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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
This is nowhere more evident than the final minute of the song when Parker’s vocals and the accompanying synth undulate together as a guitar riff crashes into view. A phenomenal track.
Why Won’t They Talk To Me?
Perhaps the most appropriate song in terms of lyrical content for the theme of the album. Lonerism, which we may determine, by means of observation of the suffix –ism, to be a condition in which one may be left in solitude/loneliness. Ergo, the whole project revolves around this idea of individual feat and distance from other people. As such, it is almost the lovechild of Innerspeaker’s Solitude is Bliss and Parker’s own experience with loneliness. This track sees these two polar opposite experiences of being alone melt into each other. Parker fluctuates between the happiness of solitude and the harbouring sadness that manifests itself from the discernment of one’s loneliness (“Why won’t they talk to me?/I thought I was happy!”) (“But I don’t really care about them anyway”/they just talk about themselves all day/but why won’t they talk to me?”). This idea is made all the more poignant in the song’s breakdown, when Parker repeats his unanswered question, but this time harmonising with himself.
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
One of the hits off of the album. This may be due to the fact that it is not only a hippie’s dream, with its expansive starry synth chords and reverb-awash vocals, but its catchy melody and bass line make it easily accessible for any listener. Its popularity has seeped itself into pop culture enough that Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys even covered it on Like A Version. To me, however, whilst I admire its gracious simplicity, it still sits as one of the weaker tracks on the album. This is mainly because of the sparseness of the instrumentation in comparison to the previous thickly layered tracks. This track, I believe, was the initial throb of which would transform into Parker’s subsequent album, Currents.
Keep On Lying
This is a track rather reminiscent of the album’s opener. Anthony Fantano described it perfectly when he said that the synth staccato chords sounded sun-baked in their repetition, which adds to their magnetism. Parker laments over his inability to tell the truth to his ‘lover’ that “it never really was love”, and thus he keeps up a charade to keep the peace. The track becomes increasingly more suffocating, perhaps to replicate the inner turmoil of the subject, with eery synth melody lines rising to the fore with a backdrop of random conversations including a loud, echoed-out laugh. The song begins to reach its climax with this laughter being chewed up by an almost unbearable off-time distorted guitar, which then fades out into the contemplative guitar riff. A great piece of artistry on the album.
Next is that-one-off-of-that-advert track, much to Parker’s dismay: “my career goal now is to make sure that Elephant does not stay our most famous song”. You’d be forgiven for being bemused at such a statement when the song is so good. Its pushed along by repeated power chords and punchy drums, which overlap a mash of synth and guitar and solos. It sounds very retro-Beatles meets Flaming Lips.
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