Monday, March 14, 2016

The Wooden Finger Five – March 2016

Someone has put Darth Vader’s Imperial March in a major key and it no longer sounds foreboding and evil but foreboding and triumphant! A little transposition when Vader made his entrance and those Star Wars films may have been totally different.

4.untitled unmastered – Kendrick Lamar
i can’t think of one particular track off kendrick’s new album to spotlight here. that’s what happens if you don’t title your tracks people don’t remember which is which. in fact trying to think back over it i can’t recall much about the album at all. i remember in the middle of a track near the end of the album kendrick sounds like he’s in his basement with some other guy or guys and someone is strumming listlessly on a guitar and kendrick talks about doing a 15 minute jam. i remember ‘pimp pimp hooray!’ because that reminds me of the title of his last album. is it that titles help a lot with remembering music by giving you something to associate the music with? do they signpost what an album was about? i do like this album i just can’t remember much about it
‘I get a little bit Genghis Khan / I don’t want you to get it on with nobody else but me’ It’s a great line, but isn’t it a tad over the top? Genghis Khan massacred whole populations after all; the singer may be jealous, but is he really thinking of committing mass murder? Maybe a little bit Othello instead? ‘I get a little bit Othello / I don’t want you to get it on with another fellow’. Now that is a better metaphor, don’t you think?

The website Kill Screen alerted me to this beauty. PUP have put together a bunch of snippets from old video games but have replaced the original text with lyrics from their song. So you get scenes like Super Mario saying ‘I DON’T GIVE A SHIT’, and the Dark Queen from Battletoads ruing that ‘3 BEERS AND I’M SO MESSED UP’. It would be mainly a novelty if the tune wasn’t so damn catchy. That ‘WOOOOOOOO-OOOOO-OOOO’ in the chorus is fantastic, and the ‘she says that I need to grow up’ at the end just tops it off. This is a perfect track for people in their 30s who remember what it was like when they were 11 – perhaps because they still act like it.

Lucius have finally achieved Brooklyn goodness on their new album ‘Good Grief’. There are many strong tracks, but opening track ‘Madness’ feels like the one that kicked off this new and better era of Lucius for me as it was also the first tune I heard from the new album. In keeping with its title ‘Madness’ is a slightly twisted song where the lyrics make the narrator sound a little not herself: ‘You were standing there with a gun up to my head,’ says the first verse, ‘I cannot lie, there is a tingling down my spine …’ The madness theme is continued later on the album with ‘Going Insane’, in which both singers repeat those words over and over again, trying their best to sound like they are going off the deep end. On ‘Madness’ though the crazies are kept at bay, and it has beautiful orchestration, which brings the piece to a satisfying and theatrical conclusion.

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