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You Can Get Addicted to a Certain Kind of Sadness
Making Mirrors - Gotye
Member Name: jo1976
Making Mirrors - Gotye
Date: 16/05/13, updated on 14/12/13 (92 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic single 'Somebody That I Used To Know', variety of different styles
Disadvantages: Lots of mediocre and dreary songs
It's quite rare for me to buy albums nowadays, much less to purchase a CD on the strength of just one single but that is exactly what happened when I bought Gotye's 'Making Mirrors.' I think I had only listened to the hit single 'Somebody That I Used to Know' when I placed an order for the album online.
I paid £8.99 for this album, containing 12 tracks, back in March 2012. Rather gallingly, it is currently possible to pick up a new CD for just £2.93 which seems an incredible price. The album is also available to download, although I'd personally recommend just downloading a few of the tracks rather than the album in its entirety.
Although Gotye only really became known in the UK back in 2012, thanks to the instant success of the aforementioned 'Somebody That I Used to Know' this is actually his third album release. Belgian born Gotye emigrated to Australia as a young child and had considerable music success in Australia before becoming a name in the UK. I haven't listened to any of his previous albums and I haven't been tempted to seek them out on the strength of this album either, which might give some indication of my ambivalence towards this album.
Unfortunately, despite my high expectations, this album opens really weakly, with a whimper rather than a bang. The opening track 'Making Mirrors' is one of the poorest on the album as a whole so a very poor choice as an introduction to the rest of the album and one that made me doubting the merits of my purchase from the initial listening. 'Easy Way Out' is slightly better and has a little more substance to it but it is, essentially, background music and not a tune that is likely to be played repeatedly.
Fortunately, 'Somebody..' makes an appearance as the third song of this album and I can instantly lose myself in some fantastic lyrics. These totally resonate with me and, I suspect, anybody who has ever experienced a relationship breakdown in the history of the world! I can easily lose myself reliving my teenage angst and heartbreak! The lyrics here are absolutely fantastic and I love the combination of Gotye's tone and that of Kimbra's beautiful singing voice. I also find the melody and the variety of instruments used just amazing. The inclusion of the xylophone is just inspired and really makes this song different to anything else out there.
The following track 'Eyes Wide Open' maintains the momentum. I like the powerful lyrics here and would say that this is my second favourite track from the album. 'We walk the plank, with our eyes wide open...' There are a few other gems tucked away within the depths of the album, amidst some pretty dreary uninspiring numbers. 'I feel better' is a really uplifting little number that blows away its rather dreary predecessor ('Smoke and Mirrors' - just press skip, please.) Like many of the songs, there is something incredibly familiar sounding about this track although I can't for the life of me pin it down to any particular song. There is definitely a seventies/eighties vibe to this song.
The following 'In Your Light' has a similarly positive feel to it although it is a little too bland and repetitive for my liking. I have found that the songs do improve after repeated listening, so this is something of a 'grower' but not likely to be a track that will instantly grab any listeners. The subsequent track 'Start of the Art' is completely different again with some fantastic electronic jiggery pokery going on, to completely alter the sound and tone of Gotye's voice. It's a little overdone for my taste although others may enjoy the Reggae sounding elements here. It also vaguely reminds me of a 1980s electropop song which ends with the operator saying 'I'm trying to connect you.' (I can't remember any more about that particular track but it might job somebody else's memory.)
The tempo changes completely with 'Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You' which is quite a creepy, eerie song that can send shivers down my spine at certain moments. I like the accompanying beat and the tenderness of Gotye's voice.
'Giving Me a Chance' is another instantly forgettable, rather dreary song that fades into obscurity. Fortunately, this track is pretty short and by the time I have got around to skipping to the next single it is almost over anyway. It is, however, worth fast forwarding to 'Save Me' which is another song which does credit to Gotye's fantastic voice and is probably the song that is closest to 'STIUTK' so fairly likely to please other fans of that single. It is again another song that becomes even richer after repeated listening.
The final track 'Bronte' is a slow, gentle number although it is perhaps a little too subtle to be the ending to such a varied album. I do like the tone of Gotye's voice - there is something almost hypnotic here- but it is quite a forgettable and bland number, which does seem to be something of a theme throughout much of the album.
I purchased this album on a bit of a whim purely on the strength of the fantastic single 'Somebody That I Used to Know.' Like most impulse buys, this comes with some risks and, in all honesty, had I listened to the album prior to purchase or even just a selection of the tracks within, I probably wouldn't have bothered with buying it.
There are some catchy and unusual tracks hidden within this album but nothing comes close to the genius of 'Somebody That I Used to Know.' The most positive aspect, aside from the repeatedly mentioned fantastic single, is the sheer variety of the musical styles included but there are far too many mediocre forgettable fillers to really prompt me to recommend the album in its entirety.
Summary: I'll admit that I was glad it was over...