Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood... Wood you?
2012 Top 100 LPs #60-57: John Cale, Mystery Jets, Gonjasufi, Gift of Gab
Published on December 11th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Yes, it’s…Rocksucker’s Top 100 Albums of 2012!
Rocksucker listened to a lot of albums this year and conferred varying degrees of merit (in quail form) upon them based on our own spurious criteria…
…and now we bring you our favourite hundred of them, counted down in order arbitrarily/for fun. By dint of mathematics (specifically 4 x 25), top spot shall be revealed on Christmas day. Now, let’s get crackling, and then cracking…
60. John Cale – Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood
It’s moody, it’s experimental, but it’s still got enough grounding in pop song structure to consider it as such, not least Danger Mouse collaboration “I Wanna Talk 2 U”. Packing enough jarring surprises to frighten off the uninitiated, sufficiently song-based to offset his legacy as the avant-garde catalyst of The Velvet Underground; you’ve got to love that.
59. Gift of Gab – Next Logical Progression
Arguably the most skilful rapper of his time (as in: Rocksucker would argue it), Gab continues on his third solo outing to exercise more restraint than his extravagant flows and rhyming schemes deserve, but you can’t blame a guy for maturing. It nevertheless remains thoughtful and inviting, and when he does release the dragon, as he does on album opener “NLP”, it can still leave you every bit as lost for words as Gab is overflowing with them. Roll on the next Blackalicious LP!
58. Mystery Jets – Radlands
Eel Pie Island’s finest have evolved from prog-pop whirlwind of their debut into, well, just a damn fine pop group. You can be sure their influences are impeccable if the lyrics of the utterly delightful “Greatest Hits” are anything to go by (“You can take The Lexicon of Love away, but I’m keeping Remain in Light / You can take away It’s a Shame About Ray, but I’m holding onto Country Life / You can keep No Need to Argue and I’ll keep In the Aeroplane Over the Sea / Hold onto The Boy With the Arab Strap, ’cause I’m holding onto Village Green”), and these are infused across the record with the kind of smartness and warmth that we’ve come to expect from these guys. Great set at Leeds, too.
57. Gonjasufi – MU.ZZ.LE
Yer man described this record as a way to reflect on his actions through what had been a dark time of his life, so if you’re looking for a barrel of laughs then you’re probably better of giving this one a swerve. If darkly lush beats and smoky, wild-eyed vocal delivery are what you seek, then know that they combine to wonderfully disorienting effect on this lucid anxiety dream of a mini-album. If all of this sounds unwelcoming, check out this choice cut and reconsider…