Years ago, we started this short-lived thing with the Langs. One of us would pick an album and the other three would listen in our free time and the next time we got together we would discuss our thoughts on the album. Jeff and I were a bit too serious and took notes. I recently ran across them; thought I would post them here for you to enjoy.
Now, on to Lindsay’s first pick:
Automatic, VNV Nation
- On-Air — I hate these kinds of “songs”. It is hard for me to consider them anything other than fillers. It was hard to listen to it entirely.
- Space & Time — I love the opening of the song, and the bass beat that comes in. This makes me think of Space and dancing. Space dancing. It does take me away. Let the currents carry me…
- Resolution — Same beat and tempo as track 2. Love it just as much. The lyrics of this song are simple yet profound and beautiful. It is at this point that I want to turn the volume up on my iPhone to 10. The production is so clean.
- Control — Holy shit I was waiting for this. Can I turn the volume up anymore!? Pretty sure I am losing my hearing. I don’t know if he uses analog synths or digital, but damn I love it. If I were a wrestler or boxer, this would be the song that I entered the ring with. Strong.
- Goodbye 20th Century — 😐 This track doesn’t irritate me as much as the first track does. At least there are 2 minutes of beautiful music in it.
- Streamline — Bass-y same ping-pong tempo/beat, but I like it so I don’t mind. “Write a new world symphony, for the 21st century.” - Great line.
- Gratitude — This shit just makes me feel good. Legitimately positive lyrics with positive effects. The song may be best understood with sarcasm, but I don’t think so. I think there is a great deal of authenticity in them.
- Nova — Slow burn, but man, this is a religious experience. Especially live! Post the minute 12 mark, the song opens up and continues to build. Shine, shine your light on me. This song brings me to tears and a state of worship. So much! Very emotional song.
- Photon — Long instrumental. Like it.
- Radio — This is my least favorite song on the album, both the lyrics and music are a tad boring. Long slow build. Kind of a weak ending.
This album is similar to almost every other VNV Nation release. That isn’t bad, because what they produce is a great experience. Musical tapestries with a few moments of transcendence. I mean, truly transcendence. There are moments on the album in which I forget I am just “listening to music” rather, I am transported to a better place. A place of beauty and hope and chrome. Shiny and clean. I am reminded of stars and moons, open skies, clouds and crispness. Clean air, clear minds and soothing hearts.
Underneath there is a sense of pain and ache, a shadowy moment. Is it darkness or just a passing shadow? Can you see it? Do you notice it through the beauty?
I can’t help but review this album without bringing in my own life and experiences. I have been hearing them for 20 years. There is a youthful history to it, always wise beyond the age of the music. FuturePop is what it is called.
There are a couple of critiques I have of the album; and of all of VNV Nations music. At times, they include random noises and that is always a turn-off to me. I understand using texture to create dynamics, but they don’t need to be minutes long. Also, this album ends on a down note. The last song is, meh.
Tags: Eerie, emotive, dance-y, future, hopeful, imagination, sad?, classical, contemporary.