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 Tuesday, November 29

So I read a thing on a pal's blog about Aerial and was encouraged to check it out, even knowing how I never ever like the latest work by anyone, no matter how much I may have enjoyed their older stuff. I've listened to about half of the album—to be fair, out of order, so if it's a brilliant whole I'm missing that—and so far my reaction is something along the lines of UGH FTOO MEUGH FEH BLECH FTHEH. If it were food I'd be brushing my teeth to try to get rid of the taste. Oh, I just hate it.

The title track has the germ of a sketch of an idea or two, but some HI-LARIOUS birds seem to have nested in the middle of it and somehow the poor thing got distended to almost 8 minutes in length.

There's a song about pi, you know, π, the number. Song. About a number. If you ask me, 3.14159 is sufficient complexity for most purposes short of a moon shot, and certainly close enough for a pop song. Unfortunately, she didn't ask me, and the next verse continues with further digits, causing my eyes to roll. And then the next verse, more digits, and still more. By the end of the song my eyes were two tightly-wound spools of optic nerve. And it's not like there was any rhyme or melodic reason to it, either. Fifty Nifty United States flows more naturally, and I didn't think you could get much more contrived than that without going to that Bible rap that P.J. O'Rourke mentions in his piece about Heritage USA. But here it is.

And then there's a song about a washing machine. No, really, about laundry. And it do go on. (Yes, it's a metaphor. I get it. Doesn't make it any less awful.) When the pathetic abortion of a song finally seems to be breathing its last and mercifully ending, she comes back with a reprise of the "washing machine, washing machine, washing machine." I actually groaned out loud, a Homer Simpson-ish AAAUURGRHRGGH.

And there's the one about drawing. Ooh, it's bad. Bad, bad, bad. And the one about—oh, forget it. It's just too gruesome. I didn't actually hear the song about how she couldn't think of anything to write and how white the paper is and how she's holding a pen in her hand, but I'm sure it'll be on there somewhere. Seriously, washing machine. God. I can kind of forgive Elastica for the repetitive nothingness of their 100-percent-filler crap second album because they were under a lot of pressure to put out something new and, what with their new heroin hobby and all, they must not have had much time. But KB had what, twelve, thirteen years to work on this pile of mush? I'll continue listening, to be fair, but ecch. Why on earth did someone think there was a CD's worth—much less a double CD's worth—of anything here?

The most interesting song by far was the one that started out with a loud tape hiss. My thought process went like this: "Hm, that's odd, sounds like she just put a tape recorder on the piano and sang into it. You'd think by now she could afford better recording equipment. But hey, isn't it great that she can still hit those high notes! Wait. Hey. I know this song." Took my ipod out of my pocket and realized I'd navigated to All instead of Aerial, and that I was listening to her cassette demo from when she was 16 or so. It's absolutely gobsmacking that a teenager could be less wanky and self-absorbed than she is as a grown woman. Sad.

On the other hand, maybe this means that now I'll like The Red Shoes, which I naturally hated when it came out. I think I'll dig out that dusty old cassette coughdownloadacopycough and see if I like it any better.

Hey, what's this, Jumpin' Jive? Cool!

3:48 PM

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