Posts from 23rd December 2004

23
Dec 04

THE SQUARE TABLE 25 / KYLIE MINOGUE & THE SCISSOR SISTERS – “I Believe In You”

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 6,136 views

POP FACTOR: 760 CONTROVERSY RATING: 187

This one has it all!*
– Classy Cocktail Kylie but with added good song!
– Smooth and modish production
– Genuinely good lyrics (“I don’t believe I’d fall in love just topass the time”)
– Great whispering bits!
– Middle eight that gets the moves going on the office party dancefloor (as proven last Friday, cheers Ms Minogue)
– A proper ending, and quite an arch one too.

*except a good singer. Oh well. 8 (Tom Ewing)

One of the greatest singles of the year. Unlike a certain other single recently reviewed by the Square Table, this is immediate (without kitsch), fluid (without limpness), and permanent (without obnoxiousness). And the lyrics (“I don’t believe I’d love somebody just to pass the time / but I believe in you”) are great too. 10 + JOKER (Atnevon)

As opposed to her asensual dreams of late, Kylie has slipped back into the lush orgasmic universe with “I Believe In You.” A Moroder-synth-throb produced by Jake Shears and Babydaddy from the Scissor Sisters, this is a song dedicated to Pop religion: Kylie and the listener are willing to believe the dream. The endless repetition and the robotic synth beat are enchanting. It all feels remote and alluring at the same time. This is “I feel love” for the 21st century, a coke-filled fantasy you can’t escape. 8 (stevienixed)

So light perfect for day dreaming. Treads the space inbetween “Spinning Around” and “Slow” perfectly and although throughly constant in pace it never bores or drags. Could have been so easily spoilt by over complication but thankfully isn’t. Kylie has left the dancefloor people. 8 (Paul Thomas)

It feels Kylie-by-numbers from the word go, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Scissor Sisters turn in quite a decent string-laden tech-disco production complete with fiddles (so hot right now!) adorning the middle eight and ending nicely. Kylie’s breathy chorus almost operatic were only her voice capable of such grandeur (I’m quite glad it isn’t I think), but it’s well conceived, and concealed. It illustrates the difference between laziness and effortlessness pretty well, as despite the ‘knocked out sharpish’ feeling I can’t help but get from it, there are some sublime moments that strike me as as perfect as anything from the cream of her earlier work. 8 (SteveM)

K is for Kyle and K-hole and that’s just being redundant. This is what the girl in that old “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” album cover must have felt like: oily and beautiful and swimming in soft soft white. Not many songs make me want to turn on the iTunes visualizer to “watch along” but that’s exactly what this one did. Couldn’t be more vapid and dreamy and that’s just fine. But listen, could I just touch you? I mean, to make sure you’re real and stuff? 7 (forksclovetofu)

Like an old pair of shoes, new Kylie singles these days are pretty comfortable and reliable. She may misfire now and then, but we believe in her! The only complaint I have about this collaboration with the Scissor Sisters is that her voice overpowers the shiny synth hook in the chorus, when it should be the other way around. Otherwise, business as usual. 7 (Michael F. Gill)

We take Kylie for granted now, but who thought, nearly twenty years back when she had a hit with ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, that she had any chance of a long and successful music career? Anyway, this is another good single, sweet and pretty, with a slightly mournful almost-’80s electro beat (maybe that’s what made me think back to her ’80s stuff, though obviously she didn’t sound like this then), which doesn’t entirely match the very positive lyric. It’s a nice tune, and the production layering is very attractive. A drawback is that her voice doesn’t really get the expressiveness it reaches for in parts, but I don’t think that turns out to be very costly to the overall success. I dislike the silly noise on the ‘joker’s always smiling’ line (exactly the kind of moment of aural humour that Shadow Morton always got perfectly right), but otherwise I like this. 7 (Martin Skidmore)

The Product has been perfected over many years, but the visible seams and stiches on the music (and body) spoil the effect almost totally. Here, the [half-]track is merely an 80s pastiche that sound uncomfortably similar to New Order played at +16 (tightly sequenced bassline / nervous singing / vague melancholy / crap lyrics written on a napkin). It’s merely a langorous electronic backdrop for another identikit sexy video, the vocals slow and breathy to allow Kylie to sashay leggily around red-mouthed in shot without breaking her couplets. Despite a rather lovely arcing melody in the chorus (they’ve have around ten years to perfect pop kylie of course- a ludicrous amount of time), it’s as ersatz as the photoshopped girls in a glossy men’s mag. Summoning up enthusiasm for it is like trying to arouse yourself staring at the Girls Of FHM 2004. 3 (Derek Walmsley)

Miike again

Do You SeePost a comment • 370 views

Miike again – surprisingly, Izo doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact since its UK premiere a few months ago. Unsurprisingly, it made quite the impact on me. Difficult, though not for the reasons one would have expected. The almost pathologically disgusting set-pieces of Miike films past are relatively sparse, with the fractured time-travelling anti-narrative and the relentless but far from flamboyant swordplay providing the bones of the viewer’s endurance. With Izo, Miike proves himself a deft collagist both literally (stock footage) and metaphysicaly. It seems almost misguided to talk of Miike’s best or worst films, intent as he seems on showing us his improvement as a filmaker in increments. His rapidly multiplying body of work is an exhilariting alternative to the cinematic equivalent of the perfectly planned and crafted ten track album; daring me to tentatively suggest his films as moving away from – or moving toward being able to be read as moving away from – the 2 hour-odd motion picture as a finished piece of work, as definitive. The finished film as unfinished, reflexive, a beginning rather than an end? Eager to get his or her ideas on celluloid, a filmaker uses the film primarily as vessel and means to explore and project tangents and possibilities, viewing the festival circuit premieres not as measuress of success or failure, but unpredictable and productive group critiques? Isn’t this romantic but exciting notion pretty selfish? It seems a nigh impossible balancing act, perhaps managed by Miike in a partly illusory fashion – I’d be interested to see how I’d analyse any sudden dips in quality, though if Gozu or Izo are anything to go by, the concern is purely academic.

The Pogues in Brixton

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The Pogues in Brixton

I was lying flat in a London Osteopathy clinic last night. The Doctor was manipulating a disc in my back, trying to stop the sciatic nerve shooting pain down my leg. He advised me to go home and take a bath. Instead I went to a Pogues concert.

I last saw the band about fifteen years ago. I remember reading an article suggesting now was the time to go as Shane was technically dead. Yet, here he is, 2004, dedicating songs to Joe Strummer and Kirsty MacColl.

OK, he’s forgotten most of the lyrics and his face is fat, but most of the audience looked worse. He covered his mistakes with some yee-has and a silly dance and this wasn’t an impress me crowd anyway.

There’s a kind of homoerotic air at Pogues concerts. Big beery guys with arms around each other. Occasionally they have human tower ideas that end in heaps and puddles. I’m sure some of them even enjoy rugby, but I forgave them last night and got caught up in it all.

Oddly, my back feels a little better this morning.

Ice Cream for Dogs!!!

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 551 views

Ice Cream for Dogs!!! – unfortunately so far only boring old vanilla but “a special meat flavour” is promised.

This is a blog by Yancey Strickler

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 186 views

This is a blog by Yancey Strickler, long time ILM head – he alerted me to this a while ago but I’ve been idle with the inbox. Good stuff for the indie modernists among you.