Saturday, August 10, 2013

blind albums part 4: jakalope - it dreams

part 4: jakalope - it dreams

welcome back, sir or madam. And congratulations on reaching the end of this cringe-worthy, amateurish writing experiment of mine. After 4 entries of trying to review music, I've definitely gotten better at it, but I sadly have been unable to reach a grade that I would call passing. This is a task better left to people that are actually good at it. Against my hopes, I've found that my ability to write about say, video games, is significantly better than my ability to write about music. In the simplest possible terms, I would just say I don't know that much about music. It sucks, sure, but as long as we've come this far, let's finish it why-not?

I'm going home for Chee-tos after this,though

The fourth album I bought as part of this unflinchingly courageous experiment was It Dreams by Canadian industrial band Jakalope. As before, I found this band by way of Pandora, most likely through one of my Birthday Massacre-based stations. They sound, appropriately, like Nine Inch Nails, if their vocalist was a twenty-something sex kitten. I say "appropriately" because as I was thumbing through the disc's booklet, I noticed that Trent Reznor is listed as a contributor, even if the way-shape-or-form is a bit vague. We'll keep with tradition and embed my point of entry first. The track in question is number 5, Tell Me Why.

Wonderfully decadent, sexy, and spooky. It's not the sort of thing I always had a taste for, but I've come to like the stuff very much in recent years. The style isn't the sort of thing that's for everyone, and I can easily understand how it would be annoying to some. The complaint I would expect is that mixing pop vocals with industrial is an artistically bankrupt contrast, like a valley girl getting a tattoo. I disagree in this instance, though. The vocals are pitch-perfect but somehow crack in all the right places and work as a contrast to the music. The teen angst thing is just something that's just going to come down to your personal tastes. I dig it. I'm no NIN connoisseur, but I know my way around a track or two, and the instrumental portion of the song is exactly what I'd expect from a band that's shared a studio with him (them?).

The song stayed on my MP3 player for a year or two, and when the itch for a batch of new CDs came along, I decided to pick up It Dreams. As was the case with the entire batch, luckily, it was an investment I was happy I made. Track 1, Feel It, has a very different pace, but was an instant hit with me.

After deciding I liked the song, I actually paid attention to the lyrics, and realized they were kinda dirty. Like, more graphic than songs that are more obviously about sex. I don't mind it, but I know some people out there would. Once again, I feel like the vocals lend themselves well to the subject matter and the tone of the song. It reminds me of something I would have heard in the 90s as a pre-teen (when MTV was culturally relevant), and found terrifying. Back in the day, a song only had to have an unhappy tone to make me disinterested, and it actually took me a long time to outgrow that phase. I listened to a lot of P.O.D. and other inoffensive music in high school, and didn't start listening to what I'll clumsily call "normal" music until college. I've never been religious but simply didn't like the way dark-toned music sounded. Songs on the radio that come to mind would have been Korn's Freak on a Leash and Fiona Apple's Criminal. The funny thing is, all the while, I was blazing through Devil May Cry and Grand Theft Auto, no problem.

YouTube uploads are a little bit limited, so I won't get to embed every personal favorite. The next available personal favorite, however, is Pretty Life

Again, it really feels like a throwback to the late-ish 90s. When I was younger, every now and then I'd navigate away from Nickelodeon to MTV, maybe because Daria or Celebrity Deathmatch was on. Occasionally, I'd catch a glimpse of a video from the likes of Marilyn Manson (which I've also come to like over the years). It would creep me out, but I'd always have this vague and distant feeling that there was something worthwhile there. Maybe just not for 11 year old me. The direction, imagery and such of this video make me feel like this could have been on at the time, and would have totally fit.

Let's embed one more personal favorite. The last embed of the experiment is Don't Cry.

You know ... there's actually not much for me to say about it that I haven't already about the rest of the album. At least, not that I can come up with after doing it this many times. I think it's that I'm just a little burned out on reviewing music for now, so let's give the series a little send-off.

It's been fun, and hopefully you've picked up some new tracks to listen to by reading this. If you're only now jumping in, give the links at the top of the article a try. Like this 4th one, the other 3 articles introduce you to some music a I came across by quasi-accident, and gleefully share it with you in hopes of helping you to share the same joy I found. This is not something I do every day; more often than not, I try to convince people to dislike things as much as I do, so get while the gettin's good. I'll try to keep the next thing I write from being so show-and-tellish. Thanks for enduring.

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