ANOHNI - "Paradise" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

14 March 2017

ANOHNI sings as one caught between global concerns and her own personal, particular pain, lamenting the solipsistic confines of being but a single "point of consciousness".
 

Andrew Paschal: ANOHNI’s inimitable vocals are like a fixed quantity in her music, ensuring that most anything she sings retains an element of pained, graceful beauty no matter how harrowing or grisly the topic. “Paradise”, another collaboration with Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never following last year’s HOPELESSNESS, pushes this principle to its limit. The track is a tortured dirge barely disguised as bass-heavy synthpop, a veil disintegrating at the seams. ANOHNI sings as one caught between global concerns and her own personal, particular pain, lamenting the solipsistic confines of being but a single “point of consciousness”. Perhaps the paradise she evokes, a “world without end”, is one where the boundaries of the self are dissolved altogether, opening the way for empathy. And yet any clear vision of that utopia is clouded amid the wailing electronics, making it clear that we’ll have to contend with our own kaleidoscopes of pain for some time to come. [8/10]
  

Adriane Pontecorvo: Harsh, haunting, and well-produced, “Paradise” takes us into a dichotomy of serenity and pain, both apparently eternal, and teaches us how it feels to be trapped. “Kaleidoscope / Without escape,” sings Anohni over fields of noise, and her voice perfectly conveys a sense of being shattered. Through it all, we are face to face with the inscrutable Eliza Douglas as she stares forward, barely blinking. The theme here is discomfort, and Anohni makes her audience feel both hers and our own throughout the video until we can perfectly feel the hopelessness whose name she calls out throughout. There’s an ingenious sense of design to the many moving parts of “Paradise”; everything is beautifully intentional. [10/10]

Steve Horowitz: It doesn’t get any heavier than this. The end of the world or the end of death, ANOHNI has the listener in suspense. The problems of modern life are bigger than ever and can lead to….One person’s paradise is another one’s hell. This song offers a bit of solace but not enough to be convincing. The music lies there like a rug that covers things up in the guise of exposing hidden secrets. The stealth meanings need to be more overt. [7/10]

SCORE: 8.33

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