Jordan M.

Reviews 144
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Last Active 05-01-20 6:11 am
Joined 02-24-14

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12.07.19 another 51 for 201906.08.19 i'm still here
11.30.18 premature listiculation 2018 05.30.18 28 Songs for the Sophisticated Fuccboi
12.25.17 the war on christmas12.08.17 Arcade's 2017: 51 Albums.
07.30.17 bad list 05.21.17 it's happening again.
12.13.16 Arcade's 2016: 51 Albums. 12.12.16 am i the only one who still care about
07.04.16 Hung Up.02.23.16 two.
12.22.15 Arcade's 2015: Albums09.14.15 Put Your Onions Out
02.14.15 St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - 8/2/1512.02.14 Arcade's 2014: Albums.
06.27.14 Arcade's Top 10 06.10.14 "Control Myself" - A Pearl Jam Mixtape
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Arcade's 2014: Albums.

It is that time of year again when everybody starts procuring gifts from the obese dude who invades your abode during sleep. I thought I would post this now knowing that there is nothing in December I am really looking forward to (new Smashing Pumpkins, maybe) and that I am confident with my selections. Any 2014 recommendations are welcome! So here it is...
10Steel Panther
All You Can Eat

Ariel Pink's own adventure through misogyny and '80s kitsch on Pom Pom was close to nabbing my
number 10 spot, ultimately however Steel Panther sought greater stranglehold on my 2014 listening
All You Can Eat's inherent charm comes directly from the fact that Steel Panther quite clearly love
the genre they so brilliantly spoof. It's one thing to riff on hair metal in light of it not being 'real'
music, but it would not seem as sincere nor half as funny if it was done by an artist attempting to
establish an ironic tone. That, and we could always do with some more dick jokes tossing about in
the ether. Eternally tasteless, sexist, homophobic, macho, intentionally unappealing and
immediately dated; the joke will wear thin one day; today is not that day.
9Dean Blunt
Black Metal

Earlier this year, the madman known as Dean Blunt went on record as believing that black culture
often play up too much to white structures of success. While he went on to sight Yeezus as one of
the most negative outcomes of this, it's interesting to approach Black Metal with these thoughts in
mind- opener "Lush" is (for whatever reason) a satirical stab at the very white structure he
criticizes. Replete with jangly guitar, digestible hooks and bouncy rhythms, it seems simultaneously
at odds and ironically proving Blunt's point. Somewhere within, there's a bewildered message inside
of Black Metal. Seemingly, this insinuation of black cultures' loss of priority is Black Metal's biggest
strength. As a profound counterpoint to Yeezus' gesturing, Blunt primarily exceeds by proof of
association that Black Culture needs a new messiah. Of course, knowing Blunt, it could all just be a
joke, a laughing matter he'll return to when somebody mentions the overwrought "Forever" or "X"-
that's part and parcel of the appeal of one of the craziest musical personas today. But that
undersells the inevitable legacy of Black Metal, a true oddity and tour de force of the internet
Plowing into the Field of Love

It seems a little funny now to read pre-release critiques of Plowing Into The Field Of Love that called
its lead singles into question. While at once people laughed at "The Lord's Favorite", unquestionably
one of 2014's greatest red herrings, further pieces proved as confusing. "Forever" was marked by its
blanketing menace, while "How Many" seemed to be the closest to the Iceage of old. Thankfully,
results didn't adhere to singularly cowpunk, hardcore or post-punk, what resulted one of punk's
greatest omnibuses. It seemed rather easy to simply write off Iceage towards the end of their You're
Nothing tour cycle. As fantastic as their earliest material had been, it was hard to see much
progression possible in the violent and turbulent hardcore on display. Strangely, Plowing... not only
bucks the trend but proves as Iceage's most meticulous release yet.
7Flying Lotus
You're Dead!

As the Beat Generation has slowly slipped out of the youth's cultural lexicon, so has the exciting
nature of jazz. At once teaming with heroin addiction and wild sexual misconduct, nowadays it tends
towards the crotchety upper-class as convenient background music. Flying Lotus understands the
primal discourse jazz is capable of, as You're Dead! seeks to and make the genre
contemporary. Undoubtedly, the conflict between You're Dead! as a jazz album and its highlights
become its biggest flaw. Ignoring how the better moments tend to lean to "Never Catch Me" and
"Dead Man's Tetris", You're Dead!'s ability to confound, enrage and incite a dance prove it an
experience unlike any other. Some may end up bogged down in examining themes of death and
"fucked up Miles Davis"; they should embrace the wild ecstasy peppered liberally here.
6Foo Fighters
Sonic Highways

Dave Grohl's place as the ambassador of radio rock has come at an expense. Often he helps bring
vitality to a genre that has been progressively losing steam in the 21st Century. However, his out-
there attitude and demeanor lends itself to public ire- critics are fast and ready to cut him down to
size. Of course, many have already set to cut Sonic Highways down as a disappointment; criticisms
of it being a continuation of the vapid rockism that by-and-large hindered Sound City's companion
piece. However his eighth record thankfully works on greater echelons, interacting with a host series
in remarkably fresh style. With this project, Foo Fighters have managed to take a deluxe-edition
throwaway and transform it into a vital and engaging experience. When Grohl says that he's only
recently started writing his best songs, you better believe him; Sonic Highways is an innovative,
concise, and brief mid-career opus
5St. Vincent
St. Vincent

The debate had already kicked up earlier this year over whether or not Annie Clark's 2014 effort has
managed to outshine its equally excellent predecessor, Strange Mercy. From one side, Strange
Mercy succeeded by wallowing in patented weirdness and voyeurism, making for a wholly unique
experience. From the other perspective, St. Vincent succeeds because it's a singular 11-track jaunt
of remarkable consistency. It's difficult to pick sides, as Clark's discography is in itself an immensely
consistent experience. However, where St. Vincent excels is in its lack of condescension and
pretension, potent in its singles and brevity. At once, Clark can command a wicked riff and hook on
"Digital Witness", "Rattlesnake" and "Bring Me Your Loves", while juxtaposing it with subtle ballads a
la "Prince Johnny" and "Huey Newton". Needless to say, St. Vincent is an easy to handle experience,
and while some may lean more favorably towards Strange Mercy, I can confidently say I'll be
reaching for this release more often in the years to come.
4Against Me!
Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Amazon's decision to market and release Transparent this year was a risky but ultimately necessary
move. As a stigmatized social group, transgender society often becomes stereotyped as a perverted
offshoot of same-sex attraction. The likes of Transparent are not only making it normal to be
transsexual but grounding it as a truly human experience, complete with humor, romance and
drama. Musically, Against Me! have managed to evolve and expand into something important
incorporating the themes of transsexual culture. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is not just a fantastic
album- which it is- it's one of human experience, packaged for the ignorant to understand. Under
30-minutes and flanked with an arsenal of riffs and hooks, Laura Jane Grace delivers her message in
an easy to understand language. Even if it's not quite 2014's best, it's far and away its most
culturally important album.
3Manic Street Preachers

When the Manic's performed their massive 3-hour set of hits at the O2 in 2012, it was something of
an ending for the band. Yes, they'd just performed a vast catalogue of well-known hits to tens of
thousands of fans in their biggest indoor venue yet, but just like the disappearance of Richey
Edwards closing the initial chapter of the band, this performance seemed monumental. Coming off
of Postcards from a Young Man, lyricist/bassist Nicky Wire declared it would be "one last shot at
mass communication". His sentiment rang true when after the largely uninteresting pop rock piece,
they returned with the acoustic midlife contemplation Rewind the Film. Needless to say, this third
chapter for the band seemed to place more emphasis on experimentation than ever, meandering
cold into the wilderness and giving a massive 'fuck you' to consequences. It's forgivable to be
suspicious of the intent; the Manic's have hurt their fans too many times to count now. However
with Futurology, what we finally get is an album of political passion and total guitar worship made
absolutely unconventional. What comes next and what came before has no bearing on the simple
status Futurology has now; the album where the Manic's finally got a grip and realized how to rock
without their boundaries.
2The Smith Street Band
Throw Me In The River

There's not a lot I am proud of musically in Australia. I stand by that assumption whenever Triple J
purport a 'Hottest 100', or another think-piece on Sia's marketing strategies enters the wilderness.
Generally, I find the whole environment insufferable; a microcosm of a faux America. In all, Throw
Me In The River is a testament to the power Australia are capable of in 2014's music scene. Wil
Wagner's words, owing more to Burroughs and Hunter S. than Michael Hutchence or Jimmy Barnes,
are the razor blade with which Smith Street's music precariously dances on. It might depend a bit
too heavily on its angst, but when spoken and articulated so well it doesn't really matter. I'd say it's
unlikely that they'll be capable of matching the strengths here- the same could have been said of
Sunshine & Technology. It's now but a question of building on what's already perfect; I have no
doubt that The Smith Street Band are capable of it it Throw Me In The River is the case study.
To Be Kind

Even as I consider it now, I can't exactly quantify or explain my appreciation for To Be Kind. It's 2
hours long, ignores accessibility and contains a song that stretches well over the 30-minute mark.
On paper, it reads as just about the dullest thing known to man. What results is, shockingly, a
threatening statement of intent from one of the most consistent artists of the last 30 years. Many
will continue to speak of The Seer as if it was the grand summation of Michael Gira's career,
however I sincerely believe To Be Kind trumps as his crowning achievement. While marked by its
inclusion of the vulgar no wave prevalent on earlier releases, To Be Kind shows truly a more refined
attitude towards composition and songwriting. That's true of the likes of "She Loves Us!", "Oxygen"
and centerpiece "Bring the Sun/T'ouissant L'Ouverture", propelled by a menace unparalleled in
2014. At 2-hours long, not a single minute is squandered, rewarding patience and concentration
with those insatiable crescendos. Easy contender for album of the '10s.
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