Gotye
Making Mirrors


3.0
good

Review

by rmill3r USER (26 Reviews)
January 14th, 2012 | 184 replies | 21,760 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: DeBacker gives pop a twist, but he's on the verge of losing the reins.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

Wally De Backer may just be any Australian man, struggling his way through the ups and downs of everyday life, but when he steps up onstage, he’s Gotye--a pop singer-songwriter and winner of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards. De Backer has already released two albums under the Gotye moniker--Boardface and Like Drawing Blood. Both releases carried a fair mix of artistic, avant-garde pop and just plain pop (mostly still leaning toward the artistic side). Strange electronic world-music was not foreign to De Backer in this time period. But Gotye’s brand new album, Making Mirrors, is a strong contender for a focus on the simple grooves of 80’s pop music. Think Phil Collins voice meets the soul of James Brown and then collaborates with Hall & Oates.

According to Wikipedia, Gotye is pronounced “gore-ti-yeah,” and that properly sums up the aesthetic that De Backer has brought to the table with Gotye. It’s simplistic, it’s groovy, but it’s intriguing, like a car wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of. De Backer’s vocal dexterity is one of the first aspects that sticks out on this album. When he teams up with New Zealand artist, Kimbra Johnson, on the popular “Somebody That I Used to Know,” they portray an arguing couple on the last threads of their relationship. The back and forth between their duet at the end is moving in its sincerity and power. And then the tide changes on the upbeat “I Feel Better” where De Backer cries out like he’s Bill Withers on “Lean on Me,” singing, “And I feel better / Better / Better than before / I feel better / Better/ Now I’m not down anymore.”

Beyond De Backer’s vocal performance, his range of instruments is fairly straightforward with a few eclectic moments. Guitars and drums reign supreme throughout the album as a whole, but staccato synths often make their guest appearance mixed with others, such as trumpets on the head-bobbing track “In Your Light.” Gotye’s inclination to the artistic and strange comes out in songs like “State of the Art” where dripping saxophones mix with an organ and De Backer’s voice sung through a reader much like Stephen Hawking’s speech.

Thematically, Making Mirrors thrives on love and loss--not too far off from his 80’s influence. But with that comes a little bit of an unfocused approach. One song is an argument between lovers, another is about brand new days and then the next seems to be a discussion on the significance of technology and modernity. The album begins to feel a little lost in its own ambition. But then again, that’s what makes this album so much fun. It's about reveling in De Backer’s enthusiasm and willingness to explore options. The adjacency of the last two songs, arena-rock-esque “Save Me” and the jazzy “Bronte,” illustrate De Backer’s drive with his Gotye project. It’s fun and interesting; just the right combination for good pop music.



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user ratings (298)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Alex J. Carter (4)
An overall solid album, "Making Mirrors" is easily my favorite Gotye album....

Daniel Staader (5)
Making Mirrors proves to be Wally De Backer’s crowning glory; a creation with a perfect balance of...

Ladakh (4.5)
Australian wizard Wouter De Backer has created a diverse set of songs that is cohesive and accessibl...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
North0House2
January 14th 2012



5851 Comments


Whenever I hear this band's name, I think it's an acronym for Game of the Year Edition.

Digging: Amen Dunes - Love

bakkermaarten007
January 14th 2012



3422 Comments


It's actually pronounced Gaultier (like in Jean-Paul Gaultier) but with a different spelling.

Tyrael
January 14th 2012



20829 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yea

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2012



10080 Comments


Good review, and good score.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Butkuiss
January 15th 2012



4159 Comments


Finally this has a proper review.

rmill3r
January 15th 2012



167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah . . . took long enough, I guess :/

PHATJ
February 2nd 2012



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice review. I have recently been loving this album. It found it interesting that you used Phil Collins in your description. Since my first listen of the album I though it sounded very much influenced by Peter Gabriel (especially the "In Your Light" and "Eyes Wide Open" tracks). I rate the album between a 4 and 4.5, so with the idea of erring on the conservative side I will go with the 4.

pjquinones747
March 9th 2012



763 Comments


Not sure on my rating of this album, i'm merely dabbling within the genre and am very interested in finding more music like
this because i'm fucking digging it.

Also, pos'd for a great review and your description of his voice in comparison to others is awesome. Commendable review,
man.

Digging: GWAR - War Party

phcusf
March 10th 2012



67 Comments


Somebody That I Used To Know is over played

MusicJudas316
March 15th 2012



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he has the voice, the musical skills, and the positivity. what else do you need?

highlights: In Your Light, Eyes Wide Open, Somebody That I Used To Know, Giving Me A Chance

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2012



1654 Comments


Is this really any good?

Thane
April 12th 2012



2163 Comments


only heard somebody that i used to know and that one is awesome

Imperial
April 12th 2012



1726 Comments


That Somebody I used to Know tune just sounds like it belongs in the 80's.

Graveyard
April 12th 2012



5709 Comments


"only heard somebody that i used to know and that one is awesome"

same

Digging: Total Control - Typical System

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2012



21791 Comments


Whenever I hear this band's name, I think it's an acronym for Game of the Year Edition.

Haha same

I can't stand Somebody That I Used To Know

Digging: Gesaffelstein - Aleph

fuckthatnoise
April 14th 2012



1479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Somebody I Used To Know wore off me big time.

Actually, this whole album wore off me big time.

xfearbefore
April 22nd 2012



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Somebody That I Used to Know" is pretty much the best single of last year IMO. Finally got around to checking out the rest of the album this weekend and it's really damn good, there are so many distinct and unique songs here and the guy's voice is just so fucking perfect, I'm usually not one to get too carried away by someone's singing talent, but the way he hits all the high notes and everything, man, I honestly think he might be one of the most gifted natural singers in music today. His voice alone turns this album from already good to fuckin' great.

J0ckstrapsFTW
April 22nd 2012



3652 Comments


I hate to sound like a hipster but I've liked that song before everyone and their fuckin grandma played it

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
April 22nd 2012



3663 Comments


SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO BLOW!!!

xfearbefore
April 22nd 2012



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here jockstraps, I was jamming to that shit back in August and September. I just hadn't gotten around to checking out the rest of the album until a few days ago, but I'm so glad I finally did, because it's incredibly unique and creative and all over the place, it's wild and I dig it.

EDIT: Holy crap, I didn't realize how much "Somebody That I Used to Know" had blown up, I didn't know it went to number one on Billboard this past week, that's nuts for an Australian indie pop song.



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