Friday, August 21, 2015

Song of the Day #186 - TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me

My mind has changed my body's frame, but God, I like it

More nostalgia songs. The very first "top albums of the year" list that I made (which I think has been wholly lost to time, having been posted only on some defunct forms) had this at #1. Nowadays I think I'd put it second to Ys, but it'd be close. I can remember being at parties in high school and putting this on, and thinking like... this will definitely blow their minds. I was listening to mostly indie rock at the time, and I knew that stuff like The Unicorns weren't prolly gonna appeal to many people, but this? Who couldn't like this? It's just so objectively amazing, how could anyone fail to recognize that?

And I still feel like that! This is one of those songs that always feels like it's at the absolute edge of the knife. Like, every second of the song feels like it suggests another side... a side of deescalation, where the tension built up so far is released. But it just keeps building! It feels impossible again and again, but it manages to sustain that climbing energy! TVotR are masters of this - "Staring at the Sun" is another great example. Speaking of Joanna Newsom, I've also always gotten this feeling from "Go Long", if you want an atypical example. Songs like this seem like they might be dissatisfying on paper, like, Silence with No Knees... the thing you keep waiting for never happens. But nah it actually feels like one of those insane Chilean Falcon combos, where it seems like it should have ended ten times already but it just goes harder and harder. Btw this is also the 200th time I have used a Smash combo analogy to describe music hooray.

Like can you name a single instant in this song that doesn't feel like both the climax of the song thus far and also like it necessitates something further to come? And don't say the big breakdown 2 minutes in, 'cause that's the hypest part yet... slowing the vocals down to half-time and making it a big anthemic singalong. The force and intensity of this song is such that I am willing, no, compelled, to sing along to lyrics about turning into a werewolf, which feels like it ought to be metaphor but nothing really lines up with it. It feels intense enough to actually just be a song about turning into a wolf It's like they took all the best parts of Chuuni energy and combined them with just God-tier, like, literally Radiohead-tier, songwriting and structuring.

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