Hegemony Of Beige

LISTS, LISTS and more LISTS. We’re drawing mighty close to that time of year. But our Fats has had enough already. He will 1) Not make any lists this year 2) Or maybe he will… 3) What? Oh…

illlustration: steve appleton

Here are Fat Roland’s top 10 favourite words in order. That sentence was a list and you didn’t even realise it. At this time of year, idiot journalists like me spew out end of year lists like a volcano with a vomiting bug, our top 10 of warm internet puke pouring into your burnt eyes.

You know the kind of thing. Best samba metal album of the year. 2015’s hottest record shop janitors. Gary Kemp’s favourite belly lint. We’re veracious rankers; we make bucket lists that don’t have buckets on. We even list chemical elements with the most common first. Screw you, hydrogen, you atomic Adele.

This hegemony of beige best of leaves no room for heroic but flawed attempts, the beautiful but broken outsiders that are often much more entertaining. In this I include Apollo 440, Loop Guru, half of Squarepusher’s albums, Lionrock, UK garage, later Orbital singles and almost everything released in the 1980s. Gah! I’m listing! End of year lists make me furious. They’re not even in my top 100 of lists.

Electronic Sound wanted me to write about the best musical willy of the year. Bieber’s, Kravitz’s, or the one shared between all current and past members of New Order. But I won’t play their sick game. From now on, when someone asks me about the best album of 2015, my answer will be both non-committal and completist. This is how I’ll do it: I’ll mention every album released over the last 12 months and say each one is “OK”. Just “OK”. Jamie XX’s ‘In Colour’ was OK. Bjork’s ‘Vulnicura’ was OK. Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Special’ was OK. Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ was OK. Muse’s ‘Drones’ was OK. Saxon’s ‘Battering Ram’ was OK. This is boring, right? At least it’s painstakingly fair.

I’m going to mention every celebrity shlong that existed in 2015 then hum ’n’ haw a non-opinion because all your stinking best of lists can go to hell. Anyone caught reducing down the year to a caramelised gloop of sickly bullet points will (a) be made to write out their favourite body parts in order and (b) have those body parts pliered off one by one, 

Do you know what’s even worse? This is a column about lists and most of it wasn’t even written as a list. Or was it? Is this whole diatribe secretly a list of my favourite thoughts? Open your mouth, people. Here comes the warm puke.

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