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

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i haven't seen any of kaputt's fans discussing his songwriting, just his "signifiers" and "sound", which makes me think there isn't much going on with the songwriting there. though there's not a great deal interesting going on with the sound either and they're not shutting up about that

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean if you guys are really moved by this album I have this thing called pink floyd's 'the wall', be ready

― iatee, Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:28 AM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

see, that's that sneering, too-cool horseshit again. like anything that might presume to address history & war or directly express political outrage/anguish automatically = the wall? that's reductive and frankly stupid, unless you can show that harvey's analysis really is as narrow and self-centered as waters'.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

if you guys are really moved by this album

I think maybe I am? I'm just still getting into it. There's something to be said, I think, for the way it acknowledges brutality in an elegaic context.

timellison, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't think she is as bad a lyricist as waters, no, it's just a really 1-dimensional album. young people in england. war. death. oh man. heavy. heavyyyyy.

good pop album tho.

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

What do you mean by songwriting, Lex? Lyrics? Compositional structures?

jaymc, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

i can't really help anyone who thinks lines like "beautiful England, and the grey, damp filthiness of ages, and battered books / fog rolling down behind the mountains / on the graveyards of dead sea captains" are clichés

in speaking of cliches, i think iatee is describing a snidely reductive view of the album's themes. cliches like "war is bad lol" and "suffering lol".

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol you think destroyer has dimensions

xp

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

well you can remove the lols if you want?

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

well it's pretty obvious iatee hasn't actually listened to it, and it's also obvious passim that he's a div, so why bother w/him

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol, so the fact that the album has a theme makes it 1-dimensional? way to engage yr brain there

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

dimensions of beauty and, frankly, ethereal transcendence.

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

she's a great songwriter, always has been

She's really good. And a good singer. Those blue notes in "The Words That Maketh Murder" are beautiful.

timellison, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't get 'chill vibez' from kaputt at all, it's more like steely dan where beneath the slickness it's all very uncomfortable

ciderpress, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

think we've probably found the one way in which is interesting to place these albums in opposition, and it's v. likely that ppl who enjoy the old-fashioned direct expression of les would be put off by the icey remove of kaputt and vice versa.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

meh another big surprise: iatee's smugness serves as a tough protective covering for his rongness

flog this poster for moderation (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was definitely moved by it. its beautiful. but not just beautiful. i think she's doing really amazing/interesting/important work. and i can't say that about a ton of people working now.

white chalk kinda took my breath away too when i first heard it. i didn't hear it when it came out. that's a really gutsy record!

scott seward, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

She's really good. And a good singer. Those blue notes in "The Words That Maketh Murder" are beautiful.

she has such incredible command over her voice - the changes from album to album are pretty astonishing

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

w/r/t bejar's songwriting on kaputt, one thing i think he does extremely well is the ability to make mostly meandering and mostly formless tunes very catchy. in lieu of the traditional and predictable verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, many of the songs have 2 or 3 catchy hooks which end up being bejar simply repeating a phrase or singing a line in an unexpected and pleasant way. for an album mostly considered an 'indie "rock"' record, this is one way it stands apart and makes it special

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

also the way that bejar will sing a hook only one time on an album makes re-listens more rewarding imo: instead of waiting 30 seconds to hear the hook again, you're anticipating it the next time you hear the record

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

the old-fashioned direct expression of les

i'm not sure i'd describe LES like this - direct yeah, but perhaps observation is more accurate than expression - harvey takes on a journalistic role and the narrator's voice is outside the action at all times - it's not about her self-expression at all

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

also the way that bejar will sing a hook only one time on an album makes re-listens more rewarding imo: instead of waiting 30 seconds to hear the hook again, you're anticipating it the next time you hear the record

... you can't really call it a "hook" at that point, can you?

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

iatee are you just trolling lex or do i have to destroy you >:[

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean i think you can.. it's just a bit more temporally shifted

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

better to leave single hooks dangling everywhere than a group of identical hooks in one place, it is much better to snare the discriminating listener.

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

^__^

omar little, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

destroy him anyway xp

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

my working definition of a 'hook' is that catchy part of a song that i just cant help but sing out loud

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

white chalk kinda took my breath away too when i first heard it. i didn't hear it when it came out. that's a really gutsy record!

― scott seward, Thursday, February 9, 2012 1:44 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

white chalk is fucking terrifying and, i think, a little better than LES. but LES is no slouch.

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't think you can only enjoy one of these records, lex and iatee are not actually symbolic of some deep truth.

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

i haven't seen any of kaputt's fans discussing his songwriting, just his "signifiers" and "sound", which makes me think there isn't much going on with the songwriting there.

i don't really care about the 80s signifiers/sound/whatever of kaputt, it's totally about the songwriting for me (though the sound and signifiers are totally part of the songwriting). diamonddave is correct, the songs are very loose in structure and feel but there are little bits that grab you and those become the hooks/choruses. plus i love his lyrics, and i don't really get people who complain about his singing - do you guys not listen to any music with "difficult" (ie nontraditional) vocals?

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

also the way that bejar will sing a hook only one time on an album makes re-listens more rewarding imo: instead of waiting 30 seconds to hear the hook again, you're anticipating it the next time you hear the record

... you can't really call it a "hook" at that point, can you?

― I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Thursday, February 9, 2012 12:50 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

sure you can! why not?

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

white chalk kind of reminds me of stina nordenstam - the way she sounds so comfortable, so at home, in this terrifying and mad place

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

1-dimensional album. young people in england. war. death. oh man. heavy. heavyyyyy.

it also addresses age, memory, music, history, language and a bunch of other things. all you're doing is childishly snarking at seriousness of artistic purpose. asinine, imo.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't really get people who complain about his singing - do you guys not listen to any music with "difficult" (ie nontraditional) vocals?

pj harvey!

his voice is antithetical to good vibes for me

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

the songs are very loose in structure and feel but there are little bits that grab you and those become the hooks/choruses

this reminds me of what tori amos did on boys for pele

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

iatee are you just trolling lex or do i have to destroy you >:[

mostly trolling lex, I don't hate pj harvey but I think it's funny that lex can be so vocal about something that's ultimately a concept rock album

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

sure you can! why not?

I am thinking of how "hook" and "chorus" are used interchangeably in pop/rock/hip-hop/r&b

I spend a lot of time thinking about apricots (DJP), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah as I said upthread Kaputt is like tori x aaliyah

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ha lex was so fun to work up abt this, but now iatee has me switching sides, pj has always been amazing

Truth is, these are both really good albums and I bet a lot of the same audience like them both, only on bizarre old ilm where we constantly have to triangulate where stuff falls on the rockist/popist spectrum and remain vigilant against indie cooties would these two albums even be presented as adversaries

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

kmt tim you are too obvious in your trolling

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 18:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

And here i thought I was being subtle.

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

w/r/t bejar's songwriting on kaputt, one thing i think he does extremely well is the ability to make mostly meandering and mostly formless tunes very catchy. in lieu of the traditional and predictable verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, many of the songs have 2 or 3 catchy hooks which end up being bejar simply repeating a phrase or singing a line in an unexpected and pleasant way. for an album mostly considered an 'indie "rock"' record, this is one way it stands apart and makes it special

― radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:47 AM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

don't really get this, and it's what keeps me at some distance from destroyer (and why i was sort of cool on john maus' pitiless censors, mentioned upthread): for me, the songs just aren't there. the vibe is certainly pleasant, but nothing really moves me or stays with me. this makes it hard to really respect bejar as a songwriter. it's not like there aren't a few hooks there, but not enough to really work as pop, and the arrangements/song structures aren't interesting enough to make up for the lack. perhaps this only demonstrates my shallowness as a listener, but if so then so.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

the old-fashioned direct expression of les

i'm not sure i'd describe LES like this - direct yeah, but perhaps observation is more accurate than expression - harvey takes on a journalistic role and the narrator's voice is outside the action at all times - it's not about her self-expression at all

― first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, February 9, 2012 1:49 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah i'm good w/all that. i was thinking more about directness of language. i was sort of responding to iatee's summary of the lyrical content and in a way he is right because lyrically she just kind of lays it all out there! it's very old-fashioned in that way. but that allows her to do lots of other, weirder things.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Though the big thing I well remember from this poll is lex liking tom waits! which was awesome and strange to me

dave coolier (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think it's funny that lex can be so vocal about something that's ultimately a concept rock album

eh, lex dug the swans last year, tom waits this year, your "darker" trad singer/songwriters like laura marling and nina nastasia. PJ harvey slots right in w that stuff.

xp

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's ok to just say you don't like something or that it's just not for you without having to come up with some grand reason why it's a failure of an album or what's deficient about it. sometimes certain albums just don't click for certain people. i listened to LES and it didn't grab me but i respect PJH and i'm sure it's a good, worthwhile album.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

pj harvey was one of my big three teenage acts! i thought this was widely known

LES was prob the album i most enjoyed writing about last year

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Congratulations otm - the first part (I like let England shake)

Tim F, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

did you write about white chalk, lex? did anyone? i am finally hearing it and i need to read something good about it!

horseshoe, Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha i reviewed white chalk at the time - only a capsule review though, weird to think PJH didn't merit a lead review back then - her canonical status has been very entrenched with LES but it's pretty overstated re: pre-LES, she's always been kind of on the fringe, lots of people dismissing her as some weird mad woman.

um here it is. v weird to read stuff you wrote 5 years ago http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/sep/21/popandrock.shopping2

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Thursday, 9 February 2012 19:15 (2 years ago) Permalink


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