The Best Music Recommender in the World. O.

TLast week was the first time the top of the leaderboard didn’t change hands. In fact, the top five was unchanged. Is that it then? Are there no more surprises? I guess we’ll find out in a little while.

The biggest surprise was that nobody chose Otis Blue. There aren’t many letters with such an obvious winner but, somehow, you all missed that one. Perhaps you thought it was too obvious? Anyway, I’m listening to it now and awarding myself a million points which, if my calculations are correct, makes me the new champion of music recommending. Sorry and that…

  • Nick Rayney recommended Garden of Delete by Oneohtrix Point Never…

    …which caused problems. You see, there are a handful of albums that I can’t listen to without getting a blinding headache and, it turns out, this is one of them. I don’t mean this as some sort of hyperbolic dis by the way – I am not talking about quality – when I say they give me a headache I am talking literally. You can divide Aphex Twin’s music into half that I love and half I literally cannot listen to. Maybe there is a Oneohtrix Point Never album that would score highly. I don’t know. In an effort to be fair, I’m awarding this album ten points which, considering the headache I have, is very nice of me.

  • Graham Cox recommended Embrace the Chaos by Ozomatli…

    …but I chose not to. Two points.

  • jummo70 recommended Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer by Of Montreal…

    …acknowledging at the time that it was a ‘Marmite’ album. It certainly was. Three points.

  • Adrian Slatcher recommended Electric Hawaii by Opossom…

    …which, at first, sounded like it was a cut-up of sixties songs, lines from other tunes put together to make something new. If it is, it’s a cool concept, but I couldn’t find any evidence that it was. Consequently, I don’t know if they are massive meta tapestry of sound pioneers or just nicking a bit outs of Velvet Underground songs (or possibly Nico songs) willy nilly. Anyway, by the time the chorus kicked in I had had enough. Four points.

  • Neal recommended Rudaviro by Oliver Mtukudzi…

    …which I listened to while doing the washing up. I didn’t make any great connection with it. I have nothing else to add to this fascinating anecdote. Sorry. Five points.

  • Donna Morris recommended O-Town by O-Town…

    …a band that time has not, I’m afraid, been kind to. Not that anyone liked them very much at the time either. I mean, who had time? Who still wanted boy bands in 2001? We were deep into the ‘Who’s best, Britney or Christina?’ years by then. Boy bands could wait. Six points.

  • Chris Bissette recommended Outbreak by Outbreak…

    …which was good but a bit too shouty for my taste, or the wrong sort of shouty. I don’t know. I can only offer you seven points.

  • Mat Pringle recommended Advaitic Songs by Om…

    …which seemed a bit of a gamble to me. Pseudo-religious stoner rock isn’t, it would be fair to say, a universally popular genre. It had its moments, sure, but I couldn’t shake the six word slander of ‘is this a poor man’s Tool?’ from my mind as I listened to it. Eight points.

  • Graeme recommended Disco Volador by The Orielles…

    …which I suspect I may be too old to fully ‘get’. To these ears it sounded halfway between Stereolab and Go Team! (and as such called to me and repulsed me in equal measure) if a little less linear (if that makes any sense). As the album progressed it started to win me over but, as we are now at a stage where I only get to listen to each album once, not enough for any more than nine points. Which does seem unfair, so I’m going to add a couple of bonus points on, and a couple more because they are from Halifax, which is proper local to me, for a total of, let’s say, fifteen points.

  • Dave Hartley recommended Aletheia by O’Flynn…

    …which is very good, musically, I think, though I did have some issues about where the samples were coming from and where the money was going to. Admittedly, a fifty word summing-up of an album probably isn’t the place to introduce a discussion as heavy as the morality of sample culture, especially as my feelings were based less on actual evidence than ‘a sort-of general vibe’ I got while listening to it. I’m probably being incredibly unfair to O’Flynn. I’m almost certainly being unfair to Dave. Still, ten points, take it or leave it.

  • Georgia Boon recommended Songs of Love and Horror by Will Oldham…

    …and she is going to be furious she’s only getting eleven points for doing so. She’s almost certainly going to do a swear at me on twitter and everything. And I am (a bit) sorry, and I do acknowledge he is very good, I just prefer the originals of the ones I knew.

  • Desmond recommended Passive Soul by Orlando…

    …bravely claiming that “Everyone’s favourite music genre is Romo, and therefore everyone’s favourite for O LP must be Passive Soul by Orlando.” It’s a bold statement. As somebody who temporarily found himself in the Guinness Book of World Records after buying a then unprecedented four Romo singles (Sexus, Plastic Fantastique, Minty, and Orlando) I have some (though not actually that much) sympathy for his position but it is not one that holds up to scrutiny. Passive Soul is… flawed. The Dexy’s call-and-response bit feels like a mistake, in hindsight. The production is a bit light. Nature’s Hated is still a tune but the demo version was better. Twelve points for the album though, and another twelve for the whole bloody chutzpah of recommending it.

  • Em recommended Pony by Orville Peck…

    …which still hasn’t quite won me round, though I fully expect it to at some point, so… thirteen points.

  • Slugger recommended Miss America by Mary Margaret O’Hara…

    …and I felt no small amount of shame for having never heard it before. Honestly, I blame the patriarchy, but it doesn’t excuse me fully, I know. You live your life surrounded by great records you’ve never heard but should have. It makes you think. It’s also half the reason I started this whole thing in the first place, so only giving Miss America fourteen points seems a little churlish to say the least. Yes, you guessed it. More bonus points. Six this time, for a total of twenty points.

  • Picky Bastards recommended The Iceberg by Oddisee…

    …and it is excellent… so… fifteen points.

  • William Mallin recommended Echos hypnotiques, from the vaults of the Albarika Store, vol. 2: 1969-1979 by Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou…

    …and it was also excellent, but, arguably, slightly more excellent than Picky Bastards’ choice. Some might say one point more excellent. I dunno. I’m just trying to get a petty squabbling match going between the two current leaders. Honestly, there was nothing between them. Still… sixteen points.

  • Fat Roland recommended Orbital (also known as ORBITAL 2 and ‘the brown album’) by Orbital…

    …and, what with it being his like top favourite best album ever, I can’t tell you how much I wanted to pretend I hated it and give it no points, you know, for the top top bantz and that. I was going to say something like, “Do you know why they call it the brown album? Because it is made out of poo.” Pretty funny, eh? Yep. Pretty darn funny. Anyway, I couldn’t do that because it is superb, isn’t it? I listened to it for the first time twenty seven years too late for the life-changing shock and awe a young Fats experienced when he first heard it but I still liked it enough to give it seventeen points. Plus a bonus point for sampling Michael Dorn. So, eighteen points.

  • George Sandison recommended Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin by o’death…

    …which made me think what you are thinking right now – that is a terrible name for a band and a truly fucking terrible name for an album. Jesus. I know. However, the album itself is a winner. It is a broken melancholy take on Americana that won me over big time for realz etc. Yeah, I’m rushing a bit now because I want my tea. So what? Eighteen points.

  • Hannah Hunt recommended Oh Land by Oh Land…

    …and I enjoyed it so much I even forgave her rhyming ‘voodoo’ with ‘you do’ which, unless you are David Bowie and some muppets, you should never, ever do. Nineteen points.

  • Dan recommended The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman…

    …the album that, temporarily, gave free jazz a good name. I know I won’t convince any jazz sceptics to check out this album but, you know, blimey, it’s good. It really is. Twenty points.

  • Tom. recommended Aventine by Agnes Obel…

    …another (Oh Land being the other) Danish album scoring highly this week. Aventine is a gorgeous album, so it gets twenty one points.

    The more eagle-eyed among you will remember Agnes Obel from the very week of this tournament, when Picky Bastards recommended it for an A choice. Back then, I hadn’t quite got the hand of the scoring system, so they didn’t get a lot of points for doing so. I feel bad about that, I do, but I know that going back and awarding loads of points for the first few weeks’ choices would unfairly disadvantage people who joined in later on, so I’m not going to do it. Life is hard. Get used to it.

  • Three people recommended albums by Outkast. Sleepy and Chris AKA ‘Pet Idiot’ chose Aquemini and Daniel Carpenter picked Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

    Now, I’m not about to claim one of those albums is better than the other. I’m just not. I know that there is a critical lean toward Aquemini but I don’t think it is that simple. There is The Rooster to take into account for a start. Let’s say twenty three points all round.

  • Plashing Vole recommended Innundir Skinni by Ólöf Arnalds…

    …which means that after doing so well last week he has only gone and done one better and won a round! Are we witnessing the greatest comeback in sporting history right here? Well, no, because to make a comeback you have to have won things before and, more pertinently, this isn’t actually a sport, is it? Still, Vole has won this week. Which reminds me…

Twenty five points though. Twenty five points.