By Wildbirds & Peacedrums
In my time of reviewing I've come across some corking press releases. Often written by the bands themselves, usually in a painfully awkward third person, press releases seem to be a way of hoping against hope that the reviewer won't actually listen to the CD and will just copy/paste their somewhat ambitious statements into their evaluation. The press release sitting in front of me right now is my favourite so far. I like it so much I'm going to quote it directly as I go along.
So today I'm reviewing a digital download only EP containing the Radio Edit, Album Version and a whopping five remixes...of the same track: no B-sides. I'm assured by my good friend - this press release - that featured track 'My Heart' is a shoo-in for "song of the year" (whose song of the year exactly, it doesn't say) so I rub my hands gleefully.
"It's a wonderfully uplifting pop track that blossoms into a full-blown gospel anthem."
The only way I can describe the sound of the record is Regina Spektor on a bad day, meeting the White Stripes at the world's most boring party, which went on far too long, and they forgot to invite anyone else to provide some relief in variety. I can't see what's uplifting about it, except the novelty instrumentation, and the words 'Gospel' and 'Anthem' should not be allowed anywhere near this track. In fact my favourite thing about this whole EP/Press-release is that the song is supposed to reflect "the short amount of time we have" on the Earth. In which case it's probably wise not to waste seven minutes of it wondering when the "full-blown gospel" bit arrives because, sadly, it doesn't. Even the radio edit clocks in at a rather bloated 4.13.
The song in itself isn't terrible, the production is as good as its performance. The problem is just the bloody repetitiveness of the whole thing, it's essentially a minute's worth of creative material repeated ad infinitum. When the climax finally comes (and let's not mince words here, by climax I simply mean the last chorus, the same as all the others just with a few extra instruments) it's just too little too late. By this point I was very much expecting the remixes to be adding insult to injury; how many times could I listen to the mono-lined chorus again ("addictive refrain," apparently)? As it happens, the Deerhoof remix is the real gem here and injects some actual interest into the track, making it infinitely more listenable. The other remixes are quite pedestrian in nature, certainly not enough creativity to rescue the EP. The most enjoyment you're going to get from this release is getting your hands on the press-release: it's laugh a minute, I promise you.