Group: Super Admins
Joined: Dec. 1999
||Posted: Dec. 07 2000, 17:36
It's all odd...Mike was doing things in Amarok deliberately to annoy people at Virgin. Part of the effect of it jumping so quickly between themes and ideas is that it's very hard to pick out one segment of it that will worrk on its own, making singles virtually impossible (ok, so some editing could maybe sort that, but I doubt most companies would be bothered to get someone to do that). This is perhaps also partly why it's in one continuous piece, rather than broken into tracks. Things like bursts of guitars coming up in the middle of a theme for seemingly no reason is probably again a sort of part of this - just as the listener is starting to relax, out jumps something that half scares the crap out of them...
It being one piece kind of adds to the "either like it or don't" thing that's attached to it...you either sit and listen to it for a whole hour or you don't listen to it at all.
I think really it's there because Mike wanted to do it (perhaps there was also an influence from Tom Newman there though) and some strange part of his character came through into the music while he was making it...I certainly like it for that reason, but like many other albums of his (and indeed of other artists) for the same reasons...
I see similarities between Amarok and Music from the Balcony...yet many of the fans who hate MFTB love Amarok. It's almost like one gets hyped up, and people take someone else's opinions instead of forming their own (but let me make it clear now...I'm not in any way saying that if you think Amarok is Mike's best work, you can't form your own opinions and have taken someone else's).
Whether it is pretentious or not, and whether it is indeed 'true', 'pure' and whatever other adjectives Mike or anyone else would care to describe it with is open to debate (and a big one at that...). Certainly there are albums out there which to me feel more pretentious than Amarok did...Amarok feels extremely honest in comparison to the music of some artists. Mike being pretentious about it...I don't know...you could call him hypocritical if you were in a nasty mood, maybe, but peoples' ideas change. He'd been using computers fairly heavily in his music since he bought his first Fairlight, so it isn't so much of a suprise that he went back to them fairly quickly after Amarok (although maybe he didn't intend to...). We could also still argue about the effect of computeers on modern music (I'd be tempted to argue that it isn't the computers but the users, but that's something quite different...).
Hmm...so...my conclusion...That TUBULARMAN is right...and that DoomHammer is right as well...make of that what you will...