July 19, 2014
Presented Without Comment
Sasha Frere-Jones in The New Yorker assesses “The New R & B”—
On “Two Weeks,” the album’s first single, [FKA Twigs] extends the theme of song as prelude, not payoff: “You say you want me, I say you’ll live without it. Unless you’re the only one that instigates, got your mouth, open your heart.” It’s an intriguing and fertile template: she places all the romantic and sexual action offstage, thereby returning to a premodern era of nondisclosure in pop lyrics. Yet it feels entirely postmodern. The sounds of the album span such a wide range that it’s hard to know what to call any of it. Some passages sound like string quartets played backwards, some like eggs dropped from a great height. The main effect is of non-resolution. FKA Twigs dresses like a high-fashion model from antiquity, but her songs promise the very contemporary pleasures of texture and emotional immediacy.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 19, 2014 05:41 PM
I ask, what captures the contemporary pleasures of texture and emotional immediacy more vividly - nay, more beautifully! - than a string quartet being played backwards and eggs being dropped from a great height?
Poor woman. I'm amazed she's still there, but the magazine is in its own strange sag into the print decline. Aside from Roz Chast, they haven't run a funny cartoon in years. Back in the 1970s Private Eye in London had a regular feature called Pseud's Corner that ran chunks of stuff like Sasha's, always followed by "Continued on page 2762."
Yeah, I lost some respect for The New Yorker when they first started running that blather. Of course that's been a continuing saga, as John just pointed out. The magazine never recovered from Tina Brown, and the decline of print makes it even less likely that it ever will.