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Rosa Blackstar

Posts: 710 Member Since: 19 January, 2014

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Mar 13 16 10:12 AM

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While I'm listening to “Drone Bomb Me”, again and again, I need to share some of my feelings. Almost two years ago, I was in Madrid to see Swanlights. I was with some good friends and we met Anohni near the theater. That day she told us she was working on a new album, which would be very different from her previous music and it could disappoint many of her fans. After that she told the same thing in several interviews.

Well, I can tell now that she was very wrong. I speak for myself, of course, but also for all the comments I'm reading about it. It was very difficult to keep surprising after her 4 brilliant albums, EPs and so many great collaborations. A perfect set of works, where it seemed everything was said and she couldn't add anything more: Love, gender, sorrow, death, life, feminism, ecocide, and so on...  Lots of artists would repeat these successful songs and its topics, just with some small changes, an album after another. But not Anohni. She wanted to evolve, a true change, explore her possibilities and always moving forward. We only know two songs from “Hopelessness” at the moment, but I can say that she has achieved her goal. She has surprised me and moved me to tears again, as she has done since her first album.

I must confess that I was a bit puzzled by the idea of a dance/electronic music album, but I trusted her and she hasn't disappointed me at all. Electronic music is there, softly embracing the powerful voice of Anohni. The dance rhythm is also in “4 Degrees” (not so much in “Drone Bomb Me”), but right now I can't think about dancing, I just can listen. That's not music for a nightclub, it is something else!

The announced sharp teeth are in those two songs, of course, but also her deep tenderness. Her anger is channeled through the love for animals in “4 Degrees” and the love to children in “Drone Bomb Me”. Both are awfully sad songs, but so beautiful at the same time! I think her biggest leap forward has taken place in the political aspect.  Anohni clearly expresses her rage and she doesn't just accuse to main perpetrators of wars and ecocide, she also refers to her own responsibility and ours too. I can't stop thinking how will be the lyrics of songs like "Obama", "Execution" or “Violent Men"... All “Hopelessness” titles are so intriguing!

And what can I say about the video? It's absolutely heartbreaking! It’s also dark and minimalist, because the topic doesn't allow frivolities. Naomi looks gorgeous, but what really matters is the expression on her face and her heartfelt tears. Anohni's voice coming out from her lips gives me an indefinable but pleasant feeling; it’s like things are fitting perfectly. The choreography seems to me like some kind of landscape after a bombing, the dancers evoke me wounded bodies, amputees...

“Drone Bomb Me” is unfortunately a sad reality nowadays, when so many human beings are bombarded by these drones. They are fleeing their homes and are thrown into the Mediterranean Sea to die in front of our touristic beaches. And when the "lucky ones" reach the shore, are locked up in concentration camps where they are dying of hunger, cold and disease, neglected by governments of this civilized Europe where they ask for political asylum. I am ashamed of being partly to blame!!!

You could analyze so much! I'm not a music critic, and my English is very poor for all I want to say... To summarize, Anohni has done it again! She is a genius! 

I'm really looking forward to see Hopelessness live! Barcelona and London are in my dreams right now.


 

Last Edited By: Rosa Blackstar Mar 13 16 10:19 AM. Edited 1 time

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Ricardo Babooshka

Posts: 155 Member Since:20 October, 2015

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Mar 15 16 4:05 AM

oh rosa! thanks! great article!

i can't add too much to what you wrote. i can understand anohni's caution towards her new music and her "classical following", but i think that any open-minded listener will immediately remark that, despite the change of the wrapping, anohni's sensitivity and spirit is still there, and intact or in any case enhanced. and, of course, as anohni kindly said in her interview in this forum, the old records are forever! so if any listener doesn't agree with this new change of direction, one can always listen to the old albums over and over again.

and her voice! oh her voice! she keeps singing better and better each year! i can't really explain this, but the quality of her voice wraps me up and rocks me as if i were a baby.

i think it's interesting what you say about electronic music. we know that anohni's a fan of the knife and other electronic musicians, so this doens't same as such a radical departure after all. and i think that is a perfect match for the theme of "reality" she's persuing here. i don't know, there seems to be a lot of electronic and dance song, specially those sung by feminine artists, that, behind the initial and presumed layer of fun and shallowness, entails a deep sense of despair and, well, hopelessness. i'm thinking about Gloria Gaynor, of course, and more contemporary artists such as Fever Ray, Róisín Murphy, Goldfrapp, FKA Twigs, Grimes, Robyn, even Years & Years. And of course don't get me started on Portishead, M.I.A., Laurie Anderson, Björk or Yoko Ono. All recognized and "pop" artists with electronic elements on their albums.

i love your comments on the video, as well. i haven't thought about that.

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Ricardo Babooshka

Posts: 155 Member Since:20 October, 2015

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Mar 15 16 4:32 AM

I would also like to add the contradiction I feel inside due to the nature of the lyrics. Their content is horrendous, but at the same time beautifully sung, so I feel kinda funny for wanting to listen to the song over and over again

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Rosa Blackstar

Posts: 710 Member Since:19 January, 2014

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Mar 15 16 5:34 PM

Thanks Ricardo! Very kind of you, but I don't dare to call this an article! As I titled it, they are just thoughts coming out from my heart. And thank you for improving it with your accurate contributions. I agree on everything you've added. And perhaps I haven't highlighted enough the quality of Anohni's voice. It's in wonderful shape!!! Powerful and sweet at once. You have the feeling she has the vocal cords wrapped in velvet. I can't compare that voice with any other in the world. It's no wonder that so often it's defined like "an otherworldly voice." It's really unique! 

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