Monday, May 8, 2006

Disappointed Mode: ON



A useless blow-by-blow account on one of the dreamiest songs ever…

My Bloody Valentine – To Here Knows When
off their album Loveless (1991)

0:01- The song starts with an overpowering, swirling effect of keyboard arpeggio played over a drowned keyboard chord. From the get go, the sonic abrasiveness sets the tone of the song, where the listeners cannot help it but get devoured and swept away by the forceful wave of its rich melody. The rhythm section does not draw too much attention. However, it does deliver the backbone and framework where the keyboards, and later on the guitars, weave their magic.

0:20- The arpeggio goes out, and is replaced by the female vocalist singing along the tapestry of sound with a laconic, breathy delivery with a deep and lush cadence that goes well along the music. Also, the vocals add layer and depth to the song, since Shoegazer music isn’t about great vocal performances.

0:39- The guitar makes an appearance with single-note melodies rich with reverb and little delay effect (both a staple in Shoegazer music). Instruments on parts of the song appear to go off-key and awry, but it still maintains the dreamy atmosphere.

1:01 – This is the chorus of the song. The arpeggio returns to the fold, now along with the vocals, and the music becomes more monolithic, if not imposing.

1:21 – The song returns to the introduction part, taking a breather from the emotive chorus.

1:29 – It then carries on to the next verse, similar to the previous verse, makes use of the same elements, thus creating the same poignant effect (duh).

2:08 – Chorus again. See above.

2:48 – Some strange sound pops up, a heavy, droned-out tone accompanying the vocal crooning.

3:09 – Chorus. This time, the drone-out sound appears at sparse moments, giving the chorus a resonating, spacious effect.

3:54 – The climax of the song. As the chorus is still being played, the guitars enter the fray with its fiery, wailing, buzzsaw-like effect that complements the beautiful, pensive melody.

4:31 – The chorus slowly fades out.

4.48 – The guitar then fades in, accompanied by the bass, and plays a muffled, slightly-overdriven melody in chords, with a use of a tremolo bar (I think). It’s pretty okay, don’t get me wrong, but it just sounds limp and dry, and it does not go well with the wall-of-noise, dream sequence music that the song purports. Still, it doesn’t disvalue the fact that the song is still badass.

5:31 – Music abruptly stops.


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