21 December 2010

I laugh in the face of top 10 lists!

so of my top ten albums of 2010, only three of them made it on the This is Fake DIY writers' top 50 - the Futureheads 'The Chaos' at #47, Two Door Cinema Club's 'Tourist History' at #42, and Mystery Jets 'Serotonin' at #29. pretty disappointing not to see Delphic, Hundred in the Hands, Broken Bells, or Villagers in there somewhere. I don't like Kanye, I don't like the National, and I defo don't like Sleigh Bells! bah.

what HAS been rather interesting is reading independent (personal) blogs choosing Delphic on top 10 or 20 lists. there's too many to list here but I really liked this one from Denmark (I think) called the Idioteque. here is a blurb from their #5 placing of 'Acolyte' (I've left off most of the Pitchfork slagging):

So, Delphic hasn't exactly been the critics' choice. Rock with synthesizers just isn't as hot as guys with beards playing acoustic guitars, and perhaps it never really has been the shizzle this century, at least outside of Denmark, where bands like VETO, Spleen United and Turboweekend have been among the most prominent of the country's sudden surge in independent music.

But how can you resist? When 'Clarion Call' kicks off in a massive crescendo at 1:26, how can you not be drumming your fists into thin air? How can you help nodding along to 'This Momentary''s insistent, four-on-the-floor beats and chanting, haunting vocals? How can you ignore the brilliance of the pivotal track, 'Acolyte' itself, which surges like a tsunami again and again, and clusterbombs you with swooning, rapturous synthesizers? Or when the album fades away with 'Remain', a post-crescendoic blissful nirvana?

Wearing its HaƧ-heritage pretty visibly on its sleeves seems to often override the fact that Acolyte really isn't exactly the floor filler it's often proclaimed to be. I see it more as a listening record, and while being sometimes slightly characterless; it cleverly manages the oft-attempted fusion of rock and electro, avoiding most of the pitfalls. So Pitchfork gave it a 5.0 grade? I bloody hell couldn't care less - this is one of the most menacingly intense and engrossing albums of 2010!

Why not swim against the tide, as the opening stanza states, we live in unconditional change anyway?

(read more here)

v. nicely said. the more I listened to 'Acolyte', the more I was convinced this was more of an intellectual record. like Jenny and Johnny's 'I'm Having Fun Now' that can be enjoyed superficially/simply as a surf pop record, 'Acolyte' can be enjoyed as a dance album. rave to it. if that's all you want from it.

but it's when you sit down with it long enough that you realise the brilliance. listen to the lyrics. they're spare but they do what they're supposed to - make you think and tug at your emotions. then consider what they do with the synths (the effects in 'Counterpoint' that sound like birds, for example) and you realise this isn't any record. the guitar riffs are awesome. they're not overbearing. they've been placed in just the right spots. just brilliant.

I have my own thoughts of what 'Acolyte' the song is supposed to represent. but I won't post it here b/c I will blush and embarrass myself, so sorry, you will have to come up with your own ideas on this one. I will say, start first by looking how the song is constructed. I got better acquainted with it, working out the bass line and figuring where the bass came in with respect to the many synths.

I often think about how the Pains of Being Pure at Heart sound is a great wave, awash of sound that you want to get swept up in, and 'Acolyte' runs similar to this, but with no lyrics. no lyrics except ethereal, heavenly sighing, as if from another world. if the music in heaven is anything like this...

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