Thursday, August 16, 2012

#26: Gotye - Making Mirrors (2011)

Wally De Backer is the man behind Gotye, and yes, I'm sure you've heard his single, "Somebody That I Used to Know." But before you decide you don't want to hear anymore, I challenge you to listen to one more song of his. While his lead single is relentlessly on the radio the rest of his album proves he is much, much deeper than just the one single.

Somebody That I Used to Know
I remember hearing about the existence of this song through an Australian music awards recap. However, once I watched the video for this song, I watched it again, and again, and again. For about 3 hours I played this song on a loop. Then, a moment of sadness washed over me - this will never make it to American radio and that's unfortunate. Turns out, I was really, really wrong. The second chorus is so incredibly powerful, the harmonies are worth the price of the album itself.

Eyes Wide Open
What's amazing about Gotye is that each and every track is so unique and so well done. Some of them can get a little 'out there' for the average listener, but it never goes too far. However, this still hits near the pop radar. The quick sixteenth note floor drum pattern has a running type feel and it transitions to big tribal hits on the chorus allowing for huge harmonies to reign supreme. "We walked the plank with our eyes wide open..." It's pretty swell.

State of the Art
My favorite track on the album. First off, if you've never seen the video, click here or the name of the track above. It's ridiculous, it's honest, it's amazing, and perhaps that's what draws me to closely to Gotye. Usually when I listen to music I'm constantly looking for ideas to steal and build off of. However, De Backer is relentless in just following exactly what he wants to do with flagrant disregard to what anyone wants to hear. The music rarely goes where you think it's going to, and perhaps that's why it's so interesting to listen to, you're always guessing.

State of the Art (Cont...)
Anyways, about this track - it's about an organ that in it's time was 'State of the Art' and is written with a partial sample (the horn part) and the lyrics simply go through the features of this particular organ. The vocals are sung in monotone (meaning one pitch) and then the vocals are changed electronically to change his pitch, however, the pitch is changed so much it makes his voice very dark, different, and even fake - thus adding to the 'State of the Art' type of feel. The horns are amazing, the strings are phenomenal, and the backing vocals add the cherry on top.

All in all, this is one of the most influential albums I've ever heard. I realize I'm constantly gushing over this man while I write this review, but the music is completely worth it. At first listen, I liked it, but by the 10th listen I just can't get enough. The behind the scenes video Gotye posted while creating this album is also worth the watch. Without a doubt, Gotye is the best new artist of 2012.

Tomorrow's Album: Little Richard's Here's Little Richard.

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