Everything. Everything that you want to think that they are smart social pundits. They dress themselves in Devo-inspired functional style, often having navy blue tracksuits; they give feelings with a displaced brain and snark. Armageddon prefers them, as do machines, and on their data they’ve placed themselves as outsiders probing into participants as wide as “the human condition” “technology” and “society.” For their latest album, Raw Data Feel, the band is blank, teenager-on-weed musings make a mockery with that snooty size.
Raw Data Feel is Everything that’s cringe-worthy history nonetheless. With its pew-pew synthesizers, Star Trek examples, and long since played out lighthearted parody (here’s a song called Shark Week “), the band’s sixth album sounds like music for a Minecraft venue. The biggest talk point has been The use of AI technology to provide some of its songs: Lead singer Jonathan Higgs has received feedback on the video, passages from Beowulf, and communication regarding LinkedIn’s terms and conditions arrangement. What came out is distinct from higgs ‘usual mix of template truisms and distorted poetic crap, notably since he won’t demonstrate which songs have been AI-generated. AI has no meaningful appearance, except as a reason to talk about all this album at all.
Still innovative tech, AI is used by the likes of Brian Eno and Holly Herndon in music; Herndon, a professor of machine learning, integrated it into her 2019 album PROTO, as a counter-narrative to the existing anxieties that AI could someday compose people out of the creative operation. Raw Data Feel deals no further with any criticism or comment. Then, Rather, I decided to adopt a more moderate version of the old fashioned, AI is a trick for better learning, or at worst a crutch, a manner for Higgs to do less of the work. All of these, to be true, you can play the album’s main theme: Higgs wished to abandon the brain and its potential to keep hurting completely, to convert raw experiences into data by selling their pain onto a device.
“Bad Friday” the album’s best song, is about clearly the above. Powered by forthright shouts and gung-ho rhythms, Higgs explains a barbarity caused upon him, delivering the event with uncanny bits of information. “How did I get this blood all over me? /I got the pictures here on my phone/I can’t remember” Higgs sings, bizarrely, with a peppy funk-rock corrugation. The song’s supported and pushy rhythm feels as if it’s rushing Higgs; he pauses out into an mollusc whine in the pre-chorus, a small and somber tone, camera, the song’s heartbreaking subject, before the group recovers the ridiculous comparison between its aggressive overnight product and anxious club atmosphere. The pain that is The foundation of The Music is quickly skipped over: The noise of a Windows 95 error message shagging after The sounds repetitively kink whatever The sense of humanity.
The album’s producer, hour by bassist Alex Robertshaw, at best exquisite. Each noise is considered as subtly as in modest electronica, as if each was made to stand out on it possess; the smallest synth page triggers, and the guitarists sparkle like an universe made of treats. Higgs’ lyrics are dry and produced, he felt as raw as a 3d printed file. It is one of the only features that really hints at the band’s man-machine-matching-machine shortcoming.
“Jennifer” with a springy!, love New Order Instrument page, It’s a big highlight. In the passages, Higgs offers his narrator: Jennifer, a homicidal girl and potential victim of domestic violence, who wants to leave while all the openings are closed. The despair of The passages is adjusted with an optimistic avoidance, as Higgs inspires her to continue looking for some way through. Without intelligent customizable synthesizers or cyborgian fictions engaged, it’s one of very few songs that isn’t overlong, and, admittedly, the only one that faces pain in a heartbeat.
Yet here we go, rescue the album’s second half. “Metroland” a sci-fi-meets country song, retains you at a rock-solid location with its quirky sentimentality and crap songs: “Kevin, can you imagine it? /The escalator in a hydra bowl” Higgs sings. Here’s where we’re going “Shark Week” which includes honestly inexcusable sections like “He’s Obama in the clouds but he believes He’s Osama in the cloth.” you would hope that these were the work of the AI. Maybe they’ re just an excuse to bring in some sort of interesting gadgets: Higgs told Apple Music that Robertshaw suggested he write a song using certain chords, “because he had the above unique synth that undertook cool stuff with arpeggios that would have five reports in them.” Higgs tries to balance the zaniness of the verses with seemingly heartfelt refrains ( “Do you think you made everyone under your jurisdiction? When you haven’t received someone, anybody at all”), but the sticky-sweet chorus merely curdle amid all that would-be acid wit.
Raw Data Feel might be the most confident album Everything Everything has ever released, but in a way that feels deeply hubristic. If this album were a person, it’d be so pompous, motormouthed philosophy undergraduate who treats seminars like extended soliloquies — believing in his ability to impart Earth-shattering truths, despite not really saying much at all. This guy can be attractive; He is energetic and has an infectious interest in the effects of technology on the human spirit. But when it comes to expressing his ideas, He has no sympathy for his own emotions, he’s got a long way to go — not unlike the neural net Higgs used to write his lyrics.