Thursday, May 17, 2012

review: Gotye (music)

Sorry for the prolong absence folks! I am in the process of moving and a lot of things have gotten pushed back in the great shuffle that is currently my life. I also have been working a lot. 46+ hours so things have been busy there too. I also just got PROMOTED!!! I'll now be working about 52+ hours a week. So things will probably be a little hectic and delayed until I really figure out my new schedule. Sorry again. But I digress, on to the review!

I'm pushing through all the crazy stuff and putting off finishing The Strain vol. 3 (holy hell - so good!) because I genuinely think this music is awesome. And yes, it's another alternative band (blame Portland if you must). And yes, it's even another band NOT from America! Gotye is one man, a Mr. Wouter De Backer who hails from Melbourne, Australia.  He is a Belgian-Australian and Gotye (pronounced Go-tea-yay) is derived from the french version of Wouter - Gauthier.

Having always been musically inclined, Gotye has learned numerous instrument, in particular the piano and drums. With these skills he formed his first band in highschool called The Downstares. Lucan Taranto, a highschool friend and bandmate, still plays with Gotye on his live shows. Gotye (the band... or man, I'm never sure what to call musicians who don't use their name....) was first inspired by over 80 LPs given to him by an elderly neighbor who used to hear him play. In college, he and two other fellows lived in "the Frat House" where people would just come drop by to hang out or play music.

Gotye has release a total of three albums, however only Making Mirrors - his third release - has made it to the US. His second album, Like Drawing Blood, did receive critical fame in the UK and Australia - being one of the top albums of the year with two hits in the top 100 songs of the year. However, I can only really speak to Making Mirrors, as that's all I've listened to. Gotye's first single was "Easy Way Out" which really hasn't had taken off. However, the second single released "Somebody That I Used to Know" featuring Kimbra, took off like a rocket - at least it did in the states. It's really odd that this particular song made it so big here. It's not what typically makes it big in the states - instead of being loud, energetic, and rock/pop-ish "Somebody I Used to Know" is quiet, but powerful, kinda whiny... in a good way. He reminds me a lot of Sting with his quick crescendos and breathy voice. The really odd thing about this song/album is that their big hit, "Somebody I Used to Know", sounds exactly nothing like the rest of their album... which is filled with loud, fell good music.

Regardless of the mismatch of his hit single versus his album, Gotye's Making Mirrors is an excellent album that makes me dance while cleaning at work. This album is also another rare one where I can actually listen through the entire album. I give Gotye's Making Mirrors 5 out of 5 stars!

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