My mom reviews Pitchfork's top tracks of 2012
|Photo by John Londono|
We just wrapped another year of wall-to-wall critics' lists, and the Pitchfork staff provided a carefully curated subset of hip music of last year. How does this music sit with the rest of the population? To partly answer that question, we asked someone untainted by current musical trends -- my mom.
Born in 1947, my mom is now 65 years old. She saw the Beatles' premiere on the Ed Sullivan Show as a high school senior, and danced to the the Kinks and the Rascals at college frat parties. She dug the Isley Brothers. She was born into the Golden Era, but appreciates random contemporary music like Norah Jones, or Arcade Fire. In other words, she's with it enough to know good music when she hears it, but old enough to not know what the hell Pitchfork is, and to not care what anyone else thinks.
Per a technique popularized by Michelangelo Matos at Idolator a few years back, she was presented with Pitchfork's Top Ten tracks of 2012, and below are her immediate reactions, verbatim, minus a few f-bombs. ("I am a lady, after all. And it's your fault I use that word so much, Justin.")Our Judge:
|Photo via Justin's mom|
10. Jai Paul: "Jasmine"
Pitchfork says: "The combination of quick cuts of silence, gurgling synths, and wah-wah guitar doesn't sound like anything else in music at the moment"
My mom says: "It sounds like the same thing repeating over and over. And the opening sounds like a plane taking off. A freshman attempt at jazz."
9. Fiona Apple: "Werewolf"
Pitchfork says: "It's a cathartic lyrical heave that prods your demons and demands you confront them."
My mom says: "[hysterical laughter] Why would anybody write a song about that? She's talking about a werewolf and a shark biting off her head. Was this inspired the Twilight series? [more hysterical laughter] Oh-my-fucking-word!"
8. Beach House: "Myth"
Pitchfork says: "'If you built yourself a myth,' Victoria Legrand sings evenly, 'you'd know just what to give.' The one she built is stocked with texture-- fleeting bliss, sunlight, and flying ashes -- in an evocative language of unblemished blankness and malleability."
My mom says: "Has kind of a dreamy quality, which is pleasant. Yeah, I like this. Oh, I know what it reminds me of: the Moody Blues. Your father and I used to smoke pot and listen to them. If I were on Dick Clark's bandstand, I'd give it an 8 or a 9. This website's review is bullshit, though."
7. Tame Impala: "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
Pitchfork says: "'Backwards' is more than a collage of record-collector fetishes. Listen closer and you'll hear the piano loop that kicks the song into the stars, and beyond the woozy drums is an exploratory bassline that never abandons its deep, trance-like groove. Tame Impala's music might be informed by the past, but there's a reason why the group is rarely called 'retro'."
My mom says: "This is like when the Beatles started going to India -- the mystical thing. It's okay. I could get sick of it really quickly. Too much of the cymbals clanging."
6. Bat for Lashes: "Laura"
Pitchfork says: "...it subtly transforms languor into splendor, as slowly unfurling verses gradually yield to a spellbinding chorus."
My mom says: "Bat For Lashes? What kind of name is that? Is this a gay break up song? I guess it's a nice little lament tune. I'd give it a 6 or a 7"