the turning of brass wheels

Hauschka! That is what the brass at the end of How Big, How Blue How Beautiful (the title track, I mean, not the whole album) sounds like. Specifically, Freibad:

Now listen to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful:


It’s not my favorite. So far Queen of Peace is.* Had it on replay streaking through the dawn yesterday–healed at last from The Endless Sinus Infection, able to run without face ache again–and just. Awesome. Those trumpets are like a slap, saying run run run. The sharp jabs of trumpets I mean; not the mariachi-like declensions.

HBHBHB, though, has that whole brass symphony part. (Elsewhere on the album there are even those clockwork clicking noises you hear in Freibad) Which part is just fantastic. Sometimes those swelling brass lines make me self-conscious, like I’m indulging in some jackass’s childhood dream of what he thought sex would be like. And yes, okay, I suppose she probably didn’t write the whole thing; this could indeed be some producer’s childhood bond girl wank fantasy or something. But at least coming to me under her name, I am given the gift of vagueness. I can hear lines like “my love is no good against the fortress it made of you” and allow myself to believe they were written by someone I wouldn’t have to explain them to.**

* I haven’t actually finished the whole album yet. I’m savoring it. A few tracks at a time, and then replays. I’m such a flagrant hero-worshipper, it’s true, but not in music, and now that this is a third whole album I’m not yet disappointed in or crushed by, yes: I want to savor it. I have precious few heroines.

** Followed closely in awesomeness ranking by “it’s a different kind of danger / and the bells are ringing out / and I’m calling for my mother / as I pull the pillars down.”

Edit: I forgot to add another awesome thing about HBHBHB: the locomotive rhythms. (Ooh, hear that? A term! I learned that in one of the last music reviews I read–a student review [because students haven’t yet chained themselves to the cardinal rule of music reviewing: if you aren’t looking down your nose at something and calling it derivative, you’re doing it wrong] of Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me, for the song “Good Intentions Paving Co.”) They’re more susurrant in this song than in that one, but they’re still part of its greatness.

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