Gotye – Making Mirrors
by Suzie Conway (Communications), published January 10th 2012
Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!
Rock and pop flourish on Gotye’s highly anticipated American release of Making Mirrors. Multi-instrumentalist Wally De Backer is the genius behind Gotye, creating a sound much larger than himself. Five years since his previous release “Like Drawing Blood,” it becomes clear why De Backer waited so long.
“Making Mirrors” and “Easy Way Out” are short and sweet numbers to start off the album. The first is a shoe-gaze track that somehow artfully meanders at just one minute long, whereas the second is a pure burst of retro rock. These act as quick stepping stones to the one-two punch of “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Eyes Wide Open.” The former, featuring emerging Australian singer Kimbra, became the longest running #1 song in Australia in over a decade and has been enjoying a whirlwind of success internationally. “Eyes Wide Open” is a bit of a rumination on fear, using the metaphor of “walking the plank.”
Setting Gotye apart is the sheer variety of influences that carefully craft each note. “I Feel Better” is reminiscent of Gotye’s previous hit “Learnalilgivinanlovin,” dripping with so much Motown-style soul one would half-expect a cameo from Martha & The Vandellas or The Temptations. And if DNA could be carefully extracted from Wham! and Hall & Oates, the result would be the almost-too-cheerful “In Your Light.”
The backend of the album is a natural decrescendo from the highs of the middle section, though it doesn’t quite match up lyrically or creatively to the high standard Gotye sets in the album’s other songs. It acts as a cool-down lap around a track: it’s a necessary and gratifying end, but not the highlight of the run.
Arguably the best aspect of Making Mirrors is the music videos, which add so much to the meaning and emotions conveyed. “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” as one of the less memorable songs is amplified by the creepy dystopian animated music video accompanying it. Gotye tiptoes through the song, but with the addition of the video, touches upon the fear of Big Brother. “Eyes Wide Open” is a trippy, unnerving and alien-filled adventure across a desolate planet, and “Somebody That I Used to Know” takes a beautiful, if minimalist approach at charting the course of a romance. About half of the songs on the album have official music videos, creating definitive and satisfying story arcs. The result of Making Mirrors is a cohesive and ambitious work that concludes 2011 on a high note.
Recommended Tracks: Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra), Eyes Wide Open, I Feel Better