Thursday, June 29, 2017
It is less embarrassing to be nostalgic for half-remembered Americana, tactile objects and communicative signifiers of less-troubled times (we know things turn out ok!) when middle-aged British filmmakers feel the same way. Like Lynch without the Jungian unconscious, just an open love letter to an essential, mythic form that must still reside somewhere in us, when you can seek it between the static. Radio waves soak through your skin. A precise tuner is a tool for living.
Posted by Ben at 6/29/2017 08:14:00 AM
Saturday, June 24, 2017
This was my most anticipated album of the year, so lend me my spleen as I explain why this mostly failed despite Lorde's inquisitive, adventurous nature and sophisticated palette: Jack Antonoff. Ella was swept into the Lena/Rookie mag/Taylor Swift inner circles, got hoodwinked into abandoning her poetic sensibilities for lazy diary-spelunking, and worked with a graceless grifter of a producer/Lena bf. Dude is responsible for the worst songs on 1989, and you wanted to work with him? fun. was such an embarrassing band/moment: Glee still held sway, and well-enunciated self-empowerment anthems had a 50/50 shot of ending up being upgraded by Lea Michele, regardless of how tone-deaf these pocket sym-phoneys were.
It's fine. I'm not mad on the internet. You're mad on the internet.
In conversation, I tend to use the phrase 'theatre kid' as a put-down, but it is a lazy, sloppy shorthand for describing a kind of person whose life is full of drama without perspective, like they're a vacuum in search of titanic emotions, so any inconvenience or bad luck will do. Live and let live, obv. but in proximity it is tiring, joyless, myopic, embarrassing; it is anxiety seeking more anxiety. And more often than not, that is what this album sounds like.
Green Light has some really cool stuff but could have used a hard edit
Sober is pulpy but those horns are vintage Kanye and the drums work
Homemade Dynamite has a cool ~Enya flute synth but is mostly lame
The Louvre is getting a lot of love but is a bore with a quotable punchline
Liability was disappointing when she played it on SNL, unfortunately it turns out to be one of the better songs on the album.
Hard Feelings/Loveless is two forgettable songs, but smushed together!
Sober II (Melodrama) Kate Bushwick
Supercut is an unsuccessful Dunder Mifflin sales call
Writer in the Dark is truly fucking awful.
Liability (Reprise) if you're going to be the downer at the (concept-album) party, just don't go
Perfect Places is very nice. Ella, you're forgiven.
Posted by Ben at 6/24/2017 08:18:00 AM