Let's consider George Osborne. He's Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position he's held since 2010. In the past five years, he's drawn a lot of criticism for slashing public services and cutting tax credits. When viewed at some angles, he resembles a hairless mole rat being flushed with a UV light. For many of us, he's barely a human being.
That was until last Sunday, when an article in the Mail revealed his taste in music. To the nation's shock, Osborne's iPod doesn't just play the sounds of natural disasters being piped through the cadaver of a benefits cheat. He also likes things we like, such as NWA. And Sufjan Stevens. He even enjoys St. Vincent.
After learning this bit of news, I needed to find out why. So I fired up Osborne's Mail on Sunday Mixtape and listened in for clues.
In the interview, Osborne claims that a NWA gig he attended in the 90s was his favourite ever live show. And if we're being honest with ourselves, this is exactly the kind of thing a middle-class, 40-something white Englishman would say. NWA's politically-conscious, provocative lyrics may have been wild at the time, but now they've been dulled by decades and a decade of critical praise from the established commentariat. What was once dismissed as too radical is now rightly embraced as intellectual - even by former Bullingdon boys.
It would have been far more transgressive for George to claim he only listens to Gucci Mane mixtapes. The ones he made in prison.
Concept albums about every state in America? Don't mind if I do! I won't lie 2 u guys, I only listened to Sufjan Stevens' Illinois album once because Pitchfork gave it a good review. Then I realised I was letting Pitchfork dictate my musical tastes, so I chucked my speakers out the window, splashed my face with cold water, and gave myself a team talk in the bathroom mirror.
Even so, some of Stevens' tracks are extremely mellow, so I can see why they'd be a nice counter to a busy evening drafting up a proposal for a two child tax credit restriction.
Incredibly talented, funny and charming, pals with David Byrne, sexually fluid. What's not to love about St. Vincent? I'm not sure if a focus group told George to like this particular artist, but if they did, that's 10/10 good focus group decision.
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