The Best Music Recommender in the World. Y.

OK, first of all, sorry for the delay. I had a disease. Not that one, or at least almost certainly not that one. I didn’t have a tight chest or any breathing/coughing issues or a loss of smell or taste or a particularly high temperature so I reckon it was an older, more established, cold/flu type thing. I’m not a doctor, obviously, but that’s what I reckon.

Anyway. I’m better now. That’s the main thing.

You might think that the delay had given me more time to listen to your suggestions and, in a way, it has. I haven’t listened to everything five times or anything like that, but I have been able to give a couple of albums a second chance to impress me. Will that make this week’s scores fairer than usual? Err… perhaps? (though I can’t imagine those of you who have scored badly will feel any less hard done by than usual.) Every system will have its winners and losers, I guess. Probably best to just get on with it…

  • Mat Pringle recommended Le Monde Fabuleux des Yamasuki by Yamasuki

    As Carl Douglas observed, everybody was Kung Fu fighting in the 1970s, so I should probably cut this album a bit of slack. But I just can’t. It feels too silly. I can’t decide if it was a hugely ambitious project that could never hope of achieving its aims or something that seemed like a good idea after sharing one too many bottles of absinthe. Ten bonus points for taking such an unnecessary risk, but only one for the actual record. Eleven points in total.

  • Desmond recommended Dreamboats and Lemonade by The Yearning

    This album is very Sarah-Records-does-the-hits-of-the-pre-Beatles-60s which, depending on your viewpoint, will be up your street or it won’t. For example, you can hear echoes of Dion’s Dream Lover in the opening track Dreamboat. It’s very well done but it’s not my cup of tea at all so, sorry, only two points.

  • James Beck recommended Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

    How does he make three minute songs seem so long? Repetition, mostly. “I want a hard headed woman I want a hard headed woman I want a hard headed woman I want a hard headed wo-” ALRIGHT, MATE. I GET IT. YOU WANT A HARD HEADED WOMAN. JESUS! KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, YEAH? Three points. Three points. Three points. Three points.

  • Beth Woodward recommended Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

    This is the first album anyone has recommended with a hymn on it. I’m not anti-hymn or anything but I don’t seek them out very often (except for In The Bleak Midwinter of course, which is an absolute banger). I can’t offer any more than four points for this. Soz.

  • Adrian Slatcher recommended Flag by Yello

    Yello are undeniably good at making noises but I’ve never been convinced they can actually make songs with them. If you want someone to soundtrack fifteen seconds of action in an early-90s European bank heist movie, they’re your guys, but I can’t listen to wummum wumwum wum for an hour, can I? Not seriously. Five points.

  • Donna Morris recommended Sinners Never Sleep by You Me At Six

    I always get You Me At Six mixed up with 30 Seconds to Mars, and I get both bands confused with All Time Low. I get all three of them muddled with This Isn’t Ipswich. And, to be honest, I can’t separate any of them from Remind Me, Who Doesn’t Like Mushrooms? So many soft-bit/shouty-bit bands with similarly kind-of quirky band names. I didn’t particularly dislike this album but the You Me At Six points gag opportunity was too much to resist, though if anything I’ve fluffed the punchline there somewhat. Oh well, eh?

  • Geisterhaus recommended After The Gold Rush by Neil Young

    Ah, Neil Young. The thinking man’s Leo Sayer. Seven points.

  • Chris Bissette recommended Old Wounds by Young Widows

    I like to imagine that Chris has a wall in his house where he tries to work out why some of his recommendations do really well but others only score eight points or so. String on pins connecting things, you know, like in movies and that. I certainly can’t see any logic to it. I love some of them, but others don’t move me at all. If it’s any consolation, they are one of the recommendations I most look forward to. It probably isn’t, but I just thought I’d mention it.

  • Georgia Boon recommended Life of Pablo by Yeezy/Kanye West

    I dunno. I think once you have asked if you can pick Kanye West for a Y, and you have been given the yeah-sod-it-why-not? green light, you are under some obligation to pick a better album than Life of Pablo. I’m aware that my opinion (that his first three albums were his best) is not a particularly popular one but come on, at least pick from the first five or six. Otherwise you are only going to get nine points.

  • William Mallin recommended Cobalt Hour by Yumi Arai

    I really wanted to like this one but it never quite gelled with my brain. Objectively, I can see it is good but subjectively? I’ve got nothing. And unfortunately, in this competition the subjective is the jective that counts. In this case it counted to ten points.

  • Plashing Vole recommended Bach’s Cello Suites as played by Yo-Yo Ma

    Before anyone gets upset at the measly eleven points I’m awarding here, technically I can only award points for interpretation, not composition. Obviously the cello suites are exquisite. Pick Bach for B and you are getting a truckload of points.

    OK, so here is my working out… The cello suites are notoriously difficult to play. The player is forced to decide where to compromise, where the tempo will slow slightly, where an infinitesimal gap in the music might be allowed to appear. A lot of the beauty springs from these imperfections (insert something clever about wabi-sabi here when you redraft this). However, Yo-Yo Ma is so technically gifted that he can just play the notes as they are written. This might make his version of the cello suites the most accurate but (and I must stress this is all only in my opinion) the consistency of his sound takes something away from the listening experience. It flattens it somewhat. Compared to Pierre Fournier’s version, which ebbs back and forth like a tide, pulling and pushing the listener with it, Yo-Yo Ma’s is just… there. I don’t know. I’m probably talking out of my hat. I don’t really get a lot of classical music at the best of times. You are almost certainly right and I am probably wrong on this one. I’m not giving you any more points though.

  • Rebecca Holland recommended Music for Nine Postcards by Hiroshi Yoshimura

    This was a touch too minimalist for my taste, though I had a strong feeling that I might ‘click’ with it at some point. I didn’t on the first two listens though, so I can only award twelve points.

  • Neal recommended Pariwaga by Yapa

    Again, this probably needed more listens. Sorry. Thirteen points.

  • Graham Cox recommended Barbarians by The Young Knives

    I liked some of this album which sounds a bit like something three quarters or so of the Klaxons might make with one of Kasabian. The Klaxony songs are better than the Kasabiany songs, obviously. I’m thinking, what? Fourteen points?

  • Adam Farrer and Nick Portnell recommended And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out by Yo La Tengo

    The chat on Twitter was that this album was a nailed on forty pointer. Several people noted it was on their best albums of all time list. So many that I wish I had had more time to listen to it because, on two listens, it just seemed, you know, quite nice. Some albums need that bit more time to truly grab you. I suspect this is one of them. So, and I feel terrible about this, I really do, I am stuck here, limply offering you each fifteen and a half points. Sorry. Please don’t hate me.

  • Slugger recommended Voices of Animals and Men by Young Knives

    Quite liked this. Seventeen points.

    I don’t know. You wait three weeks for me to rate your pick and then I just put ‘quite liked this’. I really am sorry. It’s been a fortnight since I’ve written anything. I’m running out of steam, thoughts-wise.

  • Fat Roland recommended Communion by Years and Years

    Yeah. Fine. Eighteen points. Whatever.

  • Em recommended Fragrant World and Tom. recommended Odd Blood, both of which are by Yeasayer

    I didn’t feel I could separate these two albums without a few more listens, which I didn’t have time to do, so… I’m giving you both nineteen and a half points. They are good albums though. I liked them and everything.

  • Hannah Hunt recommended Les Retrouvailles by Yann Tiersen

    Picking a Yann Tiersen album without a song sung by that bloke out of Tindersticks (who, I’m sorry, sounds like Mr Blobby slowed down by 800%) would have scored you more, but twenty one points is still pretty good.

  • Nicholas Royle and John Power Jr both recommended Colossal Youth by Young Marble Giants

    An album that I suspect would mean more to me if I had heard it earlier or, more precisely, had been witness to its release. I got a strong ‘you had to be there’ vibe to it all. Still, I did like it, and I learned something listening to it (I genuinely had never noticed that Hole’s Credit in the Straight World was a cover version before last week). Twenty two and a half points each.

  • Dan, and David Coates recommended Upstairs at Eric’s by Yazoo

    No arguing with this choice. Good synths, good pipes, good songs. Twenty four and a half points each.

  • Talking Bullocks recommended T.V. Sky by Young Gods

    An album that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. I lost about two hundred cds in a burglary as a teenager and this was one of them. I never got round to replacing it, the call of the new was always louder. You know what, I really enjoyed hearing it again after all this time. Twenty six points.

  • Graeme recommended Young Scum by Young Scum

    Never judge a band by its name. I was expecting a (possibly terrible) punk album but Young Scum actually sound a bit like early REM. It would be fair to say I was pleasantly surprised. Lovely stuff. Twenty seven points.

  • Sleepy recommended Just Calm Down by Yawners

    Big grunge vibes going on here, like a Spanish Nirvana or something. Is that a lazy description? Yes. Yes it is. Do I care? Not especially. No. It’s a cracking album. You should listen to it if you haven’t already. Twenty eight points.

  • Benjo and Dave Hartley recommended Fever to Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

    If you got out a pen and paper you could probably prove, incontrovertibly, that this album doesn’t deserve twenty nine and a half points and that at least half its score is based on how much I love the track Maps. You’d be right, of course, but you would have wasted your time, because I really really love Maps.

  • Dan Carpenter recommended Dead, Jummo70 recommended White Men Are Black Too, and Dan Edmonds and Picky Bastards recommended Cocoa Sugar, all of which are by Young Fathers

    And again, I couldn’t choose between the albums, so you each get thirty two and a half points. It seems the fairest way of doing things. Sorry if you disagree.

  • Psycho_Kylie recommended Bwrw Cwrw by Yr Anhrefn

    Another pleasant surprise, the cover suggesting a far angrier (and more amateur) punk record than it turned out to be. It’s actually got quite a strong Psychedelic Furs vibe going on. Not to be sniffed at, that. Thirty five points.

  • Nick Rayney recommended Anima Mysterium by Yugen Blakrok

    This is great. I hadn’t heard Yugen Blakrok before (except for her cameo on the Black Panther soundtrack) but I will be hearing plenty more in future, that’s for sure. Thirty six points.

  • George Sandison recommended Vapor by Yosi Horikawa

    While Fat Roland was trying to prove something about pop music and X Factor or something, George Sandison quietly popped by with the best electronic music recommendation of the week. I really enjoyed this album (which, an internet search told me, was largely made up of sounds gathered from field recordings.) It’s very good. Thirty seven points.

  • James Park recommended Eastern Sounds by Yusef Lateef

    You know what? Sometimes taking a risk does pay off. Thirty eight points and a guaranteed place in the second round of the cup for a jazz album. Oh yes. Oh yes indeed. Some risks pay off very nicely indeed.