55.) Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. (2008)
I absolutely hated Deerhunter's breakthrough record, Cryptograms. Chalk it up to personal preference, but to me Cryptograms was a mean-spirited record. It was cold and I felt like Bradford Cox didn't want me around. It was as if he was actively daring me to like this music and as it turned out I flinched. It felt like a record that people said they liked but truthfully listened to a few times and then shelved. It was really cool for a time to like Cryptograms.
So, imagine my surprise when Deerhunter released Microcastle along with its companion piece Weird Era Cont. and I loved it. There were melodies! These were pop songs. Yeah, they were a bit fuzzed out, but I could spot them. I could sift them out, something I couldn't (or maybe didn't want to) do with Cryptograms.
To be honest, Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. did not make me revisit Cryptograms, so I don't know maybe they're not so different. I couldn't tell you. Maybe I'm totes wrong about Cryptograms, but I've made my piece with it. There just aren't enough hours in the day, you know?
Microcastle - which I can't even believe I gave a chance - has these moments of pure pop bliss. "Never Stop" and "Little Kids" and "Nothing Ever Happened" are just flawless songs. Songs that I actually like. Songs that I want to revisit over and over again. In fact, almost all of Microcastle is that way. Microcastle was never a chore to listen to.
Neither was Weird Era Cont. Released in tandem with Microcastle (my CD version has both of them) Weird Era Cont. was far from some directionless extras disc. It played like a fully formed record, a little bit more art-damaged and experimental than Microcastle, but every bit as good. "Vox Humana" cribs the melody from The Ronettes' "Be My Little Baby" and turns it into this spooky, PJ Harvey esque moment. I probably should hate it, but I don't. I actually think I've spent more time with Weird Era Cont. than Microcastle which probably proves that I should have given Cryptograms more of a chance. I don't know. Maybe the more off-kilter Weird Era Cont. was easier to swallow when paired with the poppier Microcastle. Had Weird Era Cont. been it's own disc maybe I would have hated it. Or maybe tastes just change...
Yeah. I'm going with that.
Posted by Pat Driscoll