Friday, January 09, 2009

Rewind #24

Goldfrapp: Seventh Tree (2008)

I've been listening to Seventh Tree for almost a year now and the magic in the air continues to permeate my life. I've always liked Goldfrapp's sound whether they put down obscure wonky beats or douse it in the glitter of the dance beat or wallow in dreamy atmospheric beats. Plus Alison Goldfrapp has the type of voice that you want to spend some time with, reminisce of pop sensibilities from the past as you slowly age. Not a lot of people liked this album, especially after the smashing success of Supernature, which made everyone's top ten back in 2006. Little did the critics know but both Xtimu and I really love the downtempo lush landscape of electronic music; bands like Everything But The Girl, Purple Penguin, Buckminster Fuzeboard, FourTet and Nightmares On Wax. So when they all started to whine about the soft atmosphere being unbecoming to the Goldfrapp mantra, I actually got so excited that I went and found the album right away. Their loss, I say, because it's a wonderful album that perpetuates in a musical environment where it's becoming increasingly easy to discard lousy electronic music. Goldfrapp is here to stay through all of their many alterations.

No Country For Old Men: Joel & Ethan Coen (2007)

Ah yes, the Oscar award winning film by the notorious Coen Brothers, who've been making films for over two decades now and were finally given the proper acknowledgment. Though this movie wasn't my favorite by the Coens (see my Coen Country analysis), there is always one truth in the film-making business; the Coen team is one of those who simply know how to make movies better. No Country For Old Men is the type of film that we've seen many times before. A typical white man type of hero comes into a large cache of money and sets out for the good life, but hot on his trails are the authorities and a mad man who brings destruction in his wake. What makes this one different, besides the Coen connection, is that it was written by Cormac McCarthy, the illegitimate son of Hemingway. It's a beautiful film with exquisite pacing along the Texas border that reveals broad open drama with a gorgeous cinematic eye. Joel & Ethan Coen know when to be vicious and when to take it slow and where to turn the eye and when to hold onto a moment and when to end. For instance, during a crucial but apparently mundane moment in the film when our hero tells a young woman that he's lookin for what's comin, she tells him simply, "Yeah, but no one ever sees that". What follows is so completely Coenesque that you'll find yourself saying, "Yeah, why didn't I see that comin." But you know why and that's why you keep coming back for more of the Coen Brother magic.

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