Gotye - Making Mirrors
(eleven: a music company)
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and ARIA award winner Gotye (pronounced "gore-ti-yeah") has released his third album, Making Mirrors, to surprisingly popular acclaim for a Melbourne indie-alternative rocker.
First gracing the music scene in 2001, Gotye (real name Wally De Backer) has since gained popularity with his previous two albums, the independently released Board Face and Like Drawing Blood, and a cover compilation called Mixed Blood.
Making Mirrors is probably as diverse as his previous albums, with some of the tracks - such as "State of the Art" - having little relation to the others. However, despite this diversity all the tracks are a gorgeous demonstration of Gotye’s talent for making beautiful music.
Upon its release on 19 August 2011, the lead single from Making Mirrors received great press for such a comparatively little-known artist. The track "Eyes Wide Open" from the album was released mid-October 2010, and received good press, gaining number 27 on Triple J’s Top 100 of 2010. The newest single, "Somebody That I Used To Know", featuring NZ-born Kimbra climbed amazingly on the ARIA charts, going on to reach 4 x Platinum since its release.
The cover art, lyrics booklet and all artwork on the album, including handwritten titles, were done by Gotye himself. The cover art and album title were inspired by a painting done by his father in the 1980s, which he rediscovered under piles of old newspapers and bills in his parents' barn. The artwork was then edited and recoloured in Photoshop to create the album art and cover.
This album is a whirl of synth and almost-pop melody, with some of the tracks containing achingly beautiful yet humble sounds, like "Bronte", or the smash-hit single "Somebody That I Used to Know", which truly deserves its quadruple platinum rating. The entire album sings of retrospective questions, reflected in the title Making Mirrors and the asymmetrically flipped cover artwork.
Each song has its own gorgeous quality. "Save Me" is a track that resonates with its poppy melody, but which is easily recognisable for its sentimental tone. "Easy Way Out", probably one of the more driving songs on the album, swings on dynamics from soft, almost crooning verses to a racing and rollicking chorus of: "Wearing me out / (All this) / hanging around / (It just starts) / Getting me down, / (‘till I’m just) / Looking for an easy way out", a true call to apathy if there ever was one.
"Bronte", the last track on the album, ends on a promise: "We will be with you / when you’re leaving. / We will be with you / when you go. / We will be with you / and hold you till you're quiet / it hurts to let you go." This is a song written for some friends of Gotye's who were saying goodbye to a family pet, and is the most heart-wrenchingly sweet track on the album.
Easily my favourite song is "Somebody That I Used to Know", if only for the pining regret and angst inherent in the title. Kimbra’s input on the track is a reflective response to the cries of "But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough", a stunningly hard-hitting line for a song that plays on such high rotation. The video for this song depicts both Gotye and Kimbra painted in coloured shapes, similar to the style of the album artwork.
Tracks "Eyes Wide Open", "Bronte" and "State of the Art" have animated video clips to accompany them, with "Eyes Wide Open" being produced by PictureDRIFT and animated and directed by Brendan Cook - the same studio responsible for Gotye’s previous filmclip success, "Heart’s a Mess". "Bronte" was directed and animated by Ari Gibson from Mechanical Apple, and "State Of The Art" by Greg Sharp and Ivan Dixon at Rubber House.
The dedications on the back page of the lyrics booklet end with "I am privileged to be surrounded by such amazing people. Love, Wally." - a truly endearing testament to this accidental artist’s down-to-earth temperament.
All the tracks on Making Mirrors are excellent tangents on their own, but there is no continual line of reference for the album. The somewhat scattered songs do not flow. Despite this, the album is unarguably good: a beautiful mish-mash and comely offering that I imagine will become a favourite for many.
4.5 out of 5
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