sábado, 8 de setembro de 2012

The Wake: Here Comes Everybody

As an obligation, I have to apologise everyone for not dedicating myself much to the blog in the past month of August. I admit I have started a few reviews but to be honest, I didn't like them so I didn't finish any of those.
Tonight, I'm about to review a criminally underrated Glaswegian band called The Wake. Once again, I owe my discovery of this 1980's gem to The Pastels, because without them, I wouldn't have known any of the bands I listen to now. It all started when I read The Pastels' tweet about The Wake, which made me intrigued, but I decided to try and listen to them only a few months later. And I don't regret.
I can surely say that Glasgow must be (yes, it must be) the city that has given the world the largest number of wonderful, great and unfortunately underrated bands. The list of bands could go on forever, but let's not talk about things that are not much relevant to this review.
Also, The Wake toured during their earliest years with New Order, which in my opinion, gave them a little "New Order-ish" influence.

So, the album I am talking about this time is "Here Comes Everybody". It's a treasure quite well hidden in time, and it absolutely shouldn't be hidden. There were so many bands in the 1980's that didn't deserve the recognition they got, and so many bands who did deserve it, didn't.
I will proceed to the second track "Send Them Away", which is a beautiful song to be listened once you are heartbroken, disappointed at someone, or if your relationship just isn't the same as it used to be. The lyrics "We walked across the bridge of sighs, shall we stop to say hellos?" does summon everything I just characterized in the last phrase. Usually, when you become distant with someone you used to love so fondly, there is nothing else to do but to sigh, wishing you could go back in time and do things differently. Unfortunately, you cannot help it, the end of the relationship, the "nothingness", the vague silences between you two, and so you sing in your own sorrow and sobbing: "But that's the way it goes, that's way love grows". And you understand it's the way it should be, and none of you two could avoid it, if love's non-existent it will eventually end.
The next track I am going to analyse is "Melancholy Man". It is clearly a song that talks about someone too romantic and attached to the magical world of daydreaming to live in such cruel and harsh reality. "The sky is blue today, here in nowhere land."  Even though is someone else that sings this lyric, other than melancholy man, I connect it to his imaginary world, the only place he feels happy, or he can be happy. Many people find melancholy and "happiness" as two complete opposites, but I disagree. Melancholy can be very pleasant. Anyway, the lyrics describe a man who wanders around in reality but he's really not there, he's in his own world, where he wishes to not establish contact with other real people and does not care about the children calling his name and running behind his back, he doesn't care about smiling back at people he's acquaintances with. And then, there's someone talking to this melancholy man (who I presume to be called Vincent, since this name is mentioned in the last part of the lyrics) claiming that the world does not deserve something so beautiful as this man. Once again, I associate with the "escapism" of this man in his own daydreaming, too sensitive and vulnerable to our human reality.
"World of Her Own" is a track that I pretty much identify myself with. It seems like a dialogue between two male friends who talk about one of them's girlfriend who might be a little bit too glued to her daydreaming (just like "Melancholy Man"). Maybe she prefers her surreal world over a true (and complicated, because it's always complicated) relationship with a real man. "One day she'll be leaving you, for a world of her own" Then, the boyfriend's friend tells him that he should change his habits because it will happen anyway: the end of their relationship. He will be alone, and she'll be dreaming, in peace. I understand this song so much because it's much easier to have platonic crushes rather than real love, but in the end, if you get too attached to your daydreaming and your perfect man, you might wake up too late and realise you spent your life dreaming, all alone. And even though I find much easier to imagine things rather than having them, I much rather real love, than a world of my own.
"All I Asked You To Do" is clearly about an old crush that the singer had which seemed to impossible to become a real relationship. She had everything: beauty, money and kindness. But in the end, she was cruel to him and broke his heart. And so, everyone passed by in her life, and no one stayed, and she never knew what true love is, and how wondrous life can be.
And now, the last but not least track in the album is "Here Comes Everybody". Another heartache song, about a man who ended up disappointed at his lover, when he once decided he'd never fall in love again, but she ruined that decision, yet kissed another man. And then, he "lost" her since she wanted to be another person, completely different from the one he had fallen in love with. He didn't want her to change, but she did it anyway, not caring about his thoughts. And so, as a changed, a totally different person, she betrays him and kisses another man, proving to him and she was at last free and their love was over.
Finally, concluding this review, I would say it's a much lighter album than their first one, "Harmony", which had influence of New Order's debut album "Movement". Back then The Wake released their EP's and albums in Factory, Joy Division's & New Order's record label, therefore, everyone was grieving Ian Curtis' death, and it had a huge impact on their music.
The synthesizers, played by lovely Carolyn Allen, had a very saddening feeling to the whole album, and drag themselves gracefully and romantically. I wouldn't say they're ethereal, but they give me a prolongation feeling  that I could easily compare to depression, although I don't mean those serious cases of depression, but that one that's subtle and afloat and seems neverending. This one would be a very pleasant depression, definitely, and the only one that I'd love to never end. Synths are a very important component of the record, because in my opinion, synths will always have a lovely and melancholic sound to me. Of course, if you compare the synths in "Harmony", you'll notice they're heavyhearted, angsty and somewhat obscure.

PS: There is a version of this record with the singles, but I wanted to stick to the original record. Anyway, I'm going to leave here the covers of the EP's. Thank you for reading!

Flyer of a New Order & The Wake gig, 1982 

"Talk About The Past" EP, 1984

"Of The Matter" EP, 1985

"Something That No One Else Could Bring" EP, 1987

A picture of band, The Wake.

segunda-feira, 23 de julho de 2012

Crocodiles: a different review

No, I'm not going to talk about those huge reptiles that almost everyone's afraid of, but I am going to talk about one of the many masterpieces that the 1980's gave birth to, so that young people all over the world could still have some faith in the humanity.
Oh, I'm sorry, I gave the credit to the wrong 'thing', it was Echo and the Bunnymen who 'gave birth' to this wonder. Ian McCulloch and his mates were still in their early years, young and unstoppable, influenced by bands as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and The Doors (anyone can notice their influences in this album, the sharp sounds, groovy rhythms and little sadness/melancholy in their songs, which was something that usually would mark its presence among anything, in most of the post-punk records of the time).
 Echo and the Bunnymen were somewhat far and close to their characteristic sound in this album. Some people may say they sounded too much like a 1970's rock band, some say it sounds a lot like post-punk. Personally, since it was released in 1980, it is in between those two aspects. The psychedelia is there, the whole sense of dance into the songs is there (it is an album that you can easily dance to, but not like nowadays' dance), but the despair, cynical ways, the 'dark' side is there too. I'm sure that the person that is reading this will easily agree with me if it takes a 'listen' to "Stars are Stars", "Pictures On My Wall" and "Happy Death Men".

 This album is very very hard to decode, the lyrics are somewhat abstract. Ian probably wrote them when he was drunk. But I guess trying won't do any harm, even though it might turn my head upside down. So I guess I won't talk much about the lyrics in this review, they are not very concrete, and the meaning of them is incredibly difficult to find out.

 «"Going Up" is the first track, and they chose the first track very cleverly. It sounds like the beginning of an album so much! I guess this song talks about life and its ups and downs. There's a curious part of the lyrics that says 'D'you want to know what's wrong with the world? Everywhere there's people with no flowers in their hair'. I guess flowers kind of mean purity or 'innocence'. I can easily connect this whole 'flowers' meaning to children. People need to think more like a child, with clear and clean eyes. The flowers in their hair, kind of means the mentality of innocence. Like I said, the mentality of children.
And then, "Do It Clean" starts. It's almost as if I could travel, not only in time but in space too. Suddenly, I'm in an english pub, in 1979. Everyone is wild, young, beautiful, and I'm surrounded by great minds. The atmosphere is almost impossible to describe, it's like the smoke in the air is magical and the dancing of the people around me is part of a ritual. And Ian's voice singing is part of the spell that the whole crowd is casting. The whole environment is composed by magic, mystery, strangeness and charm. You are scared, but you don't leave because you're hypnotised by the music, the singing, the dancing, the smoke, the lights, the choirs, the guitars, by everything that's part of the scenery. And soon, you join them and now you're part of the spell. There's no tomorrow, just tonight. Just that night of hypnosis, illusions and mirages. It is a small desert inside a club, the smoke and the lights take place of the sun, and the people and music are so wonderful and out of this world that you think this is all an hallucination. 
There's a sense of fear, desperation and anger in the air, because we're all young, and we all act like there's no tomorrow, but there actually is. And everyone is terrified of it. Everyone is terrified and desperate about the future. But we close our eyes and we lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we're going to be young forever. 
The guitars and basses keep playing, they continue to hypnotise you, Ian continues to sing his spells. You're trapped in his voice and words, and you don't want this to ever ever end. The crow sings along with all of you and you all dance in a sensual way, and the bodies touch themselves. It feels like an orgy because it's all so so hysterically wonderful, but you're all dressed. No one is naked, but everyone wants to be naked. Everyone wants to be naked, but no one is brave enough to take off the first piece of clothing. So everyone keeps dancing as if they were making love to everybody, but they continue dressed. 
From the second track, we've already gone to the 10th: "Pictures On My Wall". The fear rises and everyone stops dancing in a sexual way, and everyone moves in a frightening way. In obscure moves. No one could get any more frightened. The crowd feels haunted. The ghost that haunts them is fear, fear of the unknown future. They scream, they shout, they twist, they shiver. But no one goes out. No one goes out there, everyone remains inside. Because even though they are all so scared, they love it. They love and embrace their fear and despair. They think of them as friends, close friends.

'No matter how you shake your fist you know you can't resist it' - Everyone sings this at the same time. And everyone goes fully insane. Until the end of the album. Everyone screams and howls. The crowd has gone insane. No one exits the club, no one wants to. They are all blinded with the music's madness, so much that they all became mad. And the night is endless. And there is no sunshine. The sun won't rise again. They are all trapped in eternal night. In a night of pure insanity. And so, the crowd dances eternally, and forever they will remain hypnotised. Forever they will remain young. »

So this is what I picture in my mind when I listen to 'Crocodiles': madness, despair, fear. The perfect sound for, well, I woudn't call it a horror movie, but for a movie like 'Donnie Darko'. Mysterious, insane, desperate.
I really hope you guys don't think I'm on drugs (although this album makes me feel like I am). I hope you enjoyed it (and I'm sorry that I didn't analyse the album in itself).

from the 2003 Remastered version of 'Crocodiles'

terça-feira, 3 de julho de 2012

The Echoes of the Bunnymen

I have GREAT news to all of you, my loving readers.
Last Saturday night I went to see Echo & the Bunnymen live, expecting to see a closer glimpse of Ian McCulloch and Will Sargeant, maybe a guitar pick or a setlist (which I did), and, guess what? I met Ian McCulloch himself!
The show was amazing, although many people complained about how 'they were disappointed' and how 'Ian wasn't in shape' and how 'the had seen better days for that band'. I've got one thing to the people who saw them live and didn't like them: Echo and the Bunnymen are over 30 years old, Ian McCulloch is 53 and so is Will (I think so), they don't have to be in shape and it's normal that they're not, although I think Mac is still able to give a very good show! Anyway, these words were said by youngster (curiously, older people than me).
Songs like 'The Cutter', 'Bring On The Dancing Horses', 'The Killing Moon' and 'Lips Like Sugar' (to summon everything up, the main singles and popular songs) were the highlight of the night, when everybody went crazy and danced and jumped and sang as loud as they could (I know I did). 'Going Up', 'Do It Clean' 'All My Colours' and 'Over the Wall' were also part of the setlist, as well as 'Nothing Lasts Forever', 'Stormy Weather'. Personally, I was wishing badly that they would play 'Stars are Stars', 'Bluer Skies' and 'Higher Hell', to be honest, I did want them to play more songs from 'Porcupine'.  Maybe next time I'll get a little more luck on the setlist!
Once the concert was over, I waited everyone else to leave the place and then I watched the staff packing everything up. There was one boy in particular that caught my attention (didn't know if he was portuguese or not, so I started talking to him in english), and I decided that I should ask him if Ian McCulloch would sign some stuff. So, I shouted at him: «Hey, call Ian!». There was still music playing, so he didn't hear me quite right, and I had to negotiate properly with him if I wanted to meet Ian. So, I shouted again: «Hey, if you call Ian, I'll give you a kiss!!». The young boy was quite surprised as soon as I promised that, but he got closer to me and I repeated what I promised before. I also asked him if he was english (he nodded). Then, he told me to go to some kind of line and to wait right there, and so I did.
Twenty minutes (or so) later, my turn was arriving to get to know Mac himself!! I was so excited, I could only stare at him (although I didn't know if he was staring at me too because, once again, he was wearing his sunglasses, even though it was at night). He saw me with a generous amount of cd's and stuff that he'd sign up and was quite surprised: «That's a lot material you've got there!». He also liked my camera, don't know why, since it's not that special, but he said he never saw mine in any store.
Ian McCulloch was so so gentle and polite to me, he thanked me for going to the gig, but I told him he didn't have to thank me because I'd do anything to go anyway! I also apologised because he had to sign a lot of stuff, but he was kind and it didn't bother him. And then, after taking pictures and a small chit-chat, I have had the courage to do something that usually I wouldn't, all the hesitance and shyness were erased from my brain and I asked him for a kiss. He wasn't expecting such request, he kind of was surprised, but then, he gave me a little kiss on the cheek, which made my whole week. I guess what media usually says about him is a complete lie (even though he told me that Echo and the Bunnymen was the best band in the world). He's a very kind person and really sweet, at least he was to me!

This is the epic picture of me and Ian McCulloch. Please do ignore my face!

terça-feira, 26 de junho de 2012

Twee and cute music, once again.

This time, I'll be talking about The Carousel, a band which I found out some weeks ago and I totally am in love with it.

The Carousel were a twee-pop/twee folk band that formed in 1988, when Elizabeth Price left Talulah Gosh to form this high tone/sweet and child-like singing, all-guitar and choirs band with Gregory Webster (ex-Razorcuts). The band released one studio album, one compilation album and several EP's.
Many listeners usually say that this band recalls to religious/cathedral-like atmosphere, which is true. Elizabeth Price's beautiful and angelical voice is the centre of the attention, while a choirs in the background repeat her lines in a more lyrical tone, almost as if little singing angels and the guitar keeps playing these really lovely and bittersweet chords. Yes, bittersweet because the song may appear quite cheering/pop-like, but deep down there, I feel this whole melancholy towards the melody and the singing itself. I can say that I'm a little bit disappointed because they didn't release much material, since I can honestly say their music is one of the most beautiful things I've ever discovered until now (I'm hoping that Elizabeth Price or Gregory Webster reads this and decides to reunite the band again).
Personally, bringing to surface the subject of the sound of music, I'd say religious atmosphere is only a small part of their music. Maybe I'd refer to their first and only studio album 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz' as a more religious/church-like sound, since icons of the Catholic religion as 'Jesus' and 'Mary' are referred in a few songs, and their back cover's the image of The Virgin Mary (even though I'm not catholic, I find the whole image of it very attractive and beautiful) with little chubby and blushed angels flying around this immaculate woman all covered up in white and brownish clothes. Also, the cover of the 1990 EP 'Sorrow Is The Way To Love' is the image of Jesus Christ being crucified, which is evocative to the idea of sorrow.
Back cover of  'A-Z' by The Carousel

In their song 'Sugarbowl', in their first studio album, Elizabeth refers to Jesus Christ as 'sweet Jesus'. She confesses that she needs his presence with her throughout her whole life because she believes that only by his side, she'll be able to overcome her problems and to live life in peace. This most likely evidences Elizabeth's belief in religion or, maybe, her sweetheart is named Jesus. I'm only trying to interpret songs, and I won't guarantee 100% accuracy.
The whole subject of their studio album is love ('Sugarbowl', mentioning her love for Jesus, 'Like A Honeybee', which talks about her love for a «golden-haired boy», 'Truelove' mentioning a love that will last forever, according to Elizabeth Price, 'Baby Sweetness', mentioning 'Baby Jesus'and the whole religious subject once again, and 'My Boy And His Motorbike', telling the story of her sweetheart who owns a motorbike), apart from 'Henry, Please Don't Chop Off My Head', which talks about Henry VIII, who was known for chopping heads off. I'm obviously kidding, but, she does sing this line 'I used to be the queen of England', which might connect to Henry's wife.
   As to the other compilation album, 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget', it usually takes me back to meadows and hills in a green and beautiful England under the summer skies, as it usually describes landscapes, nature, meadows and young love scenes, two sweethearts entwined in an innocent and spontaneous love story.
Even though there's a lot of beauty, loveliness and cuteness in their music, there also is a bittersweet side of it, as I mentioned before. In songs like 'Locks and Bolts' and 'Evergreen', the suffering of the singing voice is quite evident. I don't want to describe the whole songs, because my purpose to this is to make the readers listen to some new music, but I can assure that 'Locks and Bolts' have a certain sad tone to it. Talks about a lover, a past lover that left her behind and will never come back to her arms, and that something is holding her back, although she wants to move on. And 'Evergreen' describes this beautiful landscape of a surrealist nature, an apple tree that 'reaches to the sky', and the fact that she is alone there. She feels lonely and there's no one whom she could share this experience of pure beauty and direct contact with nature and its wonders. 
Anyway, The Carousel's music always give me a bittersweet feeling, no matter how stunning and overwhelming and cheering the song can be. I think it is due to Elizabeth's beautiful and divine singing and the weeping and nostalgic guitars. 
So, here you have a brief description of The Carousel's sound and beauty. Do please listen to this unfairly underrated band and give them so more recognition, because I want their records to be easier to find!! Here is a list of their discography:

Release Date: 1994

1 Henry Please Don't Chop Off My Head 
2 Sugarbowl 
3 Like a Honey Bee (Honey Bee) 
4 Truelove 
5 Sidesaddle 
6 Baby Sweetness 
7 G.U.N. 
8 My Boy and His Motorbike

Will You Wear Love?
Release Date: 1991

1 Will You Wear Love? 
2 Yesterday Boy 
3 Cerise

Sorrow is the Way to Love
Release Date: 1990

A1 Sorrow Is the Way to Love 
A2 Handmedown Green 
B1 Locks and Bolts 
B2 No Ticket for the Train

Strawberry Fayre
Release Date: 1989

A1 Strawberry Fayre 
A2 Evergreen 
B1 Halfpennies and Farthings 
B2 September Come Again 

'I Forgot To Remember To Forget'
Release Date: 1993

1     Strawberry Fayre 
2     Will You Wear Love?
3     Handmedown Green
4     Halfpennies and Farthings
5     Locks and Bolts
6     Evergreen
7     Sorrow Is The Way To Love
8     Yesterday Boy
9     Sundials and Weathervanes
10   Cerise
11   No Ticket For The Train
12   September Come Again

Back cover of the 1990 EP 'Sorrow Is The Way To Love'. Also, a picture of Gregory Webster and the beautiful Elizabeth Price.

All the best!

Here's a video clip for 'Strawberry Fayre', enjoy:

quarta-feira, 20 de junho de 2012

Pastelism, indie pop, twee pop and Glasgow

Lately (more or less, for three months) I've been really really keen on indie pop and specially glaswegian bands. One in particular (which was the one who made me get into the whole twee pop scene because of its gorgeous and baby faced lead singer) has had my attention and I've been really addicted on them. In about three months, I scrobbled near 700 times their songs in my last.fm account! And, according to Last.fm, in the last seven days, I've listened to them 117 times.
Yes, this is what the heart-warming, adorable and lovely music of The Pastels does to you, at least it did to me! As a young teenage girl, angry and hurt with the world, The Pastels have shown me a much simpler and (I don't want to say bright) more comfortable side of life and of the whole social situations. Of course, Stephen Pastels' soft and adorable voice helps the whole thing, but their melodies are simple yet so beautiful. I understand why Kurt Cobain (as I've been told) considered them his favourite band!
I usually listen to early 1980's bands, usually labelled as 'post-punk' or 'new wave', as you could already see,   because those type of bands usually speak out my mind, whether lyrically, whether instrumentally. But The Pastels speak out my longing for freedom as a teenager, like in 'Ride' (from 'Up For A Bit With The Pastels'), and also they have the loveliest love songs ever. They are not dramatic (which I usually love) or talk about heartache (which I usually love too) but about a love I kind of wish I had: spontaneous, simple, young and live. The typical teenage love.
Yet The Pastels are not all about happiness and simple and quotidian stuff, they can talk about heartache too, about being dumped and so. 'A Million Tears' is quite the perfect example to it: 'If I can't have you then I don't want nobody else, I'll tear myself apart and cry a million tears...'. 'Manarin', sang by Katrina Mitchell, is also a good example of a heartache song: 'You're my one the only dear to me/ A thousand miles across the sea/ You're not here, I'm not there/ We're apart and I'm lonely '
Probably, most of The Pastels' songs are about a mutual love (mainly on their earlier songs) because Aggi Wright (Stephen Pastel's former girlfriend) was in the band. So, the couple did songs to one another, singing out how lovely they are and how good they make each other feel. We can find evidence in songs like 'Thank You For Being You', 'Baby Honey', 'Automatically Yours' and 'Baby You're Just You'.
Anyway, I once talked with Stephen via twitter and asked him what was his favourite album by them (because that's one of the many questions I want to ask him) and he answered 'Up For A Bit With The Pastels'. These were his words exactly: «I think Up For A Bit With The Pastels. It was an adventure. 'Yes, fantastic adventure. Leamington Spa, John Rivers. We were all open to the moment of surprise. On SP less so...»
Personally, Sittin' Pretty is my favourite because, as Stephen once said, it's much heavier and somewhat 'darker' than their first and maybe that's why I like it better (since it fits my personality better). Anyway, I highly recommend any of the albums, and if you buy them, it's totally worth it! 
Go and search for The Pastels' music and then tell me on the comments bellow what you thought.

All the best,

Back cover of 'A Truckload of Trouble', a compilation of songs released in '93 by The Pastels. This young boy is Stephen Pastel,. What a babe, right??

sábado, 16 de junho de 2012

'Faith' by The Cure: a review

This review was written a month ago, I just didn't have any time lately to publish it, so, here you go.
Cover of the record 'Faith'

 21st of May, 2012:
"Faith" by The Cure is the next target of a review, and I wrote this because, well, I identify myself with it a lot. It's got such a melancholic, sad, grey touch to it.  The whole lyrics in general talk about death, religion specially catholic religion.
«The bass adds a real gloomy and intense touch to it; monotonous chords, so similar to a person's last breath, to a dying man's breath. Hypnotising, magical, though. There's something captivating in Simon Gallup's bass, and in this period of their music (1981) the bass stands out and marks its own presence among the bittersweet symphony.
As 'The Holy Hour' plays in my headphones, I recall that Robert Smith dedicated it to Ian Curtis (whom had died in the past year 1980), and I connect the bass chords and its sound to death very very easily.
 It's a whole religious, cathedral-like atmosphere, because they wanted to play with it, since Robert Smith is against any type of religion, but he did feel attracted to churches, graveyards, cathedrals. Even the synthesizers in this album remind you of the church's organ.
So I view this album as a gothic/sarcastic and sad critic on religion. But of course, we're talking about 'The Holy Hour', 'The Funeral Party' and 'Faith'. The rest are quite different and similar, at the same time to these three. They differ in the subject of the lyrics, but the melody is really attached to one another, the melody of the whole album holds hands.
 But this album is all about one main thing: Death/Peace.
 Still, it's quite hard to explain what I feel when I listen to it. There are feelings I can't describe and I don't know what to name them.
And then, 'Charlotte Sometimes' starts to play. I feel as if I were Charlotte herself. She's a lost, abandoned lonesome young girl who tries her best to hold on the society's flow.
 And I'm Charlotte, a 'scared princess' who dreams and loses track of what's real, she gets lost in another world, possibly her own. It's really strange that I identify with her.
 After this brief description of my identification to Charlotte, I still feel as if I am really far away to describe it accurately.

 "Night after night she lay alone in bed
Her eyes so open to the dark
The streets all looked so strange
They seemed so far away
But Charlotte did not cry " - But then she eventually cries, in the end of the song. "The tears were pouring down her face". Charlotte tried to be strong and to handle it, but she's not able to.
"She was crying and crying for a girl
who died so many years before..." That girl is herself, she's already dead, a lost soul. She is dead, but she is not aware of such thing. She is lost in her world, in a world she created herself. And it's likely that she doesn't want to be found.
"Charlotte sometimes,  crying for herself/ Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself" - that wall is her dream world, her own surreal mind.  She doesn't belong to this world.

Cover of Charlotte Sometimes's single

Primary is the next one. A song that clearly talks about life, ageing, dying, The whole cycle of life. Childhood, youth, old age, death. There isn't much to talk about it, though.
Robert mentions children dreaming in the beginning and mentions them again, in the end, because when you get old you go back to being a fragile, dependant being as a child is.
"Oh remember/ Please don't change".´

Other Voices is a sensual song. Both lyrics and sound, instrumental have an erotic touch to it.
 The only thing in this song that is out of context is ""And all the other voices said/ Change your mind you're always wrong", when the whole song talks about an affair, about the sensuality of the sin, the slyness,  skin, scent. "I taste your scent." You can only taste another's scent if you're close enough, when you're making love to that person.
 Still, that verse might refer to Robert's voices, conscience telling him his lover doesn't love him/ is not that interested in him as he is when says "Come around in Christmas, I really have to see you." But then, this is only my interpretation.

All Cats Are Grey is the next one in line, definitely one of my favourite songs by them.
The drums make the rhythm as its sound gives the impression of near echoes of someone falling into a river violently every three seconds. The synth (again, very similar to a church's organ) evoke the calm wind, but it also gives me the sensation of being in the middle of a northern meadow covered in snow, whilst the snow is still falling.
Someone plays the synth and I feel as if the wind was teasing me, dancing with my hair, snowflakes melt down on me. I am alone in this meadow, white and grey landscape. But the sound gives me the sensations of an unknown safety, serenity. Yes, because this feeling of safety is strange in such occasion when you're "amongst the stones", " columns are all men, begging to crush me."
 When I think of these quotes, I feel as if it refers to humanity, who're all a bunch of stone, and they all want to crush you. Their hearts are made of stone and they all want to strike and kill you, almost as if in a jungle you whether join them, do or die.
 But then, the next line of context, since the previous ones talk about survival, about fighting against everyone else to survive, and the following ones talk about freedom, the sensations of being released of all this complexity and constant battle that the human society is.
"No shapes sail on the dark deep lakes, and no flags wave me home." In my perspective, it means being left alone, no negative feeling or event sailing in the lake of our lives, and no flags, nothing to tell you what to do. You are free, in the snow landscape, and you finally see not boat in your deep dark lake.
The song is over and it is followed by a much less calm sound, a song that talks about the ending of our lives, marked by a ceremony.
 You can easily be transported to a funeral scene, and in my opinion, it would in a Cornwall, in a cloudy, grey, cold and gloomy atmosphere, as the waves lick the brownish sand and the rocks bellow the water. You close your eyes and listen to 'The Funeral Party', instead of the waves, which would perfectly match the environment of those ceremonies, since it has a very melancholic and slow melody, as if a dying and sick man were walking, so it is very close and connected to death itself.
 I almost imagine the two pale figures, aching and moaning, but dancing to the music.

Doubt is a much more violent song, where fight, savage, red desperation, rage, wasted time, fury blood, tearing and ripping flesh and skin, smashing, breaking, vicious, finishing lives, murder, and drained of everything but pain are the main keys to this song.
The lyrics are wonderfully written and thought, but the lyrics seem (are) much more raw and naked and savage than the melody. I think of cannibalism, necrophilia, murders, serial killers, violence, twisted and sick behaviours and minds. I think of  Jeffrey Dahmer devouring his victims,  ripping their flesh and skin and the blood running out as a flood, satisfied with it. I think of Ted Bundy raping his victims before and after murdering them, taking pleasure out of something that would terrify and disgust a common person, but not them. They love it and they know they'll murder you tonight. »

Back of 'Faith' record

segunda-feira, 21 de maio de 2012

Empty month

I must say I'm terribly sorry for the whole month (curiously, it's been precisely one month since I posted the last entry) without posting anything, I have been terribly busy.
Anyway, I shall post another review on another album tomorrow, in the afternoon. Unfortunately I can't right now, but I promise another one will be written and posted tomorrow.

All the best


sábado, 21 de abril de 2012

Disintegration: review

I can surely say this is one of my all time favourite albums because it is genius, and simply beautiful. Every single lyric, chord, melody in it is beautiful.
Disintegration's cover, released in 1989
As Plainsong's intro starts to play, you get the feeling you're on top of a mountain or a hill, while the wind gently caresses your face and dances with your hair. The chock of the guitars, drums and synths when they suddenly reproduce their sound feels like the rain, maybe a thunder screaming out loud, angry. The whole combination of the instruments starts to soften, and each and every one take their place, take their routine in the song. The storm is calming down. But wait, Robert Smith's voice enters, and plays the part of the wind. The smoothness of his voice while singing lyrics that speak his frustration on life and ageing slowly make you want to embrace the whole environment of the altitude of the mountain.
A new dawn rises after the storm, after the mist of frustration and sadness of the rain. Pictures Of You starts to play, and a lighter melody fills up your mind, reminding you of old memories, sweethearts, your old young love which you recall because of some pictures you have found. They take you to a better place, such a wonderful place in your mind, somewhere hidden from all of the misery of your current life. You sing words of the spontaneous love you once witnessed, once felt and you want it back. You regret a few words you have said, that broke your heart and your loved one's. And all of those memories make you feel young again, in the peak of the moment, warm in a place covered up with snow, despite of the temperature.
And then, Closedown, a continuation of the previous song, but in a much more powerful way. It is heavier, stronger, louder. The drumming sound breaks throughout all of that nostalgia you had in mind, and screams out for a better future, for the future that's about to end in little time. You've got only a few years, not many. This song makes you demand for a better future, for the extreme ecstasy and euphoria and demands that all of the pessimism should go away. You try to kick all of the awful feelings off of your heart, but you can't. They stay. They remain glued to your soul's walls and occupy the space on your heart where there could be light, where there could be stillness, where all of the agitation from your life would not exist. But no, they remain there, laughing at you because your efforts were in vain. Although, there is still a little space where hope inhabits in your heart.
Oh, and the desperate love that enchantresses you like a poisonous and beautiful snake. You sing words of love and worship to your true loved one, only he/she can make you feel alright. However far away, I will always love you, however long I stay, I will always love you. The love you feel is pure, like no other feeling you had felt. Singing these words of salvation and comfortableness to your beloved makes you, somehow, feel better about everything else, even though you're far away from one another.

The vision of someone in the past reaches your mind quickly, as quickly as you play Last Dance. It sort of haunts you, but it's a type of haunting you feel glad about. It's not scary, it's not awful, no. It's beautiful, and you longed for the moment of that haunting. Even though you know it's only an illusion, a memory, you feel as if it was real, as if it is happening.
Robert Smith talks about a girl, that is now a woman, but no matter who he's talking about, you can't help but thinking of someone you know, you used to know, that you miss but it faded away from your life. And now this vision gives you the opportunity to clarify everything that was left mystified. Once again, you know it's only a dream, but you don't care. You were looking forward to this, and you go on and do what you need to do.
Lullaby is clearly a song that talk about fears. Robert Smith said he made this song thinking about the tales that his father told him when he was younger, where he'd stay terrified for the rest of the night, scared of the Spiderman. Somehow, this "Spiderman" is the personification of Robert's deepest fears, and can be ours' too. A song where your fears take over you, where they win and you get eaten by the Spiderman.
The Spiderman is always hungry. In my opinion, this lyric is a sort of metaphor to the control that your fears can have over you. They are never fully satisfied over your misery.

And, as sorry as I am for skipping over a few songs, the next one in my list is Disintegration. A song where Robert sings out his tears and suffering in a kind of a "FUCK IT" way. He sort of mocks out of it, and turns it into something not so negative, contradicting with the whole album. There is something that I particularly love about this song (I love all of the songs that I skipped, but, my reviews on it wouldn't be relevant), where I can almost connect to Doing the Unstuck, from Wish album, released in 1992.
There is so many power in this song, it tears apart the whole atmosphere of melancholy and decay of the rest of the album, where it burns out these little pieces torn apart of melancholy and nostalgia. And it laughs out loud, really loud, as it watches those little pieces burning. Sarcasm, irony and mockery rules the lyrics, Oh I miss the kiss of treachery the shameless kiss of vanity the soft and the black and the velvety up tight against the side of me and mouth and eyes and heart all bleed and run in thickening streams of greed as bit by bit it starts the need to just let go my party piece. 
You have to admit that the whole combination and mixture of the lyrics and the rhythm and melody makes you want to say "JUST FUCK IT", to your life/personal problems.

Now that i know that i'm breaking to pieces I'll pull out my heart and i'll feed it to anyone crying for sympathy crocodile cry: The little pieces of frustration and disappointment, along with your own polluted and decaying heart, are going to feed someone hungry for anyone else's fall down. It doesn't matter who.
I have to admit the lyrics are pretty much genius, and Robert Smith kind of taught me up how to make your suffering into irony.

The following tracks are the return of nostalgia. They close down the album with a excess of melancholy and sadness, but it's somehow a pleasant sadness. You can't help smiling or crying when you listen to Homesick and Untitled. Because you whether cry or smile when you listen to the softness and delicacy of those melodies. They might break your heart or just touch it really deep. Now, it depends on the situation you are currently going through.

Personally, every time I listen to these tracks, I imagine myself in a field, under the Summer skies and temperature, and I'm running through the wheat field (since I live in a mediterranean country, wheat fields are very very common). Running or walking, in my Summer vacations away from every teenage angst problem, at least a social teenage angst problem. And the sun covers my skin like a warm hug, and the wind blows as your eyelashes tickle your eyelids when you close your eyes. A thousand thoughts come up to your mind, knocking on it's door, but you don't want to let them in, you just want your mind filled with the sound of these two tracks. Nothing else. So, you expel those complicated thoughts of your head, and you are left in peace with the calmness of summer time, and with the beauty of The Cure's artwork.
Disintegration's back cover. In my opinion, the artwork matches the songs perfectly

Remembering The Legend

Robert Smith of The Cure, c. 1984

Since today fans all over the globe are celebrating the birthday of one of the most legendary man of the history of mankind (admitting I'm one of them), I shall wish a marvellous day to the wonderful Robert Smith, who turns  53 today.

To those who do not know who he is: you should be ashamed. No, just kidding, you actually should, but, he is the lead singer of the alternative/new wave band from the 1980's The Cure.
Smith with his beloved wife, Mary Poole, c. 1985
If you want to know more about them/listen to some of their material, I'll recommend you their 1989 album "Disintegration". A true masterpiece. But, if you're more into brighter music, I recommend "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me", released in 1987; "Wish" and "The Head on The Door" are one of their lighter/less-melancholic albums.
Anyway, have a good day, Mr. Smith, and you too, lovely reader!
So, I will leave you a few pictures of this amazing poet and musician.

Robert Smith live with The Cure, c. 1984