Thursday, November 27, 2014

What the pop papers say: Rounding up the best albums

A quick word of praise for NME's current issue, the 50 Best Albums of the Year - one of the few list-based issues that makes sense. And it's been done in a lovely way - each album given a full page, and a lovingly written piece about it.

It's also striking that, when asked to talk about the current music it loves, the NME is a very different beast from the magazine you'd expect looking at the parade of the dead and the sainted that mark the front pages.

In fact, the only record on the list which feels driven by market forces rather than genuine passion is Morrissey's World Peace Is None Of Your Business. Three writers have a crack at explaining what it's doing on the list, and even then the sense that this is a continuation of the High Court Apology to Mr Morrissey never quite goes away. "It's a return to form" - well, yes, but it's a return to disappointing mid-solo career form, which is hardly a leap forward. "It's the best thing he's done since You Are The Quarry" - well, yes, but that's like saying "no more painful than sciatica."

St Vincent comes out top, and her prize appears to be a cover feature for next week. That's quite a coup, as shockingly, she'll be the first woman to appear on the cover since the start of November. November 2013. When it was MIA. (There was a montage which had Wolf Alice, if you want to be pedantic.) That's a pretty poor show.