Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Look Back #5: Beat Happening - You Turn Me On

The regression to an idealized version of childhood might be Beat Happening's most prevalent vestige in terms of developing indie's current aesthetic. But what makes You Turn Me On stand apart from the work of other twee idols is how it doesn't allow its minimal style to hinder or obscure the pure strength of its content.  Album opener "Tiger Trap" features all the ingredients of their earlier work: Calvin Johnson's baritone droning, simplistic chords, and a driving rhythm section, however the subject matter is interpreted with such earnestness and depth that it is impossible to not be taken aback by this new, more mature approach.  Instead of using the innocence of youth as a defense mechanism for a lack of maturity, every story is told with total vulnerability that requires the listener to appreciate the grace and bravery of displaying your humanity without regard to the values of the "adult" world.  Full of contrasts yet easily understood as a whole, You Turn Me On completes the journey that we all must take when we choose to define concepts as broad as life, love, and death.  Though this mission might seem like an arudous and thankless task, it's the special attention that is given to the ephemeral moments of life which makes it such a fulfilling experience.

Beat Happening - Teenage Caveman

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