Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know

First Hit #1: April 28, 2012

Gotye dominating the charts gave me hope in 2012, because it felt like we were hitting a new trend. It had come right after We Are Young, another big chorus song, but it was much more unconventional. While the chorus is big, between it’s actually surprisingly intimate, based around unconventional, toy-like instruments, and until Gotye breaks it out in the chorus it’s a very small song. After a ton of maximum bass we hit a song that is based primarily on an unconventional vocal performance and a fairly intimate structure, and it seems like this should be the next big thing. A big chorus in a small song gets attention, but it’s the fact that it really isn’t trying to hit on any trends or continue down a path predicted by either a Dr. Luke or a Max Martin that makes it most striking. It’s a new sound, and a sound that caught hard, and it seemed like audiences were ready to take the charts in a new direction again, as so often happens. It seems as though the powers that be, the ones that promote new releases, fought against that new direction, at least going by the radio for the past couple years, but Gotye does at least show that audiences are ready for something that isn’t quite what a lot of popular radio has in mind.

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One Response to Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know

  1. musicosity1 says:

    Gotye wrote and performed the best Police song of the last thirty years. Keening Peter Gabriel vocals, cleverly sarcastic lyrics, minimalist pizzicato arrangement. The Kimbra verse has a really cool snare drum in the right channel during the second half, too. I hope Sting is jealous, or better yet, inspired. As “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore” showed over thirty years before, the “he said/she said” breakup song is great gristle for a snarky duet, with each partner laying into the other’s inadequacies. As a Conchords fan, I trust you’re familiar with Carol Brown? (If not, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWLG7OQCuFo)

    The video is terrific too: Low tech but compelling, and Gotye proves himself an able actor to boot. Plus, without this song being released, we never would have gotten to see five people play this song on one guitar, which is well worth the price of admission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M

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