Sunday, December 2, 2012

Album Review - Purity Ring - Shrines

Listening to this album is like watching a vcr of the Northern Lights with synesthesia. As you listen you are transported, even by the opening track, into a cerebral arcadia. Ethereal and captivating, it's a sonic masterpiece.
Singer-and-soundguy duo Purity Ring (Megan James and Corin Roddick) have created a very 'listen-to'-able album - an impressive feat considering how bland and evanescent music of this genre can often be. However, once you succumb to the magnetism you are rewarded by the pulse-catching lyrics and the provocative soundscape. And by that I mean that this being is alive, man.
Though the vocals are mostly processed almost beyond comprehension, it is still possible to discern almost all of the brazenly vivid lyrics. They are, thematically, very anatomically orientated ("cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you", for example) which gives this otherwise apparently esoteric (yet focused to the point of imperious) album a tugging edge. The production is pure, accomplished and enthralling, and James' vocals are flexible yet modest; an instrument within the music, rather than a vocal line over the top of a backing track, often mixed to be within the instrumentation as opposed to transcending it. Purity Ring's rapport with themselves is perfect.
Shrines is one of those albums in which it is possible to get lost - particularly as many of the track names are so, urm, abstract (e.g. Amenamy, Saltkin, Belispeak...) and a similar sonar scheme is used throughout; although it is my no means repetitive, the sound of the album is very uniform - not that this is necessarily a bad thing. With its gravitational, siren-like allure, getting spirited away is only too possible.
Final point - the embossing on the cover is beautiful.
So, yeah. It's awesome and more will always be welcome, as I'm incredibly interested to see how these guys evolve.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Album Review - Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of those bands that have done it all. Well, I say one of those bands - it's hard to find many other bands that have released ten studio albums. They've covered very different genres (from the grimy funk that was Uplift Mofo Party Plan to the more relaxed, almost 'alternative pop' feel of much of their double disc Stadium Arcadium), lost and gained band members, had a period of hiatus, and are established musical legends, undeniably. There was a lot of anticipation, therefore, with regards to their last album, I'm With You - would it be following along the same direction that Stadium Arcadium and By the Way seemed to have been pointing them in? Would it be a complete flop of middle-aged mid-life-crisis-esque lyrics about commitment troubles and the loss of Frusciante? The pressure to provide was high. Thankfully, this album is a lot more focused than its predecessor and is also easier listening than their earlier works.
Their (second) loss of Frusciante has clearly had an effect on the band's music in this album. The guitar playing, though tastefully so, is played down and no longer a key structural aspect of the songs. Klinghoffer's replacement of him has of course led to some apprehension (though the songs are clearly of the Chili Peppers, there is an obvious audible difference) from fans, which is allegedly confronted in the lyrics of The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie, the first single from the album, for example in the line "no one here is on trial, it's just a turnaround". Flea's bass playing is, however, ever-prominent, and the tribal drumming, vocals and lyrics are all up to Chili Pepper standards.
I'm With You is a very conscious return to the musical industry (opening with a warm-up like drum roll and twiddle of guitar, and distant vocals), yet also ties up many loose ends - enough for me to say I would not be surprised if this was intended to potentially be their finale. For example, the closing of the opening track Monarchy of Roses sounds exactly like that of Make You Feel Better, from Stadium Arcadium, the first single has been described as "a collection of memories" (to MTV) by Kiedis (as the song tells us they will "rock you like the 80s" - the decade in which they first formed) and the tour is set to be their largest to date, with every show being available to download. The album includes the lyrics "We've got the wrong girl But not for long, girl, It's in the song girl, 'Cause I'll be gone girl", "Good things come to those who wait, Like an expiration date... Every dog will have its day." although also others that seem more optimistic about the future such as "The light is right, lift here tonight, lets make the right, the song of prize lets play", he does claim he'll lead all our mind games astray, so the album seems to be a call almost to a final celebration - epitomised in the title of the song Goodbye Hooray.
The only drawbacks of this album are that the chorus of Brendan's Death song is boring as (sort it out, Kiedis), and the shouted verses of Even You Brutus? take the listener by surprise. Other than that, there's really not much that can be criticized about this album - it is a work of mature musicians and each song is a tune. The album's also well assembled, with the songs flowing into one another and it ending on the high that is Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance. There's also been musical progress within the band - there's a lot more piano playing than we're used to, and there are some really crunchy harmonies going on (particularly during Happiness Loves Company) as well as more structural variation within the songs, and more variety, than was demonstrated in their last album, despite it being half the size. On the whole, then, an utter success. I only hope it isn't their last album, as there is definitely space in the world for more albums like this. It's nice that such an established, mature band are still evolving.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Single Review - Dale Goodridge - Swimming After Dark

Dale Goodridge | Swimming After Dark by Dale Goodridge

So, someone follows you on Twitter, meh. But if his bio includes the phrase "Purveyor of Fine Music, Potions and Elixirs!" you suddenly feel like you've made a friend. Thus, the stalking begins. Turns out this Dale Goodridge dude's an Australian singer-songwriter who's just released a single by the name of 'Swimming After Dark' and it's pretty catchy.
Listening into it, the heavy, Radiohead-like feel is quite alluring. The only negative things I'd say are that the drums and lead vocals can at times sound pretty laboured, and that I think I disagree with the decision to have the lead vocal line doubled-up for a lot of it. However, as a solo effort it ain't half bad. I particularly like the harmonies in the interlude, no matter how random an interruption it seems a first.
There is definitely an inspiring dedication to his craft going on with this guy, and some very clean recordings of guitar, bass (beautiful tone) and vocals too, so I'm glad I checked him out because this song is one of a multitude that are worth a listen.

Music Like This:

  • Radiohead - the vocals and organ'y bits are reminiscent of some of the stuff on In Rainbows.
  • Gotye - I don't know why exactly, but I'm feeling the experimental bit in the middle, and the brass and stuff.
  • Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - similar principle only with a band. Kinda similar sound too, if you changed the singer.

Album Review - Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber

Having discovered this album to be totally written by the French Melody Prochter, I was hopeful that this would help form part of a new movement of French musical creation which is en train de shaking off French music's well-deservedly pitiful reputation, and this is definitely better than what we've come to expect from the country over the decades.
Sound-wise, if Starfucker had brought up that girl from The xx and she'd had a kid with Tame Impala (Kevin Parker having produced the album) and the result was brought up an introverted French girl with  one of the Jarman brothersbabysitting, you'd get this.
Some of this album is very promising, in particular the first, fourth and seventh tracks - focused, well produced and vulnerably ethereal in its woozy, psychedelic displays of experimental yet so-laid-back-it's-in-a-deck-chair fusions of Prochter's light croon and scuzzy synthesising. Unfortunately, the haze is lost to itself in about half of the tracks, in particular Bisou Magique and the closing tracks, and you have to have a give-and-take relationship with half of the tracks for your attention to be held.
However, there's a catching sense of vulnerability in this debut which means it's not a loss when it gets vague - the better tracks are spread out so it's fortunately not a case of having half of the CD on repeat and ignoring the rest. It's a beautifully fragile, raw moment of a CD which, with such an experienced producer, could have been lost in favour of a more mature and less naive sound.
Thankfully, Parker has had enough nouse to revel in the art of it rather than be a po-face perfectionist, so you get a lot of Melody, who has enough fresh and interesting about her to make up for the less wonderful aspects of her breathy vocals (as a singer her breath control is only just able to get away with as being classified as 'stylistically flawed') and her hazy, floating composition (there's very little direction in the album - it's very much a tour of the inside of her own head).

As an album, therefore, there's a lot that can be improved on. As a debut, however, it makes me look forward to her future creations.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Album Review - Newton Faulkner - Write It On Your Skin

Newton Faulker: Ginger, dreadlocked guitar-man who performed a miraculous version of Bohemian Rhapsody at T in The Park 2010. He's released two albums before this one ('Hand Built by Robots' and 'Rebuilt by Humans'), each 18 tracks long, leaving this ten-tracker falling a little short of expectations. No more dreamy interludes with a "Sitar-y Thing" whining away. No sign of another "She's Got the Time" variation. He is moving in a more pop-y direction, further along the line that his second album pointed him in, foreshadowed by Rebuilt by Humans' "Badman". There is a clear difference between the first two and this one.

Although the first track, Pulling Teeth, has the harmonica of the preceding album's "Lipstick Jungle" and Soon has some slightly slappy guitar playing and some very sitar-like trickles, the songs on this album are a lot more commercial and - though I dislike using the word - mainstream, at the independence and quality's expense. Only one song one here has been written by Newton Faulkner on his own. The lyrics are no longer as graceful and pensive as they had the potential to be: they're very much more descriptive and their melodies have been written from a singer's perspective rather than a guitarist's. Despite this decrescence of both quantity and intellectual quality, however, the songs are an easy listen, catchy, and (in general) a little longer than those on his previous album, so you're not cheated on playing time. And he does play some nice guitar tunes (for want of a better description), for example on the third track, Brick by Brick. Thankfully the lyrics of the eighth track, In the Morning, provide you with reassurance that it's the same person creating these songs as wrote those of the past two albums, though it's a little soporific musically.

Unfortunately, in this album there are some melodies that don't sound overly original, notably the verses for Pick Up Your Broken Heart (so very like The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" ) and the following song, Long Shot, which is reminiscent of the song which Fiona sings in Shrek, blowing up a bird ( ) . Here I'm also going to, rather churlishly, pull him up on the tinny recording of the vocals at the beginning of the title track. It wouldn't have taken much mastering to sort that out, in all honesty. The whole track sounds pretty tinny on my laptop, to be fair, but even when played elsewhere the opening vocals are still slightly hair-raising.

The penultimate track should have just been recorded live, in my opinion, as it's just him and his guitar and could do with the natural atmosphere and applause of an acoustic night to keep it simmering. And said lacking applause is when the album should finish, Sugar in the Snow having been moved to just in front it, because although this last track is a nice wind-down, I'd rather finish the album on a high, thanks.

Overall verdict?
Nice, but Newton, dahling, you're letting yourself go...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

EP Review - Azealia Banks - 1991

I'm writing this after having seen the woman herself live at The Junction, Cambridge, a fortnight ago. Azealia Banks came to my attention whilst reading NME about nine months ago, in the editions that were still debating Lana Del Rey's lips. Having loved her track 212 ever since deciding to check her out, the only thing stopping me downloading this EP as soon as it was available was that I was holding out for a hard copy. However, my impatience got the better of me, as I couldn't actually find one upon first searching.  So, I caved and did not regret buying once I'd listened to it. But anyway. On to it.

Track One: 1991

The eponymous track here is a wonderful opener, as it demonstrates everything that Azealia Banks is and does. (Allow me to suggest looking at the video, simply for the moments of 0:26 and 3:24.)

1991 is in fact Azealia's birth year (see the roman numerals tattooed by her left collar bone), which explains the line "One-nine-nine-one, my time has come".
The primary drawback to this song is that her French pronunciation in the lead vocals is vaguely distressing in comparison to the "Excusez-moi... Est-ce que vous servez..? Où est un bon restaurant? Allez-y..." in the introduction, beneath the clinking of glasses and chatter of a crowd. That said, the fact that she includes French in the song gets her kudos. This song builds up layers of samples and so on, with breaks between verses which have been ended as samples overtake in volume, before starting again a level up. Rapping quickly she really is a master of her own lyrics, manipulating onomatopoeia after onomatopoeia and yet still expressing herself in an incredibly natural flow. The third verse is the start of something new, opened with a sample of her singing before returning to the same rhythms as were previously in the lead vocals but upon a new theme, before a singy leading out which induces a more dancey, less aggressive vibe. This track is definitely deserving of being the focus of the EP, and even the closing is well-done, as it simmers down to some manipulated sampling, perfectly opening up for the next track. 

Track Two: Van Vogue

Again, slick rapping that's hard to keep up with and an aggressive build-up to the barer sung part, which provides another example of her nicotine-like vocals. A master of the crescendo, this pause has not meant that when she returns to the rapping it's back to square one, oh no. It keeps going, up until the distorted part about escalators and players... And then, despite a sudden dropping of volume the tense energy is maintained as the "sips that sip, hit that dip" part gets started. Continually building up and yet eventually dying down into the sampled barks, the track is excellent until you get to the seemingly improvised, technically distorted monologue at the end, which unlike Kate Nash's The Mansion Song, kind of kills the mood in the form of the eventual disruption that had up until now been eluded.

Track Three: 212

It was a wise choice not to put this earlier on the EP, as it is a show-stealer unless it's appreciated after the others have been in their own right. Azealia Banks combines shock tactics (of which its most memorable line of "I'ma ruin you, c*nt" is the predominant instrument) with her standard super-slick rapping (it takes skills to clearly say "you're gay to get discovered on my 2-1-deuce", "bitch I'm bout to blew up too" and "your bitch'll get you cut and touch your crew up too, pop" that fast without stumbling), her bold, affronted, crowd-rousing shouting ("Whatchoo gon' do when I appear? Wh-wh-when I premiere?") and her seductive singing (in the "ayo" bit) to create what has brought her such fame (or infamy).
Sampling Lazy Jay's "Float my Boat" as, essentially, her backing, AB fits her lyrics perfectly to it in her breakthrough track, with this being the only cause of the only bad moment - when she slows down with the average lyrics of "if you do want to put your guns up... you know you were too, once", leaving her both exposed and vulnerable. However, considering her youth at this song's conception, this still is a true, timeless anthem, and it has not failed to effect a pure riot of united energy live and when played at parties. 

Track Four: Liquorice

I probably never would've thought, years ago, that I'd be positively idolising a woman who wrote a song including the question "do you jiggle your dick?"
Though the song begins with a different vibe from the other tracks, she reestablishes herself as soon as her vocals enter, though less aggressively and more casually than before. This song is also much more sexually orientated than the other three, contending even with one of her earlier tracks (to be found on Fantasea), L8R. This song, however, includes her slickest rapping on the EP, with many moments of very fast, tongue-twisting lines, and there are still the beautiful moments of her unique voice singing the hook, before the track traditionally fades out, rather than letting the build-up fall down into a sudden silence upon empty ears, so props for knowing when to not try too hard to be original.

Donc, le verdict définitif...
(See what I did there, oui?)

Don't try and listen to it without headphones if young kids or older generations are around... But do listen to it, because knowing it word for word will complete your life, and she's a party piece in herself. Every track on here is worth a lot of listens and every track could be a single, but as an EP the songs compliment one another perfectly. A beautiful creation tainted only by the random rant halfway through, hopefully heralding even more hot progenies that glitter with beads of sweat.

Album Review - Gotye - Making Mirrors

"Wouter "Wally" De Backer (born 21 May 1980), also known professionally by his stage name Gotye (pronounced /ˈɡɔːti.ɛə/), is a Belgian-Australian[1] multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gauthier", the French equivalent of "Walter" or "Wouter". His voice has been compared to those of Peter Gabriel and Sting.[2][3][4]

Gotye suddenly became a household name a few months ago with the success of the single 'Somebody That I Used to Know' feat. Kimbra. His album 'Making Mirrors', which contains the nigh on viral hit, is actually his third studio album, released last August. It was recorded largely on his parents' farm, according to Wikipedia, and involved very few people to produce (not including samples), so is refreshingly independent.

(Note to self, remember to turn off shuffle before attempting to listen to a CD's tracks in the set order.)

Track One: Making Mirrors

The eponymous track of an album being up first is an uncommon decision, yet I feel that here it's a successful one, as it is a subtle introduction to the first album of his that I, and many others I believe, have bought. Lasting barely over a minute, the beginning flute harmonies are reminiscent of an orchestra tuning before a concert (in the intervals), crossed with the calls of hunting horns, or a reveille, announcing the impending dawn of a musical experience. The fact that the vocals (singing effective yet stiltedly-phrased lyrics) are mixed not to come above the instruments also contributes to the introductory feel of the track - it's almost like a song being played in the distance, either to lure you in or to warn you of what is to come. I do however feel that the last silent seconds of the track are a little futile and should probably be halved.

Track Two: Easy Way Out

Although it is quite possibly my favourite track on the album, this track comes as a bit of a shock to the system after the soothing introduction. It's very 'Supermassive Black Hole', so is in complete contrast to the previous minute. The sudden drop of volume for the verses allow for a Thom Yorke-esque almost spoken vocal line to come through (emanating The Naked and Famous), before bringing back the guitar's motif quietly in the bridge in a build-up to the chorus. A more technological vibe is communicated through layers of well thought-out digital ornamentation - to maintain interest - in the second verse, and the suddenly silenced blast of guitar and percussion before the second chorus at 1:27 is a great moment of variation that you don't often get in modern music. However, the closing moments being like a wind-down is probably unnecessary, though it does evoke nostalgia.
This track contains samples of Echoette by Buddy Merrill, a guitarist, apparently, of which you can listen to a sample here:

Track Three: Somebody That I Used to Know

Sampling is always a risky business in the music industry when it comes to copyright laws, but I'm glad they managed it for this. Part of the beauty of Gotye and his music is the mélange of cultural influences, exemplified in his project's name. The xylophone line is like the melody of a nursery rhyme, hence how catchy it is, but the lilting vocal melody, combined with the sympathetic lyrics, over the top of the instrumental layers is what brought this song to its commercial success.
The return to the gentle introduction before Kimbra's verse is a brief respite from the dejected emotion, before building up to the chorus again. Kimbra performs well on the track (unlike her terribly clichée performance in the video, but what can you do?) - in contrast to her latest album which was recently rated as 0/10 in NME - particularly with the dynamics. There's a distinct lack of obvious autotune and vocal processing present which is always pleasurable to hear in a duet (in contrast to, for example, Jason Mraz and Colbie Collait's 'Lucky'). The harmonies between her warm voice and Wally's in the closing bars work beautifully, implying further harmonics between the lines than the two voices could provide alone.
The conclusion of this track is satisfyingly breathtaking. The cadence, including the xylophone's upward run, is neither clichée nor ugly, and finishes the track off nicely, in keeping with the lyrical theme of love, which is not only unpredictable (check) but never-ending (cliché, I know, but the interrupted cadence reflects this).

Track Four: Eyes Wide Open

The opening of this track is immediately reminiscent of Biffy Clyro's Whorses (from Only Revolutions), but in this track Wally De Becker really lets the Peter Gabriel facet of his voice come out. The return of the 'musical saw'-like strings combine with the tribal drumming to be of the same fabric as the first track, yet demonstrate development too. The epic drumming and clanging in the chorus add drama, but this track seems to be more of an interlude than a song on its own. There's no adrenaline. Whilst the second track could be a single, though probably without the third track's success, this couldn't. It's a team-player of a song, and would work wonderfully as part of a soundtrack but wouldn't really stand on its own, as the ending practically begs for more to complete what it's part of - ironic as the final words are "the end of the story". Though by no means a bad song, it is one you'd be able to concentrate on French homework whilst listening to it.

Track Five: Smoke and Mirrors

This track is, although not sticking out like a sore thumb, refreshingly different, inducing a swaying of bodies (or the body, singular, as I am in fact alone right now, as per) and more empathetic lyrics. Unfortunately, these lyrics aren't up to the same standard as, for example, those of earlier tracks, yet they are satisfyingly honest. There is a different feel to this song, less hard-done-by, more warning-like, and despite the lower quality of the lyrics, they fit very comfortably with the vocal line, which is impervious almost in its inflection, and the lyrics in the verses run parallel to one another which is a reassuring pattern.
Again, layers are built up to maintain interest, yet the 'chorus' section, complete with brass, is something new and climactic, compensating for the later "mother, are you watching?" moments which are rather cringey, however Seal-like they are in arrangement. Making good use of the distant vocals effect, it's a very conscious listen, but a rewarding one, particularly as the processed, sampled and synthesised instruments are incredibly convincing, which is true throughout the album yet particularly noticeable in this song. (Sampling Atlas' "Play It Cool").
N.B. The closing percussion reminds me of the closing bars of Ani Difranco's "32 Flavours", if you like that kind of thing.

Track Six: I Feel Better

Opening like a late 20th Century film, complete with fanfare but unfortunately lacking a lion, this track induces apprehension, particularly when one realises the gospel-like theme in this track. Happy-clappy romance has never struck me as a theme for such an intellectual producer, yet he manages it. He really shows off the flexible tenor in him, and the decent melody and arrangement. It samples Edmundo Ros's "Brazil"
about 2mins in (I believe), which is effective but could've been done without sampling I think (though I'm not overly hot on copyright law, which should probably change). I think it's present throughout, but I can't be sure. It's pretty unnoticeable.

Track Seven: In Your Light

Sampling Atlas for a second time (and, again, something that cannot be found on Youtube, the filthy hipster - try this if you like but it didn't work for me:,,4667767-14388822,00.html ) you have the return of the saw-like harmonics in an *even* happier song, causing head-nodding until the sudden brassy bit (which is perhaps the sampling). Then you have the guitary happy verse which is written demonstrates much better lyrics than those of the preceding track: the lyrics here are both less cliché and more sympathetic.
The repeated cycle of bells  is contagious, and the instrumentation reflects the lyrics, for example with the pause after "only a moment"... A genuinely decent happy song - although slightly jolting between the varying movements (I dunno exactly how to refer to the differently mooded sections), but it works as a building up interlude. I also like the noticeable dissonance near the end to remind you it's still the Gotye we had earlier... Nice job.

Track Eight: State of the Art

Very obvious sampling this time, of Frances Yip's "Green is the Mountain".
The 'soupy' effect on the vox is effective yet gets in the way of what little diction there already would have been. It's a shame because it's a song I'd very much be interested to hear the lyrics of without having to whip out the booklet. However, it's well put together, and the "state, state, state, state of the art" chorus, including the spoken aspects (which remind me of Starfucker's "Death as a Fetish") are pretty awesome.
It's quite technical in its use of sax and bass and digital effects, evoking thoughts of both the future and the eighties (1984 as a concept to be precise, as the title implies design and manipulation to me).
One thing I found interesting was the reference to a 'Cottillion' in the first line, and a/the 'Lowrey Cotillion' in the credits. After a brief Google, I discovered that it's a very old keyboard, essentially (I saw this advert - (p75) - and read this interview: ) which Wally basically wrote this song about. Nice touch, don't you think?

Track Nine: Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You

Considering the previous track reminded me of Orwell's infamous novel, I didn't find the Hitchhiker's Guide-esque reassurance in this song's title particularly soothing, I have to say. Fortunately, I don't think it's supposed to be, for if one watches the video the vibe is incredibly sinister. I like the ethereal use of post millennial takes on 1980s sound effects, but don't think the vocal line really adds anything. Thankfully, mixer Tetaz does what he's done across earlier songs, such as Making Mirrors, and really dilutes the vocals so the instruments and sounds take precedence over the lyrics. Not catchy, but a decent listen I won't be skipping on shuffle.

Track Ten: Giving Me a Chance

Thankfully, the sound effects (again, the saw-like sound and also the wineglass), the casual snare-line going all the way through and the chord inversions in the keyboard rescue this track from its cheesy combination of theme and chord pattern. The computer-game-like sound effects near the end kind of ruin the fragile result, unfortunately, but complement the video, which seems to tie in with the rest of the album, and the computerised vibe is also in keeping with other tracks. It would be great on its own, but the Sonic the Hedgehog moments demote it to being just an album track.

Track Eleven: Save Me

Almost aboriginal in the call-and-response like opening, this song is very bold. The brash drumming and brazen piano produce a chaos of volume threatening to overtake the vocals, which adds to the tension that is present in the lyrics of the song. Conversely, the inputs from a skittery autoharp embellish it until it seems to be artistic. Again a masterpiece of layers, this piece barely works, but the construction rescues it. It's a shame that the pattern of crescendo to subito piano is a frequent thing in the album, because the novelty of the tactic has worn off by now. However, it does work.

Track Twelve: Bronte

The closing track has a lot to do to conclude this album, and as I press play I'm skeptical after reading that in it Gotye samples The Banana Boat Song (good luck finding the Leo Addeo version online). Also, the lyrics, apparently, are about a dead dog. Continuing the vaguely tribal theme of the previous track, with a plain, flat bass line (I sometimes think it may be being played on a bass flute, like the other sample used - "Mozambique" by Les Baxter - ), I'm still skeptical. And the fist word or so of each line has been multitracked in the vox, so I'm still not sure. There's also no movement forward and rushing between words in an attempt to keep the rhythm from becoming stodgy. However, the introduction of some strings and tuned production make it bearable. And it gradually builds up, as is the norm for these Gotye songs, before falling onto an anticlimactic closing, which leads this song to be a disappointing finish in comparison to the rest of the album. But, then again, maybe the album's meant to fade out, as it faded in.


On the whole this album is definitely a recommendable purchase - and buy the hard copy because the artwork's part of l'œuvre entière. It's all well considered and composed, and is interesting to listen to properly as well as comfortable to zone-out to. The only drawbacks are that the lyrics are often either not too wonderful or not very clear, and that some of the structural techniques (such as the building up and then pausing) are overused beyond being just an aspect of the album's identity. However, that said, that means that the only downside is that the songs develop so... I'd recommend a listen to the songs and if you don't dislike what you hear (it's pretty Marmite a sound, not gonna lie) get the album. It will grow on you even if it's not your favourite thing at first, and it is a veritable treasure chest of being interesting.
Not for the intellectually apathetic.

>> Look at the videos, they're works of art in themselves and set all the songs off.

Music a bit like this:

  • Alt-J because though Gotye beats them on maturity, they're educated, intelligent and odd.
  • Imogen Heap because she too has a massive wardrobe of eclectic instruments and uses them well.