Mazzy Star’s best known song, Fade Into You, is not a very complicated track, it hardly ever crosses the acoustic border. Hope Sandoval’s vocals are also pretty steady all over. The structure is simple, the production minimal. Yet maybe it’s just these things that make Fade Into You the perfect soundtrack for that moment we all take once in a while, those few minutes when we just stop. It provides the distance we all need sometimes when looking at our lives. It might be mistaken for a love ballad, but Fade Into You just seems more like an ode to closeness. Lyrics like “I look to you and I see nothing, I look to you to see the truth” are as truthful and cynical as any relationship, no matter what are the circumstances. The demystifying of love is exactly what gives it strength and before happiness there is the warmth of a comforted heart. But then again, I’m really just guessing here, hear for yourself:
Well, unlike most bands I write about in this section, Swedish experiment-pop duo, The Knife, would probably prefer to be ignored. They have the media-phobia of Terrence Malick, but sure enough, they do qualify as excentric geniuses. Just like they don’t care too much (or at all) about promotion, they are really not trying to please anyone else but themselves. Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer create a new, experimental brand of pop, that is as catchy as can be, but still strange and eluding mainstream. Pass This On, from sophmore album, Deep Cuts, will make you understand better what this is all about. The steel-drums hook will make you wonder why does this sound so familiar (it’s a normal reaction to songs you’ll love for the rest of your life), while the voice, the lyrics will conjure a fascinating uncomfortableness, convincing your mind that there is something wrong here, but you can’t help closing your eyes and falling in the melodic whirpool of this weird pop. It’s a rather instinctual review of a song, I know, but that’s the way this Knife ‘cuts’.
Since they first started, Dogstar members knew that this will always be ”that band that Keanu Reeves plays bass for”. (“in his spare time, by the way”). With this in mind, these guys decided to cut the bs and instead of going through all the compromise-rollercoasters of a starting band, they concentrated on the simple pleasure of making music together. They haven’t changed the face of rock’n'roll forever and they do have stuff that one could ignore without making the biggest mistake of one’s life, but there is also music by Dogstar that does the trick: you hear it, you like it, you wanna hear it some more. Enchanted is one the songs that prove this, at least to me. Singer-guitarist Bret Domrose describes their music as “pop-aggressive” and the mentioned song exemplifies. Ok, it might sound like a Danielle Steel kind of rock, played by male models in jeans, and there is a nice nit little guitar solo in the middle part, but somehow it works. And you don’t have to be a Keanu Reeves fan to like it.