The opening track and lead single, “9 Crimes”, is a slow and cavernous female/male duet where the players keep asking “is that alright with you?” when it is clearly not all right with either.
The video, debuting tomorrow night in the UK, is directed by Jamie Thraves, who directed the video for “Just” by Radiohead. It’s the one we all watched about 4,000 times when we were in sixth grade trying to figure out what the guy says at the end — the thing that led to everyone laying on the ground. I still want to know what he’s mouthing, even if it’s just nonsense. It still bothers me. But I digress…
“Rootless Tree” proves to another standout track. Weaving between quiet ruminations on a failed relationship and a screaming chorus that more anguished singer/songwriters should strive for, the track devolves into a pathetic* plea for the narrator’s lover to stop dragging him back into the relationship.
[*pathetic (adj.): having the ability to move one to compassionate pity; also: marked by sorrow or melancholy]
Things I don’t particularly care for on the album include the song “Dogs” (a little sappy and doesn’t really fit in the context of the album, at least for me), and a secret track of sorts that is ten minutes plus of a sustained tone. The tone isn’t even obnoxious, making one wonder why in God’s name it goes on for so long; it’s just there. I have to be honest — I did scan through it on my mp3 player, periodically checking in to see if the tone changed at all or if it ever led into a song, so it’s totally possible that I managed to skip over some mind-blowing millisecond of sonic ecstasy. If this is the case, I apologize.
I’ve only listened to this once through and given it a quick second run-through so I may add more to this later. Until then, share your thoughts.