Five utterly frustrating songs: Odd Future, Of Montreal & more
|Photo by Erik Hess|
|Odd Future's OF Tape Vol. 2 does have a few infuriating moments.|
Of course, it's not always that bad. Sometimes it's just the singer who sucks. And then sometimes it's not that the singer sucks, but more that what he or she has to say is reprehensible enough to invalidate in one fell swoop the various efforts of sidemen, producers, engineers, guest rappers, weed carriers, and other enablers.
This week. 5ingles focuses on recent songs that fit that particular description.
5. Odd Future, "Analog 2"
The most surprising thing about OF Tape Vol. 2 is how un-risible most of it is, how even-keel and forgettable it can be. (Seriously, the Internet's debut LP is more memorable.) How, like mannered this music feels, how bereft of any concept of edge. I mean, aren't these guys supposed to be scourges of Western Civilization? Aren't we supposed to be rushing to erect barricades and hide our daughters and everything else? Am I just jaded? Is that it?
"Analog 2" is probably the closest this album gets to making me want to kick Odd Future in the teeth, mostly because it's just a skeevy hook-up jam crossed with vague Friday the 13th innuendo -- Beck's "Debra" as remixed by Robert Rodriguez -- all of which isn't a terrible idea, but one that everyone involved is too lazy or too David Lynch to escalate into something full-on fucked up or terrifying. Instead, the song is just there, wasting space, further alienating an America that already has more than enough concentration problems as it is.
4. Of Montreal, "Spiteful Intervention"
Are there people who seriously enjoy music for some sort of trainwreck thrill? There must be, and these must be the people who willingly queue up for Of Montreal shows and albums and merch. Wasn't always that way, of course: for a zillion years or so, Kevin Barnes chunked out quirky period pop that didn't seem to have anything to do with his actual life. Then shit got icky with Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, and while the music acquired a gazillion new and unexpected dimensions, worrying about Barnes' marriage and home life became a big enough part of the deal that actively enjoying the man's attempts to transform himself into some avant garde God of Fuck or Prince or whatever became pretty much impossible without a truckload of caveats. Likewise, whatever virtues Paralytic Stalks may have are pretty much wiped out by dreck like "I spend my waking hours haunting my life/I made the one I love start crying tonight/And it felt good."
Right, but how does she feel, Kevin? 3. Tanlines, "Brothers"
Tanlines are like a synth-pop Spoon or something. I'm not sure what's most aggravating about this song: the eggheaded nonchalance of "Brothers," how damned easy Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm make it all seem, or the wishy-washyness of the "you're just the same as you ever were" refrain - it could contain a great variety of different meanings, but the wanton dryness of their presentation makes it especially uncomfortable to parse.
2. Yukon Blonde, "Iron Fist"
Oh, sure, it's easy to condescend to some poor brokenhearted wrench backstage after the show when your evening's sure to be full of hot tail and free drugs. It's not so much that the chorus is a lie; it's that it's a lie that nobody wants to hear after being run over by a Mack truck, emotionally speaking.
1. Future feat. T.I., "Magic"
A bit of trivia: "Future" was also the name of Mekhi Phifer's character in 8 Mile. The character of Future in that film was based on DeShaun "Proof" Holton, a friend and associate of Eminem who was gunned down outside of a Detroit nightclub in 2006.
The for-real Future, Nayvvadius Cash, hails from Atlanta and doesn't appear to represent the future of anything - unless the future of rap is heavy-lidded slush-mouth flows, Kriss Angel references, two-note synth beats, and Autotune.
Ultimately, "Magic" offends because it's so damned boring, and because it either pretend Lil Wayne's reign of chart dominance never happened or that the listener somehow missed Lil Wayne's reign of chart dominance.
It's kind of like how Young the Giant's "Cough Syrup" is actually totally phat if you didn't know Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American existed, or how Dynamite Hack seems massively original with Weezer out of the picture.
Also: T.I. is in here, somewhere, but gets lost in all the circa-2008 slime.