It's been a bit of a rum do, all told.
Farewell, 2016, you sick bastard. We are, collectively, not so much giving you the cold shoulder as breaking your shoulder by kicking you down the stairs while we watch, lips curled into a sneer, as you writhe about in the stairwell. We hate you, 2016. Remember how everyone loathed the second James Bond actor, George Lazenby, so much that whoever came next – Roger Moore – was sure to be held close to the nation’s warm bosom? That’s how we feel about 2017. The year 2017 could make Moonraker and we’d still like it better than you.
Fuck you, 2016. To prove how much we hate you, we would like, now, to present you with your own shameful carnival of fuckery. Yet the shit you have pulled is so heinous, consists of such trolling, that we cannot recount it all in one article. So we have been forced to narrow our field. Behold, 2016, the musical crimes that you committed in the past 12 months. Look hard in the mirror, feel the burning hot sensation of shame, and recognise yourself as the worst year in recent memory. Yes, you really were a cockwomble.
All the deaths of all the musicians we loved
James Corden is the only celebrity left now. That’s why he does everything. He sings songs on adverts. He presents TV shows. He pretends to have fun on Carpool Karaoke. James Corden does these things not because he is good at them, not because he enjoys them, but because he is the only person left to do them.
Nobody wants a visual album
Thanks Beyoncé, thanks Frank Ocean, thanks Tove Lo, thanks Florence + the Machine. But the truth is that ain’t nobody got time for your long, self-indulgent ‘visual album’. It is neither a music video nor a film. It is neither here nor there, except in the sense that it is over there and I am over here, politely ignoring its existence.
Honey G was a pitiful and depressing thing
No bugger watched The X Factor this year, so no-one knows it was won by a little chipolata called Matt Terry. But, thanks to the news coverage and Comment Is Free articles, we all know that there was a lady on the show called Honey G, who was a white rapper who came to be accused of cultural appropriation. Hard to say exactly whose culture she’s appropriating, though, as she looks like that starfish Spongebob Squarepants knocks about with.
Long albums sucked the joy out of life
File this alongside ‘visual albums’. Drake, Zayn, James Blake, you and many others are guilty of releasing very, very long records, often of about 17 songs. There’s a theory that albums are getting longer, their tracklists less ruthlessly edited, because the rules have changed around chart positions – streams of individual tracks now count towards the overall performance of an album. Yet, as Saddam Hussein learned when US troops were tipped off about him eating Mars bars and hiding in a bunker in Iraq, you can leave too many tracks.
Disgraced X Factor dickbag James Arthur made a comeback
We lost David Bowie, but don’t worry, James Arthur came back. Many thought he was finished forever when, in 2013, he released a freestyle that was both homophobic in content and rubbish in sound, but this year he narrowly missed out on a number one single with an acoustic ballad called ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’. Like Kate Winslet in Titanic, we did let go, James. Unlike Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, you came bubbling back up to the surface, puffing and panting, filling your lungs with the oxygen of publicity.
The return of the skit
Another unwelcome comeback: the skit. Perhaps this is linked to that whole streaming/chart position hustle, but all the banging albums of 2016 were jam-packed with chatter and filler. Kanye’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ had the fake-laugh-featuring ‘I Love Kanye’; Slaves’ ‘Take Control’ had the music exec-baiting ‘Mr Industry’; and Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ had ‘Be Yourself’, the admittedly quite good one in which a friend’s mum leaves a voicemail warning her son not to become a ‘weed-head’. Kanye, here’s a deal: we’ll take ‘I Love Kanye’ off your hands and you give us another ‘Waves’, the greatest song of all time.
People kept saying “vinyls” and it kept being wrong
This word has entered the lexicon. We must weed it out, hunt it down, chase it with dogs and send it scurrying into a foxhole. Probably don’t bother signing that petition about it, though, you sad lad.
Martin Shkreli continued to troll the world
You know him by now. The dweeby looking pharma dude who in 2015 jacked the price of the AIDS drug Daraprim by 5,000% and bought the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’. He was still a douchebag in 2016, backing Donald Trump, asking to leave a fraud trial to play Pokémon Go and threatening to “smack” Ghostface Killa “in the face”, which seems an unwise thing to do. He also pretended to have unreleased Nirvana and Beatles material. Oh, and he leaked frustratingly short snippets of the Wu-Tang album to celebrate Trump’s victory. Still, he was good for headlines.
YACHT made tools out of themselves
The electro-pop duo falsely claimed that someone had stolen a sex tape they’d made and that they planned reclaim the situation by releasing it themselves. The video they released was actually for their new single ‘I Wanna Fuck You Till I’m Dead’, prompting outrage from virtue signallers across the internet, who decried the publicity stunt as an insult to victims of revenge porn. You know what they say: if you can’t make good art, just wind people up on the internet instead. It’s a motto I have turned into a career.
LCD Soundsystem played to no-one at T in the Park
This summer, reformed disco punks James Murphy and co. played to a handful of people at the Scottish festival T in the Park, as everyone went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers instead. That’s like feasting on a Big Mac when you could have steak. No, wait, it’s worse – it’s like actively choosing to see Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Kanye hugged Trump and 2016 can get tae fuck
We were poised to publish this article when 2016 did another cataclysmically bad thing. Kanye West went to Trump Tower and posed with satchel-faced President-elect Donald Trump, who said, “We’ve been friends for a long time.” Kanye now joins Nigel Farage as someone who’s pals with Donald Trump, and that is the last thing you need to know about 2016.