I look around, nothing’s what it seems

angrykidDecember’s regular trawl through the various end-of-year lists leads me inevitably to a couple of thoughts:

”I should probably do one of these.” (Oh God…)

and, when the penny dropped,

“It’s been a pretty thin year, hasn’t it?”

I’m guessing at this point, there’ll be a few outraged hipsters jumping from their seats, tipping over metaphorical tables and storming out of the room, muttering dark words about the Cavern of Anti-Matter record or Amber Arcades’ Green Man set. But… I think I’m standing by it.

I say “I think” but I’m actually pretty sure – I know this because I wrote a list, although not an end-of-year list, ooh no:

2016 – Six Records I Hated:

 

MY WOMAN – Angel Olsen

OK, that’s a bit strong, it’s not at all bad, just not nearly as good Burn Your Fire For No Witness, which I really only discovered this year and to my ears sounds way better. Nothing on the new one is half as clever or witty as “Hi Five”. And while we’re on it, I disproportionately hate those bloody capitals.

FLOTUS – Lambchop

Again capitals? Really? And who had the bright idea to “correct” Kurt Wagner’s soulful, conversational vocals? This is the only record on the list I couldn’t bring myself to buy – couldn’t get past the wretched samples…

Void Beats/Invocation Trex – Cavern of Anti-Matter

Tried pretty hard to like this record (including another listen this morning), but I just don’t (no matter how many times Neu! are referenced in reviews)

IV – Black Mountain

Really, really liked their first album and remember playing the bejeezus out of it at the time, but this is awful – none of the cool fun, none of the loopy graceful style. Hard to believe this is the same band to be honest.

Modern Country – William Tyler

Read the reviews of this and was charmed by the “modern country” idea, but really, there’s just nothing there. One of those records that is good because people say it is. If you heard this playing in a lift, or at an airport, you’d probably wonder how on earth Pitchfork gave it an 8…

Fading Lines – Amber Arcades

Another record I tried and tried with, but tossed it away when I realised what I was doing. If only the rest of the album was as good as the title track…

2016 – Seven Quite Good Records by Bands I Cherish, that’ll *do*…

… but

 

Stiff – White Denim (highlights “Holda You (I’m Coming)” and “Big, Big Fun” but it’s no D)

Schmilco – Wilco (highlights: the line “Cry, like a window pane”, actually the whole song, but a few tracks that are pretty forgettable)

Here – Teenage Fanclub (hardly fair, I know. They’re Teenage Fanclub – if I wanted progression, I’m in the wrong relationship)

Singing Saw – Kevin Morby (Can’t understand this one’s appearance in all the lists – did no one hear the previous two records? Or his stuff with the Babies? Pretty thin stuff compared to these…)

City Sun Eater In The River Of Light – Woods (love this bunch, but, meh…)

Calico Review – the Allah-Lahs (memories of seeing them at Psychfest one year, possibly the coolest band I’ve ever seen. Where are they now?)

Hold/Still – Suuns (actually, Suuns may well be the coolest band I’ve ever seen, but I’ve gotta say, they’re losing me…)

 

2016 – Four Records I’ll Not Be Buying

(This is my Blog, and these are my prejudices)

 

22, A Million – Bon Iver (Sorry, but no.)

Blackstar – David Bowie (nope)

Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave (nope)

The bloody Radiohead record (I’m an old man, not going to change now)

 

D’you know? I feel a little better for that…

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