Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The rest of 2019

One last post from me until... well, whenever I can be arsed, really. Don't hold your breath. I want to round things off with a list of other records I've really enjoyed this year, plus a few other things that have either excited me or left me a little disappointed. Oh, and I'm not going to mention the 'B' word...

Music-wise, there has been so much good stuff this year - far too much to write about - so here's my best of the rest (in no particular order). Some bleddy good records in here and I'm sure I've still missed some blinders out. Click the album sleeve to sample a track, especially the Karen O & Danger Mouse one, where you will see THE live TV performance of the year! (There's also a Bowie cover in here too, but I'm not telling you where...)

Karen O & Danger Mouse
'Lux Prima'
Jade Bird
'Jade Bird'
Imperial Wax
'Gastwerks Saboteurs'
Feet  'What's Inside
Is More Than Just Ham'
'Love & Evol'
'Future Ruins'
The Murder Capital
'When I Have Fears'
Sloan Peterson
'Midnight Love vol. 2'
'Into Red'
'Giants Of All Sizes'
'A Picture Of Good Health'
Sunn O)))
'Life Metal'
Foals  'Everything Not
Saved' (pts. 1&2)
Bob Mould
'Sunshine Rock'
'This Is Not A Safe Place'
Du Blonde
'Lung Bread For Daddy'
'Spiritual Instinct'
Yak  'Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness' Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky 'Droneflower'
'Silver Tongues'
The Hold Steady
'Thrashing Thru The Passion'
The Y Axes
'No Waves'
'Deep Dark Creep Love'
'Leaving Meaning'

Extra credit:
A few cracking singles that have also tickled my fancy...

beabadoobee - I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus
She's only 19, has blue hair and has been building a large online following, mostly among angst-ridden, lovesick teenagers. But let's face it, any 19-year-old who wishes she was the frontman of Pavement is certainly deserving of respect from old farts like me! Watch out for Bea in 2020 - it could be her year.

Jade Imagine - The News
MrsRobster likes this one - gets right stuck in her head it does.

Lizzo - Juice
No arguments here, OK? This is the best damn pop song of the year, if not the decade! Ya-ya-ee!

And this...
She Drew the Gun - Trouble Every Day
...is the cover version of the year, for sure.

Must do better:

Pixies 'Beneath The Eyrie'
I've already mentioned how disappointed I was with the new Pixies record, especially after I'd pre-ordered the deluxe vinyl box set on the strength of the really rather good single On Graveyard Hill. Most of the other songs on it sound like they were reclaimed from Frank Black's solo years. At least the box set (which is rather lovely, actually) included a second LP of unreleased songs from the sessions, which for the most part is better than the album itself.
Best track: On Graveyard Hill by a country mile.

Hatchie 'Keepsake'
Hatchie's debut release, the 'Sugar & Spice' EP, was undoubtedly one of last year's highlights. Expectation was high for her first full-length, which I pre-ordered on signed clear vinyl - but I'm left underwhelmed. It's just drenched in too many synths to allow the true nature of the songs to break through. There's a lot of anguish and darkness in those lyrics, but it all just sounds too light and fluffy.
Best track: Without A Blush - a really good chorus.

Weezer 'The Black Album'
What is going on with Weezer? They, too, have fallen prey to the 80s nostalgists who insist that synths take centre stage on every recording. What a poor record this is as a result.
Best track: High As A Kite, but even this is weak by Weezer's standards.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 'Ghosteen'
Look, I know I'm risking a right pasting here, but I'm sorry - there's only so much grief-wallowing a guy who suffers from depression can take, especially when it's someone else's grief. I will always worship at the alter of Mr Cave, but I really do not need 'Ghosteen', no matter how beautiful the critics say it is. Apparently a new Grinderman album is in the works. That should wake me up.
Best track: Waiting For You. Devastatingly beautiful ballad like those he's renowned for.

And finally...

I'd like to finish off by remembering the late Mr Timothy Badger who left us all too soon in 2019. A man of great taste, wit and talent and a good friend to this blog. I dedicate this month's posts to his memory.

Right. My cave awaits. Thanks for humouring me this past month, it was nice seeing you all again, but I must retire once more. Have a good one, whatever it is.


  1. It really has been a bumper crop this year... all made better by new discoveries in December by peers like you. Even with a top 30 albums at my place I have missed a lot. I will be adding Ride, Foals and others from above to the shopping list. Thanks for the brief comeback, Robster. Happy New Year!

  2. Good stuff Robster, lots of music to dig into there. Agree about Nick Cave, just not sure how much of it I can face. I'll raise a glass to Badger too.

  3. Well, it's been a blast, if an all-to-be-it brief one, having you back on the scene Rob. You've given my much to tuck into here, and frankly, without wishing to push the point home too much, I could have done with you throughout the year, rather than just for the past few weeks.

    But ho hum and never mind, such is life. I now look forward to December 2020 with an air of hope.

    Happy New Year to you, yours, and all of your readers. And, to echo SA's comments, a glass has been raised in the memory of The Badger.

  4. Great brace of posts Robster!