Gotye’s “Making Mirrors” is official my first pick of 2012.
I’m a bit late to game on this album, seeing as how it was released in the US in December of 2011, but that is neither here nor there.
Originally, I was captivated by the artwork but afraid the music would not quite fit along side it (see Tapes ‘N Tapes – “Outside”). Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised! While the album art seems to be divided into four different but connected worlds, the album also seems to break apart into four different but connected EPs.
The first five tracks play out as a mysterious but dancy collection. Belgian-Australian singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Wouter “Wally” De Backer belts through singles “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Eyes Wide Open” in a vocal style similar to Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump over music that seems to come the depths of a forest or perhaps a new Iron & Wine album.
Tracks six and seven pump up the album’s pop side with the classic upbeat R&B/Soul smash “I Feel Better” and “In Your Light” which feels like Kenny Loggins took a trip down the hipster path.
“State of the Art” and “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” drop the listener off in a spooky ambience, playing on odd sounds, stalking rhythms, and effected vocals.
The final three tracks are the most touching and introspective songs of the lot, taking the listener to a beautiful, Bon Iver type of atmosphere.
While it took me quiet a while to mole-over this album against Nada Surf’s driving pop-rock “The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy,” and Wilco’s iTunes Session, this album feels refreshing and reminds me of the importance of track arrangement.