Volume 94, Issue 47
Wednesday, November 22, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Disc of the Week
Godspeed You Black Emperor!
Leves Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennae To Heaven!
It's a travesty. One of music's most widely acclaimed acts remains almost completely unknown in their own country.
While Canadians continue to sing the praises of our beloved Barenaked Ladies, one of our most popular musical commodities Montreal's Godspeed You Black Emperor! goes about their way with little to no recognition.
But how could such a universally lauded band go unnoticed? The answer is simple: They are unlike anything the average music listener could possibly comprehend or accept.
No lyrics, no choruses, no singles. They are globally and socially conscious but remain reclusive and quiet. They don't want to be rock stars, they just want to make incredible music.
And now they present their latest work Leves Vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas To Heaven! A symphony of sound, it blends electronica with strings, guitar, piano and other bits of noise to produce four tracks on a double cd each piece running about 20 minutes.
Leves Vos Skinny... is an album inspired by imprisonment, anomie and the increasingly modern, alienating world which surrounds us. It's the soundtrack of a dark world, but a world which begs for someone to stand up and initiate change.
Like all great music, the album lifts and saddens, not just with words or melody, but through an all-encompassing grande work. The liner notes inform us there are "songs" (in the classic sense) on this album, with titles like "Terrible Canyons of Static" and "She dreamt she was a bulldozer, she dreamt she was alone in an empty field," but this is a complete work, not a collection of songs. Strings glide and crash, a piano slowly stalks through barren landscapes, guitar and static flutter and burn, while noises and voices come from nowhere and everywhere.
In the end, Leves Vos Skinny... is an album which can only be understood through listening and much thought if it can be understood at all. But it should, rather must, be listened to, for it's foolish to ignore truly great music.
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