Read It And Weary
We're a tad on the bored side, as you might have guessed from our previous advert review. Which will go some way towards explaining why we're going to get agitated by a NY Times music review. Yes, this is one of those petty exercises in utility akin to flinging excreta at a Social Security office, but we'll justify this one on the grounds that we are genuinely perplexed by critic Kelefah Sanneh's choice of words.
It's here, towards, the end of a little trend piece on European singers, where Kelefah's discussing the career of Emiliana Torrini. Rather them, than us, we figure. And then along comes this line:
"In 1999, she released a glimmering, electronics-enhanced album called "Love in the Time of Science," and since then she has appeared on the soundtrack to "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (singing "Gollum's Song"), co-written a hit for Kylie Minogue (the hypnotic "Slow") and toured with the rather unpleasant lounge-fusion act Thievery Corporation."
The first bit of the sentence was perfectly enlightening, since we'd always assumed that Lord of the Rings gig was some kind of comeback or payday for Enya. Oh, it is.
But fast forward to the last bit on bold. Now, you can accuse Thievery Corporation of being a few things, but unpleasant isn't one of them. Unpleasant gets reserved for the likes of Napalm Death, or Slipknot, and definitely to An*l C***.
We've had a fairly unscientific rummage through our iTunes, and while noting the girth of our collection (684 artists), can only really find three of them that could realistically be described as more pleasant than Thievery Corporation. They are Gus Gus, The Orb, and Ezio, the last of which is one of Tony Blair's favourite bands, and a relic of our misspent youth.
We can sort of see what the writer's getting at. In fact we dwelled on it while the 'Corporation, as even their Mums don't call them, were being pumped through Park Avalon yesterday. They can be a tad bland, a crutch for stoners, too cool for their own good. But, O Paper Of Record, you're going to have to explain that rather than chucking in a misleading adjective just before you mention them. It's like saying the "slightly bewildered New York Times" - it needs explaining. That kind of laziness should disqualify you from college music journalism, let alone a paper that believes it has better cultural antennae than the Journal.
That all said, the idea of some ethereal pixie of a singer producing a misguided grindcore collaboration is one to treasure.
The new Enya, or the new Napalm Death? Who can tell?
Anyway, that was our stab at ridiculing the Gray Lady's cultural commissars, you will probably find this one funnier, not to mention a few degrees less tendentious.