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Videowatch: March 2013

01/04/2013

sonicxtv

Well it’s a little bit late but it’s here!

NOAH AND THE WHALE – THERE WILL COME A TIME

Good news: Noah and the Whale’s latest sounds a little more genuine again, if you will. The shine and glitz of the somewhat disappointing Last Night on Earth are gone and the more overt attempts at trying to be the next Springsteen-esque storyteller have been toned down, leaving Charlie Fink & co to sound like themselves rather than forcefully trying to emulate a role they weren’t meant to play. It’s still very much a ‘rock’ record and I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever return to the more folky sound of the first two albums, but “There Will Come a Time” at least sounds like it comes from the same band. And it’s a decent song to boot; one of those songs that gets better as it progresses.

Bad news: while a decent song, it’s not particularly exciting. It has all the hallmarks of being a song that sounds far better in the album context than it does on its own (I have a long experience with stuff like this, I’m beginning to learn the signs) but as a lead single it sounds less like a triumphant comeback and more like single #5 at the end of a campaign. But what’s a little bit more troublesome is that apparently we’re going to be dealing with a story-driven concept album and we’re getting a film to go with it too. Their first concept album worked because of the personal angle (The First Days of Spring, chronicling the dissolution of Fink’s relationship and the aftermath), but I’m not sure Fink’s a strong enough storyteller to carry off a whole story like this. Not to mention that the film, based on this video, seems to have all the signs of My First Indie Flick; something they have also done before during the First Days of Spring days, to fairly unremarkable results.

We’ll see. I still have hope for these guys.

SIGUR RÓS – BRENNISTEINN

Here’s what we know. One, we’re getting a new Sigur Rós album already, a year after the brilliant Valtari. Two, it’s meant to be harder and darker, and based on “Brennisteinn” it’s definitely doing that. It’s a side of Sigur Rós they’ve only explored occasionally and focusing on it is a very exciting prospect. Three, based on “Brennisteinn” it can result in sheer magnificence. This is an absolute beast of a song and probably the most impressive piece of music of 2013 so far. Devastatingly good, with its clanging percussion, monstrous bass, ethereal vocals and a heavy, cathartic feel. The video’s a great accompaniment, a really striking and great visual to go with a song that deserves a strong visual side to it.

This is so one of the albums of the year, isn’t it?

MUSE – ANIMALS

A bit heavy-handed but then again, so are Muse themselves. The animated “Animals” video is the winner of a fan video competition, which rarely result in truly good or interesting things. This isn’t really an exception – well made, can see why it won, but nothing that holds the interest up after it’s finished. And “Animals” as a single choice is a bit off to me anyway, considering “Panic Station” still hasn’t been given the chance to become the worldwide #1 hit it deserves to be.

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