Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Year by year: 2007

Angels Of Light - WE ARE HIM

If I’m in a particularly cruel mood, I start thinking about writing a book of non-fiction. The title of this book is Playing the Music of Michael Gira to Girls. I envision this work as a world-wide bestseller containing detailed descriptions of girls slowly but assuredly falling under the spell of “Lunacy” and especially “You Fucking People Make Me Sick”.

But of course I’m not being serious. Like I’ve said numerous times already, the girl who likes Swans is not the girl you want to date. Period.

As for We Are Him (which may or may not be Angels Of Light’s best album; I’m drawn to How I Loved You on a mental level), I would love to see the face of a self-styled ‘true’ fan of Swans who hears the second part of “Sunflower’s Here To Stay” for the first time. After all, it’s a sunny pop song, and I’ve just deleted the word ‘almost’ from this sentence. Remember those humourless creatures thinking My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky was a fake Swans comeback? Or, worse, a sellout?

We Are Him was the final album by Angels Of Light, and they went out with a bang. It’s intense and pretty in the sort of brutal, depressing way only Michael Gira can do. You really have to marvel at the manner in which a song as elegiac and beautiful as “Sometimes I Dream I’m Hurting You” will make you feel positively suicidal. The song is also typical of this album in the sense that it has two equally brilliant parts which are seamlessly connected with each other. You can’t deny the songwriting roll Gira was on at the time; to this day, the man has not written a song better than “Not Here/Not Now”.

It’s also fairly diverse – if you can get past the fact that anything created by Michael Gira sounds like Michael Gira. Even the speedy, insane, foul-mouthed, circus-like country of “Goodbye Mary Lou”. Also, I admire the consistency. “The Visitor” may lack a certain edge, but as long as it all ends with the backing vocals of “Star Chaser” – I’m all right. 

Finally, I will say that an Angels Of Light live concert remains one of my unrealized dreams. Swans crashing my eardrums during The Seer tour was an interesting experience, but seeing Gira with an acoustic guitar, doing “Untitled Love Song”… Jesus, my knees are getting weak.