there’s more than gravity pushing on me
i have fonder memories of this than it turns out were actually buried in the music.
lou barlow never really needed a vocoder to make his voice more affected or unsettling. yet it, along with many other reality-altering instruments and electronics are employed here. i think they thought they were onto something with the success of the song natural one and tried a little too hard to replicate the sounds (take, as a perfect example, the opener – my ritual, or even more directly related merry-go-down or no need to worry).
actually, a good word for this album is creepy. there is the possibility that it could be carried off with the perfect combination of intent and execution. but take another song like kingdom of lies – it has an odd new-age drum machine beat coupled with a background sitar-like instrumentation, all set in minor key, and lou’s lyrics at their most stalker-like.
at the time this came out, i remember quite liking a song like gravity decides. but when i listen to it now, it sounds more like bizarre no-name late 1960s sad sack music that i used to get annoyed with when it came on the radio (a specific program in the 1980s and 1990s called six o’clock rock). and the next song, chained to the moon, sounds equally dodgy in a hair kind of way.
the influences on this album seem far too disparate to pull together into a cohesive and relatable whole (even in any one song). and though it may seem counterintuitive, it was also a sign of how samey the output was (i say that more of lou than of the folk implosion). i also can’t help but think of other releases of that year, to which it pales in comparison (think about it).
i’m sorry, but is it a bad thing for me to say that i now know why i hadn’t listened to this album in well over ten years?