In December of 2016, some guy on Twitter identified only as "@stan__hansen" embarked on the masochistic enterprise of reviewing every single album on Noisey's albums of the year list, one tweet at a time. We watched with bated breath as he crossed off each record, either dismissing them with a curt remark like "mainly just annoying sounding" or praising them with an equally curt "pretty good." He never finished the job; instead, he inexplicably stopped after reaching our pick for number seven (The Life of Pablo), which, though understandable—no one was really reading his tweets besides us, who has time for this, etc.—was a disappointment. He set out on the same mission in 2017—but alas, he failed to make it all the way through yet again.
In 2018, at long last, he actually did it: He reviewed every single album we did. All 100 of them.
Partially to congratulate him, and partially to figure out why the hell he had decided to torture himself this way, we reached out to him. We learned a lot. First of all, despite the fact that we'd been calling him Stan for three years (and still do, to this day), that's not actually his name. It's Kevin Hare. He's a 32 year old who lives in Philly, and he started reviewing all the records on our list as a means of relaxing himself, as difficult as that is to believe.
"I worked at a music merch company and our holiday season was the most hectic of the year," he explained. "So this was a way to kind of distract from the craziness and help pass the time when I was working on that all the time."
After slaving away at 2019's albums of the year list for weeks, we finally published the thing, and began waiting anxiously to see whether or not Stan would set out on his deranged, annual mission once again. Luckily for us—along with the other, like, six people who care about this holiday tradition—he came through.
Stan couldn't be reached for comment this year—he's probably too busy listening to the five remaining records he hasn't reviewed yet (you can do it, Stan! We believe in you!)—but regardless, we wanted to treat you to a few of his most noteworthy write-ups.
If you read enough of Stan's tweets, a few patterns begin to emerge. For instance: He talks about his "office mate" all the time.
This year he's been using Zumiez, the clothing store, as an adjective to describe the way something sounds, which is just fascinating, and will certainly be adopted into the Noisey lexicon.
There's a lot that made it onto our list that Stan "pretty much absolutely hates."
Fortunately, though, there are a few albums he loved—or at least found tolerable.
You'll notice that Stan doesn't dole out positive reviews often. That's because he is a man of refined and particular taste, who isn't just going to lavish praise on mediocre trash willy nilly. Stan is a man of conviction and certitude, and—while we might disagree with many of his takes—there's no denying that they are as hot as the fire of a thousand suns, and that he really, really means what he says. For that, Stan—on behalf of the entire Noisey staff—we salute you. Good luck finishing out the list. Looking forward to next year, when we'll hopefully be treated to 100 more gems like this one:
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