Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Gordi – Heaven I Know

And now we all know Heaven too.


Nortey Dowuona: Blooming piano chords and warning synth horns waft away from Gordi’s plush, soft voice then coalesce around a barely-there bass synth rumbling. Then it all drops as wailing, exotic vocals thicken and disperse, then rise and rumble with the shuddering pain that comes with putting out trust.

Alfred Soto: A fascinating use of a lyrical loop against which Gordi’s thick vocodered timbre works inappositely for a couple minutes. The horns and drums wandered in from another session. 

Iain Mew: The repeated spoken counting sample in the background is one of the strongest choices in “Heaven I Know,” taking a song that could be staid and giving it an anxious energy and a grounding that gives weight to its slow-building beauty. Meanwhile the over-the-top vocal effects of the ending have pretty much the opposite effect.

Josh Langhoff: Piano ballads are serious affairs, but this Australian one’s goosed by a generous dose of vocal manipulation and some brass. With a whispered mantra — “ONEtwothreeONEtwothreeONEtwothreeONEtwothree one two” — counting more for emotional support than rhythmic, Gordi accurately conveys the sense of buckling down to accomplish some unpleasant task. Suitable for meditation and remembrance.

Claire Biddles: Lyrical and musical defeatism dovetails at the final breakdown of crackled autotune, the last gasps of a difficult listen that feels almost completely devoid of hope.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Throttling one’s brain for fake depth and coming up with the barest dribblings of significance, Gordi’s mournful tone is a hollow echo of trying to convey wisdom with nothing of value to say, and a lot of unnecessary window dressing in the production department to try and convince you a good ballad is at the core of this record (there isn’t). By the time the slathers of autotune distortion come in, you actually become annoyed with just how much effort is being done to disguise the failure of the song to stand on its own, and instead pass by on a sea of gimmicks for emotional reaction; might as well have employed a penny whistle and a sad slide trombone.

Katherine St Asaph: The minimal, vaguely unsettling spoken-word intro turning into FIVE MINUTES of lugubrious piano is like opening a present on Christmas morning and getting the fart box from Mother 3. There’s actually quite a bit interesting happening in the background and in the vocal processing, but they’re drowned in ballad.

Edward Okulicz: Certainly has some intriguing choices to add interest — the counting not on the beat but as the beat, the autotune — but where the verses aim for a twitchy Imogen Heap sort of mood, the chorus is a glurgey Kate Miller Heidke thing that drags the whole thing down and sounds doubly bad when the autotune is applied to it. Ick. But also, aww, lovely, for the rest of it.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: A song that is a mega-construction that is also a harrowing treatise on loss. I’m not sure how Gordi manages to create something so triumphant out of such heavy-hearted subject, but the way this song builds up — from the “one-two-three/one-two-three/one-two” whispered mantra to that multi-layered sound mammoth of brass, percussions and voices — is a statement so powerful, it engulfs the emotional baggage of an entire year. 12 months of longing, regret, anxiety, and pleading, summed up in these 5 and a half minutes. That’s what the best songs do. 

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