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Friday, November 4, 2016

Numbers 30-26, "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve"

#29, Robert Smith - fat bastard
30.Silence (DJ Tiësto's In Search Of Sunrise Remix)
Delerium Feat. Sarah McLachlan
Perfecto Presents Another World [Disc 2] (2000)
Voted by Mixmag as the "12th greatest dance record of all time", in what's an otherwise mostly appalling catalogue of utter dross. (Seriously, that's the WORST BEST OF anything I think I've ever read. It's not even vaguely canonical.) Because of the vagaries of randomly tagged pirate MP3s I spent most of the decade thinking this was Paul Oakenfold. But no, bugger me, it turns out I like a Tiësto song. Well, mix. And it's the source material that really shines, rather than the mix. There are umpteen similar versions, but this does actually seem to be the best.

Sarah McLachlan's voice is what carries it. She bends just the right notes JUST enough to render the delivery quite unique, quite effective, and quite affective, and the semi-breathless vocal is married perfectly to a curiously haunting and for the genre atypically complex melody. The original is MUCH slower, more like a traditional pop song, so well done Tiësto for seeing the potential in it. Now would you mind explaining the remainder of your career?

29.Bloodflowers - The Cure
Bloodflowers (2000)
God, The Cure are irritating. When this came out, Robert Smith was all over the media saying this was going to be the last ever Cure album, and well they've pulled that act about three times now. But this was believable.

Because this sounds like a gamma ray burst from a dying, once massive star. The utterly epic swansong you'd produce if you wanted to keep your place in history secure. Smith has said he sees this as the culmination of a trilogy that began with Pornography (1982) and Disintegration (1989). The lineage from Disintegration is everywhere obvious, these are brooding, sullen, monolithic, epicly serious songs, all driven by reverb laden guitar riffs. They're both albums crying out to be played end to end in a massive darkened stadium.

"This world always stops," I said
"This wonder always leaves,
The time always comes to say goodbye"
"This tide always turns," I said
"This night always falls again,
And these flowers will always die."

Lying, deceptive bastard. Lying, deceptive, obscenely talented BASTARD.

28.You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve - Johnny Boy
Johnny Boy (2006)
I can still remember the first time I ever heard this. I was in Sydney for  I forget what reason, some conference I was flogging books at, probably. Women's Health? doesn'tmatter.

I was banged up in bed, Friday night I think, with a huge tray of room service, remnants of the minibar scattered artfully across the duvet. Rage on the telly. This came on and well bugger me, now I need another miniPims, because that song is the damnest, catchiest, freshest, most original bit of pop I've yet heard this side of forever. These guys are the NEXT BIG THING. You heard it here first, and boy did I tell everyone I met for the next fortnight exactly that.  

Well. I have no idea how any artist can possess enough talent to produce a debut single THIS GOOD from an album this turgid. Do NOT ever buy this album. Little chance of that unless you only shop the 99c bin at Dixon's, of course, because it and this band, frankly deservedly, sank without trace.

How can anyone have the ear to produce a tune this killer and not be able to hear the other 11 tracks aren't in the slightest bit tuneful or interesting on frankly any level? Doesn't matter. Enjoy this, because it's the last you'll ever hear from Johnny Boy. 

27.The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005)
This works on so many levels, the intro riff that's basically one note and a pitch bend that stays in your head for hours. Alex Ounsworth's voice. The wholly unintelligible vocal. The way it ramps up to the chorus:
"Hauuuuuuunteeeeeeeeedd byyyyyyyy apastijustcantsee anymore anymore anymore well leeeeeeeeetmetellyou..."
It's got a vaguely alt-country whiff about it, but in essence it's pure pop. And I think I've had grander fun bouncing around dancefloors than any track discussed here so far. Actually maybe Modest Mouse win that. You don't care, either way. PLAY LOUD!!!

26.Halo - Beyoncé
I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008)
OK, this is the last of the Beyoncé. Not a track I should really need to introduce. But it's everything that's great about her. It's epic, it's positively oozing grandeur, the vocal goes places most singers simply aren't capable, it will run madcap around your head for a solid hour after any given listen. It's some of the finest Top Forty Chart-pop of not merely this decade, but most of those preceding it equally.