album review #2: usher album review

I only this second realised that Usher even made an album this year. That’s really bad because I love “Daft Punk” so much and their album would’ve been nothing without him. Usher (real name Colin Farrell) has called his new album G I R L, which is capitals for girl. I’m excited to finally have the chance to review the album and am grateful for the opportunity. I know it’s late but I won’t let you down I promise.


This album is going to be a pop R ‘n’ B album, which means you have to forget everything you learnt before (in the “Daft Punk” review) about robots because pop R ‘n’ B is exclusively about emotions. Specifically it is about the emotion of how much you like girls (G I R L S)

Once again I am going to do my review in real time, like episode 6188 of Neighbours.

n.b. As I’ve never listened to this before there’s a chance I might become so overwrought with emotions about girls that in my eagerness to type I end up mashing my fingers blindly against the keyboard. If the letters start to seem crazy to you then that’s why. Pressing play now…


1. this first track is called *marilyn munroe*, like the GIRL actor, and it starts with surprise strings going up and down picturesquely like it’s little house on the prairie and then colin says “different” and then there are beats. colin is singing about how he can’t help liking GIRLS and in the chorus he is singing to his diary about how he wants a different GIRL but not necessarily one that is an actor, ancient egyptian pharoah or historical catholic french soldier, just a GIRL that’s different. I guess. GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL, he says. Now it’s half way through and there’s just plain beats and a dial tone…a british GIRL says a thing…chorus chorus…GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL. it was a fine song about trying to like GIRLS.

2. this song starts with monkey impressions and the message is about winners and quitters and dancing having something to do with catuses and sand?…uh, the music is upbeat dance rhythm with grotty chippy horn parps and justin timberlake is singing too high to know what he’s singing about. it’s texting and bags I think…like the text in the morning? newspapers. mostly I’m confused about this. colin is quite keen on thanking somebody for a good morning…I think he’s thanking justin but he also sings “GIRL” just in case we think that he’s in an adult relationship with justin. I think that’s the only GIRL in the song, which is pretty shocking. it’s fading out now thank goodness. I didn’t enjoy that very much. it was called *brand new featuring justin timberlake*

3. this is a simple song called *hunter* and it is light changalang funk guitar going round and round with singing over it. the singing is again too high to listen to. colin’s singing isn’t very good…it’s stupid singing. he’s singing about his love to his baby. his love is something. his love is colin. he’s going on about pestering GIRLS at night, giving them colin and then taxidermying them and nailing them to the wall because he’s a hunter. it’s a stupid song. it’s going now.

4. this song is called *gush* and it is grotty and boring. colin wants to set GIRLS on fire and get them to set themselves on fire. he also wants to make their heads “goosh”. gooshing heads is probably something to do with taxidermy. there are strings now to add emotions near the end, like it’s putting grot in a landscape. a puppy yaps in the background the whole way through. the puppy is alone. colin has left it by the bins because he saw a GIRL.

5. this song is all chippy and jolly and called *happy*. colin is insisting that he’s happy. he sings “happy” in a long whine, harmonising with himself and says stuff about happiness underneath it. it’s good. being happy. he’s not mentioned GIRLS once and as far as I can tell he’s just singing about clapping and being happy, which is genuinely fine. nice even. that’s it really. it’s good that these songs are short.

6. this song starts with changalang guitar and booping electronic bass noise and clapping and mouth shouts like “hey” and “come on”. colin is singing about popping a wheelie on his bike whilst sneering at GIRLS. the GIRLS like it. the song is called *come get it bae* and bae is probably referring to the aeronautics and arms manufacturer bae systems because colin can “do anything they need”. a GIRL is now singing about sugar whist colin teaches her about clutch control. I don’t know what’s happening. this is the worst song.

7. ugh, right. this song has got funk strings and junk in it and it’s all cloppy and then there’s suddenly robots like in “daft punk” because it is supposed to be “daft punk” but you can tell it’s just colin. I don’t know what he’s singing about I can’t hear a word he’s saying on any of these songs. it’s towards the end now and even colin is bored and you can tell he’s just wandered off. there are voices in the background but you can’t hear what they’re saying. colin comes back, puts his “hands in the air” and sings “yeah” and then it fades out. it was called *gust of wind* totally appropriately.

8. this song starts with african style humming like it’s paul simon but then colin starts singing over bopping bongo type drums and it’s boring. he’s singing in his normal speaking register and even that’s hard to hear because it’s so intolerably boring. there are constant “hey hey” type mouth noises in the background. now it’s faded out to just beach wave noises and there are still four minutes to go…maybe that’s it. maybe he’s fallen asleep on his li-lo and now he’s miles away. no he’s singing again. there was another song hidden at the end. it’s different but the same in that it’s rubbish. he’s singing that he’s a freak…I’ve drifted off completely. reading wikipedia. the ninth song is on now, super super light pop reggae. there are some quotes from colin in wikipedia. he says that this is the record he always dreamt of making and he knew it would be called G I R L because writing it like that looks weird and society is unbalanced and girls are important. he says it is a feminist concept album because he hardly even goes on about girls in it that much, which is true actually. that happy song didn’t even say anything about a GIRL…that other song did say about setting them on fire and nailing them to the wall though. he says that the album was an attempt to “eliminate what he sees as an understandable degree of uncertainty over what his attitude to women actually is” and I’m pretty sure he’s managed to not do that at all, although on one song he did say that a GIRL’s mum and dad were probably nice.

it’s finished now I didn’t notice.

there was a track 10 too apparently.

I don’t know how I can possibly turn this into a calculable points total. I’ll give it a go.

Songs where I could hear words: 2/10

Songs that were so boring I couldn’t even hear them: 4/10

Songs with emotions about liking girls: 4/10

Songs about being happy: 1/10

Total: 11/40 which is 1.375 stars

Nearly twice as good as “Daft Punk”

round things of the solar system part five

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

nearly there

Now we’re beyond the planetary solar system and into something else entirely, what is known as trans-Neptunian space, that is anything that is further away than Neptune on average. The main thing of this part of the solar system is the Kuiper Belt, which is a bunch of junk created during the formation of the solar system that Neptune has apparently swept into a neat big doughnut. Some of the objects from the Kuiper Belt and beyond have crazy orbits so listing the miles things are after another thing is even stupider than it was for the planets.

843 million miles after Triton is:

orcusOrcus can be called the anti-Pluto. This is because its orbit is like Pluto’s in a mirror and it also has a cosy moon like Pluto does. Orcus is icy and the ice is in crystals which are probably from past ice volcanoes. Currently it is hard to know very much about the objects in this part of the solar system because they are so far away and no vehicle has yet had a look at them up close (the hubble pictures of these things are just bunches of pixels) and so it is also hard to know whether these things are round enough to even be looking at at all. Orcus probably is though, it’s nice.

8 million miles after Orcus is:

plutoThe harbour at the edge of the world. The friendly face in the darkness. Everyone likes Pluto because they think it’s sitting out there all little and by itself but it actually has five moons and New Horizons will get there next year and start criticising it. Pluto dances with Charon like they are Rose and Jack on the Titanic, which makes them a binary system, their gravitational balance point falls in the space between the two. Its surface is super varied so should be good to look at properly. It is holding organic molecules and water, which is life stuff. Life stuff is found all over Kuiper Belt objects which is why some people think life stuff came to Earth on a meteor from here.

12 thousand miles after Pluto is:

charonThis is Pluto’s little moon (or big moon if talking relative sizes) and phony Irish dancing partner. Nobody knows if it is its own thing that Pluto has latched onto or if it was smashed off of Pluto at some point, they are different colours which shows that they have different compositions. They could be seen as two individual little planets just having a nice time. It probably has ice volcanoes going off on it. Charon was discovered in the 70s by looking at cruddy pictures of Pluto that sometimes had extra blobs on the edge.

As we’ve now reached the outer limits of our classical solar system this would be a good time to try to get some perspective. These distances are unreasonable. I found two things that sort of help in getting your head around it. Here is a scale model of the solar system if every pixel were the size of the moon:

scale model of the solar system if every pixel were the size of the moon

and here’s a spunky man on a bike:

607 million miles after Charon is:

makemakeUnlike Pluto, Makemake is definitely a lonely thing. It has no moons and no atmosphere and it does its own orbit, whereas the objects mentioned above have a resonance with Neptune and for every two orbits Neptune does they do three. They also cross paths with Neptune, coming closer to the sun that it does, though because they have resonance they do not crash into each other. Makemake has no interest in that sort of behaviour. It also has a very uppy downy orbit to reinforce the no interest that it has. Its surface is ices.

2 billion miles after Makemake is:

erisIf there ever were things that didn’t care about anything it is this thing and the next thing. They still go around the sun though eventually. Eris takes 557 years to go around the sun but considering how far it is away from the sun (pointlessly far away) that actually seems pretty swift. It is the biggest known dwarf planet and it exists outside of the Kuiper Belt as part of a gang known as the scattered disc, which are things that have been hossed beyond the Kuiper Belt by the giant planets. These things go like boomerangs and comets are these things, going far far away and then coming back again.

That’s about it. One more round thing to go. It’ll take a while to get there, you probably have time to watch Titanic a couple of times if you want to…

43 billion miles after Eris is:

sednaSedna is currently 8 billion miles from Earth but its orbit is so crazy that 49 billion miles is the average. It takes 11 thousand years to go around the sun. The silly orbit was probably caused by something massive giving it a shove in the distant past. Something that either isn’t around anymore or hasn’t made an appearance yet. Its surface is red and sedate and ancient, the space it travels through is too cold and empty for any impacts or deposits to replace the coating. It is by a long way the most far away round thing but it is very unlikely to be the only round thing that far away, there will be tons more round things flying around beyond Neptune and there should be another 40 – 120 round things doing what Sedna is doing. They even found another one just now but it doesn’t have a proper name so I’m not painting it. I’m fed up with this.

So that’s the end of round things for me. But the solar system goes on for ages and ages after this. Voyager 1 has just toddled through the heliopause where the solar winds lose the energy to fight against the rest of space and in a little while it will spend 20 thousand years toddling through the ice-nugget Oort cloud which stretches half way to the rest of the stars.

If you’d like to buy one of my round things paintings you can do so here.