Sammy the Seal

“Moving along in our God-given ways”

In vinyl on Monday, 8 August, 2011 at 14:07


Song: Passover
Artist: Joy Division
Album: Closer

It’s hard to know the end of the story and not read that line as cynical and fatalistic. Perhaps it was because I had the album playing out loud while doing chores and cooking and such, but upon first listen the mood didn’t strike me as so dark, also partially because “Isolation” jumps out at the beginning. But the second listen, when I focused? The legends are true, the despair and depression really is palpable; my mood was just fine, and it still got under my skin. But beyond that, the music itself adds an undercurrent of foreboding verging on menace. It’s not necessarily slow, spare and desolate, this song being a great example. There’s something final and inexorable about it. Sure, the subject matter is dark, but what makes it so effective is that Ian’s vocals, rather than mopey, resigned, and hushed, are so sure of themselves. It’s scary because you can sense there is no doubt in his mind.

I could have so easily gone with something more upbeat like “Isolation” or “Disorder” to start off the week, but opted for being a downer. An equivalently honorable gesture, I feel.

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