Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review Wednesday: Preoccupations - "Anxiety"


Preoccupations'--formerly known as Viet Cong--debut album, Viet Cong, is released last year, but its impressiveness still remains until today. Viet Cong is where outstanding tracks, such as "Continental Shelf" and "Death" dwell, and every single time these tracks are played, there's always something breathtaking from the song that awes us. 

When they choose name Preoccupations as the band's new name this April--due to unintentional subversive and offensive name--they do not carry Viet Cong's torches on. While Viet Cong that most of us listen to is known by their vigor--Mike Wallace's drums are ferocious as well as Munro and Christiansen's guitar riffs--Preoccupations' latest single "Anxiety" somehow sounds more somber. The first seconds of the song are filled with lulling noise--something that's not the distinctive features of the band. However, as the guitars and drums start to kick in, "Anxiety" offers the same "Continental Shelf"'s vibe. The peak is when Flegel's studly voice begins the song, "With a sense of urgency and unease", showing the ominousness of the song. It's no joke how ominous the song is, as Flegel continues in the bridge, "Help has fallen by the wayside/ Nowhere near to finding better ways to be". That way, "Anxiety" feels familiar, yet obscure at the same time. It may not be a perfect summer jam, but Preoccupations' "Anxiety" brings the new taste of summer: a portentous and bleak one. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Review Sunday: Maxwell - "1990x"


The first time I listened to Maxwell is seven years ago, when he released "Pretty Wings". I was still in middle school back then. "Pretty Wings" infuses gamelan chimes in it, and I have high pride with my local culture back then, and this song definitely awed me and my heart is suddenly is filled with incessant pride. I was instantly captivated by the song, pondering how a modest and simple song can be so resonant and extravagant at the same time. But, after listening to his other songs, that's Maxwell's best trademarks, aside from his gorgeous and beautiful falsetto. 

"1990x", the second single from his long-anticipated album, blackSUMMERS'night, is a sleek R&B song, adding another nod to the revival of R&B songs this year. Still, Maxwell flaunts his falsetto voice, talking about love, the universal theme of all song in this world.“There’s no song that defines it/ There’s no music behind it/ There’s no lyric to read from/ It’s just you and the moment," Maxwell flirts in the chorus part--somehow it feels ironic, especially his "1990x" can be the song that defines the perfect condition of love. "1990x" is an evocative song that turns people, and this is why we miss Maxwell at the first place. The wait for blackSUMMERS'night is over, and it is indeed worth the wait.