Album Review: Gotye- Making Mirrors
Many people will buy Making Mirrors on the strength of ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, which deserves all the attention it’s getting and more on top. Others might buy it hoping for Like Drawing Blood Pt II, and it’s hard to imagine either group being too disappointed. Just as rich, cheeky and steeped in pop history and musicality as its predecessor (though it’s more polished, and lacks a little of LDB’s anything-goes eclecticism), and as carefully-constructed and addictive as its breakout track, it should cement Wally de Backer as the oddball-yet-everyman genius of Australian pop.
New fans will, one hopes, accept the genre excursions (like the self-referential dub ‘State Of The Art’, and the downtempo ‘Don’t Worry We’ll Be Watching You’) that sit alongside the more accessible grooves of ‘Easy Way Out’ and ‘I Feel Better’; old ones will have fun pairing and comparing tracks with their sonic and spiritual counterparts on Like Drawing Blood.
First single ‘Eyes Wide Open’, while not universally embraced at first, deserves more attention now. It’s full of wide-open sounds, from the Musical Fence samples buried in the mix to the ethereal pedal steel. And the slightly naff environmental message is carried off thanks to de Backer’s ability to be incredibly eloquent using words of three syllables or less. It’s why ‘Somebody’ and ‘Hearts A Mess’ hold such broad appeal – there are no convoluted metaphors or tortured poesy, just a normal guy with a wonderful voice building fascinating houses for his normal-guy thoughts to live in. “I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough.” A nuanced, relatable moment, simply expressed, set to a melody you can’t get out of your head.
Making Mirrors undoubtedly builds on the template of Like Drawing Blood – but even though it sounds familiar, de Backer makes it feel new.