Jun 16, 2012

The Blue Nile - Hats (1989)


1. Over the Hillside 5:05
2. The Downtown Lights 6:29
3. Let's Go Out Tonight 5:16
4. Headlights on the Parade 6:16
5. From a Late Night Train 4:01
6. Seven A.M. 5:09
7. Saturday Night 6:27

Back when I first heard this album I called it self-indulgent white collar dinner party sophisti-pop but I never would've done that if I'd heard Hats first- a record which is almost as indulgent but is also actual sophisti-pop from the actual yuppie era (exciting!)

It has its critics- although more wintry, it doesn't sound too different to music by guys like Don Henley or Sting (or as some really critical people might argue, Kenny G), and in fact because of that wintriness, is all the more horrifyingly decadent, Hats appealing to the melancholic white collar professional believing that his or her own pessimism and feelings of alienation due to privilege (oh the burden!) are profound, true, and complex- and if only the world understood. On top of that, there's the fact that the alien, melancholy landscapes on Hats are almost entirely produced electronically- so cue Aphex Twin and Brian Eno comparisons

Such criticism aside, Hats is a beautiful album! It might detail the triumph of emotion over technology in its aesthetic- dark human emotion rendered electronically (Kanye)- but then we're back to how freakishly decadent such an album is! I don't give a shit about that (it actually puts me off) or the (accurate) Henley comparisons, but there's something special about Hats and it's not that it speaks to my profoundly pessimistic disposition (I'm taking the piss), insight the human condition (again), or uniquely tragic past (dad showered me in money, not love)

Holy shit I can't help but make fun of it... I give up

But I'll give it a

B

so you know that I love it deep down and you might too

For fans of Kenny G, Sting, Don Henley, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Bon Iver, Talk Talk, and King Crimson's Matte Kudasai

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