on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 16 Sep

Views, update from MM

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | 2 Comments

I think Views will be my record of 2016. The NME’s review was written by someone who gets what the record is about, and said „hip hop’s king of whinge still reigns supreme“. Whinge is quite a funny word though – and I’d argue that whinge is the last thing Views presents us with. Yes, it addresses rains and shadows, millionaire ennui and the tribulations of living the dream – but what we have here is candour, not whinge. It’s something of a genius ability, to delineate the non-positive aspects of inner space without the work being a bellyache – but here it is. The lyrics don’t really make sense out of context (this being Toronto 2016, not being Shakespeare’s sonnets) so I won’t quote any here. The other thing about lyrics, of course, is that it’s their spacing and pitch changes that often imbues the meaning – you have to kind of like be there, y’know? Listen to how the final deployment, for instance of the sub-chorus on „Feel A Way“ is rendered via a sonic degradation effect as if it’s emitting from a discarded cellphone – while fat shards of synth cut in at angles like bits off a falling building. The effect is like so-called ‚forced perspective‘ in a cinema backdrop, except the perspective here is temporal. One moment we’re *in medias res* and then – boom – we’re looking at a faded Polaroid. Complete fucking genius.

„Drake’s sly sense of humour is one of the things that stops his constant moaning becoming unbearable“ said Alexis Petridis in The Guardian’s review. I’d have to agree with this – at one point Drake (or the character’s voice he is mediating) complains that a girlfriend wouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t wait around for him, even though he’d only been off the scene for „the last few months“. Hence the title Views, I guess. You could take things at face value, or you could take the record to be what I take it to be – a work that is about perspectives, not all of them autobiographically based. Also, the record is full of word play – so literality is probably a broken cup here.

The thing I like best about Views, though, is the production. In some ways it is, if not minimal exactly, then juducious. Take the track Too Good – there are only maybe 5 or 6 elements going on here (including what sounds like electric guitar played backwards) but it’s the voice recording that’s the main thing. You could pull it apart though and the acapella would be a listen on its own, as would equally the backing track. But even at its most upbeat, Views has darkness at the edge.


In other news, DJ Mireia Moreorless emailed yesterday. She told me to listen (really listen) to Diamonds On My Windshield. So I said, „Okay I will, yes“. (Hadn’t listened to it in years.) Next day she’s like „what did you think?“. I’m like „I don’t know. It’s like a Raymond Carver short story. You think you’ve got it, then the central point of it moves off someplace else“.

This entry was posted on Freitag, 16. September 2016 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Martina Weber:

    Hadn´t listened to Tom Waits in years, as well. Daydreamlike. Meditations in an emergency.

  2. Ian M:

    Meditations is the best description yet. That’s exactly what it is.

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