Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Trouble in Paradise, Sep 28, 2020.
Im still mad about this one. There’s a bit of The Dreaming in the chorus that I can’t resist
And another one...
"Pop Song" by Perfume Genius
Number One Fans: 10 x 4 (@Trouble in Paradise @Music Is Death @fatyoshi @Untouchable Ace) 8.5 nn x 4 (@TéléDex @pop3blow2 @Sail On @LE0Night)
This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 4 x 1 (@dontkillmyvibe) 5 x 1 (@daninternational)
My Score: 8
5 Voters: 54
10 Voters: 56
15 Voters: 70
20 Voters: 68
Our body is stretchedAnd holding one breath
I'll be honest and say I have no clue what this song is about? The title seems like irony as PG takes a sharp left-field turn from his intimate and vulnerable and already eclectic art pop musings into some simple electronic then turned psychedelic soundscapes that burst and take new shapes. This came as his sole 2019 release alongside 8-minute 'Eye on the Wall', which were part of a larger soundtrack to a performance that toured Seattle, New York City, Minneapolis and Boston with a set of dancers from the YC company, titled The Sun Still Burns Here. Fortunately for me, a Pitchfork article on the topic comes handy to explain that:
“The Sun Still Burns Here” turns the ongoing themes in Hadreas’ music into a 65-minute modern-dance piece that loosely positions effusive belonging as a potential antidote to pain. “Our body is stretched/And holding one breath,” sings Hadreas on “Pop Song,” as he turns the entire dancefloor into a single organism. During the performance, Hadreas is flung into the air in time with the song’s climax: a sigh of ecstasy. It is a moment of complete synthesis, the physical toss a perfect translation of the sigh’s warmth, one that suggests this might be how the music of Perfume Genius is meant to be experienced.
For an artist whose music often looks at his own body in distorted, incomplete or broken in ways, hearing the airy wood spirit exclamations, the everything-thrown-into-a-blender and just spacing out while listening to the song is strangely rewarding. You go!
I think I can see eye to eye with @Untouchable Ace, who says this makes him "feel like a woodland creature in a strangely visceral way."
Do check out some of the videos from his newest album Set My Heart on Fire Immediately below.
Perfume Genius “Pop Song” 5 - i don't want to tank it, but can never get into PG
A great quote I remembered today:
"I believe supporting bisexuality is as easy as listening and emboldening bisexual voices and actively pointing out our sexuality as we are so constantly denied it!
- @Lost Boy
Hopefully this tag doesn't make him think he's losing a high score...
"Flamboyant" by Dorian Electra
Number One Fans: 10 x 6 (@Music Is Death @BeingNormal @daninternational @klow @Lost Boy and I) 9 x 2 (@fatyoshi @Ana Raquel)
This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 4.75 x 1 (@Sail On) 5 x 2 (@2014 @dontkillmyvibe)
@Trouble in Paradise's Score: 7
5 Voters: 61
10 Voters: 84
15 Voters: 73
20 Voters: 58
I do it big and take up lots of space
You know I like to get up in your face
Words by @Trouble in Paradise:
Dorian Electra was an artist who I couldn’t ignore anymore. I’ll be honest and say I saw them very much as a fun novelty act with videos like 'Daddy Like' being fun and catchy but not “worthy” in my mind of being a rate of “serious” music. I can admit now I was wrong, especially after reading all of Electra’s amazing thinking behind their art and their visual presentation. Honestly, I think Dorian Electra is doing what the best drag queens should be doing- breaking down the boxes we exist in by blowing them up to absurd proportions. When it comes to “Flamboyant,” Electra knew exactly what listeners would think once they heard that word and how they were going to turn it around on them:
“Flamboyant is a word that’s been used in a very derogatory way, like ‘flagrant’: an obvious gay, effeminate person,” they say. So Electra took the term back to its origins in French gothic architecture, to describe flames in stained glass. “Anything colourful that’s begging to be looked at and is out there and bright – those meanings all came together. My work is all about using pop, which I love, to show something a little bit different. Not falling into feminine pop tropes, but still being able to take a bit of the Britney Spears vibe in what I do, and the polish of the sound and the visuals. And being like: hey, I’m just me.”
Ah yes, let’s invoke the name of Britney Spears in our queer music rate on forum dot popjustice dot com and see what happens! While they may not make my favorite music, I do love the intellectual side of the music and pushing things like the feminine pop tropes into this satirical and over the top space. Dorian’s work and identity has frequently challenged gender in ways I really appreciate and they explain it much better than I could:
“I’m not a woman dressing as a man, it’s so much more complex than that” – nor do they feel like a man all the time. “When I came across ‘gender fluid’, I was like: that term actually really resonates with me,” they say. “But the core of my being is not gendered at all – even ‘gender fluid’ is a form of identity that can put somebody in a box.” They say culture is currently at a moment of admitting: “Hey, there are many boxes. And then eventually, if humanity survives, it’ll be like: actually, we don’t need these boxes any more. I do think that the labels are incredibly empowering though, and for people to fight just to be in the other box as male and female, as a trans person, is still enormous.”
I love how they are able to both be very trans affirming while also questioning gender altogether. It’s a messy and complex place to be and I’m happy Electra is going there so thoughtfully. Speaking of going there, they really took a risk with the sound and production on “Flamboyant” and it paid off big time. They explain more to High Snobiety:
I’ve also learned to make the music that you like, rather than trying to please a theoretical fanbase. “Flamboyant” was one of the most experimental songs I had ever made at that time – I thought it was too off-the-cuff, that nobody would get it. I was booked onto a photoshoot, but I impulsively decided to just make a video for it. It ended up being my most popular video ever, which I really wasn’t expecting. You really can’t predict anything; ultimately, the best thing to do is just make what you love.
----- OK icon! I am very happy you gave Dorian a chance as an artist, regardless of how much you ended up liking the music or not. I'd recommend checking out My Agenda if you haven't if it wasn't for the fact that the songs are amped up even further, the writing is more spontaneous and in-the-heat-of-the-moment so I doubt you'd end up liking the project at all. Let it be known that the breakdown of 'Ram It Down' plays approximately twice daily in my head. And where else are you gonna see a person cosplay christian girl autumn just as convincingly as a gentleman, an elf m'lady and every other part they have played? I live for this shit.
@TéléDex provides fair enough criticism: "Oh dear. I do like Dorian, but their songs are hit or miss. I love songs like 'Man to Man' and 'Guyliner', I find most of their most recent singles okay and mostly a little short, but this being the most famous track by them annoys me a bit. A little bit overrated, especially the chorus, so I can’t really agree this would be the ONLY song from that great album. Sorry everybody". It's okay, personally I think besides 'Guyliner', that 'Adam & Steve' is Dorian's peak. Tore down christian LGBT stigma with the smashing of one brick upon their head yes god.
So yeah, how does Dorian and their most recent direction fare with y'all? I'm all eyes, let's read it. And hear the music below. Kii.
I enjoy this song but I can see how it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Dorian Electra “Flamboyant” 10
I stumbled across Dorian Electra through Career Boy, which soundtracked a long unemployment stretch culminating in now running a company. There is a power in their songs and an unapologetic dedication to being over the top. Flamboyant is probably their most accessible track, but it's still great.
I gave this a 10 because I do think it's an instance of over-the-top, maximalist production that's executed expertly. It's fun! However, I do find a lot of Dorian's material very kitsch and grating. And these days I can't listen to them without thinking along these lines:
To be honest I hate takes like this. This idea that people need to come from struggle in order to make good music or be taken seriously as an artist is so stupid.
Sorry to burst people's bubbles but a lot of everyone's favourite artists got to where they are by having some sort of privilege/money/connections.
Our notice for tonight is that the next 5 songs all come from the main albums :shock:
...And one artist will come out of it unscathed
Will MUNA's streak of having all their non-interlude-ish songs in, be over soon?
"Hey, I'm Just Like You" by Tegan and Sara
Number One Fans: 10 x 3 (@Music Is Death @ohnostalgia @Trouble in Paradise) 9.5 x 1 (@BubblegumBoy)
This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 5 x 1 (@Phonetics Girl) 6 x 4 (@BeingNormal @fatyoshi @LE0Night @2014)
My Score: 9
5 Voters: 83
10 Voters: 76
15 Voters: 64
20 Voters: 63
We're headstrong tonight (Tonight, tonight)
Racing through the streets 'til we fly
Last time we heard from the twins in the countdown, they were sharing the epiphanous moment of realizing your gay ass is appreciated and needed to make the world a better place. No, it's true, it's true! Tonight (cc: Lie Ning) finds us cruelly gutting the title track from this ninth album of theirs (some Kate Bush - The Ninth Wave vibes there). 'Hey I'm Just Like You' slots in right after the opening, and presents the setting and the stage to fully immerse the listener into the formative years of the lesbian pioneers.
How does such a task, such an exercise in introducing the revision of old demons like we've heard them do in past tracks we've talked on, come about? Well, we have an earworm that starts with a deceivingly lightly produced verse that threads the scenario of loneliness, extreme emotions and no sense of direction, which, sure, the majority of teens will fight with at one point or the other, but which is exacerbated by the identity and the struggle of coming to terms with it. This is no doubt something Sara highlights in a Vanity Fair interview:
As an adult who is making art and who is “other” in a bunch of ways, I do feel it’s important for me to highlight my differences. I was basically an awkward, nerdy teenage boy who liked girls. Except, whoops, I’m a girl. And I think it’s an important narrative.
I believe there are as many ways to experience attraction and define sexual identity as there are people. When Sara highlights a perspective of how all she has done since first starting to decisively figure out things about herself would've been completely expected of a male teen, it feels like we get to understand the lyrics she wrote and recorded during the early Tape years.
As I've reiterated, I'm no expert in the artists' history, but the hooks here seem to be a realization from a life-affirming coming out moment (perhaps a double one?) that Sara and Tegan experienced within these years. Regardless of the specifics of the parts involved, 'Hey, I'm Just Like You' is, to me, one of the strong, empathetic lyrical moments in the rate. Like we all have experienced first or secondhand, being able to fit in and relate to people in the context of a queer adolescence is delightful and this track explores that moment were the cues, the words and the situations all come together so that you make a friend that navigates this world with a similar outlook and questions as you do, facing the same stigmas, and that magic sticks around for more time than you realize. Sometimes this significant experience doesn't even need to be so direct, hence seeing the rare moment of positive queer rep on 90s/00s media growing up, seeing a confident queen strutting down the street with glossy six inchers on both feet, maybe two men in the metro holding hands for a moment when they thought no one was looking- all these things and more that I'm sure impacted my and your lives for the better. Keeping with the same interview, Sara states:
I say every queer should flood the market with their story. Let’s hear it. How did you come out? What was your first sexual experience? What were your favorite bands? No straight person is like, who needs to hear more about straight people? So why can’t gay people just be like, My story seems pretty goddamn interesting. Let’s put it out there.
Fuck yes. Give me 10 coming out stories. To your mother. To the teacher you trusted most in high school. To a friend. To the one other LGBT cousin. To the person before in line at the grocery. To the cashier. I need it IV dripping into my veins as much as I love reading domestic fluff fanfiction, but queer.
As for comments, let's hand the mic to low scorer @Phonetics Girl first: "There's just something about the chorus that makes my skin crawl. Sorry to these women". Well all in all I love to see you stan Keke quotes instead!
And we end on a high note with @Music Is Death!: "There are days where I feel like this should’ve been the lead single. It’s low-key perfect. A perfect blend of synthy-pop, and a more pop-rock leaning sound, the chorus is perfection, the lyrics make me extremely emotional, and the hook gets buried in my brain constantly. My second favorite on the album, and overall, one of my faves by them in general. (Of course, I say that without having fully dived into their music but still.) Oh and the breakdown is perfection, if a little too short". Sis, let me just apply the title of the song in this occasion because I love that for you and I agree with all you said. The longer this rate goes on, the more I realize how viscerally emotional the entirety of Hey, I'm Just Like You is.
Have a listen of the drastically different demo, down to the titling, right here:
Honestly in a rate where I did not agree with many placements, this takes biggest injustice. I thought this would be in contention for top 20 at least
"Navy Blue" by MUNA
Number One Fans: 10 x 2 (@slaybellz @Lost Boy) 9.5 x 2 (@Music Is Death @Sail On)
This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 5 x 2 (@Ana Raquel @LE0Night) 6 x 2 (@soratami @dontkillmyvibe)
My Score: a perfect 8
5 Voters: 70
10 Voters: 68
15 Voters: 65
20 Voters: 56
Do you know that I've been holding my breath all of this time?
After a whooping 26 eliminations since we last saw the band, or an even more dramatic 52 places from the bottom if you're willing to exclude 'Memento' and 'Grow' as interludes, here is 'Navy Blue'. The song carries itself with the makings of a pop-rock midtempo, in which Katie stretches out her delivery to paint pictures of driving downhill in a bike, losing her brakes and driving offroad and into the Pacific Ocean to beome one with the water. Okay Maokoto Konno! Basically she's giving The Girl Who Leapt through Time (2006) but with the sea rather than, you know, being run over by a train.
The unusual thing the song presents that I could highlight comes in the form of structure, as the traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus one is switched up with a blended entity of outro/chorus coming after an instrumental bit that tones down the guitars and drums until it might seem Katie is finally in the waves, since she accompanies these moments by singing "Do you know that I've been holding my breath all of this time? /
Weren't you gonna call me when you got back, was it all lies?".
To me, this song paints in light, broad strokes that make for a very enjoyable listen, though I will say I strangely do not seek it out on its own but rather as a full listen of Saves the World. To sum up, it leaves at just the right spot of the countdown. What about y'all?
...Well I have no comments other than my own (dd) saved for this one, so feel free to tell us below!
This messy title noooo
Fuck RIGHT off. Not my potential 11!!!
i'm still sad by dorian already out
Um what the fuck... Navy Blue is amazing.
Some of ya'll have never kept your head above wayuhyuhter before and it shows.
So, who is it next? Clairo or Shura?
CW: 11 ahead
Scroll at your own risk
How about a 1-2 punch instead?
"Good News (Ya-Ya Song)" by MUNA
Number One Fans: 11 x 1 (@Phonetics Girl) 10 x 5 (@slaybellz @Lost Boy @Sail On @pop3blow2 @Remorque) 9.5 x 1 (@daninternational)
This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 3 x 1 (@fatyoshi) 5 x 1 (@klow)
My Score: 6
@Trouble in Paradise's Score: 6.5 (Our joint venture hater moment "<3")
5 Voters: 71
10 Voters: 65
15 Voters: 44
20 Voters: 59
I'm gonna figure it out
'Cause I'm already here, and I won't leave now
The visceral narration of struggle and dread that runs through the band's DNA at even the seemingly highest pop moments, is no more evident than in 'Good News'. An acoustic backdrop sets the tone of getting ghosted and the complete funneling down the well of trauma that missed calls have on one's stability for a day, a week, a month, take your pick. Gavin is in a familiar place, where the undone dishes and what might just be a quick, one liner decimation of your typical, tragic «love laugh live» sign seem to mock her constantly as she paces quickly with sweaty palms from one end of the kitchen to the other waiting for god knows what to happen next.
And in that time where your mental state can perhaps not go lower from there, the interior voice says for a moment: "you're here for a short time so why not try to figure it out while we're at it? you have nothing else, right?" And that takes us to the repetitive hook that's the sole reason of my low score. I can see some approaches that what the hook comes to do for the song, and indeed we have commentary below that expands upon that, but damn does it make for an unlistenable experience to me. I'll have to wait and hear the beloved host's reasoning on that one, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was a similar case for him.
On interview with Standard UK, Gavin talked precisely about how personal and upfront much of the album is, which again is completely reflective of 'Good News' itself, and explains:
We’re interested in being honest and, especially with this record, having a perspective on life and society that is informed by things like trauma. In my life, I was at the end of the road with compulsively re-enacting certain patterns that were really painful and were not yielding good results. I had to figure out how to free myself from that so I can become… I don’t exactly know what I’m becoming but it’s somebody who’s free to be a beneficial person on the planet. Free to do my best rather than doing the same bullshit until I die. That really resonates on a larger scale right now if you look at what we’re doing to the planet. We’re telling a story on an individual level that works well as a metaphor on a global level.
Maybe it's 'cause I watched the High Seas episode of one of the latest Attenborough docs in the market, Our Planet (2019) (not the one with the highly controversial walrus scene, though) but yes to all this. New consumer habits, here I come. Let me move onto the commentary, shall I?
#1 MUNA stan in the global charrts @Lost Boy had this to say about one of his ten (!!) full marks in the album: "nother one that was so fucking phenomenal live that I thought my throat might burst. You've truly ascended when you've poured all your pain into that YAYAYA" My bleeding timpani are in similar pain when listening to the song, so he's got a point! Icons!
That's enough running my mouth, so here's @Phonetics Girl to end things on a solid note: "Determining an 11 was big trouble between 'Stayaway', 'Taken', and several extras, but in the end I had to go with my heart. There's several lines that cut right to the core here, but The good news is, if you don't like life, they say it doesn't last so long is the one that hits the hardest. We can only hope! Then we get to that anthemic bittersweet meaningless chorus and suddenly having to live doesn't seem all that bad."
Other than the usual links, I leave a couple "peak emotional crisis mid-song" relatable choices too.
Leave MUNA alone!
The way this song sounds like an early aughts coming-of-age coffeehouse montage. Iconic.
Honestly my commentary is all varying shades of 'this breathed life into me in a live setting'. My last concert before corona being a MUNA one, that I went to alone as I was coming to grips with my sexual assault so I literally WAILED it into the likes of Hands Off and Good News........ christ I've never meant it more when I've said I felt reborn at a live show. Literally cat wailing out my pain.
Also beautiful write up!
Separate names with a comma.