“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
The wispy vocals and delicate
chords that open this song are beautiful enough, but then the whole thing
erupts into a wash of synth and longing chorus that takes it to a whole new
level of brilliance.
9. ‘T5’ – Swet Shop Boys
This attack on airport racial
profiling is exactly the music movement that the Western Asian community needs,
plus the song packs a mean beat.
8. ‘Well Done’ – Idles
Not only is the message of this
song punk-as-fuck, the choice to reference Mary Berry of all people is
hilarious and the squealing guitar-work is actually quite creative.
7. ‘Regis Rd’ - Creature From Dell Pond
With its tempo-changes, unusual
melancholy chord choices and strikingly dark lyricism, this is a rock band with
a sound that is entirely their own (which is something rarely heard these
days). The video, which I’ve only just seen, meanwhile is hilariously
disturbing and joyfully weird.
6. ‘Don’t Feed Me To Them’ – Pool Art
In spite of how creepy the lyrics
are, I always let myself get lulled into a false sense of security by the noise
rock group’s initially placid verse guitars and tranquil vocals. The abruptly
nightmarish outro feels just as ingeniously terrifying upon every listen.
5. ‘Maybe Sweet One You Won’t Have Nightmares Tonight’ – Father John
Similar to the last track, this
lullaby by singer-songwriter Father John Misty lyrically and sonically gets
more twisted the further that it goes on. It’s the perfect balance of humour
and horror, made all the more entertaining by the singer’s unwaveringly calm
4. ‘Untitled 02’ – Kendrick Lamar
This has to be the most satisfying
beat drop of the year – what you at first assume to be jazzy experimentalism
shifts into a brooding trap creeper. Kendrick’s flows and delivery shift
inventively throughout the song and I love the trash-talking bars towards the
end ‘I can put a rapper on life support/
guarantee that’s something none of you want’.
3. ‘Glowed Up’ – Kaytranada ft. Anderson Paak.
Kay’s spacey electronica and Paak.’s
uniquely zonked-out rapping delivery form a match made in heaven. It’s like
they’ve created a party tune that’s as equally lively as it is soothing. The
soulful outro meanwhile serves as a comedown, both artists slipping into their
comfort zones, comfort zones that most other artists are still working towards.
2. ‘Dang!’ – Mac Miller ft. Anderson Paak.
As you can tell, I’ve gone crazy
for Anderson Paak this year (although I still prefer his features to his solo
work). Mac Miller meanwhile plays a convincing romantic and gives one of his
most passionate performances. Whilst other tracks on Mac’s latest album felt
ruined by the rapper’s boyishness, here he feels sophisticated and adult enough
to carry the gorgeous and playful soul beat.
1. ‘Give It Your Worst’ – False Advertising
Whether you’re a cynical defeatist
or an optimistic fighter, the sentiment of this song can still apply. The
guitars and hook feel phenomenally upbeat. And yet there’s a grungy and moody
tone to the rough distortion and vocal tone. It’s the kind of rock single you
can jam for whatever temperament you’re in. I’m also in love the male/female
vocal combo – it just gives these guys so much more dynamics. Ugh, I love this