It is a very polarising film – some critics hate it and decry it as meaningless and incoherent. Others think of it as a very varied tapestry, and a work of art.
I am of the latter group, seeing the film as a complete experience, with all of its various flaws included. The thoughts that flit past you as you watch, and the various connections and interconnections slowly and subtly weaving together… it’s breathtaking.
The soundtrack itself is even more sublime. ‘Kesselring' by Tom Tykwer best captures the spirit of the film, of its various interconnections and moments of deep introspection.
It evokes both a sense of the future, and of the past. It’s very atmospheric.
Apologies for the truncated soundtrack. The version on SoundCloud (I prefer using SoundCloud as my source of sound on Neuepolis) is cut off short. Nevertheless, the 50 seconds snippet still does capture the best parts of the song. I encourage everyone to listen to the song in full, and if possible, watch the film as well (in one go).
Woodkid’s ‘Brooklyn’ is perhaps one of the few exceptions to my mindset of ‘sound and emotions first before lyrics’ in music. The lyrics in the song are so sublime and nuanced.
It’s romantic in both of the two senses - of excessive idealism and of love and wonder.
It captures a facet of modern life, of living in a bustling city with unending experiences. Of introspection. Of life, of love, of happiness, of despair. All these various emotions being wrapped up, merging together, captured and presented in the ultimate imagery of a city, the city. It is both a place and an idea in our minds. A place of inhabitance and a cluster of emotions.
The soft string music humming in the background, combined with the horn letting out a soft melancholic wail and piano keys being played gently. … The subtlety of the use of these instruments makes the prospect of the three instruments being one immediately plausible.
What is life about, in this modern day and age? The never-ending accumulation of wealth and material prospects? Or the pursuit of culture, of knowledge, or most importantly… the pure feeling of happiness? It is neither solely one nor the other, but the two, intertwined.
Lemâitre’s ‘1:18’ is a highly playful song, evoking childlike feelings of optimism and bubbly happiness.
The song starts off with a highly calm melody, before exploding into a frenzy of ‘poppy’ beats. The song is interspersed with moments of introspection and introversion, where the narrator’s calm voice sings and the main track fades into the background.
My Decision For Picking SoundCloud As The Primary Source of Music For This Blog
The reason for my decision to use SoundCloud as the primary source of music for Neuepolis (the music-literary blog, not the band) is quite simple, and can be reduced down to a couple of bullet points.
SoundCloud appears to be fairly stable as a company (it won’t just vanish or be acquired, as opposed to HypeMachine (much as I like it, SoundCloud is the safer pick).
Stability of the audio source is another important consideration as well. YouTube tends to have quite a lot of problem in terms of music being taken down unless they are on the official musician/band’s channel (VEVO brand/channel), or due to the various changing policies of YouTube.
It integrates pretty well into Tumblr (smaller player than a YouTube video and the Spotify player (no longer so, as of the 30th of January, 2014)) and is accessible independently (doesn’t require external clients (e.g. Spotify) to be open).
Miscellaneous: Seeing the audio waves is pretty cool.
Most importantly – I want the music to be immediately playable when my readers(?)/listeners stumble on a particular song review on Neuepolis, without having to have Spotify open, and to have signed up for Spotify.
Fairly neutral ecosystem – artists voluntarily put their music on SoundCloud, for promotional or other purposes, and as such, SoundCloud does not have to pay royalties for it (hence the immediately playable part applies). As such, if Spotify (sadly), Rdio, the new Beats Music, …, closes down, the music will be gone, hence the Neuepolis posts will have to be reworked completely (or removed).
SoundCloud has a web-based auto-pause system. Which means that, if you listen to a song on Neuepolis via the SoundCloud embed player, and you play another song, the first song will pause. Spotify has it as well, but there is the requirement of having to have the client open, which means that the people who do not have access to Spotify (regional restriction, streaming time limit, …) will be left out, which is an undesirable effect.
So that’s that. I’ll possibly review this policy in a years’ time, if Spotify changes its mind about letting people play tracks online (without opening or having their Spotify client open).
Until then, the decision is pretty simple – SoundCloud it is.
Woodkid’s ‘I Love You' is my favourite song from his album 'The Golden Age’.
He really has quite a unique style. In this day and age where the digitisation of music is rampant, the fact that analogue instruments (he tends to use quite a lot of string-based instruments) feature heavily in his songs makes it quite unique.
His songs (with this song being the epitome of this idea) has a very heroic feel to it and evokes so many emotions as the song plays. Sadness, from the loss suggested in the lyrics. Adventure, as the narrator talks about his journey. Wistfulness, and lost love.
The video that accompanies the song (embedded at the top of this post) is masterly done and follows on with the black-and-white, stark landscapes that are featured in his previous videos.