Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #128 - Gotye, "Making Mirrors"

Been away for Easter, so I've got quite behind on the albums since the start of the month. This will mean speeding up the assessment and go on first impressions only. This will mean the insight to word ratio will drop dramatically.

A curious Nineties feel to this album. Can't quite put my finger on it, other than a sense of disparate things being yoked together. Plastic Bohemia is a far harsher version of what I'm reaching for. Also having more than one song about mirrors suggests massive Narcissism. "Mother/Are you watching?" doesn't do too much to dispel that idea.

The big tune has been all over XFM and Radio One and probably 6Music as well, which means it's pretty much inescapable in my tiny world. It paints him as a rather slippery character, and it's a self-portrait, so I suppose he's comfortable with that. (Although it's a sidenote it's curious how quickly the confessional and sweated-over lyric can become quite easy just through the distance of repetition in songs.) I also find him suspiciously hairless, but that's my problem.

"In You Light" is cheerier, touch of the George Michael's Faith perhaps. Presumably this will be the next single, whenever the legs fall off "Used To Know". "I won't get by if you take that light away" though. Hmmm. Maybe not so cheery. "State of the Art" seems to be boiling a break-up down to who gets the stereo: a twisted version of Hot Chip.

"Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You" is more to my taste, downbeat and sinister. "Giving Me A Chance" is back on the guilty path again, although I like the backing track. Must be a Belgian thing, those crazy Catholics! There you go again with your "Save Me", ya nutjobs! Honestly. Looking for personal redemption in relationships with women. I dunno.

In an alternate reality "Bronte" would be Gotye's answer to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. As it is, the pace that it had managed to sum up leaking out in weary whistles and soft-brushed drums. Lyrically it sounds as though it's about a departed friend. Not a blazing send-off. I suppose an album called "Making Mirrors" is going to err on the dour side, doubt and paranoia and all that. (Or am I betraying my own self-image? Oooh...)

Rating: Downbeat out of Mirrors

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