The Best Music Recommender in the World. S.

Before we get started, two things to mention.

Firstly (and most importantly) last week. Daniel Carpenter became the latest person I’ve missed when writing down all the recommendations that come through on Twitter. Sorry Dan. I’m not sure there is much I can do about this happening now and then without setting up some sort of complicated entry form thing that I have absolutely no intention of doing. The current system is flawed but as good as we’re probably going to get. If I ever miss you off a list, let me know and I’ll rectify things. In this case, Dan recommended Things Fall Apart by The Roots which would, I reckon, have got him twenty four and a half points. Something like that. I’m going to round that up to thirty, for the inconvenience and add that to whatever he gets this week.

Secondly (and most importantly) I feel I should warn you all that I really don’t cope well with heat and I spent most of this week as grouchy as a grouchy old bear separated from his honey. I apologise in advance if any of that grouchiness seeped into my fair and objective reviews. Smiley face emoji. Thumbs up emoji. Yep that should do it.

OK. Let’s collate some scores if that’s what collate means!

  • Scout Tzofiya Bolton recommended Miss My Lion by Scout Niblett…

    …which isn’t actually an album, just a song, which I should have realised far earlier than I did, and asked for an album, but I didn’t, so I’m going to award eight points as a sort-of apology for my mistake.

  • Graham Cox asked if As Heard on Radio Soulwax pt. 2 by 2manydjs could count as an S, because it’s really Soulwax…

    …and I said yes, and I really wish I hadn’t now because if I had ever heard the record before this week I would have used the technicality of that pseudonym not beginning with S to gently dissuade him from choosing an album that would score so badly. This has probably scuppered any chance of his grasping the title.
    Music needs two things to work: sounds, and the spaces between the sounds. The gaps between lines of a song, or words in a line are part of the melody. The spaces between drum beats are an essential part of the rhythm. 2manydjs feel a compulsion to fill every space with a witwoo or a BLAAAA!! which creates a wall of sound that I find deeply upsetting. What they do to Cannonball is a musical crime up there with Duran Duran’s cover of 911 is a Joke. In conclusion, two points.
    However, as I feel partly responsible for it even being allowed on the list, five bonus points for my alphabetical leniency leading to this situation existing in the first place.

  • Neal recommended A Go Go by John Scofield…

    …and in doing so became the first person to recommend an album that I listened to less than two minutes of. I’m sorry, but I just cannot condone jazz guitar. Three points.

  • Georgia Boon recommended American Water by Silver Jews…

    …and listening to it reminded me that a good two thirds of that Americana movement that Uncut magazine was so fond of a few years ago was little more than white guys with (albeit lovely) deep voices being just so so boring. American Water is the equivalent of being cornered at a party by a bloke who really really wants to explain to you why he thinks you should read Kerouac, and not just On the Road, but the real stuff. According to Wikipedia he was doing a lot of drugs at the time. Don’t do drugs kids. Four points.

  • Donna Morris recommended the best of S Club 7…

    …and, can I be brutally honest for a second, I’ve never really cared for them. I know I’m always giving pop albums higher scores than hugely influential post-punk albums and everything but S Club 7 are no Girls Aloud. They’re not even Steps. There was a time when I thought that this competition was Donna’s to lose, but missteps like this have cost her dearly. Only five points, I’m afraid.

  • Dave Hartley recommended Compro by Skee Mask…

    …which confused me for a second because I got Skee Mask confused with Ski Mask the Slump God, a recommendation that felt a little out of left wing for Dave. However it wasn’t mumble rap but minimalist electro he was recommending, which made more sense. However, Compro was too minimalist for me, I’m afraid. I need dthummps and wubs to accompany my schwiooooooooooooooooms, if you know what I mean. Sorry. Six points.

  • Desmond recommended Girl Power by Shampoo…

    …who are, purely in my opinion you understand, more of a singles band than an albums band. Even at only thirty-five minutes long, this felt like too much Shampoo. Seven points.

  • Picky Bastards recommended Athena by Sudan Archives…

    …which, interestingly, doesn’t have an ‘EXPLICIT’ warning on it. Isn’t that interesting? I mention it because I kind of rely on those warnings to get through thirty albums in a week. So, you know, ideally, I don’t find myself in a situation where somebody is singing about people going down on them when my seven year old daughter is in the next room watching CBBC. Athena is a good album, one that is worth far more than eight points, but it made me shout, “ALEXA! STOP! STOP! FOR THE LOVE OF BISCUITS STOP!” and I need to punish somebody for that, and the only person standing in front of me (metaphorically speaking) is Picky Bastards. Plus, they have been winning for weeks. I need to shake things up somehow don’t I? I’ve got to make those last few weeks more exciting. Build the tension and all that.

  • Chris Bissette recommended Sundowning by Sleep Token…

    …catching me by surprise because I was hoping for a cheeky nod for System of a Down (maybe Steal This Album!) that would have swooped a whole heap of points. Sleep Token reminded me of… an angry Bloc Party? Maybe? I dunno. I didn’t love it. Nine points.
    I mean, Chris might not even like System of a Down. I just hoped…

  • jummo70 recommended Cult Survivor by Sofie…

    …which, I don’t know, caught me in a funny mood or something. I respected what she was doing but I didn’t love it so… ten points.

  • Adrian Slatcher recommended Night Thoughts by Suede…

    …a band who (again in my opinion only) never quite found a way to follow that first album. Dog Man Star goes a bit too Phantom of the Opera toward the end and after that there was the Britpoppy stuff and then, well, this. Night Thoughts actually starts really well. The first two tracks are great. It runs out of steam after that though. The debut album would have scored far higher and, given that I think you know that but tried a less obvious choice, and I respect you for doing that, I’m only going to double your eleven points to twenty two points. Of course, if I ever get wind that you prefer this album to their debut, I’ll take those points back off you quicker than you can say Pantomime Horse.

  • Dan Edmonds recommended Sparklehead by Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks…

    …and maybe I am an ignoramus but I preferred it when he was singing about Yul Brynner and pirates. He seems a bit serious now. Twelve points though, which is pretty good.

  • James Park and Rebecca Holland both recommended Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Stereolab…

    …forcing me to (at least partly) put my petty prejudices to one side because it is my least favourite Stereolab album. I proper hate it, though I have never been able to put my finger on why. Great band, incredible live, but this album? Not for me. You can consider yourselves both incredibly lucky to get as much as (and incredibly unlucky to only get) thirteen points.

  • Sleepy recommended Untitled (Black Is) by Sault…

    I liked this one, but I liked some bits more than others. Fifteen points.

  • George Sandison recommended All Delighted People EP by Sufjan Stevens…

    OK, Sufjan Stevens. I’m not really up on his back catalogue. I know, and love, one of his albums, which we will get to presently, but I suspect I would love other albums by him on repeated listening. Fairly or unfairly I am adding five bonus points to all Sufjan Stevens recommendations that aren’t that album. Therefore… sixteen points plus five bonus points equals twenty one points.

  • Em recommended Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens…

    See above. In this case, seventeen points plus five bonus points equals twenty two points.

  • Plashing Vole recommended Speech Therapy by Speech Debelle…

    …which is a brilliant brilliant album (and one that if anyone else had recommended would have scored more highly) but he recommended it in an email which intimated he was choosing it because he felt I would be mean about The Smiths who he described as being ‘a great band’ and I can’t let that go, sorry. Consider yourself lucky you are getting eighteen points.

  • Hannah Hunt recommended The Party by Andy Shauf…

    We are thoroughly into ‘everything is great now’ territory. This is great. Nineteen points.

  • Nick Rayney recommended Goo by Sonic Youth…

    …which is album that I first heard when I was about fourteen, an album that (along with half a dozen others) changed my musical taste, and an album that became so entangled with things I went through at the time that I can’t really listen to it now. I did listen to it this week, obviously, and I think I would place it about here on the list, but I’m going to add five bonus points just in case for a total of twenty five points.

  • Daniel Carpenter recommended Saul Williams by Saul Williams…

    It’s a pretty big week now, what with twenty one points for this (excellent) album and another thirty from last week. A massive fifty one points all in. Blimey.

  • William Mallin recommended Jazz Jazz Jazz by The Scorpions and Saif Abu Bakr…

    Another cracking choice from William Mallin. It gets twenty two points but so little separates the top ten or so choices that had a butterfly flapped its wings on the other side of the world or something like that it could have got more.

  • James Beck recommended What Now by Sylvan Esso…

    I didn’t know what to do with his choice from last week but I knew what to do with this. Enjoy it. Thoroughly. Twenty three points.

  • Tom. recommended Illinois by Sufjan Stevens…

    So yeah, this is my go to Sufjan Stevens album. The one I know and everything. Twenty four points seems about right.

  • David Coates recommended Scott 4 by Scott Walker…

    I have never really got the later years Scott Walker croak but I’m a sucker for that early years Scott Walker croon. Is any song quite as luscious as Rhymes of Goodbye? An easy twenty five points.

  • Mat Pringle recommended Strike a Match by Sacred Paws…

    Mat cast some aspersions on my ears on twitter, after what I said about Robert Wyatt last week. Well, my ears loved this album and gave it twenty six points. How do you like them ears now?

  • Fat Roland recommended Advancement by Solar Bears…

    Yet again, Fat Roland brings the best bloops to the party. Advancement has some absolutely lovely bass lines, all building to something-y. They got him twenty seven points.

  • Slugger recommended Nuff Said by Nina Simone…

    Remember when I said the heatwave may have affected my scoring this week? Well, this album fitted the weather (and the current state of the world) just nicely thank you very much. Fabulous stuff. Twenty eight points.

  • Dan recommended Bodies by Sidi Bou Said…

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Somewhere there is a parallel universe where this was the biggest selling album of the 1990s and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? disappeared without a trace, and that parallel universe is the good universe. Twenty nine points for a lost classic* that you should all go and listen to immediately.

    *even the (presumably illegal) copy on Youtube only has 731 views. If ever a classic was lost, eh? Though, if you ask me, the real crime is this album not being available everywhere at all times.

  • And, just as I was about to post the new leaderboard on Twitter, I realise I have forgotten to write down Graeme’s pick, which was Revolution of Mind by She Drew the Gun…
    …and, as I am shitted if I am going to start working out where it ranks on the list this late in the day, and it is a brilliant album, and I feel bad about not writing down yet another album recommendation, I’m just going to say… twenty five points? Yeah. That’ll do. I’m in a good mood.