Friday, December 4, 2009

revisited: musical exhaustion

todays p-fizzle review of OOIOO's new effort begins with a paragraph talking about their previous album.

"Japanese all-female group and Boredoms offshoot OOIOO's fifth album, 2006's Taiga, holds a more than respectable score of 78 on Metacritic, but it split Pitchfork listeners. The percussion heavy, often amelodic beast came off as needlessly difficult and even lazy to some staffers, yet Dominique Leone claimed it to be, in so many words, the easiest entry point in the OOIOO catalogue. I don't begrudge either extreme viewpoint: OOIOO's output is divisive for the simple reason that the band has a unique capacity to both wow and disappoint."

on one side, someone says that Taiga is a good place to start if you're interested in liking OOIOO. the other side finds the album "needlessly difficult". both views are cast as "extreme" and the difference is split, earning the new album a 7.4.

contemporary political journalism usually acts like this: describe two opposing positions as opposed, and treating each as 50/50 true, since there are two ides.

but more relevant to my topic is the idea that any music can be "needlessly difficult." "difficult", we've been over many times around these parts. "needlessly" is a new twist for me. as if the album were a confusing legal document, a student loan collection letter, or a health insurance form.

1) it's music. it has no purpose. it's ALL needless.

2) listening to music is not hard. OOIOO demand nothing more of their listeners than does taylor swift.

3) if you don't like an album, the reason simply is NOT that the album is difficult. because that's like saying you don't like a meal because it's furious.

4) and finally, to call an album "lazy" because YOU find it too "difficult" to sit perfectly motionless and listen to it is a new height of absurd pot-kettle-ism.

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