Ra Ra Riot // Beta Love // 18.03.12 // Barsuk Records
MADE-UP REVIEW CONSTRUCT 1: Ooh, I really like this!
MADE-UP REVIEW CONSTRUCT 2: Are you joking me?
MURC1: No, not at all! It's cool. It's sprightly, jangly, upbeat, got a kind of an electro-indie-meets-Maroon 5-fronted-by-someone-who-sounds-a-bit-like-Robbie-Williams vibe! It's fun.
MURC2: Well, I suppose if you think that "an electro-indie-Maroon-5-fronted-by-someone-who-sounds-a-bit-like-Robbie-Williams" is something to celebrate, as opposed to something you'd rather plunge a spoon into your ear than listen to, then yeah that's a good thing.
MURC1: I take it you don't like it then?
MURC2: No. In fact, I fucking hate it. I hate the too-clean production, which sounds like it's had all of the life completely processed out of it. I hate that mid-tempo electro-pop sound. I hate the overly-mannered falsetto vocals, which manage to make the occasionally interesting lyrics sound simultaneously pretentious and completely fucking throwaway. I hate-
MURC1: Hold on, it's my turn now.
MURC2: Oh, OK. Sorry.
MURC1: I like that style of production. It's crisp and clean, the tunes are nicely arranged. It's got some nice synth sounds, some interesting kind of electronic xylophone-type noises, some well-placed strings...
MURC2: Strings. The last refuge of the out-of-ideas pop scoundrel...
MURC1: Let me guess, if it's not Eleanor Rigby then it's nothin' maate?
MURC2: Well I suppose if Wonderwall still brings a tear to your eye then adding strings to a pop tune is the equivalent of Bowie moving to fucking Berin. Excuse me for asking a bit more from music in space year 2013.
MURC1: Where were we?
MURC2: You were just about to tell me why the wretched singer deserves anything more than a kick in the bollocks and immediate and permanent blacklisting from the music industry.
MURC1: Oh yeah. Well, yeah. I like the singing. It's heartfelt, and it's fun, and yeah the lyrics are occasionally a bit silly, but God, if you're going to condemn something for silly lyrics then you pretty much have to dismiss all pop music ever written. The singer's got good range...
MURC2: So has Mika. But I'd still sooner drown him in wet cement than listen to his godawful music.
MURC1: You're just going to shit on everything I say, aren't you?
MURC2: Sorry. I'm just not in the mood for this sprightly-oh-look-at-me-quirky-happy-comedy-getting-to-know-you-sweet-shop-montage bullshit. It's like having one of those manic pixie dream girls from a shitty indie romance vomiting rainbow-coloured yoghurt all over you, while Darwin Deez freestyles in the background.
MURC1: Well I like it. And people like me will like it.
MURC2: Well I hate it. And people like me will also hate it.
MURC1: But which group is right?
MURC1 and MURC2 (looking through the screen, directly into the eyes of the reader): YOU DECIDE.