Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Of Monsters and Men - Love Love Love

Of Monsters and Men’s album “My Head is an Animal” was one of my favorite albums of 2012; so why am I talking about it now. Primarily because I am finally getting around to it.

I remember discovering a lot of good music in 2012, but mainstream popular music was rapidly exiting my playlist as that was a year I began to drift very far away from terrestrial radio. Since that time, I have stayed on top of various recording studios, specific artists, and hyper specific genres, but I have become proudly out of touch with the top forty. I discovered Of Monsters and Men from terrestrial radio, and since I was leaving that behind, they did not work their way into my playlist for several years.

It was not until 2015 or so, when I finally listened to “My Head is an Animal” in full, by that time Of Monsters and Men had released their second album “Beneath the Skin” which I was able to enjoy in full on youtube where they had released lyric videos for every single song. “Beneath the Skin” was really good, but I liked their first album more, and it was still fresh to me because of my avoidance of popular music.

One of the great evils of terrestrial radio is the over playing of popular songs robbing them of their specialness by transforming them into tiresome background music. We have all experienced it, songs we love at first are played over and over again, we hear it upwards of a half-dozen times everyday for several months and we no longer want to hear it ever again. Well I have successfully dodged that for years, so songs like “Little Talks” are still highly enjoyable to me.

I could talk about every single song on “My Head is an Animal” it is that good of an album, but as is my usually habit, I pick a single song to focus on, and I choose “Love Love Love,” simply because it is my favorite.

“Love Love Love” is a bittersweet love song, it is bitter because the message is one of longing and going without, it is also sweet because it sounds so very nice.

I do not believe “Love Love Love” is an unrequited love song, the singing narrative characters expresses a reciprocation to her would be lover, but must relinquish any return of affection, and it is never dwelt on why, but it is made clear that this is a love that must not be realized.

The opening verse gives us a strong sense of regret for allowing any sort of love to grow between the two in the first place. An element of self-loathing is presented by singer Nanna Bryndis, for it was cruel to make this man fall in love with her.

“Well, maybe I'm a crook for stealing your heart away,
Yeah, maybe I'm a crook for not caring for it,
Yeah, maybe I'm a bad, bad, bad, bad person,
Well, baby, I know.”

The second verse gives us the lamentations of this impossible connection.

“And these fingertips,
Will never run through your skin,
And those bright blue eyes,
Can only meet mine across the room filled with people that are less important than you.”

I particularly like the last line, a room full of less important people, that paints a very interesting picture of emotional connection and priority.

The lyrics are nice and poetic, there is a lot to enjoy there, but the deep atmosphere is what gives this song it’s chilling sting.

Iceland produces a lot of interesting music. A common trend amongst Icelandic music is a strong ambience, and Of Monsters and Men are no exception. The music Of Monsters and Men is very rich and full, there are so many unique sounds from so many different instruments including the glockenspiel and a melodica, and I do not even know what that is. I can spend hours just getting lost in the crazy variety of noises produced by this band and the strange mystical adventures they have created.

I mentioned a moment ago the lyric videos, to the best of my knowledge every single Of Monsters and Men has an official lyric video on the tubes. The first album “My Head is an Animal” made it’s lyric music video with simply repetitive monochrome animation that assisted in visualising the already wonderland of Iceland like imagery that was already in my mind when listening to Of Monsters and Men. For the song “Love Love Love” the barely animated short is a Minotaur sitting in a row boat gazing sadly at the water, half way through the song the camera pans out to reveal a sea dragon floating beneath the water. What does this mean if anything? Are we to suspect the long wishing love song is about two mythical creatures? I was not going to guess that initially, but this fun visual does encourage our imaginations to wander.

Like so many other songs I have discussed in the past, the greatest charm of “Love Love Love” and all the songs by Of Monsters and Men, if the power to stir the imagination. Getting lost in all those sounds and experiencing the wonderful feeling of letting the mind wander is one of the greatest joys of music.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- King of Braves

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