Skip to main content

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles



Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again Music Album Reviews

A timely reissue of this prescient Midwest emo band’s back catalog—including their second and best album—shows how they transformed sadness into searching euphoria.

Rainer Maria met as 21-year-olds in a college poetry class; their feverish romanticism only spun out from there. Formed in 1995 at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, the trio—singer and bassist Caithlin De Marrais, singer and guitarist Kaia Fischer, drummer William Kuehn—named themselves after Rainer Maria Rilke, the Austrian poet with an acute understanding of sadness and its powers. As the textual glimmer of Midwest emo was taking shape, Rainer Maria’s particular approach to its artful expressiveness was especially thoughtful, searching, melodic, and diffuse. “Someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad,” Rilke wrote, an essential truth that Rainer Maria the band seemed to innately understand more than most of their emo peers. Sadness could be a means of becoming, of transformation, a way forward.

Released in 1999, Rainer Maria’s second and best album, Look Now Look Again, is the sound of three artists collectively undertaking the profound task of self-possession. Newly re-pressed to vinyl alongside the rest of Rainer Maria’s full-lengths, this barebones reissue includes only its glowing music. Still, the timing is auspicious: Look Now Look Again is one of the greatest albums of emo’s revered second wave, and it is evermore relevant as women’s vulnerability has become the center of independent rock at large. In 1999, Rainer Maria were more punk than American Football, more graceful than Braid—both eventual label- and tourmates. They were more feminine, in membership and feeling, than anything in emo’s history. “Centrifuge” refers, by name, to progesterone.

At 35 minutes that feel half as long, Look Now Look Again is viscerally engulfing. Open-tuned guitars evoke pastel shades. Sensitive drumming swells from a wisp to a crash in every chorus. De Marrais and Fischer turn shouts into conversations, their voices creating the achingly beautiful friction that comes with making fire from sticks. When they locate mountainous hooks, they push to the centers of them, carving their way to their raw cores and sewing their screams to the sky.

Rainer Maria had been a band for four years by the time they released Look Now; De Marrais and Fischer had been a couple just as long. “Most of the songs are about our relationship,” De Marrais admitted to SPIN, casting its narratives of fraying romance into stark relief. But De Marrais and Fischer also sing of electricity and sunsets, of driving with the windows down, of making out and tea. The catharsis of their momentous breakdowns drown out any twee preciousness. At times, their brash emo harmonies sound less like the Promise Ring’s blown-out gang vocals than Sleater-Kinney’s ecstatic entanglements on the iconic “One More Hour”—that is, if those ex-lovers were still trying to hold the pieces together. “And I’m certain, if I drive into those trees/It would make less of a mess/Than you’ve made of me,” De Marrais sings on “Broken Radio,” a definitive emo moment.

This bookish trio seemed to know and express feelings the way the Earth knows seasons. Look Now’s tectonic first two tracks made that clear. “Rise” winds open in slow, concentric circles, as its elliptical lyrics hint at the intuitive process of discerning when one is ready for something. De Marrais sings of prematurely picking “carnations” and “skinny daisies,” and the lyrics translate the spark of a new beginning: “I’m laying in the soil/Is it time for me to rise?” The song ends with chiming bells, as if marking an epiphany in motion. “Planetary,” meanwhile, pours down with the feeling of a colossal unknown, of wanting something more beyond the horizon, beyond yourself. De Marrais quietly describes this splendor—“The skyline is two gazes long”—while the song crawls and then bursts into bracing euphoria. Rainer Maria narrate the psychic fireworks that happen while you’re figuring out who you are and where you want to be.

The infatuated tenor of Look Now Look Again peaks with the record’s tender climax, “The Reason the Night Is Long,” which contains as enormous a hook as Rainer Maria ever found. It’s like Cummings or O’Hara in its dazzling ease: “Oh the reason the night is long/Is very simple,” goes its glittering refrain, a sentence that is left to hang gorgeously until their blistering shout that “Nothing I can do with you is wrong” crisscrosses it in the chorus. The song was written when Fischer left De Marrais alone, working a night job translating German insurance policies. It evokes the physicality of desire, of insides twisting. Rainer Maria were dreamers and romantics in a way that, especially here, still feels timeless.

In his 2003 history Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo, writer Andy Greenwald passingly refers to Rainer Maria as “kinda-sorta emo.” That ambivalence is telling. Perhaps Greenwald glossed over Rainer Maria because women’s plaintive vulnerability is not shocking in our culture, even if it has been repulsed by men since Joni Mitchell’s Blue in 1971. As Rainer Maria continued, they indeed became more aligned with indie rock broadly, even moving to Brooklyn in late 1999. But Look Now Look Again remains an undeniable classic of a time when emo broadcasted an ethic of intelligence.

Should its title be taken literally, Look Now Look Again is a fitting directive in 2018. Rainer Maria and this emo masterpiece set a precedent for bands including Rilo Kiley (who once opened for them on tour), Camp Cope (who have received no shortage of comparisons), and even Paramore (whose “Franklin” is clearly indebted to their sound). During “The Reason the Night Is Long,” Fischer sang, “Maybe this dim time is just twilight.” The line is about lovers, of course, but it could also apply to artists who were more ahead of their time than they could have known. Rainer Maria have arrived at their magic hour.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Review

Dell's flagship laptop returns to us in 2019 with refreshed specs, a brand new webcam design and a cheaper model. We review the XPS 13 9380 in full.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
The XPS 13 for 2019 ticks all the boxes. It looks great, the build quality is excellent, it’s nice and portable and has a wide range of specs to choose from.
While not a massive upgrade from last year's model, it’s had some solid refinement including getting the webcam back into the top bezel and also introduces a more affordable Core i3 edition.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

Huawei P30 Pro Release Date, Price & Specs Rumours

Huawei's MWC press conference didn't include an announcement of the P30 range. Instead, it will hold a launch event in Paris at the end of March. We round up rumours, speculation and more on the new Huawei line-up, including the expected P30 release date, price and specifications.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

Like Fan Page