Ever felt like you are being trolled? I dunno, everyone has different musical tastes I suppose…
There were a lot of first time recommenders this week and not everything they recommended was… shall we say… to my taste. If you are new, and hoping for glory this year* or next,** here’s a couple of tips for free.
- As cruel as it may be, I only have time to listen to every album once. I will give the odd thing a second go but recommending something that reveals its wonders on the eighth or ninth listen is a risk. Don’t go too cerebral. Be wary of math rock and difficult jazz. Long instrumentals are not necessarily your friends.
- I am forty four years old. My patience for boys playing guitars and singing about their problems has been worn incredibly thin over that time. That’s not to say that an album of heartfelt indie won’t win you a whole heap of points. It very well might. But it very well might not too. You never can tell. Again, it’s a risk.
- You know those songs where people start doing sexy noises, like “oooh, ooooh yeah, I like that, put that there, oh yes” etc. Don’t recommend those songs. Never recommend those songs.
* Yes, you can still achieve glory this year. Am I starting a rumour of there being a season-ending cup competition? Yes. Yes I am.
** And yes, we are doing this all again next year, albeit in a slightly different, slightly less time consuming for me, format. That’s exciting, isn’t it?
Oh yeah. One last piece of business. This week Dan Edmonds sent me a list of all the albums he would have recommended had he been involved from the first week. It was a good list and I’m going to award him seventy bonus points for the effort because he made a playlist and everything. Please bear in mind though that this is a one time deal. Don’t send me your lists. First or nothing, I’m afraid.
OK. This week’s scores…
Desmond recommended theaudience by theaudience…
…and, as much as I begged him to change his mind, he wouldn’t. I even offered him bonus points to recommend something else but no deal. Knowing he would lose this week, knowing that I wasn’t even going to listen to theaudience, knowing that he was getting one point this week, he stuck with his choice. You have to respect the integrity of that no matter how much you hate theaudience, and so… one hundred bonus points. I know. I’m as surprised as you.
Plashing Vole recommended Shrug Off Ya Complex by Tystion…
…and he will be furious I’m only giving it, and him, two points. I know he loves it. I’m not being mean for the sake of it. I just don’t think they are very good rappers. As a good will gesture, if he can find me a hip hop album with weaker production values in the next six days I will give him another twenty points. You can’t say fairer than that.
Nicholas Royle recommended Desert Triptych by Tom Heasley…
…describing it as a treat. And it might have been… but… foolishly, perhaps… I looked up Tom Heasley before listening to the album. That was when I found out he plays ‘ambient tuba’. Now, when I said ambient tuba what were you thinking? Because I was thinking ‘Best. Harold Bishop storyline. Ever.’ I could picture the look on Ian Smith’s face as a crowd of young punks misunderstood his malfunctioning amplifier for a post-punk masterpiece and I liked that face. It turns out that ambient tuba just sounds like a didgeridoo. My disappointment was too great for it to yield any more than three points. It’s my fault really. I know that. Soz.
Dan recommended The Black Rider by Tom Waits…
…but it is his silliest album, and I can’t condone people recommending that sort of thing. Not when The Heart of Saturday Night was equally eligible. Four points.
Remember what I said about jazz and math rock? Well…
Nick Portnell recommended Millions Now Living Will Never Die by Tortoise, Mat Pringle recommended In Focus? by Shugo Tokumaru. Tom. recommended For Long Tomorrow by Toe, William Mallin recommended New Ancient Strings by Toumani Diabaté and Ballake Sissoko, Benjo recommended Drunk by Thundercat, Alex Stone recommended Table Songs of Georgia by Tsinandali Choir, and Graham Cox recommended Retribution by Tanya Tagaq, all of which had a bit too much going on to take in on one listen. So, sorry, five points each (plus fifteen bonus points each to acknowledge that they are probably all brilliant but I haven’t had the time to be able to recognise that fully).
Adam Farrer recommended twilight as played by the twilight singers by The Twilight Singers…
…which seemed intentionally obtuse given how much better their second album is. Isn’t it? Or is it just me? It’s probably just me. Whatever. I’m still only dishing out twelve points.
OK. Remember when I said boys singing about themselves was a risk?
George Sandison recommended Shallow Grave by The Tallest Man on Earth, Renlau Outil recommended The Singer by Teitur, and Slugger recommended Simple Pleasure by Tindersticks. And again it’s not them, it’s me, but I can only offer you thirteen points each. (And yes, I realise they aren’t all necessarily singing about themselves. I never said any of this was rational or fair.)
Geisterhaus recommended Marque Moon by Television…
…which is an album that has, over the years, made me question my sanity. Alllow me to explain… Every time I see it in a ‘best albums ever’ poll I decide that I really should give it another chance, and I listen to it, and every time I listen to it it is completely different to the last time I listened to it. Every. Single. Time. Like somebody is swapping the cd in the box or something. Weirdly though, no matter how many completely different albums called Marque Moon I have listened to, I’ve never fallen in love with any of them. Sixteen points.
Sorry. I haven’t been very positive about anything this week, have I? It’s been a long week. So long in fact that it has actually been two weeks. Here are some albums that I liked, and will give twenty five points to, but haven’t got time to say a lot about if I am going to get this post finished today…
…Daniel Carpenter recommended Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on the Radio, Nick Rayney recommended Hidden by These New Puritans, Nicola Mostyn recommended Album of the Year by The Good Life, Stephen Beer recommended Replicas by Tubeway Army, Dave Hartley recommended Currents by Tame Impala, Mark Holt recommended Folklore by Taylor Swift, Fat Roland recommended Dream of 1000 Nations by Transglobal Underground, jummo70 recommended Temple by Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Em recommended The Pace of Passing by Toothless, Hannah Hunt recommended Fourteen Albums and Fifteen Winters by The Twilight Sad, James Beck recommended The Blue God by Martina Topley-Bird, Picky Bastards recommended Wriggle Out the Restless by This Is The Kit, and Rebecca Holland recommended It’ll End in Years by This Mortal Coil. Sorry to all of you for not separating you all fully. Thirty eight albums this week though. I have to do something to get this under 2000 words.
Sleepy recommended Live in New Orleans, 1991 by Toots and the Maytals…
…which completes our hat-trick of great-band-but-odd-choice-of-album recommendations this week. Still good though, this one. Twenty six points.
Graeme recommended Death Cap at Anglezarke by Then Thickens…
…which had a certain something and no mistake. Twenty seven points.
Dan Edmonds recommended The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands by The Turtles…
…which, on at least one level, isn’t as good an album as a lot of the ones I gave twenty five points to. However, the reason for that is The Turtles really really committed to the battle of the bands concept and it would be churlish to punish anyone for that. Twenty eight points.
James Park recommended I Don’t Think It Will Hurt If You Smile by Norma Tanega…
…and I liked it quite a bit, you know. Twenty nine points.
Chris Bissette recommended Stage Four by Touché Amoré…
…which, given that most of the lyrics were about the lead singer’s mother dying from cancer, was a very different sort of difficult listening. I’m not sure how many times I’ll listen to this album again but it’s an incredible piece of work. Thirty points.
Donna Morris recommended Now & Forever by TLC…
…and in doing so is a model for you all. Can you honestly say what you recommended had a song as good as Waterfalls on it? Well, thinking about it, you probably can actually, what with you having different musical taste than me and everything, but you get my point. I’m not chucking thirty five points at anything, and I am chucking thirty five points at this, so… I don’t know… something.
Georgia Boon recommended IGOR by Tyler the Creator…
…and, long story short, I’m awarding forty points for that recommendation.
David Coates recommended 1989 by Taylor Swift…
…No arguing with that. Forty five points.
Adrian Slatcher recommended Cloud Nine by The Temptations…
…and it only went and won him fifty points. I don’t like everything he recommends but when he hits the bullseye, oh boy does he hit it. Lovely stuff.
Apologies if things were a bit of a mess this week, what with posting a week late and having to bundle a load of you together on the countdown. Things have been a tad chaotic on my end. Nothing bad or anything. Just busy. Hopefully next week will be back to, or closer to, normal.