Song: Sad Eyes
Artist: Crystal Castles
Album: Crystal Castles (III)
First off, I believe most music within any given genre is interchangeable. It’s not judgment nor negativity so much as it is statistics. I admit bias when I say that I think it’s especially true of electronic, techno, house, rave, or any similar style or combination of those. There’s a facelessness, which I think is actually built into it– the nature/purpose of the music is not really about nuance.
Of course, there are always exceptions. The aesthetic and dynamic this duo fashions is singularly theirs, which I think is impressive, given that the sounds, templates, and style are things you’ve heard before: you know whom you’re listening to. And, they’ve grown way the hell up; their second and third albums leave their debut in the dust. (Bias again: I don’t think the genre is really given to growth, for the same reason it’s not much for nuance.)
Ah, the old days of VHS– horizontal lines, color bars, sigh… There’s something about old images, older film stock and video, etc., that’s so imperfect and rough and warm. I’m such a relic. They cut over a minute from the song though, it just ends after the second verse and chorus– boo!
On an album full of tension and despair, I coulda picked most any song to go here, but I stuck to my guns (take that, indecisiveness) and went with the one with the most urgency and heightened drama. Unfortunately, it’s over in 3.5 minutes. (The whole album is only forty minutes.) What a tease. I’m reminded of a song similar in its sense of concentrated, pumped up melodrama, that I know of only because of the film Lilja 4-ever, whose soundtrack is techno all the way.
Song: The Ride
Artist: Double N
Album: Lilja 4-ever Soundtrack
Without knowing the context, the tension and stakes sound high, perhaps artificially so. It gains a bit more heft when you’re aware the film is about human trafficking, and remember the scene it plays over. Can’t much stand the genre, but I genuinely like this song. The movie helps, but the song still has to earn its keep. If you’re in the mood for serious movie that has one of my favorite bittersweet endings, check it out. Just be prepared to be bummed out.