so tell me, why is Kaputt better or worse than Let England Shake?

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ah wow, just listening to Let England Shake for the first time on Spotify, and the advert between The Glorious Land and The Words That Maketh Murder was imploring me to join the Army Reserves. Couldn't get more perfect.

thomasintrouble, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol

Gonjasufjanstephen O'Malley (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 6 February 2012 19:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess i have no interest in whether or not england is shaking.

judith, Monday, 6 February 2012 19:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

people get the sounds right and pat themselves on the back, but they don't have the songs.

this is extremely true with the new wave of retro thrash

unlistenable in philly (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Monday, 6 February 2012 19:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lots of good insights on this thread. I like the idea that Bejar is not just recreating "the '80s" but a very specific '80s - not any specific album or artist, but a certain "cool" languorous aesthetic that runs through certain favorite albums of the period. Everyone seems to have their own touchstones, but for me it's mainly about The Nightfly (jazzy retro-futurism) and I'm Your Man (modernist word-play and synths).

I fully admit to not having listened to more than one song from LES, and it mainly made me want to listen to the Pogues.

o. nate, Monday, 6 February 2012 20:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just realized I have had Let England Shake on my computer, I listened again and I like it ok. reminds me of the Nick Cave maybe. Hanging In The Wire is nice, I think I like her more subdued moments.

JacobSanders, Monday, 6 February 2012 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

kaputt = cheesy cocktail of cheap drum programming plus throwaway lyrics plus a feeble voice plus some saxophones reminiscent of dire straits and dave sanborn. those saxes are still the coolest part btw. but do we really need this in the 2010s?

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

you're wrong and yes

⚓ (gr8080), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

yes, more than ever

ciderpress, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

pretty sure it's live drums across most of the album

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess i have no interest in whether or not england is shaking.

― judith, Monday, February 6, 2012 2:41 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

lol

flopson, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

kaputt is a wonderful album, one of the year's best

omar little, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

i've said it before but i wish i'd voted for it and allowed it to pull away from 'let england shake' a little more.

omar little, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

pretty sure it's live drums across most of the album
on "song for america" they sound awfully like a drum loop. if someone is capable to drum in such a unidimensional and mechanical way i guess we can call that person a robot.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure Bejar said in one of those interviews that it was both live and sequenced drums combined.

Moodles, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

i liked kaputt but it left v little impression on me and i stopped listening to it after 3/4 weeks. though to be honest, and i dunno if this is me, probably is, it takes a gargantuan album to really stamp a mark in my mind these days. not that i don't rate records, just only a particular few make me want to listen over and over and over.

i didn't listen to pj harvey cos it felt like that middle class indie thing but i heard a record on the radio recently and liked it a lot and it turned out it was pj harvey.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

kaputt = cheesy cocktail of cheap drum programming plus throwaway lyrics plus a feeble voice plus some saxophones reminiscent of dire straits and dave sanborn. those saxes are still the coolest part btw. but do we really need this in the 2010s?

― alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:54 (24 minutes ago) Permalink

Don't people feel slightly self-conscious resorting to such generic criticisms? Do we really need this in the 2010s?

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

cos it felt like that middle class indie thing

if you read the guardian you shouldn't be allowed to say these thing imo

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

thats not a snipe at ronan btw its at anyone who thinks along those lines

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

the middle classes make all kinds of music. would there be anything left if we refused to listen to 'middle class' music?

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

I suspect "indie" was the stronger pejorative term than "middle class" in ronan's commentl or at least they have to be read together. He's complained before about hearing the XX at dinner parties, and I suppose PJ Harvey falls into that category somewhat.

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost fair point, i just basically mean one of those artists the british media jizz about all the time in really cloying ways until you end up hating them, a darling, like for example, pulp.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

i thought the british media jizzed about everything?

mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I suspect "indie" was the stronger pejorative term than "middle class" in ronan's commentl or at least they have to be read together. He's complained before about hearing the XX at dinner parties, and I suppose PJ Harvey falls into that category somewhat.

^ disagree. seems to me that "middle class" is supposed to be the really damning accusation in garda's dismissal of PJH. indie is a value-neutral genre descriptor, after all. middle class doesn't have much function in the sentence beyond the pejorative. plus it's a familiar slam against anything that's supposedly too "easy" and "safe", a means by which people claim to exist outside and above ordinary others.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

indie is a value-neutral genre descriptor, after all.

For you.

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

a lot of the talk about pj harvey is easy and safe. not her fault but it's true. liking her is easy and safe too. again, not her fault or even anything to do with her music, but true.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think dinner party music is the best description then

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

"indie is a value-neutral genre descriptor, after all."

For you.

well sure, i'm not a genre-bigot. but hey, different strokes. anyway, "indie" does describe PJH's sound and market reasonably well, whatever one might think of the genre overall. so it's at least reasonable to think that one might describe her music that way without intending any particularly pointed slam. the use of "middle class" in such dismissals, however, only ever intends to sneer down from a position of aesthetic & cultural superiority.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

liking her is easy and safe too

what on earth does this mean

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

man i'd love it if more middle class people listened to pj here! or people in general. i would have something to talk about with them.

scott seward, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

"middle class indie" isn't a term I'd use myself but I intuitively read it as referring to music that is so ubiquitously held up as a celebrated alternative to the status quo that it becomes a sort of status quo itself.

When I read music described as "middle class" (while trying to keep in mind that "middle class" means different things in the US, the UK and Australia) I usually read it as meaning that the music aspires (or is presented by the media as aspiring) toward a kind of niche-less universality, in the same sense that everyone believes themselves to be middle-class.

Dinner party music is a better term for this phenomenon in some ways but it has its own problems - it works for the XX obv but it's not like many people would actually play Let England Shake in the background of a dinner party.

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Don't people feel slightly self-conscious resorting to such generic criticisms?
seriously, do we need the xth 80s retro wave, the recycling of the recycled? what new stuff does bejar bring to the table? additionally the album is as already mentioned upthread short of melodies. the interview from above where bejar talks about avalon also leaves me baffled. avalon had an aura, it had a spell but bejar's lushly instrumentated mix of too many not necessarily harmonising ingredients leaves me cold. the rich sound seems to hide a deep hollowness behind. and i also have the impression that some elements do not fit into the aural carpet. the saxophone - which i like most - often feels out of place, as if it was just a sample which has been assembled into the music. the cocktail smells fishy and probably gives a bad hangover after consumption. the only track i wholeheartedly love is "the laziest river" but apparently that is not even by him, it is by the keyboarder!

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't think indie describes pj at all. she's awesome!

scott seward, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

the rich sound seems to hide a deep hollowness behind. and i also have the impression that some elements do not fit into the aural carpet. the saxophone - which i like most - often feels out of place, as if it was just a sample which has been assembled into the music. the cocktail smells fishy and probably gives a bad hangover after consumption.

this is a really good description of what i love about this album!

judith, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

what on earth does this mean

that she's massively popular and canonical and her quality is spammed at you heavily, no effort needed.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

a lot of the talk about pj harvey is easy and safe. not her fault but it's true. liking her is easy and safe too. again, not her fault or even anything to do with her music, but true.

― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:37 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh come on. it's a rather harsh and disorienting album, at least relative to stuff like the XX and kaputt. grief-stricken, panicky, despairing. why on earth would we condescend to music that's "easy to like" in the first place? do we take vainglorious pride in a vision of ourselves as brave explorers venturing out into uncharted jungles of forbidding noise? do we laugh at the ants who can't comprehend our passions? do we smoke a pipe while listening to merzbow? wtf?

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's probably donk/grindcore fans who have dinnerparties with blackout crew/napalm death on in the background.

in other-words ,i get the insult, its one i use myself, but anything could be dinner party music.

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

that she's massively popular and canonical and her quality is spammed at you heavily, no effort needed.

― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:48 PM (11 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

what, you mean like beyonce?

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

seriously, do we need the xth 80s retro wave, the recycling of the recycled? what new stuff does bejar bring to the table?

You admitted it yourself: the vocals, the hollowness, the saxophones.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

the vocals? but they are not special at all. just irritating. not only that the guy cannot sing, he even does not have a voice.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

ppl play PJ harvey at dinner parties?

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I would totally play PJ Harvey at a dinner party

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

of course, I would also play GOD at a dinner party if my wife owuld let me, so

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh good, it's time to explain that the UK is different to different countries again

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

what does wife of djp actually play?

pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'd much prefer pj playing at a dinner party than bejar.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

"middle class indie" isn't a term I'd use myself but I intuitively read it as referring to music that is so ubiquitously held up as a celebrated alternative to the status quo that it becomes a sort of status quo itself.

okay, i get that, and there does often seem to be a sort of unearned snobbery built into mainstream indie culture, a tendency to take pride in a sense of superiority and difference that doesn't require any special ability or effort or entail any actual risk. but it's also a generic, nuance-free objection to a reductive caricature of that culture. hardly the sort of thing we should uncritically embrace.

When I read music described as "middle class" ... I usually read it as meaning that the music aspires (or is presented by the media as aspiring) toward a kind of niche-less universality, in the same sense that everyone believes themselves to be middle-class.

there's something very suspect about negatively describing music of "aspiring to niche-less universality", especially if one has any fondness for chart pop. for one thing, we can't so easy know artistic intent, and for another, all art has identity, even that which we're inclined to sneer at. furthermore, it's a huge mistake to damn art for the sins of the critical culture that responds to it.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 22:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh come on. it's a rather harsh and disorienting album, at least relative to stuff like the XX and kaputt. grief-stricken, panicky, despairing. why on earth would we condescend to music that's "easy to like" in the first place? do we take vainglorious pride in a vision of ourselves as brave explorers venturing out into uncharted jungles of forbidding noise? do we laugh at the ants who can't comprehend our passions? do we smoke a pipe while listening to merzbow? wtf?

you're misinterpreting me but i'm not really massively annoyed about it.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

what does wife of djp actually play?

usually stuff in the vein of Toni Braxton

if I start getting into stuff weirder or more active than Massive Attack, I get frowns

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

the only music you can play at dinner parties is dave brubeck, you ppl are savages

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 February 2012 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink


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