cookie Mountain.
So, honest question, how does your opinion on the band reflect when you got into them? I swear to Chirst, I’m not trying to be a hipster asshole. Maybe what I thought was the critical opinion of their catalog was off. But I’m genuinely curious, because I’m usually not surprised by these things.
I’m late, but I couldn’t pass up the golden opportunity to share the best rock review ever written. And the mothefucking Dean, Robert Christgau, only needed a paragraph to do it. Enjoy:
Prince: Dirty Mind [Warner Bros., 1980]
After going gold in 1979 as an utterly uncrossedover falsetto love man, he takes care of the songwriting, transmutes the persona, revs up the guitar, muscles into the vocals, leans down hard on a rock-steady, funk-tinged four-four, and conceptualizes–about sex, mostly. Thus he becomes the first commercially viable artist in a decade to claim the visionary high ground of Lennon and Dylan and Hendrix (and Jim Morrison), whose rebel turf has been ceded to such marginal heroes-by-fiat as Patti Smith and John Rotten-Lydon. Brashly lubricious where the typical love man plays the lead in “He’s So Shy,” he specializes here in full-fledged fuckbook fantasies–the kid sleeps with his sister and digs it, sleeps with his girlfriend’s boyfriend and doesn’t, stops a wedding by gamahuching the bride on her way to church. Mick Jagger should fold up his penis and go home. A