tremble clef

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Flunk, "See You" (2007)

It's a public holiday here, so it's the perfect time for the first ever Tremble Clef Interactive Write Your Own Blog Entry Day! Start at 1, and then plot your own narrative arc! It's all up to you!!

1. The Norwegian trip-hop act Flunk first came to prominence in 2002 with their debut single, a cover of New Order's "Blue Monday." (Proceed to 2A or 2B.)

2A. The cover was your typical "let's recast New Order as a slowed-down acoustic number" track, indistinguishable from Frente!'s or Devine and Statton's versions of "Bizarre Love Triangle," or Moby's reworking of "Temptation." Meh. Next! (Proceed to 6.)

2B. That reading of "Blue Monday" was an intriguing one... (Proceed to 3A, 3B, or 3C.)

3A. 2002. In the intervening years, Nouvelle Vague has worked the whole "let's cover synthpop tracks in a loungey style!" angle into the ground. (In fact, the've done both "Confusion" and "Blue Monday.") Do we need to hear another 80s track, from New Order or otherwise, redone in an acoustic, martini-swirling style? No. No, we do not. (Proceed to 6.)

3B. ...and made me want to hear more. I'm therefore glad that the band has included a cover of Depeche Mode's "See You" on their new long-player, Personal Stereo. (Proceed to 4.)

3C. ...and since the tactic brought Flunk some measure of success, it makes sense that they should return to it with a cover of Depeche Mode's "See You" on their new long-player, Personal Stereo. (Proceed to 4.)

4. "See You" sounds intentionally rough and a bit grimy, like it was recorded on the street. The opening notes are vaguely electronic, but the feel of the song is largely stripped down; Anja sings the tune slowly while a guitar weeps behind her. (Proceed to 5A, 5B or 5C.)

5A. The result is a bit disconcerting; all the jaunty, frivolous, light-hearted fun of the Depeche original has been stomped out in favor of a unnecesarily anguished reading. (Proceed to 6.)

5B. The song is much more plaintive as a result. If this isn't an especially essential reading of the song, it is at least a novel one. (Proceed to 6.)

5C. The song is much more plaintive as a result -- and additionally reminds us of the curious history of the track. The first single Depeche Mode released after Vince Clark left the group, "See You" found the band at a crossroads. Should they continue, with Martin Gore now handling writing duties, with the fluffy synthpop numbers, or go in a darker direction? Flunk's cover reminds us that, although as originally recorded "See You" seems to opt for the former approach, it is a song that could very well have been done in a way that immediately nudged Depeche down the latter path. (Proceed to 6.)

6. posted by (Your Name Here) at 6:46 PM | 0 comments


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