Pocket Revolution
/v2; 2005/


A review and a little game

The other night, I couldn’t sleep. Again. So I got up and I started to watch, slumped on the divan, an American sitcom basically dealing with desperation in suburbia. Why ?? Because:

1) I just needed to lie down and stop thinking because it makes daily sacrifices easier to endure 2) I’m a tv addict under hypnosis 3) I couldn’t listen to the new Deus album loudly while someone else slept in the apartment 4) Because everyone talks about it and I don’t want to be socially excluded.

At some point, I was really sleepy but couldn’t help watching it. Why ?? Because:

1) I truly am a mess again 2) The sitcom is so intense and unpredictable that you want to know what happens next 3) My cd-player was out of order 4) I have to see more than the others.

I admit I half-smiled when the heroine desperate to score said ‘I’m playing hard to get’. I couldn’t help but thinking ‘I want to listen to Pocket Revolution’ though. I had listened to the album 2 times during daytime and I wanted more. Because :

1) There is a desperate weary quality in Barman’s voice that matched my state of mind 2) I had already watched three episodes in a row and I wanted to save the others for the day after 3) Pocket Revolution is a nice follower to The Ideal Crash which is one of the best albums of 1999 4) I saw an ad in a national rock magazine and I also had to know the album by heart in order to be hip.

Stretching my arm to grab the remote was easier at 4a.m. than getting up and finding out the headphones. So I just resumed watching tv although my eyes started to burn. I’ve developed some sort of stupid resistance to headaches over the years. I began to watch without paying much attention. My eyes were staring at the television but my mind was gradually breaking away, thinking about Deus’ last effort, about how many times you have to listen to a Deus album before determining a final opinion, about how pleasant is the opener ‘Bad Timing’ and how long its melody sticks to your mind. ‘7 Days 7 Weeks’ might be a good single, in my opinion the best song here is ‘Bad Timing’. Why ?? Because

1) This at once melancholy and catchy song is cryptic enough to make it deal with what makes you appreciate it, for me it’s about feelings you awake in someone else and the way they don’t handle it the way you want them to. 2) I don’t know why, let me watch tv 3) Or this song might just deal with falling in love with someone too early or too late… 4) If you want to boast about music, your favourite song of every band is not a single. If it is, you lie. If the song you’ve chosen becomes a single, choose another one.

As I stopped focusing on the animated screen, I thought about how Deus’ music has changed since Worst Case Scenario back in 1994. Even if I prefer In a Bar Under the Sea, this album sounds special to me because it was the last one my dad bought. I started to buy albums a few years before but my dad didn’t stop buying albums because he had discovered internet downloading or because he listened to my albums. Nope. So why ?? Because:

1) I was such a psychological burden that he had no more time left to listen to something new 2) He became addicted to tv and has been watching ER everyday since 1994 as if it were a daily fix. 3) He stopped buying albums as if Deus’ first effort was the last one he needed and he could do from then on with all the ones he already had. 4) He read in some magazine that rock’n’roll was dead and believed it.

I guess that if I had my dad listened to Pocket Revolution, he wouldn’t recognize the Belgian band he likes. And this would make sense. Except for Barman, almost everyone left the band. ‘Little Arithmetics’ might have been a harbinger but The Ideal Crash revealed an evolution. From excellent shambly noisy songs to excellent heady noisy-pop songs intertwining guitars and voices. Their uninteresting best of was ironically titled No More Loud Music, but Pocket Revolution somehow conveys this impression. There are quiet songs and the album opens with this line ‘Everything is quiet’ but the first four songs are long noisy-pop tracks becoming loud by gradually adding up layers of guitar without forgetting catchy hooks. Yet, this impression that Deus has eased up remains. Why ?? Because:

1) Pocket Revolution brilliantly ends with this melancholy jewel called ‘Nothing Really Ends’ about wanting someone back ‘You didn’t come here to have fun you said I’ve come here for you.’ 2) I don’t know why. I only listen to Deus because their music was used for commercials 3) Danceable noisy songs somehow do not erase this melancholy impression left by quiet songs and some end up quietly (‘Cold Sun of Circumstance’). 4) They said it on Arte.

Maybe you won’t agree, maybe I wanted them to record another Ideal Crash but my favourite songs here are those which Barman cooked using the Ideal Crash recipe (especially the delicate ‘Include me out’). You may retort that the title song has a great anthem aspect, that ‘Night Shopping’ surprisingly sounds like a Girls Vs Boys song, that there is something new, I won’t listen… Why ?? Because

1) ‘Nothing Really Ends’ brought me back to my depressive lethargy 2) I turned on the tv during the boring ‘The Real Sugar’ 3) I like what I want in Deus 4) If I want to be different, my opinions have to be different. If you agree with, I will disagree with you.

- SEB ‘everything’s weird’ WOOd.

For those who played:

If you answered 1: You think I’m a mess, which is partly true.

If you answered 2: You think I’m a tv addict, which is untrue.

If you answered 3: You think I’m a Deus fan and therefore partial to this new album, which is not that true.

If you answered 4: You think I’m a total jerk, which I don’t think but then I like football…

/october 2005/