Feb 5, 2013

II (2013)

Ya know, it was always The White Album. It wasn't just the percussion, though the percussion mattered then and still does now, it was the pop, the smog, the subversive experimentation (or was it subversive pop?), the sounds sounding different every time and then disappearing into the haze. I didn't realize then, though it's clear now, that the self-titled record's songs retained a sense of physicality in spite of this, and for all its proficiency in the field of awesome/kooky/indie lo-fi psych revivalism, it was an experiment. A good one, but an experiment nonetheless.

II's all there 'cause Nielson doesn't sound like he's all there. That was the magic of The White Album- the mix of sleepy nostalgia and discomfort in its haze. I don't know if I missed it back then, but every time I listen to II, I begin to worry about dude. Like good lo-fi and downer pop bros, his songs are all half a minute too long where it counts, and his album's about 10 too vague where it matters. It's all fleeting enough to drift by, but it's repetitious enough to control attention. Disembodied, his sounds float around like a dream while his words contrarily evoke sleepless nights worrying about death and loneliness (it's not the Stones, it's Yer Blues). [warning] Well done, but surely that's not the reason people got excited about a followup in the first place [warning]. Contrary, dizzy, non-physical (that is, not real), and relatably so. Whether he knows it or not, the music keeps telling us, and the music's right, I think: it's all in your head.


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