White As Snow

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Well there was going to be a post today, but it seems Amazon’s algorithm codes have leaked onto (and disrupted) my blog*. Damnit. Anyway, it’s dredged up bits of my other writings** – feel free to read them whilst I contact my lawyer…

You listened to “White As Snow” by U2 (from No Line on the Horizon).

72% of listeners also liked “Hurt” by Johnny Cash (from American IV: The Man Comes Around). Cash’s rendition of “Hurt” is reasonably powerful – we are, after all, talking about a man in his last years. That said, the change of lyrics (to crown of thorns from crown of shit) blunts the impact somewhat; it’s meant to be an ugly, messy song to finish the increasingly ugly and messy (barring “A Warm Place”) The Downward Spiral, and I can’t help but wonder if the song, whilst receiving more attention, has also become a little sanitised.

64% of listeners also liked “For Emma, Forever Ago” by Bon Iver (from For Emma, Forever Ago). Topping many critics’ lists at the end of 2007, Bon Iver’s acoustic works were not precisely revelatory, but they were highly notable, especially for the small touches added amongst the minimalism – “Skinny Love” sounds like U2’s “One” for smaller venues, and the title track of the album has the effect of adding a stately, slightly mournful horn accompaniment, like some sort of inverse fanfare.

51% of listeners also liked “Long, Long, Long” by The Beatles (from The Beatles). The quietest moment on the Beatles’ “White Album” is probably one of George Harrison’s best contributions to the Beatles. Slow, quiet, needs attention, never going to be a single, it may be about God and morality, but it’s left with the capability of not alienating the less pious. Low-key, but strongly recommendable.

46% of listeners also liked “1992” by Blur (from 13). There’s a surprising emotional impact to be wrought from having one or two chords repeat quickly and repeatedly, as Blur found from “Sing” and its partner piece, “1992”. Such a technique has resonated since, and it seems that it provides a brooding atmosphere; the lack of change and slow chug suggests that the protagonist is passing through barren landscape, either physically, or by being emotionally stuck in a moment, as the case may be.

31% of listeners also liked “Storm” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor (from Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven). GY!BE’s screwdriver-guitar sounds have been gone for quite some time now – the band has been on hiatus for six years and shows no sign of quitting – but “Storm” is still one of the most powerful musical pieces of the decade, resonating amongst plenty of imitators in the post-rock scene and even echoing (sort-of) into the mainstream with the momentary similarities in U2’s “White As Snow” – notably with the lines And the water/It was icey – appropriately, given the chilly texture of that sound.

*actually, this is a total lie. I’m attempting one of those pretentious Pitchfork-circa-2001 style pieces, and whilst this may potentially alienate everybody, “everybody” with respect to this site is currently about 7 people a day tops, so it’s not like there’s too much to lose.
**this is also a lie – this is currently the only blog I’ve ever managed to maintain, for some reason.
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~ by 4trak on May 28, 2009.

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