Chad FjerSTUD (choadushouse) wrote,
Chad FjerSTUD
choadushouse

CHAD FJERSTAD'S FAVORITE FILM & MUSIC OF 2014 - THE LIST

BEST OF 2014:


worst:

SEX TAPE

sex-tape-1024x690

MALEFICENT

maleficent 06


honorable mentions:

22 JUMP STREET

22js

SNOWPIERCER

snowpiercer

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

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THE CONGRESS

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Top 10 movies of 2014:

10 - NIGHTCRAWLER [directed by Dan Gilroy]

nightcrawler-movie-review

Jake Gylennhaal, you are such a creepo. This is by far Jake Gylenhaal’s best performance and it’s because he plays the creepiest, most believable, sheltered nutcase ever. Aside from his ridiculously impressive performance, the entire movie did an amazing job and maintaining an extremely discomforting vibe. It always feels gross, it always feels wrong - as if something terrible is going to happen, and of course very frequently something terrible does happen. I suppose this is perfect because of what the film is about: if you were working a job doing what these people do, finding accidents and going to film footage of the people as they were dying, you’d probably have a feeling very similar to what watching this movie provides, all the time! I’ve gotta say, I’ve never seen a film quite like this, and it’s all wrapped up with a terrible black ribbon and you feel like you’ve been robbed and cheated and maybe molested in the end…. but in a good way.


09 - INHERENT VICE [directed by P.T. Anderson]

Inherent-Vice-1

Some time in the second half of Inherent Vice, Josh Brolin's aggressive character "Bigfoot" asks something like, "This isn't gonna be another one of your paranoid hippie freakout monologues I'm gonna have to sit through, is it?" - this just about summarizes the entire film. It was clearly a conscious decision to give the film this confused feeling and therefore, although it can be difficult to pinpoint at times, it does have a strong focus and is a very accomplished film within it's own parameters. While halfway through you may very well find yourself wondering if the entire 148 minute run time will ever stray from its dialogue-heavy craft which is always teetering on the edge of nonsense, but the last hour holds plenty of pay off. If anyone could pull of a private detective who also functions as a full-time stoner, it's one of my favorite current actors Joaquin Phoenix. Josh Brolin is also 100% effective as the overt alpha male cop, Martin Short pulls in a surprisingly eerie cameo which helps shape one of the most memorable sequences in the film, and the smoking hot Katherine Waterson makes her mark as the mysterious one-who-got-away with the flawless body that can never quite be forgotten. On that note, Phoenix and Waterson pull off an unexpected sex scene that is just as depressing as it is fiercely hot. Though it's not one of Anderson strongest films, it's surely better than his last, The Master, and a great chapter in his catalog.


08 - THE GUEST [directed by Adam Wingard]

the-guest-hp

God bless the B-movie! This is the only fantastic B-movie I saw this year! And it literally has probably the best soundtrack of all time: all the best classic industrial… Front 242, D.A.F., etc. plus new shit like Gatekeeper and also a score by Steve Moore of Zombi! Talk about a synth nut’s dream cum true. On top of that, we get a mostly unknown Canadian cast I believe, and I am a fan of everything Canada does so that’s a plus. Then we’ve got our lead, Dan Stevens, known for his work on Downton Abbey, who is like the next closest thing to Ryan Gosling and he just kills it. He’s a fucking stud and effectively has you loving him and hating him simultaneously for the film’s length. Plus, newbie actress Maika Monroe is so crush-worthy…babe town. Without trying to be too serious of a film, The Guest has a fuck load of fun with itself and is totally a movie you could enjoy over and over again.


07 - THE RAID 2 [directed by Gareth Evans]

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Simply put, this is the most impressive martial arts action flick I have ever seen. Other than the original film The Raid, I have not actually been blown away by a martial arts action film since I was a teenager. The Raid 2 would blow anyone’s mind regardless of whether or not you can get into the genre. The coreography is balls-to-the-wall, the action is non-stop, and it all feels so real and so brutal. It cannot even be put into words how much more impressive this feels than any other “fighting” movie I have ever seen. They pit the lead against 100 dudes in a mens bathroom and everything you see feels 100% real, even when they’re all convulsing on the floor with broken necks. It’s fucking ridiculous. Of course, if you want a brilliant plot and top notch acting, you’re gonna have to look somewhere else, but if you want to see the most impressive fighting sequences ever put to film, The Raid 2 is the movie.

06 - NYMPHOMANIAC [directed by Lars Von Trier]

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If Nymphomaniac Part 1 was the entire movie, it probably would have been a lot higher on my list, as it is an incredibly pleasurable viewing. I have to look at both parts as one film though, as that is how they were intended. I absolutely loved the lead actress who plays Young Joe, Stacy Martin. She effectively captures the transformative period from relative innocence and sexual naivety into full blown whoredom, with great urgency as many blossoming sluts would. The dialect between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard offered far more humor than I expected, while simultaneously conjuring up a lot of concepts to question and marvel over. Shia LeBouf also did a wonderful job, as he typically does ever since his breakthrough performance in Lawless. It’s all sexy fun and games in Part 1, but unfortunately as Part 2 focuses on pain and deterioration, the script’s functionality seems to partially deteriorate as well. And after a long build of Gainsbourgh’s character delving deeper into darkness and dramatically abusing herself, we receive an ending that feels almost as if Von Trier is just pissing on us and having a laugh. One way or another, I’m kind of into that…and if you have even the slightest hint of masochism within you, you may get off on this as well you sick fuck.

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05 - THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [directed by Wes Anderson]

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This movie is so fucking out there, it’s got to be Wes Anderson’s strangest and I love it for that reason. I can’t even imagine deciding “Hey, my next movie is going to be about this”, and I guess that’s part of what’s fascinating about it. Of course, the most incredible feat of The Grand Budapest Hotel is in Wes Anderson’s visual aesthetic which he has been mastering ever since he found it in The Royal Tenenbaums. But here, more than ever, it is completely over the top and 100% mind-blowing. Most of the film takes place in a giant hotel complex, a prison, and a mansion - all brilliantly massive architectures that no one would capture in the fashion that Wes Anderson does here. On top of the aesthetic, Anderson has his typically incredible ensemble cast - my favorite characters being Willem Defoe as a strangely gothic bully, Tilda Swinton as an absolutely horrendous old diva, and Adrian Brody as an extremely vulgar and spoiled heir to old money. There is a sequence with Defoe and Jeff Goldblum that to me feels like a nod to one of my favorite old film genres, giallo, and that makes me really happy. Plus, Defoe throws a fucking bulldog out a window. There is really so much to take in with this movie, and from what I can tell after seeing it twice, it only gets better each time.

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04 - GONE GIRL [directed by David Fincher]

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I went into Gone Girl knowing nothing other than it’s a film by David Fincher about Ben Affleck’s wife getting kidnapped, and I am damn glad I had nothing else ruined for me. If you’re a fan of unpredictable plot twists, this is your film of the year. The hits never stop. When it first started, I thought Rosamund Pike was giving a very cheesy performance, but as the film transformed, her character started to make all kinds of sense, and in the end she steals the show! The film is long but it needs to be. It moves through so many different phases, and they are all gripping. Gone Girl is a monster you need to let grow and as it grows you will slowly cower more and more in its presence. Trent Reznor’s score shines through in a couple of very crucial moments, especially in the most memorable scene of the movie which I won’t ruin for you. One of my favorite aspects after all of the entertainment comes to a close is that we are given an ending that makes such a bleak statement on real life adult relationships that a lot of people get offended by it…HEAVY!

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03 - WETLANDS [directed by David Wnendt]

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I’ve been into “extremes” and gross-out films my entire life, but it gets harder to be impressed by something in that vein each year. Wetlands broke new ground for me in that department. If you can’t tell what you’re partially in for by the synopsis alone, maybe you should steer clear. I mean, it’s a German film about a young girl who cuts her asshole open while shaving it. She then ends up in the hospital for her injury and falls in love with the male nurse, and then doesn’t want to leave. Although the film takes some things further than I have ever witnessed, it’s main draw is in its charm. The lead actress Carla Juri was fucking adorable and reminded me a bit of Paz De La Huerta if she wasn’t seemingly on so many opiates. Although the concepts and some of the scenarios are absolutely disgusting, the movie is insanely endearing. A large quantity of the dialogue is absurd but somehow universally relatable at the same time. It is written, directed, and edited dashingly and it was over before I wanted it to be, which is a positive thing - I left wanting more. Even if you’re squeamish, Wetlands deserves a chance - it’s a fantastic film.

wetlands

02 - BIRDMAN (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu]

Birdman 2

Dark comedy…it’s hard to top an effective dark comedy, especially when you have flawless performances by Edward Norton and Michael Keaton, and this film is all about the performances and the charismatic script that backs them up. I’m also a sucker for pieces that break the 4th wall, and having Keaton play a washed up star who was famous for being an ex film superhero works fantastically (obviously modeled after his stint as Batman in the late 80’s/early 90’s if you don’t know). Keaton kills it as the highly anxious, overly ambitious, half-psycho his character encompasses. And Norton almost steals the show as the acting perfectionist who is beyond pompous. Although Zach Galifianakis basically plays himself as always, he works perfectly as Keaton’s primary assistant and secondary decision maker, adding just enough comic relief without removing the audience from the film’s dramatic core. Aside from the perfect cast and characters, the film is directed with great skill as the entire thing feels like one non-stop ride. Surely there were editing tricks used to achieve this, but it feels as if the entire film is one continuous shot. Though the key reason to watch the film is for its humor and wit, there are themes that you may find touching as it reaches its final act. Birdman makes you ponder, only if for an instance, whether or not you are living your adult life the best way you possibly could be.

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01 - UNDER THE SKIN [directed by Jonathan Glaser]

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Simply put, Under The Skin transcends standard filmmaking. With its minimal use of dialogue and a pace that feels as if it is moving in real time, Glaser creates a chemistry between the viewer and the lead that demands they live the movie rather than watch it. Scarlet Johansson does a grade-A job of playing an alien completely void of emotion as we know it, seemingly programmed to accomplish one mission and one mission only. Much like what director Harmony Korine had to say about my favorite film of last year, Spring Breakers, the entire film moves a lot like an accomplished electronic song: repetitive but progressive and naturally transformative. At first Under The Skin may feel like an extensive patience-testing visual experiment, but as the movie progresses its purpose blossoms and those who connect with its message will feel almost as if they are becoming one with the film, fusing together. The director’s use of uninformed non-actors towards the beginning of the film helps to sculpt its dread from the very start, creating a unique vibe blending surrealism and hyperrealism. Content aside, Under The Skin is aesthetically the most unique and impressive film of the year, and it’s very frightening! The greatest film of 2014 is presented as being about an alien but it’s actually an emotive observation of the horrors of being human.

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music:


Honorable mentions:

WHITE LUNG - DEEP FANTASY

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GAZELLE TWIN - UNFLESH

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LIARS - MESS

liars-mess

THE FAINT - DOOM ABUSE

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SINOIA CAVES - BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (OST)

Sinoia




THE BEST EP OF THE YEAR:

YOUTH CODE - "A PLACE TO STAND"

youth code - a place

Industrial’s newest legends have returned after their debut full length with this gripping new EP. The production has seen a major face lift since the self titled debut. Sara Taylor’s ferocious audible lashings sound scarier than ever. With Ryan William George’s straight-and-to-the-point compositions, and Josh Eustis’s pristine production skills, the music not only sounds darker and heavier than ever, but also easier to swallow for a larger audience of listeners. This is easily Youth Code’s best material to date, and the remixes are all a major bonus. Serious bangers!

Youth code live




TOP 10:


10 - APHEX TWIN - Syro

aphex-twin-syro

After 13 years, the lord of electronic music, Richard D. James returns to us with “Syro”. It’s greatest strength is in its subtlety. It’s a perfect meeting point between the minimal analogue exercises of his early works, and the more developed sounds in the releases he peaked with in the late 90’s. The primary difference between “Syro” and some of his strongest releases such as “Richard D. James Album” and the “Come To Daddy EP”, is that it holds off from ever getting too flashy. The album is relatively free of any sort of outlandish vocal samples or passages, focusing mostly on its creative textures and progressive compositions. While the creepy vocal exercises heard in tracks like “Come To Daddy”, “To Cure a Weakling Child”, or “Milkman” are what brought Aphex Twin all the way up onto the 1st place pedestal, it is admirable of him to stray from using any cheap tricks and instead delivering us a lengthy LP full of completely refreshing, innovative, tasteful electronic music. The king is not dead.

Favorite tracks: “CIRCLONT6A (Syrobonkus Mix)”, “Minipops 67 (Source Field Mix)”, “XMAS_EVET10 (Thanaton3 Mix)”

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09 - SONS OF MAGDALENE - “Move To Pain”

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For over a decade, Josh Eustis has put out endless material with several projects, but predominantly his Telefon Tel Aviv. After some time touring with Nine Inch Nails, he was able to wrap up work on his proper solo debut “Move To Pain” which covers a fair share of ground and pleases ears with it’s pristine production. Tracks like opener “Hold on hold still for a second” and title track “Move To Pain” will impress listeners keen on various kinds of new wave or synth pop, capitalizing on glossy vocal melodies and driving arpeggiated synths. “The Whip”, “O’Death”, and “Crows on the Eaves…” will cater more to the lovers of minimal darkness. Eustis’s full-length debut does a wonderful job of displaying his talents in production, his versatility in stylistic composition, and leaves us wanting plenty more when play time is so quickly over.

Favorite tracks: “Hold on hold still for a second”, “The Whip”, “Crows on the Eaves of My Father’s House”

songs of magda


08 - CLARK - s/t

Clark LP

Clark delivered his debut LP this year to much joy and acclaim. I was introduced to him as the opening act for Massive Attack at their Greek Theatre show this year, and immediately moved on to listening to the full length. It is one of those records that made me very happy from the first listen, with it’s pleasantly large electro/techno sounds most reminiscent of the best of the UK acts from the 90’s. Namely LFO, featuring the recently deceased Mark Bell, is the first comparable act that comes to mind. Clark feels like a worthy producer to carry the big-electro torch now that one of the greatest is gone. While the hardest hitting tracks such as “Sodium Trimmers”, “Banjo”, and “Winter Linn” are always the ones to cater most to my tastes, Clark impresses just as well when he slows things down and focuses on texture and atmosphere with tracks like “Snowbird” or “There’s a Distance In You”. On the harder, classic side of pure electronic music, Clark has delivered the most enjoyable LP of the year in his self titled debut.

Favorite tracks: “Banjo”, “Winter Linn”, “Sodium Trimmers”

Clark


07 - LIL SPOOK “BLACK SILK”

Lil spook - black silk

Lil Spook aka Spooky Black has seemingly rose to fame out of nowhere (the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota to be precise) with his own modern blend of seductive R&B sung over trap/witchhaus-inspired electronic beats. His music always holds a strong footing in romanticism. There’s something fascinating about a seventeen year old hoodrat making DIY music videos with cheap camcorders out in fields of snow, who just happens to have the voice of an angel. Tracks like “Rememeber You” and “Without U” keep their bassy beats less flashy and let Spooky’s relaxed croons shine over them, while tracks like “Night of Romance” or “Can I Make U Mine” capitalize on sparkling 80’s-esque loops that aren’t too far off from something like Human League’s “Human”. “We Were Together Once” is the perfect blend of both song styles. This is the kind of DIY release that feels too good to be true, and should not go unnoticed. The nu-R&B revolution begins now.

Favorite tracks: “We Were Together Once”, “Without U”, “Can I Make U Mine”

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06 - LANA DEL REY - “ULTRAVIOLENCE”

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Lana’s controversial sophomore LP proves to be a “grower not a shower”. While tracks like “Cruel World” and the very Portishead-ish “Shades of Cool” may be her most immediately enjoyable and groundbreaking new tracks, most of the rest of the album’s tracks hold their own equal ground with more listens over time. Lana and her team’s conscious decision to move away from the radio single sound and more into a washed out world of sad cowgirls crooning in saloons has allowed Lana to discover a sound she can completely call her own. The lyrics remain as dramatically obnoxious and sexualized as ever, which is one of her greatest charms, but the music reaches a far deeper, more mature level. While “West Coast” was our first taste of what the album had to offer, it still remains one of the strongest tracks as it is the most progressive and effectively so - that squelching synth lead at the end reminiscent of Portishead’s “Machine Gun” or … less so, but probably more intended, something like Snoop Dogg’s “Murder Was The Case”, is just too good to resist. Another wonderful cut is the album closer, “The Other Woman” wearing it’s influences such as Roy Orbison or Patsy Cline on it’s sleeve. And who can ignore the fact that the album’s title track “Ultraviolence” romanticizes the concept of girls getting beaten by their boyfriends and liking it? What better reflection of modern society? I can’t wait to see where Lana and her production team decides to go from here.

Favorite tracks: “Cruel World”, “West Coast”, “The Other Woman”

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05 - CARIBOU - OUR LOVE

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Dan Snaith has made wonderful music for years now, but mastered a sculpted sound he could truly claim as his own in 2012 with his “SWIM” album. Here now on “Our Love”, he doesn’t stray too far from that formula which is a good thing because what’s not broken shouldn’t be fixed. With his brand of soulful house-inspired electro-pop, he has crafted another near-perfect album. “Our Love” kicks off sounding like a straightforward house record, with “Can’t Do Without You” and it’s looping grooves and samples but eventually reveals itself to have more of a pop-based song structure as does the majority of the tracks on the record. Some of the strongest tracks reach out in a direction that are a bit more destined for the dance floor than anything on the “Swim” record was, like “All I Ever Need” and the title track “Our Love”. “Silver” is another great track that feels like new territory for Caribou in its slow BPM, creamy, washed out mix. As with a lot of great records, some of the best songs are the ones that sound like they could have been on the last record, primarily “Back Home” and “Your Love Will Set You Free” which both close the album off. Aside from a couple of mediocre experiments towards the middle of the album, “Our Love” is another unique, flawless, and universally appealing listen no matter what genre you are into.

Favorite tracks: “All I Ever Need”, “You Love Will Set You Free”, “Silver”

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04 - TODD TERJE - “IT’S ALBUM TIME”

Todd Terje - its album time

Two years ago, Norwegian producer Lindstrom graced us with his dance fantastic 7-track release, “Smalhans”. This year, his buddy and part of the “cosmic disco trio”, Todd Terje, dropped his debut LP, “It’s Album Time”. “Inspector Norse” had been a popular single of Terje’s for some time, and was the precursor to what was to come. I think what a lot of people expected was an LP full of a made-for-the-dance-floor cuts with roots primarily in Italo-disco, and while the record does find a huge part of it’s inspiration in Italo, the record is far more versatile than that. It’s clear right from the album kicker, “Leisure Suit Preben”, that this is not going to be your typical dance record, with it’s slow creeping electro-lounge vibes. The lounge vibes carry on into other tracks like the following “Preben Goes To Acapulco”, and later in the album on one of its highlights and only songs with vocals, “Johnny and Mary”, featuring Bryan Ferry. “Johnny & Mary” almost reminds me of one of the tracks Air created with Jarvis Cocker on their 2006 release, Pocket Symphony, only this song works better. Terje even exercises his tastes in samba with the almost cinematic “Svensk Sas”, which is a classic in it’s own right. There are still plenty of straightforward Italo-disco tracks which are certainly some of the best cuts on the record, such as “Delorean Dynamite”, almost a clone of Zombi’s fantastic rare single, “Sapphire”. “Inspector Norse” holds it’s ground as a modern disco classic, capping the record off with a proper dance party as it should. All in all, there’s not a weak track on this LP and Todd Terje has sealed the deal as an important new artist to keep your ears open to.

Favorite tracks: “Preben Goes To Acapulco”, “Johnny & Mary”, “Inspector Norse”

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03 - FKA TWIGS - “LP1”

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Though she doesn’t like when people refer to her music as R&B, that’s exactly what this wonderful record is to me. “LP1” is the royal palace housing the R&B revival that is currently hitting us, and FKA Twigs is the queen. While the majority of the record is reminiscent of tracks by cherished R&B artists like Aaliyah or Janet Jackson, it does also weave in plenty of elements of more modernized art pop like Grimes or Bjork. “Lights On” is the most cinematic and experimental of the albums tracks with its minimal foundation, relying mostly on Twigs’ dynamic vocal performance to carry you through the song. Slow burners like “Hours”, “Pendulum”, and “Video Girl” effectively provoke listeners with sensual lyrics, intelligent melodies, and strong vocal performances. “Closer” stands out with its twinkly electronics, and its focus on a less soulful, more babyish vocal pop performance. While “Give Up” might be the least obscure of the songs, it is also one of the best, effectively capturing the essence of what made every 90s R&B radio single stick with us forever. Though, “Two Weeks” is the highest achievement of the record, showcasing Arca’s incredible electronic base amidst its stark minimalism, and properly injecting people with the not-so-subtle sexuality that FKA Twigs demands. There is a bright future for this bb.

Favorite tracks: “Two Weeks”, “Give Up”, “Lights On”

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02 - TRUST - “JOYLAND”

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Synth lovers newest guru returned to us with his sophomore release this year, and it came damn close to matching the perfection of his 2012 debut, TRST, which was my favorite album of that year. The major difference here is in seeing Robert Alfons take a step away from the dark side of his electronic excursions and begin to experiment with his love for 90’s club/rave. The first thing that came to my mind upon hearing tracks like “Joyland” and “Rescue, Mister” for the first time was: AQUA, and I wasn’t mad about it. Alfons had stated in interviews regarding the last record that Ace of Base was a major inspiration for him, and Aqua isn’t too far off from that, there is just a hell of a lot more bubble gum being chewed. While the brighter excursions like the raved-out “Geryon” work very well, it’s still the darker bangers that steal the show. Towards the middle of the record, “Icabod” and “Four Gut” sound the most like they could be off of TRST, and remain two of the tracks I find myself going back to the most. Prior to that, Alfons’s beautiful slow ballad “Are We Arc?” certainly takes the cake as the prettiest track. The highlight of the entire record can be found in the second half of the record’s third track, “Capitol”, which does a great job of balancing the darkness and the light. At the end of “Capitol”, Alfons blesses our ears with a repeating call, singing out like a siren, and it’s a perfect showcase of exactly the kind of beautiful, moving audio this man can create for us as listeners. If anyone should make you want to dance in 2014, it’s TRUST. I will be hoping for a long run of masterful records from this man.

Favorite tracks: “Capitol”, “Are We Arc?”, “Rescue, Mister”

Robert Alfons


01 - ARIEL PINK “POM POM”

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In 2010, Ariel Pink made a massive fan out of me with his breakthrough record, “Before Today”. He was an artist so full of relentless character and unrestricted talent that I could not help but feel inspired. There are no rules with his music. Each song transports you to an entirely different world, while still working together in an inexplicably cohesive universe. After what felt like a step backwards with his 2012 album, “Mature Themes”, I wasn’t sure Ariel would ever match the brilliance of perfection that was “Before Today”. However, one listen through “pom pom” and I was immediately proven wrong and impressively so. I already consider “Before Today” one of the greatest records of the last decade, and I can confidently say that “pom pom” may be even better.
Our first taste of “pom pom” was in the single “Put Your Number In My Phone” which suggested that Ariel had taken a hint based off of the success of his “Round & Round” single to push further in the direction of whimsical psychedelic pop. While the album certainly finds some of its roots in psych pop, it could never be categorized as a strictly psych pop record, at least not in a traditional sense. In fact, it can’t really be categorized at all - which is one the primary characteristics of its genius. Within the first five tracks of the album, we are fed effective doses of five completely different drugs. “Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade” kicks things off with a shimmer, sounding as if it could be a whacked out version of the opening theme to a sitcom in the early 60’s. “White Freckles” shows off Ariel’s progressive prowess over the course of it’s composition, comparable to something along the lines of British prog maestro’s Camel, and features some of the most memorable lyrics the record has to offer by coining terms like “barbecutie”. “Four Shadows” is organ-heavy sludge pop that feels like brand new territory for Ariel, channeling elements of bands like Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, or Uriah Heep while managing to never sound too much like any of them. “Lipstick” then floats off onto a 1984 Miami freeway with its suave, sexy vibes and a few years further back into time with “Not Enough Violence”, one of the album’s highlights which wears a crown due to its haunting Sex Dwarf-esque synth screeches.
Each of the record’s 17 fantastic tracks bring us to a new world far from our reality. Towards the middle of the record, we are treated to some of the album’s rawest songs such as “Goth Bomb” and “Negativ Ed”, both comfortably wearing their punk influences on their shoulders. Also towards the middle we dive into the album’s zaniest excerpts - for sections of “Dinosaur Carebears”, “Sexual Athletics”, and “Jell-O”, you may feel as though you have fallen into a Saturday morning cartoon after indulging in a bit of psilocybin. Two of the albums strongest offerings come towards the very end, in “Picture Me Gone” and “Dayzed Inn Daydreams”. Typically one of the aspects of Ariel’s presence that stands out most is his absurdity, which translates as humorous, but “Picture Me Gone” is an epic milestone for Ariel Pink in the sense that it is his first song that actually induces a very universally accessible sense of melancholy, setting all satire aside. “Dayzed Inn Daydreams” closes the album off wonderfully with a beautiful vocal harmony based chorus, which will sit in your brain for weeks.
There are a lot of great genre records that came out this year, but when a record drops sporting seventeen tracks and almost every single one of them are a classic, and it transcends genre altogether - there is no competition. This is the greatest album of 2014.

Favorite tracks: “Picture Me Gone”, “Not Enough Violence”, “White Freckles”

ariel-pink
Tags: ariel pink, best of 2014, birdman, chad fjerstad, film, fka twigs, list, movies, music, records, trust, under the skin, wetlands
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