A common refrain in reviews of The Witness is the plea to solve each puzzle on your own, to not ask for help or look up solutions, that the game is designed to teach you things in ordered steps and that it is important not to skip a step. While, yes, this is true, that doesn’t mean those steps are easy. What will inevitably happen is that you’ll solve a series of simple puzzles, and then you’ll try to solve the next puzzle in the exact same way that you solved the previous puzzles, only this time your solution won’t work. You’ve done something wrong. You’ve misunderstood the concept. Time to go back and reanalyze your work.
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Magdalen Jenne: This track starts out with some really good initial ideas and then fails to expand on them. It doesn’t really need to, though: the sludgy instrumental break dissolves the song’s structure—the riff, the faint whiffs of piano at its upper registers—and replaces it instead with a pointedly ugly crescendo hurtling towards the end of the track. The dynamic shift is there, and even if you spend the whole first listen waiting for a chorus, the frustration in the fact that it never comes is a satisfaction in its own right. [7/10]
Ari Rosenschein: These NYC smartasses drop a badass slice of synthpop like it ain’t no thing. Terrestrial radio should wise up and realize “Crime Cutz” is the “Staying Alive” of our time. I am quantifiably cooler from my exposure to this funky, funky gem of a jam. [8/10]
Ari Rosenschein: Are you kidding? Renaissance man Karriem Riggins slays on the traps over a medley of J Dilla tracks. Check it out on the youtube, man! J. Rocc’s subtle turntablism is just a 360° degree shot away. Seriously, though, this improvised mind meld would be just as compelling without seeing behind the curtain. The best things in life are free. [7/10]
Steve Leftridge: Okay, I have a lot of questions about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. First of all, why are you rooting for Butch and Sundance since they are criminals who hurt or kill, and steal from people? Specifically, would you be rooting for them if Paul Newman and Robert Redford weren’t such handsome sumbitches?
Steve Pick: I don’t know if I was rooting for them exactly, but I was enjoying their company. I guess that counts for something. I assume the real Butch and Sundance were nasty pieces of work, and nowhere near as pretty as early ‘70s male gods: Newman and Redford. But, despite being based on real people who actually robbed trains and moved to Bolivia, the film is a work of fiction, not fact.