9. Superorganism – Superorganism
In the rather grumpy intro to this blog series, I laid the blame for the current dire state of the music industry squarely at the overpriced sneakers of those cursed millennials. But I must grudgingly concede that not everything the Snapchat generation does is bad. Take my #9 pick for the best albums of 2018. Superorganism, a multi-national collective of whippersnappers that features a shockingly young lead vocalist in 18-year-old Orono Noguchi, has a backstory that couldn’t be more “new school.”According to Wikipedia, founding members connected through online music forums and recruited Japanese native Noguchi after hearing her clips on Soundcloud. They emailed demos back and forth before eventually coalescing IRL in London. Despite – or is it because of?—the disparate backgrounds and unconventional formation, Superorganism’s debut is harmonious, confident, and wacky good fun. Many of the tracks throb with the squelching electro beats of dubstep, and sound effects – frogs croaking, water splashing, tires screeching – are sprinkled liberally throughout. Orono’s adorable vocals border on blasé, but on the standout single “Something for Your MIND,” she revs up her delivery to ferocious-kitty levels. Snarky humour snakes through the 10 tracks here. The opener, “It’s All Good,” samples a motivational speech by Tony Robbins, then proceeds to distort Robbins’ voice into the stuff of nightmares. On the deliriously trippy “The Prawn Song,” Noguchi imagines herself as a hipster crustacean, “chillin’ at the bottom of the sea.” I believe I can safely say it’s the catchiest synth-pop ditty about shrimp that I’ve ever heard.
[Blogger’s note: *Amid alarming reports on the demise of the album, I humbly submit my picks for the best full-length releases of 2018. I’ll post them one at a time over the next few weeks, hopefully getting to #1 before Valentine’s Day! Want to save the album as an art form? Then go out and purchase a vinyl LP – or a CD, if you must – from a real bricks-and-mortar shop. Don’t just stream random tracks to your phone! Read my extended rant on the subject here.]