Wednesday 8 August 2012

Music Post - FLAG Review

Nuts to waiting, I'm going to jump right back into this blogging business.

Now, just a note: There's a lot of butthurt around this album. If you're planning to comment about how it sucks, just go away. If you didn't like it, good for you, but honestly?

Especially if you're just going to whine. It's cool if you just aren't big on it. But no "rar rar blar it is emotionless!" bullshit, alright? Good. Onwards.

I like it. I know. Most people didn't. Mind, most EA fans are psycho and obsessive. Here's a short list of complaints I've gathered about this album.

-"It feels emotionless!"
-"She sings all the parts herself!"
-"It feels rushed!"
-"She lied about scraping her knee once and that makes her musical ability bad!"
-"She's kind of a bitch right now!"
-"She doesn't play the violin!"
-"Daddy never came to my ball games!"

I'm just going to tell you why most of these are bullshit: It's intended as a soundtrack to her book (which i will get my paws on soon!). It's intended to be a production. It feels "emotionless" to some because it has to be more or less a "blank canvas" for the performers to fill in with physical presence and their own acting. Shut up about this.

Why does she sing it all herself? If she got the Crumpets, or someone else, to sing other characters' parts, people would shit if they weren't the ones who played them in the production. Emilie Autumn fans are crazy. If Maggots, for example, sung a part on the album, they would all have a massive shit fit if she didn't play that character in the production. It makes sense, also, for a solo artist to sing all the parts. It's not that uncommon. Shut up about this.

Rushed? Hardly. Shut up.

She lied? Alright. Slow the fuck down. Firstly, Emilie is bipolar. You can argue and deny it if you like, but it's obvious that she's not faking it. She makes rash decisions. She changes moods quickly. She lies. That's sort of what it is. It's also not helped that she's made it quite public that she's changing meds a lot, especially while this was all coming together. Secondly, and I know this is hard for EA fans to grasp, Emilie Autumn Liddel is a character. Just like Lady GaGa. Just like David Bowie. Who they are in real life, and who they are when they perform are separate. All performers do this. ALL of them. Get over it and shut up.

She's bitchy? She's bipolar, and shit, if you apparently know so much about her private life right now, I'm glad you can say that she's just "being a bitch." Producing an album, with a legion of crazy fans at her throat, criticising her every move, I think she has a bit of permission to be "kind of a bitch." Shut up.

The violin. Seriously? She's a beautiful violinist - but this album is a soundtrack. Violins are there, she probably played them. But it makes sense for her to not play much. I imagine violins are in short supply in an asylum. Shut up.

And I know it hurts that your dad never loved you, but let's not take it out on musicians on the internet.

It's okay not to like an album. But it's just gone too far with this one. Calm your keyboard berserker rage. I know it makes these sorts of people cream themselves when they are overcritical and bitchy, but just...shut up. That all aside, let's move on to the actual review.

Overall, I think I would rate it somewhere around 8 out of 10. It's good. Really good. I like it. If you're not sure before you buy it, do what I did: Pirate, listen, and if you like it, buy it.

Let's break it down by song. I am going to be talking about it as a soundtrack album, and, remembering that I haven't read the book, I'm going to give my opinion on where I see them placed in the production.

1: Fight Like A Girl
The titular song for this album, dur. It's not my favourite of the album. But I still really like it. It has Emilie's usual vocal style, and the opening is similar to "Misery Loves Company," and has a few melody reprises, which I like. It sticks very well to the core themes of the album. I'm not sure where this would fit into the production - I would personally put it after "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies" as an end, full-cast number, post-story. I think it is a quite powerful song. I enjoy the melody and lyrics, particularly the line, "even if you're only a boy/You can fight like a girl." I think it helps dispell the "she's a misandrist" bullshit.

2: Time For Tea
Lol, I fucking love this song. SO MUCH. Just like the title song, I would place it after "The Key," and can imagine a lot of dramatic shit for the stage for this one. I like the references to "4 O'Clock" in this song, and it's why I'd place it as the climax song, right after "The Key." I can see it working amazingly in the production.

3: 4 O'Clock Reprise
I think this is a great opening song, either RIGHT at the start, as an overture, or just after the basic story beginning, say, when she is locked in her cell, or something. There's not much I can really say - it's instrumental. It's lovely. That's. That's about it. I could also see this working well if "4 O'Clock" were also in the musical.

It's over. Let it go.
4: What Will I Remember?
I admit, I haven't really listened to this one. Don't get me wrong. It's good. And it is very fitting in the production. It just. Slipped my mind, I guess. It is very Enchant-era-esque. If you were big on that era, you will likely enjoy that song. Maybe. Or you can just be butthurt that it isn't 2001 anymore and she changed as an artist. Just do it somewhere else, far away from me. It would fit in great, maybe on Emily's first day, or night. Some time where she can sit and angst a while.
5: Take The Pill
People need to take one about this album, honestly. I like this song. My version is not very good in quality because I pirated it (with intent to buy, calm your tits), so I have only listened to it a few times, but I really do like it. People have whinged, said that her complaint about having to go to sleep and wake up when told is not valid and it's a pissy complaint. It's not. It's all to do with bodily autonomy, which Emily-with-a-Y lost in the asylum. She doesn't choose when she wakes up, she doesn't choose when she sleeps. Furthermore, there are plenty of peole - Emilie, myself, and plenty of you, I bet - who find it not only impossible, but damaging to be told when you have to sleep. I've always been a nightowl, due to the assburgers, and going to school seriously messed with that. Shut up about this too, because you don't know. It would fit in nicely with Emily's first day, I think. Sinister. Great.

6: Girls! Girls! Girls!
Another of my favourites. Yes, she does all the different voices here. Yes, she puts on British accents. Let it go. It's a good song, jaunty, fun, historically accurate. Yes, they actually did this shit. It's messed up. It's all essentially my style. Also, they performed it on the Fox morning show in Detroit. This amuses me to no end. It's more fun live, but it's great fun to listen to. Having not read the book, I'm not sure when to place this, but it would definitely be in there. EDIT: I did remember one thing that annoyed me. "Conversate" isn't a word. "Too much serious conversating" should be "conversing."
7: I Don't Understand
This song, you guise. You guise. You guise. This song. I think it's a great song for a musical. It has the two characters talking to each other, interacting. That's how this shit works. I think it's fantastic. It is emotional, without being melodramatic. Good stuff. It's a moment of affection and tenderness in an otherwise quite horrible situation.

8: We Want Them Young
This is the one I don't have. I have to say, though: yeah, it'd work excellently. Given that I have only listened to it a few times, I can't say anything more in-depth. It sounds good and you will like it in your ears. First night song, I think.

9: If I Burn
Out of the songs I really like, I probably would place this at the bottom. I still like it. It's not my favourite, but I still like it. It's part of the story. I can imagine Emily singing this during torture. It's so threatening. It would give any psychotic psychiatrist pause, I think. I would possibly put this somewhere around halfway or just before intermission, and possibly tone the vocals up a bit, make them angrier.

10: Scavenger
This is the song I don't like. I think it's really just because I haven't read the book and don't have the context. I'll leave it at that and update it when I've read the book. That sounds fair.
11: Gaslight
This is my second favourite. I love this song. It is beautiful. It's not optimised on the album, I imagine because it's a song to be performed, not just sung - but even so, it is VERY easy to imagine this performed just before the climax, the part where she is "pushed over," or even just after "We Want Them Young," if placed when I suggested. It's lovely and reminds me a bit of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis. It's probably this production's version. I would also possibly put this as just before intermission, as well, depending on the placement of other songs, to make room for the instrumental reprise.

12: The Key
This song is also one of my favourites. Some think it wouldn't work well on stage, but I wholeheartedly disagree - yes, it narrates what's going on. Musicals do that. Anyone who thinks it wouldn't work needs to read opera lyrics, because this is what most of them are. Having her singing with the other characters acting around her would be very visually and stylistically consistent, and it's a great song. As stated, placing it just before "Time For Tea."
13: Hell Is Empty
Nooot really much to say about this, but I really would put this after "Time For Tea," with that song as the girls preparing for a fight, ending in the first death, and this one as death is sort of going on around the place.
14: Gaslight Reprise
Another instrumental. Where I would place this, I'm unsure. Possibly as overture music from the intermission. It would depend on the placement of the other songs, I suppose!

15: Goodnight, Sweet Ladies
This is my favourite. I think it's beautiful, and a perfect finale. People die in this story, dude, and it's a great song to gather the surviving girls and have them join in freedom or some hippie crap like that. It's perfect for the finale. That is all.

16: Start Another Story
Another one that I don't have a good version of. I will update this along with a purchase of the album.

17: One Foot In Front Of The Other
While I don't have a working version of this, either, I think this would be a great song to tack onto the end of "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies", and attach "Fight Like A Girl" too, and just make it a medley. I can't see it working any other way. Good song though. Tops.

And thus ends the album. It was smashing. Really. I loved it. I hope to be in the UK by 2014, so....hopefully I can go see the stage production!

I hope I can update the bits when I get my book and CD, and this review will be finished. In the meantime, I think I did a pretty good job! I really hope the production goes well for her and people will just shut the fuck up instead of trash talking her on the internet.

Much love,


darkmindedfeminist said...

I enjoyed your review. I loved her album, and am new to the asylum so I am not all psycho as you say. Gaslight was my favorite :)

Glad you enjoyed it too. After all, for me it's about the music, her personal life is interesting but her musical compilation is amazing <3

Xanthy said...

Glad I'm not the only one who likes it. Not crazy-obsessed, just like though.

One Foot In Front Of The Other was the closing song at het last concert, if I'm not mistaken. I nearly cried, it was beautiful.

And I don't get the misandry thing. Misogyny in songs is okay, but when a singer says something about men that might be interpreted as mean, everyone gets their panties in a bunch? Srsly?

Anonymous said...

Haven't heard the album but I really liked the review and how you took it as it will be shown- a stage production. Really nice post :)

The HouseCat said...

I liked everything on the album except for the titular opening track. To me the even if you're only a boy/You can fight like a girl" seems token, and the song as a whole seems misandrist. It also doesn't seem as "in character" as the rest of the album or really fit with it. I'm not going to rant about it in your comments, though, I've got my own blog for that :P

It's not one of her best albums /as an album/ but I think that has a lot to do with it being a recorded version of what is essentially a musical, without the drama dimension, just the musical one. This doesn't make it /bad/ it's just I think it suits the stage format a whole lot better than the album format. I think it would make an excellent musical film, and maybe she should have a go at that, and do it in a deliberately very theatrical manner like her stage shows. I'm afraid that I'm one of those who do think it would have been better if the Crumpets had sung the other characters on the album and just had the same Crumpets act those characters on stage, but it's not a huge loss.

I'm not upset that she hasn't got her violin thing on in this album; the album is based off the book, the whole thing is Asylum based, etc. I agree with you completely on this one. I just hope she releases another album like Laced/Unlaced, because that was pretty awesome and I love her violin music.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't realized that it was "You can fight like a girl" after "even if you're only a boy". I thought the line was something, something more sexist. That was mainly my only problem with Fight Like A Girl.I'm glad I didn't start screaming about it hysterically.

As for being told when to sleep, I work best between midnight and six am, so school screws with my schedule too. You'd think people wouldn't mind so much, considering.

And the violins? People, you can not fight with an artist. If she doesn't want to play it, isn't it mean to make her?

Dank said...

I like ALL the songs!

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