20. Massive Attack – Heligoland
19. Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being
18. Shakira – Sale El Sol
17. Nas & Damian Marley – Distant Relatives
16. Gabriella Cilmi – Ten
15. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
14. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
13. The Roots – How I Got Over
12. Diddy – Dirty Money – Last Train To Paris
11. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
10. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty – WEIRDO WITH BASSLINES
9. The-Dream – Love King – PERV WITH SYNTHS
8. Jazmine Sullivan – Love Me Back – SHE GOT A BIIIIIG VOICE
7. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs – YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN YOU KNOW
6. Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea – WEARY AND BROKEN AND TERRIFIED BUT LOVE IS BIGGER THAN THE PAIN YOU GET FOR IT AND OH GOD I AM WEEPING AGAIN
5. The National – High Violet – The National have got TWO pairs of brothers in their line up, but despite this they keep refusing to do a “Double Jedward” by covering Ghostbusters. They insist on filling their music with fear, regret, spiders and despair (it’s very beautiful).
4. Plan B – The Defamation Of Strickland Banks – Angry rapper in “amazing soft-hearted songwriter” shock. Also: tight suits, prison fantasies.
3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Do we really have to call it that? Anyway here is an extract from Kanye’s shopping list:
THE PLINKY PLINK PIANO OF SELF LOATHING.
THE HUMUNGOUS HANDCLAPS OF HUBRIS
THE BLARING HORNS OF PROBABLE IMPORTANCE
THE APHEX TWIN SAMPLE OF WISTFUL REGRET
THE PROG ROCK SAMPLE OF IMPLIED PERSONAL COMPLEXITY
THE MASSED CHOIRS OF ASSUMED SIGNIFICANCE
2. Robyn – Body Talk
CARLSSON. Album. Package measurement: 5-15 tracks ( spares provided ). Start with a ready-made combination or create your own combination from scratch. Drag and drop songs using our online planner, or see our CARLSSON experts in store for helpful advice in assembling your album. Key features: Resilience, Defiance, Inclusivity, Heartbreak, Love, Compassion, Dancing (on your own), Dancing (running tings), Dancing (to the beat), 1 x robot, 1 x time machine. Will complement existing CARLSSON items. Care instructions: Wipe off tears with a soft clean cloth. Keep going.
1. Drake – Thank Me Later
Choose your own adventure in time, memory and identity! Will you find your way to happiness in the here and now or be LOST IN TIME?
You are Drake! Money just changed everything and your fifteen minutes started an hour ago! But you’re haunted by the sense that “you never see it coming, you just get to watch it go”.
If you look for the answer in your lover’s eyes, go to Track 11.
If you look for the answer in your own past, go to Track 10.
“I was only trying to get ahead – but the spotlight made you nervous”.
You don’t get to take everyone with you when your life changes; sometimes it’s your choice, sometimes theirs. It’s rare that it doesn’t hurt, but there’s a fine line between being strong and divorcing yourself from all feeling.
If you put your hand on a hot kettle in an attempt to feel connected to the world again, go to Track 14
If you’d rather have a good time, go to Track 5
“They say: you promised me you would never change” But identity is fluid. They’ve brought you down just when you’d started to live in the moment, accept the pain of memory and kiss the past goodbye, too. You can’t do much about how others see you, in the end, but you can try and be true to yourself.
If you try to be all things to all people, go to Track 4
If you think you have to leave people behind sometimes, go to Track 2
“That’s right, I’m doing me” in the crescendo of a victory anthem ought to come across as triumphant. But it’s full of uncertainty, a resigned suspicion that your identity’s a commodity, that being completely “yourself” gets harder and harder the more people you know and more you try to please. “It’s far from over” should sound like a rallying cry, but you make it seem so weary.
If you imagine that things could have been different, go to Track 12
If you think that one day you’ll realise what a great time you were having, go to Track 9
If you want to try disassociating yourself from others’ opinions, go to Track 2
It’s hard, living in the moment. Once in a while, you get the opportunity for a bit of right-now happiness with someone. But the weight of memory presses hard, you torture yourself, wondering how your past even led you there in the first place, while trying too hard to forget and going on about saving worries for tomorrow just reminds you of the problems. So you live for “the nights you can’t remember with the people you won’t forget”.
If you think you can still make the best of it, go to Track 7
If you think simpler would be better, go to Track 12
You have been up all night.
If you look like yes, go to Track 8
If you look like no, go to Track 9
If you got your nails done and hair done and everything did, go to Track 6
If you’re worried people will think you’re too fancy, go to Track 3
This is the dream, isn’t it. (This is The-Dream, isn’t it.) That moment where time slows down and stops and you can finally focus on something, finally be fully present in the moment with someone. And a song that makes you feel it, like the air in a heat haze warping around you. I THINK YOU REALLY MADE IT.
“Looking forward to the memories of right now”? But it’s a beautiful night to live your beautiful life. Why can’t you be there, living it? Losing yourself in thoughts of potential futures is bad enough, but losing yourself in thoughts of a potential future in which you’re stuck looking back at the present past? You are so lost.
“I keep thinking, how young can you die from old age?” Memories weigh heavy, when you’ve already had a too-full life. But how has your past changed you?
If you think it’ll all make more sense when you look back at it in years to come, go to Track 9
If you’re thinking about who you’ve had to leave behind, go to Track 2
If you’re trying to work out who the hell you are, go to Track 4
“Miss me a little when I’m gone” But how can you know who you are, if all your identity comes from how others see you?
If you think people have got you all wrong, go to Track 3
If you think it’s down to you, go to Track 4
If you think it’s better to try and move on, go to Track 2
If there’s one thing more dangerous than living in the past or the future, it’s imagining how different things could be right now. You can’t undo the changes you’ve gone through. For better or worse, they’ve made you who you are. But still, you imagine yourself in an alternate present, with the old familiar things around you, as if you’d never moved on. YOU ARE LOST.
“Every single summer, I’ll be the one that you remember.” I listened to this album on lazy summer afternoons in the park, on too-hot mornings as I walked to work, and late at night in the middle of our June heatwave when the world seemed to press in through the window… It’s hard to avoid getting mentally bogged down in the past, in all your mistakes and wasted opportunities, when you get to a certain age. It’s hard to imagine the future being much better. It’s a great thing if you can appreciate everything that’s good in the here and now. It’s amazing when music comes along that speaks to you personally and moves you, when the music is as sweet as a cool breeze on a hot summer’s night. Hey how did you get to this paragraph anyway?
“Thank me later, yeah, I know what I said, but later doesn’t always come, so instead, it’s okay – you could thank me now” And the moment rushes in. When an album sets up a theme of deferment and displacement, right from its title, it’s a good thing to get it all resolved in the final track. I THINK YOU MADE IT. But other endings may be available