Kieron Gillen, Purveyor of Pop Music, Games Journalist & Occasional Comic Writer
Yep, I’m finally back from my hiatus – not that I had any time to rest, it was just one mad frenzy of card-writing (or rather, envelopes) and flailing about trying to keep up with all the festivities.
Gillen’s Phonogram is still lying around unread, but here’s his take on the forty best pop tracks of 2008, “chosen on [his] objective scale of objectiveosity”. It’s always easier to read someone’s smarter take on the ever-shifting face of music, because you can then roll the words and thoughts off your tongue as if it it were yours.
It’s not much of a dilemma, really. CTRL+C and CTRL+v takes only one hand and not even half a brain.
“Los Camp’s problem’s never been a lack of emotion – but rather a surfeit. The problem – and this is where they lose people yet again – is that it’s married to an equal surfeit of ideas, albeit ones inside their own self-sufficient aesthetic universe. It’s never shown better than this title track, which is as internally-conflicting, confusing, overwhelming, graceful and contradictory song as life being lived.
Which is what I like about Los Campesinos – they’re unafraid to be Los Campesinos, to be themselves. Which is a different thing from the boring old issue of authenticity. This is about transparency, the idea that you can throw your obsessions into art’s frame and, by doing so, demonstrate the blessed democratic nature of experience and existence. And some people will never forgive you for that.
Los Campesinos: Beautiful. Doomed.”