January 14, 2010

Popmatters > Pitchfork

Pitchfork has disparaged one of the best songs, or one of my favorite songs that you should like too. Popmatters is much better.

"Do You Realize" is one of my favorite things ever recorded. The sound of it sounds good, and it fits perfectly into the album, which is wonderful. There's this change in the rhythm after Wayne Coyne says "do you realize"and then says "life moves fast"--this pretty much makes the song. And the lyrics are really fantastic. That's what Pitchfork's review, written by Will Bryant, disparages, and it's criminal.

""Do You Realize" buzzes and clangs with overproduction" makes me think I just don't know what overproduction means. Please enlighten me, Mr. Bryant.

Changing the subject, for the time being, Popmatters gave All Hail West Texas a great review, but acted like the "Hi diddle dee dee" and "Hail Satan" lines detract from the album. Clearly this means Jeremy Schneyer doesn't quite get the album. (I know nothing about the man, and I'm sure he's a much better media critic than I am.)

His comment that "It’s almost as if, through Darnielle’s pen, a loutish West Texas man is suddenly given extreme insight into his own life and situation." is priceless. You just don't get criticism much better than that. I didn't like some of what he said, and then he demonstrated that he really does know why All Hail West Texas deserves a glowing review. Schneyer said something that means I would love to talk with him about why we disagree about those two lines.

The Pitchfork review couldn't even try for a status so lofty as Schneyer's. Bryant knows that it's not cool to be too enthusiastic about some things, or something, and then his line of thought drops off completely.

"And the minor-key Beatleisms of "It's Summertime (Throbbing Orange Pallbearers)" are wasted on more childlike philosophizing: "Look outside/ I know that you'll recognize it's summertime.""

Who the fuck would write such a thing? Thoughtful persons wouldn't. Bryant did. Why aren't you thoughtful, Mr. Bryant?

Surely this is a dead horse. The Flaming Lips played "Do you Realize" as their last song at Pitchfork, after all. This must mean Mr. Bryant's media criticism career has ended and no one takes him seriously anymore. Such is the lot of those who try to be media critics, and then say shitty thoughtless things about The Flaming Lips. You say something as stupid as ""Do You Realize" buzzes and clangs with overproduction," and the goddamn songwriter comes to the festival named for your own publication to prove you were full of shit.

I'm only being mean because publishing on Pitchfork means anyone whoever can be mean to you, and you should be used to it. Too bad I hit the topic so late. Mr. Bryant deserved it the second after he wrote the review.

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Blogger JHitts said...

Sorry to be "that guy," but it isn't just one Pitchfork guy who thinks the Lips' newer albums brim with overproduction.

Take it away, Nick Southall:



I tend to agree with him. Decent songs, but too goddamn loud.

January 14, 2010 at 4:32 AM 
Anonymous Econ said...

Don't forget Pitchfork's panning of Zaireeka:


That link points to the Internet Archive because Pitchfork pulled the album from their site sometime before the festival last summer. Shame on them.

January 14, 2010 at 6:34 AM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

If I remember correctly the PopMatters reviewer said something like "Darnielle's going for gritty realism with 'Hail Satan' but he ends up sounding silly." Possibly it's me who misread it, but I've always taken that line as pretty heavily tongue-in-cheek. Because it's a bunch of teenage west Texas metalheads, after all. Granted there's the "outlast and outlive you" line that seems fairly serious. I don't know.

The one thing I've noticed that will get an album regularly panned on Pitchfork is being overly sincere. I don't entirely fault them for that because there's nothing worse than bad music (or writing or poetry or late-20's basketball playing) that takes itself very seriously. But possibly that's not any worse than never saying anything good about anything without making a wry comment just so everyone knows you're self-aware.

January 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM 

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