Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway / Bliss Out v. 18


Aarktica is this guy named Jon DeRosa who thinks of himself as a composer. I hate composers. And I’m sure he thinks this is an album because he managed to slide out seven tracks of ambienty song-type things with occasional vocals. But just 41 minutes does not an album make, and this very lengthily-titled thing proves that about seven different ways.

Exhibit A: “Aura Lee,” the first song, which takes way too long to talk about the eponymous chick; they almost get it right with some of the guitar stuff at the three-minute mark, but by then we’ve already heard about angels and falling snow, and any song that has both those things in it automatically sucks. Exhibit B: “You’re Landlocked, My Love,” which starts out with those little squelchy ticky-tacky beats you can find just lying around in the streets these days, and then “progresses” to being second-rate modern-era Eno with static thrown in. He actually sings the title phrase as part of the song, which takes it down another notch, if you can believe that. (I couldn’t.) Exhibit C: “Happy Anyway,” is… ah, hell, who cares? By then, my lady friend had taken the disc out of the player, saying “Jesus Christ what was that shit?”

I tried to tell her that I was actually getting into it, that Aarktica might well have a good sense of melody and harmony, and that as experimental drone pseudo-classical CDs go this was pretty freakin’ good. I wanted to say that I really kinda dug “Songs for a Free Williamsburg” and “Nostalgia = Distortion.” But Hank doesn’t argue with the ladies, and knows better than to try to argue FOR albums like these when the game’s on the line. So I chucked this disc and put on some Marvin Gaye.

You’ll probably want to do that, too. Unless you’re a “composer” yourself. In which case no power on earth can save you.

Darla Records: http://www.darla.com

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