2019 In Review

The 50 Best Stereogum Comments Of 2019 — And Best Of The 2010s

Another “Auld Lang Syne” is imminent, which means it’s time to review the year in Stereogum comments. We’ve had so much to comment on in 2019. Remember Lil Nas X? Baby Yoda? Marie Kondo? Jussie Smollett? Momo? They’re newsmakers I’d never heard of one year ago; now I have tattoos of all of them.

Stereogum turns 18 years old tomorrow. Yes, I started this site on New Year’s Day. (The previous night I saw the Strokes open for Guided By Voices — that’s how ancient this blog is.) I want to offer a sincere thank you to everyone in the community, new readers and loyal OGs alike. It means a lot to us at Stereogum when you comment on our reviews, and tell us how we’re wrong, and tip us off to new bands, and reiterate how we’re wrong.

We have some exciting (earth-shattering in fact) plans for the roaring ‘20s that you’ll hear about soon. For now, enjoy this countdown of the year’s 50 best comments. You can have little a best comments of the 2010s too, as a treat.

THIS YEAR’S 50 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#50  dafs
Score: 69 | May 29th

ooh lordy, his troubles so hard

Posted in: Moby Cancels Book Tour: “I’m Going To Go Away For Awhile”
#48  cokeparty
Score: 70 | Mar 27th

You always paid for meet and greets with Cardi B. You just didn’t know it at the time.

Posted in: The 1975’s Matty Healy Speaks Out Against Paid Meet-And-Greets: “Honestly What Are You Doing?”
#47  blochead
Score: 71 | Feb 13th

Let’s take a wait and see approach. And by that I mean let’s wait and see if the usual suspects will come in here with “ya know this hasn’t been proved in court yet!”

Posted in: Ryan Adams Accused Of Sexual Misconduct With Underage Fan; Phoebe Bridgers, Mandy Moore Detail Abusive Behavior To NYTimes
#46  spoonman
Score: 71 | Sep 18th

You can’t spell “Medicare for All” without “me”!

Posted in: Taylor Swift Talks White Supremacy, Says She’s Now Obsessed With Politics And Focused On 2020 Election
#45  unheard78
Score: 71 | Sep 23rd

Sincerely worried for her. It sounds like she needs help and I hope she gets it. Even if she never does anything else musically, please, someone needs to step in and help her. Don’t want to see anything bad happen to her.

Posted in: CupcakKe Tearfully Announces That She Is Retiring & Removing Music From Streaming Platforms
#44  inthedeadofknight
Score: 71 | Jul 18th

Posted in: Taylor Swift Shares CATS Trailer
#43  storkknees
Score: 71 | Jan 31st

You misspelled 10/10.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Carole King’s “It’s Too Late”
#42  monkeyridinghorse
Score: 71 | Jun 6th

Even he would tell you he’s no cunning linguist.

Posted in: DJ Khaled Reportedly Freaked Out On His Label When His Album Failed To Debut At #1
#41  Xandra
Score: 72 | Apr 2nd

I mean the prank was dumb, his apology was dumb, but also pretending that a fake pregnancy announcement is somehow directly offensive to infertile people is MEGA DUMB

Posted in: Justin Bieber Apologizes For April Fools’ Pregnancy Prank
#40  ProfessorHolmes
Score: 72 | Aug 6th

Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Remix) [feat. 30-50 feral hogs]

Posted in: Jason Isbell Tweet Inspires Feral Hogs Meme
#39  Dr. Arnold Klein
Score: 72 | Mar 17th

Paris’s biological father was me, celebrity dermatologist. Prince & Paris carry the DNA of Debbie Rowe, & her long time boss & lover, who was myself. Prince & Paris thankfully carry no DNA by MJ.

Posted in: Paris Jackson Responds To Reports Of Her Suicide Attempt: “Lies Lies Lies”
#38  Dr. Wizard Dude
Score: 73 | Apr 25th

“I am really upset, confused and disappointed by Chrvches choice to work with Marshmello” – Dr. Wizard Dude

Posted in: Chvrches Criticize Marshmello For Working With Tyga & Chris Brown
#37  storkknees
Score: 73 | May 31st

Good thing Stereogum did the anniversary piece this year, because nobody cares when it’s 23

Posted in: Enema Of The State Turns 20
#36 

Jojo
Score: 73 | Jul 1st

The center did not hold.

Posted in: Janet Weiss Leaves Sleater-Kinney
#35  notanotherbrick
Score: 74 | Jul 11th

“% w/ Feist
^ w/ Yo La Tengo”
… Almost look like part of the track list

Posted in: Bon Iver Announce New Album i,i — Hear “Faith” & “Jelmore”
#34  MPE
Score: 74 | Jul 2nd

Mr. Bothsides

Posted in: Brandon Flowers On Morrissey: “He’s Still A King”
#33  blochead
Score: 75 | Apr 26th

The Venn of people that like this song and people that applaud when the plane lands is TIGHT

Posted in: Ugh Taylor What The Hell Are You Doing?
#32  armsagainstatrophy
Score: 76 | Nov 20th

she sounds like she’s not mad, but what the actual fuck

Posted in: Janet Weiss Says She Left Sleater-Kinney Because She Was No Longer “A Creative Equal In The Band”
#31  storkknees
Score: 76 | Jan 8th

This is the most unfair treatment of a Carpenter since the Crucifixion.

Posted in: The Number Ones: The Carpenters’ “(They Long To Be) Close To You”
#30  HartfordTheWhale
Score: 76 | May 24th

Here’s the actual rub – Kanye’s opinions, just like your apathy, are based on positions of privilege. Boo-hoo to those who are bullied because they support the dumbest, most corrupt president of our lifetime, but he gets to complain and you get to sit this one out because Trumps policies don’t affect you directly like they do, say, the migrant families being separated at the border for months and even years; the six or more children who’ve died in custody; the minorities and LGBTQ community who are being ostracized and bullied because his language promotes hate; the children who die in school shootings because we can’t legislate gun control; the women who are having the rights to their own bodies stripped away from them; the planet, which is literally reaching the point of no return and will go over that edge because the president and his supporters are morons who think global warming is a hoax. Fuck out of here with your apathy and your “both-sides are just as bad” nonsense, and fuck Kanye and fuck Trump’s supporters. As far as I’m concerned, if you still support him after all of this, you’re either an asshole or an idiot and you deserve to be bullied. You should feel ashamed because what you’re supporting is shameful.

Posted in: Kanye To Letterman: “Liberals Bully People Who Are Trump Supporters!”
#29  meat
Score: 76 | Mar 9th

calm your tittaaaaays

Posted in: Paris Jackson Reacts To Leaving Neverland: “Chillax My Dudes”
#28  cokeparty
Score: 76 | Aug 12th

Drag City gave Berman a place to live when he was at a low point of his life and not even releasing any music at all. That’s a wonderful, human thing to do. They also had someone who was checking on him every day. The stigma associated with mental health ailments must be conquered. Too many people are hurting especially in these unstable times. I liked Drag City anyway because they put out incredible music. This makes me appreciate them even more.

Posted in: Drag City Shares Eulogy For David Berman
#27  trambopoline
Score: 77 | Aug 22nd

i cant believe The 1975 just invented punk

Posted in: The 1975 – “People” Video
#26  storkknees
Score: 77 | Jan 28th

Maroon 5 ‘s music is so boring, they almost sound like if mayonnaise was an instrument.

Posted in: Maroon 5 Tease Super Bowl Performance Of SpongeBob Song “Sweet Victory”
#25  Ambarten
Score: 77 | Jun 4th

I hope this doesn’t get buried/isn’t considered pointless or dumb. I just want to say how amazing it has been to get to read these every day and read everyone’s comments/thoughts/rants/confessions and passions.
It is such a unique (to me) column. We are part of it, in real time. Following the history, trying to catch up with our own present number ones. Each day we read Tom’s take and then the comments begin. I’ve been coming here daily since 2013 when my high school friend got a job writing for the site and told me to check it out. I feel like this place has helped me keep my fucking sanity through some mad dark shit. You wonderful dorks were always here. Talking about music, politics and the best ways to cook a steak.

I am almost always to insecure to really dive in and meaningfully comment like some of you do. I usually link a meme or video, sometimes attempt to describe how I feel about a song or album (especially if it Tyler, The Creator, because I am in love with him). I do not know how to talk about music like y’all. But every day I get to come into the comments sections and be part of a community that is so fucking passionate and it is wonderful. Over the years being part of your jokes/references has been a thrill. Seeing how time and time again, despite some fairly diverse political leanings the comentariat consistently down-votes/speaks out against racism, homophobia. Islamophobia and is generally accepting, intelligent and beautiful towards fellow humans is such a rare and special thing for an internet forum (that is not specifically dedicated to such issues).

So yeah. This column is special. I get to see you regulars every day and reading your stories, absurd and mundane and everything in between. And I know going back to read everything from the beginning when all is said and done will be as much a reward for the comments as it is for the actual writeups on the Number Ones.

Sorry if this was dumb. Thank you, Tom, and all you wonderful gummers.
To the asshole’s who keep misspelling cokeparty, get fucked.
Oh, and I am still very convinced YBB and blochead are the same person.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”
#24  unknown
Score: 77 | Aug 19th

simpsons references are to be limited to the first 10 seasons, you know the rules

Posted in: Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” Has Finally Dethroned Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” At #1
#23  Y B B
Score: 78 | Apr 26th

Why are adults with liberal arts degrees listening to this when there’s a new Mountain Goats album out

Posted in: Ugh Taylor What The Hell Are You Doing?
#22  storkknees
Score: 79 | Oct 13th

When Elton John makes a mistake, it’s “I’m Still Standing.” When George Bush makes a mistake, 1 million people die. Not really the same thing, Elton.

Posted in: Elton John Defends Ellen DeGeneres For Hanging Out With George Bush
#21  AmericanFoosball
Score: 79 | Apr 27th

You’re talking about someone who was detained on rape charges three months ago.

Posted in: Chris Brown To Chvrches: “These Are The Type Of People I Wish Walked In Front Of A Speeding Bus”
#20  inthedeadofknight
Score: 79 | Mar 7th

Posted in: The Black Keys – “Lo/Hi”
#19  ISurvivedPop
Score: 80 | May 15th

Archie said last week in a comment reply to me that there’s a lot of people who hate “Bennie and the Jets”. I honestly wasn’t aware it was hated until that comment since I’ve never met anyone who disliked the song. Regardless, I’m writing up an Archie-style long comment to defend it. If you don’t want to read this post all the way through, here’s the TL;DR version: I think it’s an absolute masterpiece on every level and it’s the second best #1 of the decade.

“Bennie and the Jets” is a total triumph of lyricism, of music theory, of editing, and most especially of vocal performance. Let’s go over those in order.

There are so many memorable lyrics in the song. “The spotlight’s hitting something that’s been known to change the weather”. “Maybe they’re blinded but Bennie makes them ageless”. “While we fight our parents out in the streets to find who’s right and who’s wrong”. It’s a tremendously witty, uniquely British way of introducing a live show. As an American, I’m sad that instead of the Elton Johns of the world we’ve been saddled with pompous Michael Buffers.

And I haven’t even mentioned the lyric most dear to my heart: “They’re weird and they’re wonderful”. As someone who has been kicked out of many stores for looking “weird” even though I was quiet and non-disruptive, the first thing I can tell you is that “weirdness” is usually seen as something to shun people for. So Taupin juxtaposing “weird” with “wonderful” is an embrace of “weirdness” that is so desperately needed in our society. It doesn’t matter if you dress in platform boots like Elton does on the cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, you’re human and you shouldn’t be mocked for your appearance.

Let’s move on to the music. Elton John was never very complex with music theory, though he does include an Ab diminished chord in the verse of this song. But here he finds an ambiguous tonality that makes the song malleable. The verse unambiguously starts in G major, but by the end of the verse the chords and vocal harmony signal that the home key is actually E minor. The exact same thing happens during the chorus. The ever-shifting home key means that the song can be performed in a wide range of moods. The studio version is bright and lively, but the version Elton performed during his Vegas “Red Piano” concerts is a somber shuffling blues; the fact that he didn’t have to change the song much at all during those shows is a testament to the song’s brilliance.

Now for the editing. I think that “Bennie and the Jets” should be taught in music production lessons as a masterclass on how to edit a song. It’s just under five and a half minutes and doesn’t feel a second too long. The stray piano notes at the beginning are a perfect “teaser”. The hand claps come in so subtly during the line “We shall survive, let us take ourselves along” that they never feel like a distraction in the rest of the song. Gus Dudgeon mixes the audience up and down at exactly the right times. I love the fact that the first solo is played on a regular piano and the second is played on a Farfisa organ, both in radically different manners (the first is more like a regular instrumental solo while the second mostly repeats the vocal line), so they don’t feel like carbon copies of each other like in most songs with multiple solos.

Which brings us to Elton’s vocal performance, which, for all the wonderful things about the song, is the best thing about “Bennie and the Jets.” The performance, not the lyrics, makes the song’s true meaning known, no matter how much Taupin says it’s about robots. It’s not about a band, but about one man gradually showing his stereotypically “feminine” side to the world. The narrator reveals that he is Bennie, the man in the electric boots and mohair suit. And this self-outing is done so well. In the first chorus Elton has no falsetto. In the second chorus he barely reaches for a falsetto. Then half of the third chorus is performed in falsetto. By the end of the song, he sings entirely in falsetto, and he seems so happy with it judging by the way he increasingly repeatedly sings the word “Bennie.” It very much mirrors my own experience coming out; I only revealed my bisexuality to complete strangers before telling people I’ve known for a while and finally giddily wearing my bisexuality on my sleeve. And that’s where the song’s true power comes from, fulfilling Taupin’s association of “weird” with wonderful. In hindsight, was there literally any doubt that Elton was gay?

“Bennie and the Jets” is one of my favorite songs of all time. When I hear it once, I must repeat it constantly. (The proof? I listened to it constantly in the two hours it took to write this.) Of the 70s #1’s, I rate it as the second best behind a Bee Gees song that will come later. I am aware now that people will scoff that I think it’s better than any number of universally beloved #1’s like “Heart of Gold,” “Superstition,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Let’s Get It On,” and, judging by yesterday’s comments, an ABBA song that will also come later. I think all of those are 10/10’s, but “Bennie and the Jets” has more emotional power and is better written to me than any of them. It’s too bad Elton plummeted in quality not too long after – I don’t like most of his stuff after Rock of the Westies – but when you’ve done a song this good it’s obvious that you’d only go down from there.

I love you Tom, but I think you’re completely wrong on this. To use your words, it goes so hard and it obviously fucking slaps.

Here’s hoping Taron Egerton sings “Bennie and the Jets” in the movie coming out in two weeks.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets”
#18  storkknees
Score: 82 | Apr 8th

Thank god, Tom is back. I almost had to take up actual hobbies and interests.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Paul McCartney & Wings’ “My Love”
#17  321letsjam
Score: 84 | Nov 26th

God it’s so refreshing when someone speaks from a place of deep intelligence and thoughtful understanding instead of you know, just sayin’ stuff.

Posted in: Holly Herndon Wades Into Grimes & Zola Jesus’ Debate About Live Music & AI
#15  padfoot24
Score: 85 | Jun 19th

“There’s only, like, two of my top 10 Spoon songs on here”

– Every Spoon fan

Posted in: Spoon – “No Bullets Spent”
#14  storkknees
Score: 85 | Jun 17th

Is “Kung Fu Fighting” a good song? Not Really
Has “Kung Fu Fighting” aged well? Not Really
Is “Kung Fu Fighting” one of the greatest songs of all time? Yes, Absolutely

Posted in: The Number Ones: Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting”
#13  Thin White Duck
Score: 86 | Jul 26th

Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but it seems that everyone wants this to be either good enough to remember why we liked him in the first place or bad enough to write him off for good. The only true disappointment will be if it’s somewhere in the middle…

Posted in: Stream Chance The Rapper’s New Album The Big Day
#12  hyan
Score: 87 | Sep 5th

I’ve been an avid reader for the past 10+ years, from a small country with few people who understand what music means to me. I graduated high school, graduated medical school and entered the world of “work” – basically grew up – visiting this site and reading you guys. I post scarcely here, but i just wanted to say, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart. To the writers and also the users. For making me feel part of a community who enjoys music as much as I do (and more).

I don’t know why this post prompt me to write this, but I love all of you.

Have a great thursday!
Pablo

Posted in: Grimes – “Violence” (Feat. i_o) Video
#11  dansolo
Score: 92 | Oct 23rd

Omg what if someone wrote a song like that? What if for example the whole premise of the song was “these hoes ain’t loyal” and it was about how you can’t trust bitches and the guy who wrote it was a know abuser and it went to the Top 10 and spent 36 weeks on the charts? What do you think would happen? I don’t think I can say because this thought experiment is so far removed from our present reality that it just kind of boggles my brain.

Posted in: Lizzo Awards “Truth Hurts” Songwriting Credit To Tweet Author Mina Lioness, Not The Men Suing Her
#10  wattznext
Score: 93 | Jul 21st

Having only the reporting in this article to go by, I can’t see how this is appropriation of Native American culture. Bradford was exposed to some aspect of it from Twin Peaks and found it interesting. He says he decided to stay in a certain area where he’d be able to explore that culture and learn more about it. Isn’t that…exactly what someone should do if they have an interest in something and a thirst for knowledge about it?

Appropriation to “take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.” So unless Bradford was planning to learn about the Snoqualmie culture and then use that knowledge to go open a themed casual dining restaurant called Snoqualmie’s! or something, I think this heckler is just being performatively woke.

Posted in: Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox Responds To Heckler Accusing Him Of Cultural Appropriation
#9  ¡Tú bastardo hermoso!
Score: 93 | Jul 30th

Does anybody over the age of 25 who doesn’t have a felony assault conviction listen to Hatebreed?

Posted in: Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry & Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta Feud Over Día De Los Deftones Lineup
#8  BanksyWasFramed
Score: 99 | Aug 6th

Swift fans: This is bullshit! What could make stupid Charli XCX think we’re 5 year olds?!
Taylor Swift: Hey, kids, spelling is fun!

Posted in: Charli XCX Clarifies Comments About Opening For Taylor Swift
#7  Chipotle
Score: 103 | Apr 27th

Who knew Chris Brown was a terrible person?

Posted in: Chris Brown To Chvrches: “These Are The Type Of People I Wish Walked In Front Of A Speeding Bus”
#6  spoonman
Score: 111 | Jul 1st

Man, NBA free agency season is nuts this year.

Posted in: Janet Weiss Leaves Sleater-Kinney
#5  blochead
Score: 111 | Dec 16th

I’m currently compiling a best of list of you bitchin’ about best of lists.

Hard to cull down to just 10

Posted in: The Gummy Awards: Your Top 10 Albums And Songs Of 2019 — And The 2010s
#4  scruffy
Score: 112 | Apr 10th

“nobody has ever erected a statue of a critic.”

Posted in: Foster The People Singer Apologizes To Imagine Dragons Singer
#3  Thin White Duck
Score: 118 | Jul 21st

I just… how do you pay money for a Deerhunter show and not know that Bradford is the absolute last person you want to start shit with?

Posted in: Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox Responds To Heckler Accusing Him Of Cultural Appropriation
#2  Albinosaur
Score: 119 | Mar 20th

Gathering of the Juggalos

Posted in: Stereogum Presents: Nochella
#1  dws
Score: 154 | Feb 14th

sorry for the many mistakes, I am drunk and french

Posted in: FBI Opens Inquiry Into Ryan Adams’ Communications With Underage Fan

THIS DECADE’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10  Scones of Dunshire
Score: 119 | May 12th, 2017

They hit RCK BTTM pretty damn quick.

Posted in: Details Of Alleged Assault By PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins Emerge
#9  Albinosaur
Score: 119 | Mar 20th, 2019

Gathering of the Juggalos

Posted in: Stereogum Presents: Nochella
#8 

Andy Johnson
Score: 122 | Nov 21st, 2011

you know you’ve made it as a troll when you hide under a bridge in your press pic

Posted in: DeRogatis’s 10 Worst Albums Of 2011
#7 

Kyle Jameson
Score: 126 | Aug 24th, 2012

Are they just upset that no one cares about Incubus and 311 anymore?

Posted in: LA Weekly’s 20 Worst Hipster Bands
#6  cheap_suit_jr_jr
Score: 126 | Oct 25th, 2016

JT has co-opted many aspects of Black culture over the years, but getting persecuted under some bullshit post-Voting Rights Act law is pretty much the clincher.

Posted in: Justin Timberlake Could Face Jail Time For Voting Booth Selfie
#5 

Robert Locke
Score: 134 | Oct 25th, 2012

Pablo Honey should not be ahead of KOL that is some bullshit.

Posted in: Radiohead Albums From Worst To Best
#4  El Gummo
Score: 134 | Apr 11th, 2018

This comment is hidden as it has many downvotes. Click here to show it.

Posted in: Please Welcome Our New Overlord Cardi B
#3  dws
Score: 154 | Feb 14th, 2019

sorry for the many mistakes, I am drunk and french

Posted in: FBI Opens Inquiry Into Ryan Adams’ Communications With Underage Fan
#2  Tom Breihan
Score: 166 | May 2nd, 2018

then write about it yourself, bitch.

Posted in: Kanye West Doesn’t Care About Rap Music
#1 

Alex T Leach
Score: 198 | Nov 26th, 2012

Posted in: Paste’s 50 Best Albums Of 2012