Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hard Rain (2007) – Shout Out Louds

He thought it about time to confess to her what should have been fairly obvious. But if it was, she had never let on. So he composed a dramatic proclamation of devotion and placed on her car a written potpourri of laconic prose and excerpted Smiths lyrics which invited her to step outside her door at 11:00 p.m. that evening. He would be waiting to elucidate the jumbled mess of passion and stoicism that had so awkwardly come together on paper. The minutes crept slowly toward the designated moment of rendezvous. Finally, he heard footsteps from inside her house descending the stairs. . . .

Piecing together the tragic remnants of a phantom romance, the likes of which was quintessentially glorified in eighties pop culture, “Hard Rain” hits with full force in succinct phrases of profoundness: Adam Olenius mumbles with enough pithiness to qualify as Morrissey’s heir apparent for the aughts. Sharing the same musical sensibilities as The Killers—although closer in spirit to The Cure than the former—and with the anachronistic air of authenticity that informed the music of My Favorite, Shout Out Louds successfully evoke the era of ill-conceived letters scribbled from behind the emboldening uniform of black trenchcoats and Walkmen™, hairspray and eyeliner.

The song’s lively arrangement misrepresents its rueful essence. Olenius culls together tempestuous similes and concrete sensorial impressions to capsulize the pathos of the pivotal moment when an infatuation is professed and consequently rejected with silence. Spectral voices rain down in pelting sheets of remorse as the world begins to collapse around him. Bebban Stenborg interjects with deadpan detachment, perhaps as the rational voice of his psyche, perhaps as the girl vexed by his faux pas. At high volume, the typhoon of guitars that begins to build at 4:28 culminates in one of this decade’s more impressive recorded moments, a maelstrom of inner tumult ensuing from the lapse of judgment, intensifying until it disintegrates into particles of abject failure.

  • Listen to "Hard Rain" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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