The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Colleen Green: I want to grow up (Hardly Art, 2014)

El segundo trabajo de la californiana Colleen Green nos muestra, efectivamente, a una Colleen mucho más madura, probablemente a todos los niveles, no tan sólo el musical: el álbum ya se abre con un trallazo de Pop de guitarras punzantes y espíritu noventero: I want to grow up, el corte que da título al álbum.
En el disco, además, nos vamos a encontrar con una evolución lógica de su sonido: del intimismo Noise de su primer trabajo, en éste nos toparemos con una banda hecha, fruto de la colaboración de amigos como Jake Orrall (Jeff the Brotherhood). Los temas están mucho más elaborados, mucho más horneados y sin duda saboreados. Aunque por momentos nos encontremos con las cajitas de ritmo y el minimalismo sonoro más cercao a momentos anteriores (Deeper than love, Whatever I want).
Las influencias sonoras que más fácilmente podría reconocer son las del Pop de guitarras de los noventa, el Punk vía Ramones, y aquel movimiento de las College Radios (Black Babies, Rem, Pixies, Breeders…).
Tv y Pay attention son los dos pilares en los que I want to grow up se sustenta: dos cortes impresionantes en los que resumir todo ésto de lo que hablo: Intensidad, mensajes sencillos y efectivos, guitarrazos y melodías adictivas. Things that are bad for me, Wild one, I want to grow up, Some people, Grind my teeth son las acompañantes idóneas.
Porque ése es otra de las grandes bazas de Colleen: su capacidad de sintetizar elementos claves a la hora de construir preciosas canciones Pop. El resultado era, consecuentemente, un trabajo como I want to grow up, un disco que a fuerza de sencillo, se deja querer con extrema facilidad.


“Green’s got a knack for songwriting. While the Ramones taught us all that we only need a few chords to make an endless number of perfect pop songs, most bands that have followed that model to the letter don’t have the ear for hooks, structure, or wordplay that their heroes did. Green does. She is also extremely effective at manipulating the studio to get the hidden depths of her seemingly simple songs—the sharks, jellyfish and other prehistoric monsters beneath the sunny surface of the beach waves—to become evident.
“Deeper Than Love”, for instance, is an existential meditation on the human capacity for connection and disconnection. Driven by heavily processed bass, a metronomic drum machine, and a twinkling, haunting guitar melody, Green’s soft voice, doubled, asks persistently: “Will I find a love that lasts as long as my life or will I die before ever becoming a wife? And I’m wondering if I’m even the marrying kind. How can I give you my life when I know you’re just gonna die?” It is intensely claustrophobic, the kind of stream of mundane self-reflective horror that we all run away from by tapping at our phones or flipping channels. Then it turns in on itself, Green’s voice nearly a whisper as she recounts the reasons she holds potential partners at arm’s length: “‘Cause I’m shitty and I’m lame and I’m dumb and I’m a bore/ And once you get to know me you won’t like me anymore.” The coda, repeated, a shiver in the spine, guitar and synth spiraling around it: “Further than fantasy, deeper than love ever could be.” The fear of intimacy triumphs over the fear of death.
Green isn’t complacent to just identify her problems and stare them calmly in the face, though. On the title track and the twin stars that are “Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 1)” and “Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 2)”, she rhetorically kicks herself in the butt to take responsibility for her actions, whether that be getting on a proper schedule or getting away from a boyfriend who brings out the worst in her, despite her acknowledgment that her anxiety drives her bad behavior. She doesn’t just want to grow up—she is growing up, and she’s doing it in elegantly wry, acerbic, hooky pop style. Her blasé delivery might seem impenetrable at first, but there is warmth and wit to her work that rewards those who are patient enough to hear its message” (Pitchfork)

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[spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/6dnAvpFf6ogiFmB7vw7aqt]

13 marzo, 2015 Posted by | Colleen Green | Deja un comentario

Colleen Green: Sock it to me (Hardly Art, 2013)

Colleen Green representa algo así como el triunfo del DIY, si por triunfo entendemos el fichar por una independiente digamos que de las importantes, y ver reflejado tu trabajo en un disco grande, eso sí, sin perder ni un ápice de su creatividad, de su independencia ni de su manera de hacer las cosas.
Green continúa elaborando sus temas desde ese universo particular que es el dormitorio de su casa. Con la ayuda de su caja de ritmos, de sus guitarras y de sus temas sencillos pero efectivos. Éstos son pequeños caramelos no demasiado ácidos ni demasiado edulcorados. Contienen la esencia justa de las buenas canciones. En Pitchfork las relacionan de alguna manera con los Ramones, y no me extraña (aunque también con Beat Happening y con Blink 182). Pequeños desarrollos con la ambientación justa para hacer de esta colección de canciones un pequeño libreto donde podrás encontrar “the melodic sensibility and lyrical themes of 60s girl groups– good boyfriends (“When He Tells Me”), bad boyfriends (“Darkest Eyes”) and mean girls at school (“Every Boy Wants a Normal Girl”). But while the first wave of girl group music was a profession of collectivity and shared wisdom, Green’s music is proudly solo, the product of one singular, isolated person. Not that it bothers her. About a minute-and-a-half into the album, on the infectious, wound “Only One”, she engages in a multi-tracked call-and-response chant with herself. “Oh yeah/ Uh-huh/ Oh god/ I really love my boyfriend,” she sings, and then plays her own backing singer: “She really loves her boyfriend.” In Green’s solitary bedroom-pop universe, loneliness isn’t a source of sadness so much as aesthetic choice and, occasionally, a well-executed punch line” (Pitchfork)
Un precioso álbum de Pop con mayúsculas, que se oye de un tirón pero que invariablemente tienes que volver a escuchar porque con pocas escuchas no vas a cogerle el gusto a estos temas. Y te advierto que merecen muy mucho la pena.

On her debut album for Hardly Art, Sock It to Me, the Oakland-based one-woman band Colleen Greencomes off like a darker, more complex version of Best Coast. Like that band’s Bethany CosentinoGreenloves weed, worships the Ramones, and writes simple, guitar-heavy songs about boyfriends and how to find/keep them, but there’s more depth to Green‘s songs and a much weirder, harder-to-pin-down aspect to them that makes her work more satisfying. While the record is mostly filled with uptempo, happy rockers like “When He Tells Me,” “Yr So Cool,” and “Number One” (a bopping cover of a track by fellowRamones lovers the Queers) that have power chords, thumping drum machine patterns, and hooks sharp enough to pop eardrums, there are also tracks like “Close to You” and the super-catchy “Time in the World” that dial back the guitars in favor of prominent basslines and humming synths, and have a well-constructed and moody atmosphere that shows how Green has a mastery over the limited array of tools she chooses to use. So limited, in fact, that the drum machine and synths sound like they still have the original settings, but thanks to how catchy the songs are (and the earnest passion in the words and her voice), it works very well. The only song that falls a little short is the overlong, under-written title track, but it’s a passing discomfort that is fixed by the machine-driven doo wop ballad (“Darkest Eyes”) that follows. Green may not be a sonic wizard, and her songs may cover familiar topics in a familiar way, but she fills the album with songs you’ll be humming to yourself all day long, adding to mixes, and sharing with friends who are into weird pop-punk, and that’s what’s most important in the end” (All Music)

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14 mayo, 2013 Posted by | Colleen Green | Deja un comentario

   

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