I would probably best describe the music my 19 year old brother blasts from his bedroom as, at the risk of sounding very old, “just noise”. Never an ideal supplement for a headache, a hundred times worse in the case of a hangover. Very rarely are there any lyrics – the occasional yell, I suppose, but nothing really ever worth mentioning.
We speak often about our differing musical tastes, what is good, what is not, where the industry is heading and what we can expect to see or hear in the near future. My inability to face facts about the relevancy of albums has been the core of many an argument, and I am reminded on an almost daily basis that my frequent purchasing of said item will inevitably become no longer possible in years to come.
Tonight will see the 36th edition of the BRIT Awards held at the spectacular O2 Arena in London and hosted for the fifth and final time by James Corden. Sadly, this year I will not be watching – the boys are out of the house and my mother & I intend to sit in face masks indulging in tortellini and The Breakfast Club.
In spite of my animosity towards mainstream tosh and airy fairy bubblegum pop I’ve always been very fond of the BRIT Awards. They’re fun; granted, live performances often mixed, winners occasionally outright absurd and to list the multiplicity of controversially chaotic dramas and scandals calculated since 1977 would have me here all afternoon.
A self-proclaimed Caitlin Moran enthusiast, I am therefore almost obligated to admire her husband, ‘Time Lord of Pop’ Pete Paphides who regularly graces my ears with his presence on The Guardian’s Music Weekly podcast. Very rarely do I find myself disagreeing with the views and opinions of my favourite power couple, but on Boxing Day last year I admit I was shamefully forced into doing so.
Mr Paphides wrote a piece in December 2013 which questioned the demise of Top of the Pops and championed the notion that it return to our screens. The music chart show has made annual appearances on Christmas and New Years Day respectively, but was axed from its weekly slot in July 2006 as a result of plummeting viewing figures, an axe undoubtedly executed with a heavy heart by the BBC.
December is a list-writing month. We read lists and we write lists all month long. List after list after list. Christmas lists, shopping lists, to-do lists and still-left-to-do lists and Oh-My-God-I-have-too-much-to-do lists. It’s a wonder we ever get anything done at Christmas in our refusal to be parted with our precious collection of post-it notes.
This week, NME followed suit and wrote a list of their own – a list of 50 Best Albums of 2013, beginning on a high with James Blake’s Mercury Prize winning masterpiece Overgrown and awarding the spectacular Arctic Monkeys album AM the number one spot.
The great thing about a list like this is that it can highlight the songs and albums which have formed the soundtrack to your year, neatly categorising from top to bottom, from worst to best. It allows us to fondly recall what was going on in our lives when that record came out, where we were and how we were feeling when we heard that song for the first time. It works as a sort musical epitome of the past twelve months, counting down from 50 to 1.