Music

John Grant - "Voodoo Doll" (Singles Going Steady)

"Voodoo Doll" is an absurdist freak-pop hymn layered with cheesy sci-fi synthesizers, electro bass-pulses, and a thoroughly bizarre romantic sensibility.

Chris Ingalls: Equally twisted and goofy, Grant's "Voodoo Doll" lays down an infectious retro synth groove with a chorus that sounds like George Clinton meets Beck in Midnite Vultures mode. The humor is odd, but has a comforting simplicity, and funkiness adds another dimension. It's kind of like a modern, danceable club version of Jonathan Richman, if that makes sense. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: "Voodoo Doll" feels like two songs that were sewn into one, and it's splitting at the seams. The chorus is the best part, with John Grant crooning in his upper register "I made a voodoo doll of you". The vocal melody is on point, the rhythm is tight, and his energy is at its highest. On the verses, though, everything changes for the worse as Grant switches into some slow-paced singing that leaves me more tired than tense. The two parts aren't even connected well, as the verse simply explodes into a chorus without warning or transition. With one part being so great and another being so shoddy, everything just averages out in the end. [5/10]

Pryor Stroud: "Voodoo Doll" is an absurdist freak-pop hymn layered with cheesy sci-fi synthesizers, electro bass-pulses, and a thoroughly bizarre romantic sensibility. In theory, this is a song about a couple -- one's infatuation with another, another's indifference toward one, and all that invariably follows from those sentiments. However, in practice, this is a song about a man and a doll, a much stranger dramatic set-up for a tongue-in-cheek work of psych-funk tragedy. "I made a voodoo doll of you / And I gave it some chicken soup / Did you feel any warmth down deep inside? / Did you feel how your blues went away and died?", Grant explains in the chorus, but it remains maddeningly vague here whether he's speaking to his lover or just the doll that stands in for her. [5/10]

Chad Miller: The two sections seem a little bit too distinct, and the big jump between them seems somewhat forced because of it.The parts are decently enjoyable by themselves though, especially the background vocals during the chorus. The verse is okay too, and the alien sounds are a nice addition. [6/10]

SCORE: 5.75


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

9
Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane
Music

Mobley Laments the Evil of "James Crow" in the US

Austin's Mobley makes upbeat-sounding, soulful pop-rock songs with a political conscience, as on his latest single, "James Crow".

Music

Jordan Tice's "Bad Little Idea" Is a Satirical Spin on Dire Romance (premiere)

Hawktail's Jordan Tice impresses with his solo work on "Bad Little Idea", a folk rambler that blends bluesy undertones with satiric wit.

Music

Composer Ilan Eshkeri Discusses His Soundtrack for the 'Ghost of Tsushima' Game

Having composed for blockbuster films and ballet, Ilan Eshkeri discusses how powerful emotional narratives and the opportunity for creative freedom drew him to triple-A video game Ghost of Tsushima.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Film

Love and Cinema: The Ruinous Lives in Żuławski's L'important c'est d'aimer

Żuławski's world of hapless also-rans in L'important C'est D'aimer is surveyed with a clear and compassionate eye. He has never done anything in his anarchic world by the halves.

Books

On Bruce Springsteen's Music in Film and TV

Bruce Springsteen's music in film and television captured author Caroline Madden's imagination. She discuses her book, Springsteen as Soundtrack, and other things Springsteen in this interview.

Music

Alt-pop's merci, mercy Warns We May "Fall Apart"

Australian alt-pop singer-songwriter, merci, mercy shares a video for her catchy, sophisticated anthem, "Fall Apart".

Film

Tears in Rain: 'Blade Runner' and Philip K. Dick's Legacy in Film

Blade Runner, and the work of Philip K. Dick, continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?

Music

London Indie-Poppers the Motive Impress on "You" (premiere)

Southwest London's the Motive concoct catchy, indie-pop earworms with breezy melodies, jangly guitars, and hooky riffs, as on their latest single "You".

Books

Vigdis Hjorth's 'Long Live the Post Horn!' Breathes Life into Bureaucratic Anxiety

Vigdis Hjorth's Long Live the Post Horn! is a study in existential torpor that, happily, does not induce the same condition in the reader.

Music

Konqistador and HanHan Team for Darkwave Hip-Hop on "Visaya"

Detroit-based electronic/industrial outfit, Konqistador team with Toronto hip-hopper HanHan for "Visaya", a song that blends darkwave and rap into an incendiary combination.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.