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 Scott Creney

Gotye – Making Mirrors (Samples ‘n’ Seconds)

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Nice wallpaper, bro

By Scott Creney

Like most Americans, I had never heard of Gotye until a week ago. I still have no idea how to pronounce the stage(d) name of Wally De Backer. “Gotcha”? (Maybe) “Got Ye”? (An Old English thing), “Go Tye”? (Wally won’t eat dinner unless everyone at the table is dressed in formalwear).

Artistically, it’s half a notch above a magazine advert for chewing gum, but it works OK enough as pop music. I suppose it might help a few middle-schoolers get through the god-awful cruelty of adolescence, help them develop emotions and that kind of stuff. At some point though, they’re going to need something a little more grown-up.

Honestly, it’s a relief to find out that the most popular album in Australia isn’t entirely a wretched, unendurable piece of shit. In fact, if I were 15 years old, I’d probably even like it. Sadly, I’m not 15 anymore. And neither is Gotye, so what’s his excuse?

‘Someone I Used To Know’ is the big hit, apparently. It’s a song about a guy who can’t believe that his ex-girlfriend isn’t interested in seeing him, or hanging out with him, and how this makes her a bad person because back when they were dating she told him she was really happy, so obviously she’s some kind of hypocrite or something.  Not that the guy actually cares of course (“I don’t even need your love,” he insists on pointing out). He just wants to punish her and try to make her feel like a bad person.

Makes me glad she broke up with the asshole in the first place. He probably spent the whole relationship guilt-tripping her into doing what he wanted to anyways. Can’t imagine why she wouldn’t want to stay friends with a guy like that.

Now some of the more sophisticated CB readers might point out, But what about Kimbra? She sings the last verse about what a jerk he was. See how she turns it around on him? Isn’t that  clever pop lyricism at its finest? 

Sigh … I want to agree with you, sophisticated Collapse Board reader, I really do. But even after her diatribe, the guy’s still the same petulant ass he was before her diatribe. And it’s all too easy for the menfolk listening to the song to latch onto the song’s feeling of pained self-righteousness and miss an irony in the song that is, despite its good intention, just too lightweight, too paper-thin, and just way too subtle to resonate. ‘Someone I Used To Know’ is a lot closer to a stalker anthem than it is to any kind of ‘subversion of masculinity’ or some such shit. I mean, the song is 90% why won’t you pay attention to me? and 10% now you’re saying stuff I don’t want to hear so I’m just going to ignore you. And it’s 0% I’m sorry. Way to go, Gotye.

There are a lot of different styles on Making Mirrors, but the musical variety doesn’t feel like an artist frantically trying out ideas, more like someone throwing a bunch of shit against the wall to see if anything sticks. Not eclectic, but desperate.

‘Smoke And Mirrors’ sounds like a sleepy Peter Gabriel. ‘I Feel Better’ is downright atrocious — the kid from Glee singing Cee-Lo as imagined by Pete Waterman. Here, listen for yourself.

It’s like being woken up by a pack of smiling evangelist Christians at 8:00 on a Saturday morning. It belongs in a diet soda commercial with scores of beautiful people giving you a big thumbs-up. It makes me want to stab sharpened knitting needles through my eyes until it punctures my brain (and THAT, my friends, is the closest thing to anger on the entire album — Don’t get mad, says Gotye, get mopey).

You can sing George Michael’s ‘Faith’ over ‘In Your Light’ if you want to. It won’t make you a bad person.

In the context of the album, ‘Save Me’ isn’t bad at all. I’m a sucker for off-kilter drum beats and long melodies. Still, it keeps reminding me of Icehouse. Which is weird, because I haven’t though of Icehouse since I was in middle school.

Actually, I’m surprised ‘Easy Way Out’ isn’t a single. It’s the only decent thing on the album.

It has a slinky guitar line. It’s genuinely danceable. And if the lyrics are a collection of vague, clichéd attempts at profundity (“Scratching the surface of life/Nothing really happens”) at least they aim somewhat above childishness. Most importantly, they don’t get in the way of the song.

See, like a lot of people in rock, Gotye’s at his most effective when he doesn’t try to be profound. One gets the feeling that Gotye hasn’t read a book since he was 10 unless it was assigned by a teacher. After listening to Making Mirrors again and again, it seems that all of his influences are musical — which usually means bad news if you’re hoping to hear something you haven’t heard before. Like a champion tennis player who has obsessively devoted themselves to the game at the expense of any outside life, one gets the feeling that Gotye has done little in this world besides ‘try to be a musician’. As if becoming a creative artist were just one more course at the University, as if experience, worldview, knowledge, and imagination were somehow secondary to the artistic process.

Gotye’s songs lack any kind of Swiftian (not even Taylor, let alone Jonathan) insight into relationships, or human nature. Instead of joyous exaltation, or a sense of abandon, we’re given a professional smile, like something you see on television. Instead of art, Gotye gives us mere entertainment. Nothing wrong with being entertained, I suppose, but music — and Gotye — are capable of offering so much more.

He keeps insisting his eyes are wide open, but it’s anyone’s guess what the fuck he’s looking at.

Related posts:
Letter to a Disgruntled Gotye Fan
Response from a Disgruntled Gotye fan

89 Responses to Gotye – Making Mirrors (Samples ‘n’ Seconds)

  1. David September 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Glad to see you gave this one to your most jaded hipster.

  2. Matt O'Neill September 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Yeah, I’m far from Gotye’s biggest fan but this entire review reads like a deliberately reactionary and inflammatory grab for attention.

  3. Everett True September 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Glad to see you gave this one to your most jaded hipster.

    Actually myself, Wallace, Sleevie Nicks, Tamsin and Kelly were all otherwise engaged. Scott was my sixth choice for most jaded hipster.

  4. Darragh September 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Scott Creney, I usually love your writing, but in this case I think you need to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHV04eSGzAA

  5. Darragh September 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Seriously though, while I can’t comment on the entire record, I think you’re being too harsh on Gotye by calling Somebody I Used to Know a stalker anthem….because if you read the lyrics, it doesn’t play out that way…at all. To me, it’s a song that documents a misunderstanding, a slice of history, that only makes real sense to those involved in it. People can empathise with those feelings, hence why the song has gone bonkers crazy.

    If this is actually a stalker medley, I should really get into the stalker-music genre myself cause it seems to have made Gotye millions. Hey, Katy Perry even likes him.

    I didn’t particularly like his previous work, but I get the feeling be more fond of Making Mirrors. This little documentary on making the record might give further insight. http://vimeo.com/26537415

  6. Scott Creney September 7, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Funny enough, Darragh, I’m actually in the process of editing the documentary about me writing the review. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this article a great deal more when you see it.

  7. Brigette September 7, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Even Katy Perry likes him?

    Hahahahahahaha!

    I love you guys. You crack me up.

  8. Tamsin Chapman September 7, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Urrghh, this is horrible. Turgid, pompous and self-regarding. It reminds me of Sting. Except smugger. Scott has been too kind.
    On a different note – I’m a hipster? Blimey.

  9. Lucy Cage September 7, 2011 at 5:08 am

    @Tamsin: yes, it was Sting I thought of at first listen too. Shudder.

    As someone who hadn’t heard of Gotye until I came across this article, I think Scott’s got him pretty much bang to rights. What’s special about it/him? Who IS he? Would it make a difference to my jaded old ears if I knew? Surely not. It’s an OK pop song, it’s pretty enough, I wouldn’t turn it off or run screaming from the room if it came on but I’d expect to be hearing it on mainstream pop radio not anything more leftfield; what’s the big deal?

  10. Mr Joseph September 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Ironic, because Sting wrote one of the biggest stalking anthems ever…

  11. Wallace Wylie September 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Yes, I feel like Scott let this guy off lightly. I heard “Somebody I Used To Know” recently and felt quite ill. It’s musical diarrhea.

  12. Darragh September 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Can we commission a Kimbra rebuttal, and then a final collaboration between Scott and Kimbra, summing it all up?

  13. Darragh September 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Baa Baa Black Sheep melody at the start.

  14. Lloyd B September 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

    This is his big “other” song. Very very similar to his latest one, mopey emo-ness included. My lady-friend loves it but I can’t get over how much it reminds of Peter Gabriel / Sting. I do have to say to me it’s way less boring than his other band: http://www.youtube.com/The3Basics

    Though you will probably love all over that shit i’m sure, since it’s like real rawk music etc bleh

  15. Lloyd B September 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Whoopsy… THIS is his big other song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXFJOXvL_A)

  16. Stewart September 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    What a poorly written article.

    No mention that Gotye does EVERYTHING himself… you can’t say that about many musicians in the spotlight these days.

    At least Wally actually has a lot of talent, and is creating music that people love to listen to… all this guy is doing is posting his lame thoughts on a website. Oh wait.

  17. Wallace Wylie September 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Well that completely changed my mind. Hey Creney, why no mention of the fact that he does EVERYTHING?

  18. Darragh September 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I don’t agree with Creney on one point, but I know I still think this is actually a really well written article. It’s somewhat interesting that people equate their own disagreement with an alleged lack of quality.

  19. Everett True September 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    No mention that Gotye does EVERYTHING himself… you can’t say that about many musicians in the spotlight these days.

    Fuck, Creney. I’ve warned you about this before. One more strike and you’re out. Quit trying to describe the music or how it makes you feel. Quit trying to provide context or opinion or insight or any of that irrelevant stuff. All we want to know is: Does the musician play everything himself or doesn’t he? Well, DOES HE?

  20. Everett True September 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Wait a second. Even Katy Perry likes him? Dosh garn it Scott. Can’t you behave yourself in public for once?

  21. Darragh September 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    …and actually he doesn’t. If you see the Gotye docuemntary I posted in the comments above, his pal plays a bit of bass.

    Also, Kimbra sings with him. Surely VOICE is an instrument?! Or is Gotye also a talented ventriloquist?

  22. Everett True September 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Or is Gotye also a talented ventriloquist?

    So he does EVERYTHING himself, Katy Perry likes him AND he’s a talented ventriloquist? These are FACTS Scott, dosh garn it, FACTS. None of your woolly opinions or context or insight here. FACTS.

  23. Matt O'Neill September 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    For the record, I think Scott has written way better articles and I agree that Gotye is quite dull. This review just strikes me as an attempt to drum up controversy by gleefully slamming a popular artist. It’s boring.

  24. Princess Stomper September 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I can’t listen to the the music clips at work (will have to check them out later), but can imagine exactly what it sounds like from the description alone, and it’s playing out like a scene from a Terry Pratchett book:
    “Things … worse than you can possibly imagine.”
    “Oh, I can imagine a lot.”
    “Trust me, these are worse.”

  25. Chad Parkhill September 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Collapse Board getting a jaded US-based hipster to slam a popular Australian indie-pop act?

    Well, I never.

  26. Mr Joseph September 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    The second I saw the guy’s face and noticed he looked like the love child of Michael Hutchence, Roland Orzabal, and Eddie Vedder, I turned it off. One just sort of knows…

  27. Lucy Cage September 8, 2011 at 2:35 am

    You guys are never going to convince anyone think more of this music by:

    1. Telling us what a cool/nice/clever guy Gotye is. Plenty of perfectly lovely people make ordinary music.

    2. Telling us who else likes his music: does that ever work? Maybe it does on some people but I hope it wouldn’t be music critics who write for Collapse Board.

    3. Telling us how difficult, technically challenging, interesting the album was to make: so what? If the cleverness works it works. If it doesn’t, it’s all for nowt.

    4. Telling us the review is badly written because you don’t like what it’s saying: wrong or right, this is a funny, articulate, perceptive piece of writing.

    Don’t tell us these things: tell us why you love it and how it works for you.
    TELL US WHAT IT DOES.

  28. Princess Stomper September 8, 2011 at 5:25 am

    OK, have listened now. It’s like what would happen if Gap Clothing made records. It makes me want to listen to Sting, which isn’t a sentence I say very often.

    ‘I Feel Better’ – I couldn’t make it more than 2 minutes, it was just absolutely bloody awful!

    The rest is inoffensive dad-rock.

  29. Pingback: Thursday Linkage | Darragh Murray

  30. TheLastHeretic September 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I feel ashamed that I made to the falsetto part. I don’t listen to Sting or Crowded House.

  31. Princess Stomper September 9, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Crowded House are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen in my life, so no picking on them!

  32. Edward Guglielmino September 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I love the record, but this is a Stella review, Jesus if only all music reviews were this good I might read past the first paragraph.

  33. Everett True September 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Damn it, I still can’t get past that falsetto bit in the first video.

  34. AD September 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I fucking love Katy Perry

  35. Chad Parkhill September 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Edward: you’re looking for “stellar,” not “Stella”. As in from the Latin for ‘star,’ not from the Belgian for ‘overpriced domestically-produced beer that wankers buy because they think it’s an import.’

  36. Wallace Wylie September 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I thought this review was reassuringly expensive.

  37. Darragh September 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    On the subject of Stella, I am perpetually amazed that it’s considered a premium beer in Australia. Particularly when it’s allegedly considered the lager of choice amongst British wife beaters.

  38. matt ahrrr September 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    to the people who think ‘somebody…’ isnt any good, i would LOVE to hear what you think IS a good song. that would be fascinating.

  39. Jamez September 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Hey Chad, in Australia not all Stella is brewed domestically by C.U.B. Thanks to parallel importing boutique bottle shops will often have genuine imported Stella. Oh, and I like Gotye but I enjoyed this review.

  40. Joseph Kyle September 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    http://www.pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15749-making-mirrors/

  41. Everett True September 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    to the people who think ‘somebody…’ isnt any good, i would LOVE to hear what you think IS a good song. that would be fascinating.

    If this is directed at Collapse Board, then – here you go – 389 examples right here. And there was me thinking that the title of the series – Song Of The Day – was a bit of a giveaway? Maybe you’re right. After all, it could have been short for Song Of The Day We Really Fucking Hate Today…

    I guess.

  42. Everett True September 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    P.S. In my recent Kimbra blog entry, I think that the Nina Simone version of the song is GOOD and the Kimbra version is BAD. Apologies if I hadn’t made that clear enough already.

  43. Chad Parkhill September 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Jamez: Right you are. But I can count the number of times I’ve had genuine Stella in Australia on the fingers of one hand, whereas I used to work in a bar and sold a metric fucktonne of the domestic stuff to overpaid wankers.

    The real stuff is delicious, though.

    Also, Darragh, I believe the ‘wife beater’ thing is a witty British pun about Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Brit guys would always order ‘a pint of the old wifebeater’), not necessarily a reflection of the consumer demographic.

  44. Benjamin Pratt September 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Scott, this is great.

    I would love you to review our previous #1 album. I think it was Adelle?

    Perhaps you could do a series? #1 albums in Australia that shouldn’t deserve to be #1 anywhere in the fucking world.

  45. TheLastHeretic September 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    “Crowded House are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen in my life, so no picking on them!” Princess Stomper

    Noo. Seriously?

  46. Scott Creney September 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    You can’t make this kind of stuff up. This just went up this morning.

    http://www.pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15749-making-mirrors/

    ‘At his best, Gotye (stage name of Australian musician Walter De Backer) hearkens back to a time when the crop of middlebrow male pop stars wasn’t so lousy with simpering troubadours or assembly-line idols. Instead, the ranks were populated by guys like Peter Gabriel, George Michael, and Hall & Oates, who sang forcefully and made bold pop hits with intelligent, grown-up themes’.

    If you’re a fan of Gotye’s latest album, I urge you to read it IMMEDIATELY to wash the taste of this review out of your mouth. Pitchfork’s review is the opposite of mine in every way shape and form.

    Don’t worry. It won’t make you laugh. Not intentionally, anyway.

  47. TheLastHeretic September 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Haha. What you failed to realise Scott is that “…it’s his arty restlessness that will continue to keep him interesting.”

    Plus, how the fuck can you favourably evoke Travis? Travis couldn’t even favourably evoke Travis? The only favourable evocation of Travis is going to be in a ceromony where Travis is forever wiped from our collective memories.

    Hipster bible my arse.

  48. Everett True September 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Dude, you know Fran Healy is a Collapse Board reader, right?

  49. Aaron Curran September 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Even if you didn’t already hate Gotye, that Pitchfork review would make you despise the guy.

  50. Chad Parkhill September 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Quite frankly I’m disappointed that we’re still talking about Gotye, not about delicious beer.

    (FTR, I liked the album, as my review of it for Rave magazine will attest, but I’m a little disconcerted by how familiar the thing sounds already. It’s biggest problem is that it loses its freshness after just one listen. I guess a lot of people like that lived-in feeling, but my favourite albums, personally, are those that I can return to again and again and still find something new. I suspect Making Mirrors won’t pass that test.)

  51. TheLastHeretic September 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    See, now I feel bad again ET. Sorry Fran, you’re alright unt ya.

  52. AD September 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Also, jaded hipster or not, Scott is bang on about I Feel Better. It’s wildly, offensively bad, and sounds like the kind of thing you’d hear on a TV commercial as come ex-Olympian queefs on at you about health insurance that will give you peace of mind.

  53. AD September 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    ^ That oughta say “some ex-olympian”.

  54. TheLastHeretic September 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Give it 6mnths.

  55. Scott September 11, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I don’t know AD. I imagine William Burroughs would have KILLED to come up with a phrase like ‘come ex-olympian queefs’.

  56. Craig Montgomery September 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Heretic, fuck right off. Travis are awesome.

  57. Craig Montgomery September 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Fran.

  58. HipsterDouchebagTroll#25447 September 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I’m happy all you jaded hipster douchebag trolls have all found each other and can compete to be the most jaded hipster douchebaggy troll on the internet… or..and just throwing it out there.. you could channel your energies into creating something yourself and here’s the kicker – that people actually like, enjoy and relate to..I know, what sellouts, right? Easier to piss all over others (And trolling is fun, I can see why you all get off on it.) Doesn’t being such rabid cliches bother any of you at all in the slightest?

  59. Everett True September 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hey Scott, I think you win the “rabid pointless comment of the week” award.

    You’ve still some way to go before you can match this one, though…

    Hey you little dipshit wipe … Hell has a fucking hand basket for you. Everett True dumbass. You are a cartoon character. Why do you hate Dolores so much? You pompous english fuck? What happened? Got kicked out of your own country for being a dick so you decided to hit the seattle grunge scene? Ooooh, you introduced cobain to love … two fucking god damn losers who ain’t shit today … no t’anks to you. You know all these people in the industry, but how the fuck did you end up being a fucking journalist? “I do not consider myself a journalist”, you say. You fucking pompous idiot … why? because journalists are beneath you? Give us a reason instead of trying to sond cool in your author’s spotlight. Why do you hate Dollores so much, fuck face? Because she has the ability to see the evil son of a bitch in you and will have not’ing to do wit’ you? You may have pulled the wool over Curt and courtney’s eyes, but Dolores is wa-ay to shrewed for a failed musician turned journalist – excuse me, “music critic” like you because it is what you do. If you t’ink that sounds cool, then you are a straight loser. Everyone has the ability to critic, asshole. So Dolores wouldn’t let you near her, huh? Because everyt’ing about you is a fascade. I read your whole bio and you sound like a loser wit’ his ego cut of … ”Ooooh!”, you say. “I ran wit’ the big names! I shook hands wit’ the best!” I’m a critic! That’s what I do!” Tell me did you jerk off Curt cobain, too? You ain’t nobody. Dolores is a goddess. She possesses every attribute a god would possess. All the t’ings that you don’t because it seems as if not that many people believe in you, now do they? If they did … you wouldn’t just be the journalist that you are. And maybe that’s why you’re angry. Grow up, fag boy. Dolores O’Riordan Rocks!

  60. Joseph Kyle September 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    i love the smell of self-righteous anonymous screed in the mornin’…

  61. Darragh September 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    *sigh* the ol’ ‘don’t knock the musician thing’. That argument makes never holds any water anyway.

  62. Scott Creney September 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Oh, I’ve been called worse.

    http://athensmusicexpress.blogspot.com/2009/12/meet-allison-weiss.html

    Hell hath no fury like a local musician scorned, or their loyal fans.

    But in a world of self-contradictory internet vitriol (usually something along the lines of “Criticism is bad, you’d know that if you weren’t such a shitty writer”) “Grow up, fagboy” is far and away the most hilarious. Kudos, Everett.

  63. Wallace Wylie September 14, 2011 at 3:13 am

    It’s actually really difficult to piss all over others. They tend to move around. Give credit where credit is due.

  64. adrian mcgruther September 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

    one of the most unconstructive and imbalanced reviews I’ve ever read.

    “It makes me want to stab sharpened knitting needles through my eyes until it punctures my brain” are you fucking kidding? a highly original (over)reaction to an album. how long did you spend coming up with that colourful description?

    terrible use of metaphors and irrelevant, unsubstantiated analysis of gotye’s personal life aside, the review didn’t even canvass half the songs on the record, nor did it consider the work as a body.

    but then again, I wouldn’t expect any better from a talentless freelance journalist who couldn’t hack the real world. (if you can make blind assumptions about gotye, then I’m entitled to make them about you.)

    and lucy cage – I’m not telling you it’s badly written because I don’t like what it’s saying. I’m telling you because it’s a shit piece of writing. it’s not articulate. it’s not balanced. it doesn’t substantiate most of the inane metaphors/analyses. and worst of all, it doesn’t even cover the entire album.

  65. Lucy Cage September 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “and lucy cage – I’m not telling you it’s badly written because I don’t like what it’s saying. I’m telling you because it’s a shit piece of writing”

    Hmm, I disagree. I think you’re hurt because something you like and appreciate is being dissed. Why don’t you tell us what Making Mirrors makes you feel? Scott has told us quite clearly and amusingly what it does to him (and you can’t say that he’s wrong about that, can you? It’s his experience of listening, not yours) and lots of people here, myself included, have agreed that, yes, Gotye has produced something that’s just a bit OK.

    If it’s more than OK, if it’s actually fucking SPECIAL, then show us why.

    As for the writing, is this excerpt *really* “shit”?

    “Gotye’s songs lack any kind of Swiftian (not even Taylor, let alone Jonathan) insight into relationships, or human nature. Instead of joyous exaltation, or a sense of abandon, we’re given a professional smile, like something you see on television. Instead of art, Gotye gives us mere entertainment. Nothing wrong with being entertained, I suppose, but music — and Gotye — are capable of offering so much more.”

    I think that’s good. I think it’s very good. I’ve read enough shit writing to know that this is not it. Even if I were to disagree violently with Scott’s conclusions, I would have to say that they were well expressed, considered, heartfelt.

    And your other complaints? No-one ever said a review had to be constructive. Or balanced, for fuck’s sake. We’re not running workshops for the mediocre musician here. As for “and worst of all, it doesn’t even cover the entire album”: seriously? The worst thing about this review is really that it doesn’t mention every single song? I’d be grateful and leave it at that, if I were you. Or Gotye.

    So that’s your moans dealt with. Here’s mine: “a talentless freelance journalist who couldn’t hack the real world.”

    Pfft.

    First up, Scott Creney is certainly not talentless, otherwise he wouldn’t be being published here, on The World’s Most Meta-Fantastic Music Criticism Website. Plus his piece on Nevermind has been widely acknowledged as one of the very best articles published in the subject in the anniversary year. It’s stupendous. Go on, give yourself a treat and read it.

    He’s not freelance: this is for the love, love. We write because we want to. Because we have to. What do you do for LOVE?

    He’s not a journalist. He’s a critic. Haven’t you read anything here? Take your balanced, constructive and complete and shove it up the music industry’s well-oiled arse.

    “Real world”? What the fuck is the real world? This is as real as anything else. You think people who write about music don’t have jobs or families or bands or bills to pay or parties to go to or friends to give them a kick up the arse occasionally? What a ridiculously meaningless comment.

    Come on, Adrian McGruther: bring it on. If you’re going to complain about the writing and the writers on this site you’re going to have to do a damn sight better than that. Or take up my challenge and write something about Gotye that’s going to make me play it at top volume non-stop for the next three days like I did with the last album I ADORED. I want THAT level of wondrousness or you and it can piss the hell off.

  66. Kim Gordon September 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I see what all you pompus critics are doing here. Who can write the most witty, dry, sarcastic, inadvertently offensive response to someone else’s opinion? Glad you live in your own microscopic world here on this “website”.

  67. Everett True September 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I see what all you pompus critics are doing here. Who can write the most witty, dry, sarcastic, inadvertently offensive response to someone else’s opinion? Glad you live in your own microscopic world here on this “website”.

    Now I’ve read everything. (Well, OK … not everything.) Kim Gordon writing in to defend a couple of piss-weak arguments defending a piss-weak #1 Australian album. Kim Gordon writing in to criticise critics for criticising people who don’t understand the nature of criticism. Kim Gordon, mind. Just as well this person didn’t type in ‘Kurt Cobain’ as their false avatar or we’d never have believed them. Oh, wait …

  68. blackcalx September 19, 2011 at 8:29 am

    It’s nice to see that having a vociferous opinion about something automatically makes you a hipster attention whore. Reading the comment section of this review has reminded me why “hipster” should be struck from the musical (and cultural) lexicon, and I say that as someone who’s abused the term in the past. Nobody knows what a fucking hipster is anymore, and we’ve officially reached the point where being cognizant of Pitchfork’s existence is enough to warrant the label. It’s one of those annoying fake-terms, like grunge or trip-hop, that really needs to go away. And probably never will.

    Anyway, excellent review. “Someone That I Used to Know” sounds like Peter Gabriel mumbling over a throwaway Shugo Tokumaru instrumental. Not horrible, but still unexceptional. Couldn’t care less about anything else he’s done.

  69. Jules September 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    ‘Nobody knows what a fucking hipster is anymore’
    Look in the *Making Mirrors”.

  70. Darragh September 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    For those interested, Mess+Noise have published their review of Making Mirrors. http://www.messandnoise.com/releases/2000933

  71. garumph September 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I had no intention of listening to this album seriously, but just might do so now if only to find out what it is about it that makes Mr Creney so dismissive, bored, apoplectic, ambivalent and/or scornful.

    “Sleepy Peter Gabriel” – Ha! have you heard any music Gabriel’s made in the last 10 or so years?

  72. Darragh September 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve heard his terrible cover of The Magnetic Field’s ‘Book of Love’. I pray never to hear that again.

  73. max September 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Was really excited when I heard the first two songs – eyes wide open and somebody I used to know. They’re catchy, but the rest just seems a little trashy. It’d be great if he could make an album. It’s strange that he hit the same problems as his previous album

    and trashing somebody I used to know? Probably its all those things but who cares? he’s not really a lyrics man is he? hehehe – I’d have thought you’d have a go at the preachy crap of Eyes wide open!

  74. Johnny Danger September 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Spot on review. That music is absolutely dire adult contemporary drivel – and I do not care how many instruments the chap plays nor how nice he is, nor how many people love it – to my ears this is subpar Sting, and I hate Sting.

    I’m glad there is some great music on collapseboard to heal the brain and soothe the anger.

  75. Phillip Laidlaw September 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Matt-o, it wasn’t a boring review. It was fun. I hate the single and thought this review nailed it nicely. I recall hearing “Every day i love you less and less” by the kaiser chiefs. It made me picture groups of drunk footballers at a disco singing laddishly and pointing taunting fingers at women who did not take their (collective) fancy. Sure, that wasn’t the song’s intention but when you set the rock controls to “anthem” you need to consider what a song will mean to the numbers, not just what it means. Gotye has dished up a big hit that “everyone” can identify with. Yes, because everyone has been 15. Does it advance our hearts? No. Still he did it all himself.

  76. Ozexpat September 30, 2011 at 6:05 am

    I think you all “doth protest too much” regarding Sting. Sure he’s done some lonesome crappy stuff but he did front a band that was extremely innovative in the 80′s, by they way how many of you were actually around in the eighties???

    I like the album, I’ve liked some of the previous stuff he’s done. Is the best thing on the earth? Is he probably a bit to eclectic for most people? Absolutely! Is he original, I think so. Does he draw on other influences, Peter Gabriel blah blah blah. Yes that is how most music has evolved……are The Rolling Stones terrible and unoriginal cause they started out playing around with blues music?

    At least he is not like most of the ‘new’ music around…….duh…we cant think of anymore songs….let’s do someone else’s.

    If you don’t like it fine, but to say the you are relived to find this the No 1 album in Oz??? WTF is that! Do you think we are still crawling around in the primordial ooze. Or are you relived you don’t have to like anything that may be interesting to us. Have we produced anything you consider worthy……AC/DC perhaps? Slightly overkill on the whole personal attack think on the artist and the country. And you don’t want to take on the country on their individual culture, yes we do have some.

  77. Andrew Harper October 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    All these comments are a wonderful read, especailly the angry stuff defending the music from the big nasty reviewer.

    it’s wonderful review becasue it causes a reaction. it’s a wonderful review because the reviewer is angry that he is heqaring such dross. It’s a wonderful review because despite all the advice I listned to Gotye, and the reviewer nwas far too easy on this insipid, uninspiring music, and found the review to have more passion than the music did.

    This could have sunk like a stone but it’s now a cause, it’s a moment and it’s a wonderful thing to happen.

    What a great day.

  78. Andrew Harper October 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    sorry about the bad spelling.

    I’d like to note taht I’m Australian, that i recall the 80s, and that i think this is awful music, and that I loath John Butler’s music as well, and I don’t like much Aussie Hip Hop either, and that I want Lubricated Goat back something shocking.

    I would also like it noted that there’s alot of great Australian Music around right now, and indeed the underground is in a great state, so you don’t ned to make excuses for this dreary stuff.

  79. Ozexpat October 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Hey no problem with that, not telling anybody to like the music. Just saying what I like about it. My only problem with the reviewer was the comment that he was relieved that this was the number one album in Oz, not sure how that relates to the review of the actual album. Not real keen on the whole ‘ bet he hasn’t read a book that was not given to him by a teacher in the last whatever time frame he stated….ahhhh again……relevant?????

    Im glad you ‘recall’ the eighties, you’ve heard some of the best and worst music ever. Lubricated Goat…..really???

    I miss JJJ

    Remember one mans dreary is another mans relaxing.

  80. Tony October 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    The only mitigating thing about Gotye is: his voice is a bit unique. However, musically, it aint. I mean, 1 Peter Gabriel is enough for this planet, surely?

  81. Tara October 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I read this review in disbelief, did you listen to the same album as me? I think it’s amazing and beautiful, You obviously have no taste and reviewing an album usually doesn’t include poking fun at the artist, it smacks at some insecurity and ugly jealousy on your part. If you had done some research then you would see how amazing this work is. One guy doing all this, I’d like to see what you would come up with.Song writers are not always writing about themselves or may be writing from another perspective or about something they have read or heard many forms of inspiration fuel their creativity. Your article contains no constructive criticism about the music just a general slagging off which makes it a pretty pointless review. If you are reading this don’t be put off it’s the best thing I’ve heard in ages and thousands of people agree, the tour is sold out so he is obviously doing something right.

  82. Ozexpat October 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you Tara…..general slagging off….love it.! Enough with the Peter Gabriel thing…. Sledge Hammer as opposed to The Only Thing I Know….. ‘Whatever’ as opposed to ‘The Only thing I Know…ahhh I could go on, what is the point. You get it or you don’t. Isn’t that the point.

  83. Ozexpat October 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    The second one was supposed to be ‘The Only Way’, this could go on for longer than I care. Which is sad cause I love this, it makes me’ feel’. The only blog(whatever), that I’ve bothered with. Thank you Gotye, I was starving for
    something new. Kick Arse!!!

  84. That Guy December 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I think you could write this same review about practically any album. This reads like an undergrad exercise in cynically deconstructing a pop album (not much of a challenge) via a combination of over-examining lyrics and ad hominem jabs.

    And yeah, attacking the review rather than providing an alternative take is lame, as is invoking the charge of ‘hipster’. But it might be worth considering who you have written for, and why, and perhaps perceiving why it comes across as a sneering, look-at-me shot at an exceptionally easy target.

    I don’t for a second believe that if this album was by an obscure swede and was handed to you on a cassette tape by a colleague who told you ‘I Feel Better’ was a fantastic piece of tongue in cheek ironic disco you’d fucking lap it up.

    Oh, and if you guys believe in the review, why bother to come and slam the comments here? It reeks of insecurity.

  85. That Guy December 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Gah. My third paragraph should begin “I don’t for a second doubt…”

  86. shutupandlisten December 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    seeing as there’s no real topic for this thread – why don’t we talk about…MUSIC!

    There’s a sweet idea (you can thank me later).

    I’m listening to Plant and Page – No Quarter, specifically Nobody’s Fault But Mine and swooning like a school girl – what are you guys listening to while you write this drivel?

    :)

  87. Tom February 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Awwwww!!! You cute little hipsters!! The funny thing is this dude is just doing what feels right to him. He’s not “trying” or “desperate”. He’s writing music and doing some pretty sick sample work. Yea his scarf might not be tied tightly enough around his neck, and he mostly likely drinks regular coffee instead of soy double mocha salmon latte with a splash of 19 year old wine. The guy is doing good. Just because people like him doesn’t mean he’s shit. Fuck! The dude that reviewed this probably whacks it to “somebody that I used to know” while crying on a picture of his vietnamese ex boyfriend! Its easy to say you hate something. Its hard to admit something is good when everyone likes it. If only people could think for themselves these days!!

  88. tomasz. February 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Tom, your level of projection is literally hilarious. Also, “sick sample work”? lol

  89. Katapult5 March 14, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Someone run over your puppy or something? One would think you are reviewing a new Black Eyed Peas album. This “review” is hilariously in love with itself. THAT’s what is ironic, Mr. Creney.

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