Find Me On:
All other considerations aside, that nervous flit of a smile at 4:45 made me fall in love with her.
Lou Reed has crafted a nihilistic masterpiece that exceeds his previous attempt, Metal Machine Music. This song, and I’ll take a risk and assume the others are similar, is so devoid of anything representing aesthetic value that it is like looking into Nietzsche’s Abyss. It has so completely suffocated the creative and artistic strain that to listen to it is to know nihilism; its only purpose is to express its absolute lack of purpose. Metal Machine Music had a purpose; it was a piece of art meant to create a question, an absence to fill with reason. This…this has only absence. Like a black hole it is the absence of reason because no rational thought can escape its gravitational pull. It is merely grave shit; the leavings of a body that has ceased to function. That is a nihilistic masterpiece; the very absence of a soul.
Firefox. that was the problem. It streams fine in Chrome. I guess it’s time for a switch. Thanks, Brandon.
I hardly ever get a smooth stream on this site. It always breaks up on me every 5-10 seconds. Is this intentional, or is it on my end? I rarely ever have the same problem on other sites.
It sounds more like a funky mashup of Kid A and Amnesiac, to me.
There’s definitely some Skin ‘Blood, Women, Roses’ (the Jarboe album) influence also. Primarily the piano percussion backing on “Glass Prayer. Too bad she doesn’t have Jarboe’s range. It’s pretty much Kate Bush without the weird. “Drifter” is less derivitive, but I prefer Zola Jesus for my influenced-by-80′s-singers-and-Jarboe-era-Swans choice.
It’s interesting that Salem comes up as a point of comparison. Is Kanye West’s album the “best rap album ever”? As a dabbler in hip hop (Dalek are my favorite group, if that tells you anything), I would say no. Is it a great pop album? It depends. How are we judging pop? Is it based on artistic merit? Meter, timbre, vocalizations, musical knowledge? No. Is it based on appeal? Yes and no. Is it based on the unwitting ability of the artist to bare his soul while simultaneously hiding it? YES, YES, YES! Is Kanye a douchebag? F— yeah! Are the members of Salem douchebags? F— yeah times 2!
The difference between Salem and Kanye is the amount of cynicism present. Kanye is too self-loathing to be fully cynical. (See Axl Rose and Kurt Coabin for other examples of self-loathing.) Self-loathing comes from an intense desire to be wanted. The desire is so strong that it turns into a double-edged sword that cuts anyone who comes near. Kanye wants intensely to be the “best”, but distrusts his or anyone else’s ability to judge him as the “best”. Therefore, all his art comes from a place of distrust, darkness and supreme nihilism. Not a nihilism that produces cynicism or misanthropy, but enough that it leaves the sliver of hope a la Nietzsche.
Salem exhibit none of these soul-searching qualities. They are misanthropic nihilists who have given up any pretense of talent. They co-opt other’s themes and motifs and repurpose them for their own demonic ends. It’s been said that good artists borrow and great artists steal. To borrow something implies that you have never made it your own. You have not surreptitiously spirited it away, set it up in your house, showed it to your friends, caressed it lovingly, and finally believed it was always yours. To borrow is to know that you have another’s essence within and it can never completely be your own. Borrowing implies a cynicism based on laziness and a willingness to settle for “good enough”. It allows an artist to never fail, yet also never fully succeed. That is why Salem is the s—-of-the-month flavor, and Kanye’s album will live on as a spectacular pop failure. A failure so grand that it was the best album of the year. That is true artistry by a true artist. All others are mere posers.