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Miike Snow - 'Black & Blue'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:07 UK time, Sunday, 18 October 2009

Miike Snow

There's something lovely about dance music which sounds like it has been designed by clockwork robots, for people to listen to and think about, rather than shake bits of themselves to and, y'know...NOT think about. It's like meccano machines attempting to map the contours of human emotions, or Pinocchio having a go at rapping, or something.

The Big Pink have that 'Dominos' song - as seen on TV! - which has a similarly thoughtful edge to it. Oh sure there are big dumb riffs, there's foot-tappin' urgency, there's even a terrace-chant chorus - which we should all really spell "dominoes" when singing along - but there's also something just a little bit scientific and reserved at work there too.

(Here's the video. It's basically what Santa does on his days off.)

For this to work, the song has to be slightly too empathic - and therefore non-machiney - to FORCE you to get freaky on the floor, because it understands that you're a busy person, with your own life to lead and a fairly hectic and stressful schedule. Why would it want to harass you into doing something energetic unless you really felt like it?

Which, as far as calls to a partypocalyptic situation go, is hardly 'Bonkers', now is it?

And it's not an unreasonable position to take. Sometimes you just need something to lift the spirits a bit, without someone shouting something stupid in your ear. 'Black & Blue' is just the kind of thing you'd be looking for. It's got ghosty, mournful piano playing doomy dark chords, it's got whispery vocals and Coldplay breakdown sections.

But it also has 'Music Sounds Better With You' verses, and flatulent synths parping away in the background. It's got a party beat and falsetto hipster vocals. It basically wants to rub your shoulders at the end of a long hard day, and whisper something funny in your ear while your shoulders untie.

The aim is to create a kind of mental euphoria from a skilful tweak of your finer feelings, rather than than the rush of endorphins you'd get from throwing your body around like a puppet with elastic strings, or a Pinocci-yoyo, if you'll forgive a pun rock moment.

No? Oh. Sorry...

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: October 19th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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