Skip to main content

Song vs. Song: CRUEL WORLD Y'ALL

In the second installment of "Song Versus Song" where I unfairly set up songs to duke it out based on the merit of their name and pretty much nothing else, we have Phantogram up against Lana Del Ray. 

If this was really happening, I'd petition hard for some nice femslash fan fiction about Sarah and Lana. WHAT I BLEED RED BLOOD JUST LIKE THE REST OF YOU!

But really.

Really. 




Some background for the plebes: Lana Del Rey is an immensely popular American singer-songwriter beloved by edgy women and gay men in their teens to late 20s. I think her zenith was really a few years ago, but I am sure she'll have another surge of popularity at some point. She's talented!

And Phantogram is a fun indie band that specializes in an electronic sound that is almost like a groovier Portishead. Their music has a lot of throwbacks to hip-hop, which is also a lot of fun. Plus, they've made music with Big Boi of Outkast fame, which is AWESOME.


Any more context that you'd like - I invite you to use our good old "Do No Evil" friend, Google.

"Cruel World" by LDR is kind of a swan song. It's the sort of schtick LDR is renowned for; it's smoky, it's bitter, it's about heartbreak. That really terrible feeling after a bad break-up when you realize you should have not shared so much with that person because they weren't willing to hold space for you. If this sounds like I'm reflecting on something, yes, yes I am. 

I learned recently "Ultraviolence" is considered the pumpkin-latte-sipping, Crocs-wearing sibling in the LDR family. Well, let me out myself by saying "Ultraviolence" is one of my favorite works of her. One listen and I want to start talking to someone about "Infinite Jest" over craft beer. 


It's definitely weaker in an artistic sense than her most recent works - LDR seems to be on a really interesting creative bender lately and I wish I could appreciate it more, I fullheartedly do. But I don't because it isn't clicking with me. Although her latest single is almost fragile in its beauty.

MEANWHILE, "Cruel World" by Phantogram ... will destroy you. That song isn't playing games. 

Sarah offered in an interview that it's about hope, and the music itself would convey that message. But the lyrics are insanely abrasive and cathartic, and to me it's when someone deus ex machinas out of a situation that is no longer serving them.

Case in point, I heard "Cruel World" for the first time after I went through a "break up." The person in question had decided I was no longer good for them, and honestly, she did me a favor because the situation had become very toxic and hurtful. As in, this is something that is going to haunt me for a long time (although I've ridden out the truly tough parts). She walked away from me; it wasn't vice versa. So when I heard "Cruel World" I immediately imagined it as her message to me. And that might have been a fucked up thing for me to do at that time, but I think it was actually pivotal in me healing. Like, I played this track on repeat for weeks because it resonated with me. Eventually, I got to this point where I was able to see I was not the toxic person - she had her issues, too. Thus, I reclaimed the song about my comeuppance, which was basically me living well and learning from my mistakes. I guess to write that down it seems simple, but it was an emotional hell. It helped though that I had a baby guinea pig to focus on and made a friend in a similar situation. Plus, you know, I had my job to keep my mind occupied. Nights were hard for a long time, though. I also started dating again, which was definitely not great for that year (sans one Finnish woman) but seems to have hit a nice spot.




So, for me, I'd pick Phantogram. Theirs is powerful, and Sarah has teased they're making new music (which I imagine will be out fairly soon.). LDR is down a certain thematic rabbithole, but some of her stuff seems promising. Case in point, this track:


Next week I will be back and possibly comparing No Doubt to the Velvet Underground, which is a thing no one should probably ever do, but #YOLO!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Chang-E" - Emmy the Great (new album out 10/9)

Emmy the Great drops her new album tomorrow on Bella Union - the fastest album she says she's ever created.  "April /月音" was completed after a trip to to her birth city Hong Kong in 2017. In early 2018, Emmy the Great made "April /月音" in a two-week period in Brooklyn - which was delayed for release until now because of her maternity leave. After recording this album, Emmy moved (for good) back to Hong Kong.  Since her original trip to Hong Kong, things have become quite tumultuous there. Said Emmy. "I’ll never know why the city called me back, but I know what it gave me. In return, I want to give it this album. That Mid-Autumn, nobody could have predicted what was to come, neither the atomization that began with the anti-Extradition Law protests in June 2019, nor the struggle for democracy that continues now, through the Covid-19 pandemic. To witness your birth city in its greatest moment of need is a powerful, humbling event, and I know I watched Hong Kong

Give JR a Break

Recently, I've been reading some sites that have criticized James Roday, the lead actor on the USA show PSYCH for an apparent weight gain. But you know what? Who gives a flying fizzle stick if James Roday is slightly larger than he was 4 years ago. Apparently, it wasn't enough to scare away his current girlfriend/ co-star Maggie Lawson. (Who is one hell of a Catch!) And NO they are not engaged. That seems to be nothing more than a rumor, but there is a very high chance of it happening in the near future. Anyway, as long as PSYCH continues to entertain I don't mind about James Roday's waist. He, and Dule Hill, and Corbin Bernson too, can eat all the fried broccoli they want. The last episode of PSYCH wasn't so smashing, but I don't blame it on dietary issues. QATFYG: Are you keeping up with Psych? And who is hotter, James Roday or Maggie Lawson? (Trick Question but idk why) PS: If you have heard any more news on Roday and Lawson becoming Roday-Lawso

Lilith help me, I want to stake the second episode of True Blood!

Episode 2: Authority Always Wins Well here we are again, time to sink our twin hard-ons into the new episode! Before I get into the thick of things, again I must let you know HERE BE MASSIVE SPOILERS. And I’m going to recap this by the characters instead of a timeline account, because not much happens in this episode.