I think there's a lot of that kind of deliberate off the wall fairytale quirkiness on FM, but somehow it's not as offensive as the quirk you hate, Lex.
I was thinking about this, trying to figure out exactly what distinguishes the good from the bad - I used to think that it was whether it seemed "natural" or "forced" - whether it's put on like a drama student pose or "just the way someone is". But that isn't it at all - because you take something like Fever Ray that is theatrical as all hell, but it's still wonderful.
Maybe it's what we were saying on twitter the other day about doors that stay closed. Someone said on another thread about Florence &TM, that there always seemed to be a moment where she took a bow at the end, with a girlish giggle, admitting it to be an act. What you thought to be doors are revealed to be painted scenery.
While with something like Felt Mountain, and with Fever Ray, there are doors that open immediately, revealing wonderful vistas, and doors that you have to hear the music several times to notice that they are even there. And some doors that never, ever open, no matter how many times you stand at them. That sense of genuine mystery, a kind of genuine otherworldliness that goes beyond the school of Quirk "ooh, look at me, I'm so out there." The latter is like an affectation that screams OOH LOOK AT THIS WEIRD THING while the former is a weird thing sitting in the corner of the room like it's almost just been discarded there, and it's not explained, and *certainly* not drawn attention to, it's just this inexplicable thing, but without which the room would not be complete.
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 9 September 2009 20:03 (4 years ago) Permalink
Nope, sorry, listened to a couple of Beth Gibbons/Rustin Man tracks and it was just... no. Too too smokey jazz cafe cigarettes black turtlenecks berets jaaazzzzzz no no no. Not feeling it.
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:31 (4 years ago) Permalink
There's just something so... lounge singer about it, and I really can't stand that.
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:32 (4 years ago) Permalink
so .. lounge singer
on mogadon perhaps.
fair enough. it does take a certain mood.
― mark e, Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:38 (4 years ago) Permalink
I've never really wanted to go back to this album, a lot of it feels a bit clunky, but Clowns is incredible and by some distance the best thing she's ever done. Then again I hated the electro-robo-glam Goldfrapp.
― Tuncay Stryder (Matt DC), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:42 (4 years ago) Permalink
I'm playing catch-up at the moment and have moved onto Portishead's Third now. Ha ha, see if you can spot the pattern.
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:43 (4 years ago) Permalink
I've no fetish for the jazz trappings that your picking up on that Beth Gibbons record either really, Kate. The quality of her voice though, is just so sad and mournful that it transcends that lounge thing for me. Or rather, it drops through the bottom of the genre into this whole other void.
― Peinlich Manoeuvre (NickB), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:45 (4 years ago) Permalink
"Songs that go CLUNNNNGGGGE bip."
― Mark G, Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:46 (4 years ago) Permalink
There's something about that mournful, wavering quality to Gibbon's voice that has always bothered me. There's something that sounds so weak and clinging (in personality not in sound) about it that I just can't relate.
It's funny, because even though Goldfrapp often works the same kind of territory (that fragile little girl whispiness) there's a fundamental strength and vibrancy to her voice that makes her work more rich and appealing to me.
But this may entirely be projection based on image, I admit. Goldfrapp's voice seems like it would sink a bolt of brandy and pick itself up and go on, while Gibbons' voice, you kind of just want to give it a slap and tell it to snap out of it.
(But I admit this may be related to the depression I've just had to claw myself out of as much as the music itself.)
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:51 (4 years ago) Permalink
completely indifferent to this album - robo stuff was OK but nothing beats the lonely spy vibe of Felt Mountain
― spiny doughboy (baaderonixx), Thursday, 10 September 2009 09:51 (4 years ago) Permalink
Goldfrapp's voice seems like it would sink a bolt of brandy and pick itself up and go on, while Gibbons' voice, you kind of just want to give it a slap and tell it to snap out of it.
Hmm, I know what you're saying, and I partly agree, but I have a totally opposite emotional response to it. Goldfrapp sounds like she's just playing with each genre and it's kind of fun to pick apart the influences etc, but that's as involved as I get. Gibbons does what she does cos she's got no fucking choice and that really resonates with me.
― Peinlich Manoeuvre (NickB), Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:07 (4 years ago) Permalink
I can hear my mother's therapist echoing in my ear "You have a choice. You always have a choice." I'm just sick of the sound of weeping women, you know?
Anyway, it's ALL ABOUT the moment in Little Bird about 2.40 where the looping melotron goes all psychedelic and the drums kick in with the bassline and she starts singing JULY LIE LIE LIEE LAAA LAAAA LAA and extemporising the riff and I get shivers down my spine and want to throw my head back and dance about a maypole or something.
It's like they took one of those fake Chemical Bros Beatles riffs and turned it inside out and made it amazing.
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:11 (4 years ago) Permalink
(And it's funny, I've spent so much time listening to the BTWS remix of Happiness that it's weird to hear the original and realise that it's not actually about happiness at all, really - it's about being sucked into a Cult!)
― Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:13 (4 years ago) Permalink
Clowns is the only song from this that I ever feel compelled to listen to.
― chap, Thursday, 10 September 2009 13:03 (4 years ago) Permalink
I kind of agree with this: "it makes me feel a bit "Grown Up" to listen to it". There would have been a time when I'd have been unable to listen to it. It sounded nice this morning, accompanying the walk up the lane to the bus stop ...
― djh, Thursday, 10 September 2009 17:06 (4 years ago) Permalink
The song that sounds most like Felt Mountain here is "Cologne Cerrone Houdini" and it is spectacular. I'm surprised it doesn't get more mentions.
― LeRooLeRoo, Friday, 11 September 2009 03:40 (4 years ago) Permalink
Completely agree that it's a "grown up" album, but it's aged remarkably well.
― Vini Reilly Invasion (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
Was revisiting because of this: http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/before_goldfrapp_before_kate_bush_there_was_noosha_fox
― Vini Reilly Invasion (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:48 (2 years ago) Permalink