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The Synth Is Dead – Long Live the Synth

As an avid consumer of pop music for over 50 years, it would be easy for me to say that I think I’ve heard it all, but I’m glad I don’t because being wrong isn’t something I enjoy. Every now and again, an act comes along which is refreshingly different – yet familar enough to remind of pleasures past. If, like me you have been following the decidedly tongue-firmly-in-cheek series The Guardian, on Five, the catchy song In For the Kill is one of those damned tunes that you can’t get out of your head. Even after hearing it for the first time when the current series started, I found myself humming, then latterly singing, the first lines of the chorus.

At first I thought the singer was a youngish man doing an impressive counter-tenor, or falsetto if you prefer, a  la Communards, but the voice is subtly different, and when I looked up the artists that comprise La Roux, and realised the singer was a girl, it started to make sense. The delicious difference here is that the androgenous sound that usually emanates from a male throat – is this time coming from a female one. Learning that Elly Jackson was bullied at school because of her ‘androgenous style’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Roux) completes the picture.

This strangely lovely voice is coupled with a lo-fi synthesizer sound, and an instantly recognizable story in the lyrics, to make one of the freshest performances for a long while. A little bit of Déja Vu here is the use of the 123 123 12 rythm pattern I talked about in another post: Anatomy of a Pop Classic at the start of May, which makes the song a hit with dance addicts.  In fact the song may well end up as ‘classic’ as Duel did for the synth band Propaganda. So, another synth band, another hit – who said synth music was dead?

I won’t post the song here, but prompt you to have a listen to it on Spotify where there are two other mixes as well, including a rather good exclusive Spotify ‘live session’.

We can fight our desires;
Oooh but when we start making fires,
We get ever so hot.
Oooh whether we like it or not

They say we can love who we trust;
Oooh but what is love without lust?
Two hearts with accurate devotions;
Oooh but what are feelings without emotions?

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I hang my hopes out on the line;
Oooh will they be ready for you in time,
If you leave them out too long
Oooh they’ll be withered by the sun

Full stops and exclamation marks
Oooh my words stumble before I start
How far can you send emotions?
Oooh can this bridge cross the ocean?

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand,
And not let go of my hand

Let’s go to wars to make peace
Let’s be cold to create heat
I hope in darkness we can see
And you’re not blinded by the light from me

Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Oooooh Ooooooooooh

I’m going in for the kill
I’m doing it for a thrill
I’m hoping you’ll understand
And not let go of my hand

 

 

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