February 27, 2011

More thoughts on Circus

(More stream-of-consciousness amateur music criticism. This is more of an addendum to my earlier post than anything else.)

One of life's best surprises is when something turns out to become even better or at least cooler on the second go-round. More than applying to mind-bender cinema classics like The Matrix or anything by Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky ever, it seems this can also apply to certain rock albums.

I was genuinely surprised that on my second playthrough of Circus in a while, "Minsan" actually brought me close to tears. Which is really saying something, because it's a more upbeat ditty than my usual sad bastard fare. I'd even dare say that "Minsan" has brought me closer to tears than any Christina Aguilera ballad ever. (I admit it: I think "Beautiful" is nice on paper but sucks donkey balls stylistically. "The Voice Within" did come a smidge close though. Why am I talking about Christina Aguilera again?)

Perhaps what really struck me the most about "Minsan" was the refreshing fact that it's not a song about romantic love, which I know dang near nil about. Instead it's a song about friendship, which I do happen to relate to more on a personal, intimate level. If you're a Pinoy and you didn't shed even the smallest tear at the line "dahil minsan tayo ay naging tunay na magkaibigan...", then you have no heart. Well, that or you're rocking something fiercely weird in your brain chemistry right now. That's fine. I've been there.

What else?

I noted that "Sembreak" and "Wishing Wells" fall on divergent ends of the Cute Songs Spectrum, meaning these songs are both precious (in the "aww, how adorable" sense) but in their own completely different ways. Also, "Wishing Wells" made me flash back to Tangled just now. I wonder why.

"With A Smile" is still resplendent. "Alkohol" is still funny, and oddly apropos given my friend's recent dabbling in commode-centric poetry. ("Doo doo doo, doo doo doo, doo doo DOO!" Oh crap, getting flashbacks to last week's Glee episode again.)

I'm also noting how both "Sembreak" and "Kailan" utilized the twist ending. The difference is that in "Kailan" the ending was a genuine surprise, while the "Sembreak" ending was more subtly foreshadowed. I already figured the persona was addressing some very dear friend (lover?) who was far away at the moment, I just didn't guess that by "far away" the song specifically meant "migrated to Canada."

It must be massively unfun being the subject of "Magasin."

Odd that "Butterscotch" reminds me melodically of "Wishing Wells" in a vague way. Except at the halfway point, where it sounds like something else which is at the top of my head but am having trouble recalling right now. (Not rap. Spoken word? The only spoken word anything I know of is Peter And The Wolf and Serj Tankian's "Jeffrey, Are You Listening?") And the arbitrary number of Our Fathers prescribed in the hypothetical confessional was a hoot.

"Sa Wakas" in theory should be pure filler throwaway material, the sort of thing you imagine the guys just slapped together for the sake of adding more wacky bonus stuff to the album. I find "Sa Wakas" a serviceable standalone song: catchy, fun, even a bit danceable. (Rumba danceable, not "Like A G6" danceable.)

Let's finish this. I love the hard rock intro of "Wating." This pretty much proves what I had always suspected, that I'm a sucker for grungy guitar riffs and s***. Oh, hey, is that slap bass I hear or just regular vanilla bass? (The sum total of my knowledge of applied bass guitar in rock music comes from endless hours of Flea and Brian Yale. And that one episode of The Simpsons that had Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello in it.)

No comments:

Post a Comment