Not In Love

The next addition to my “songs to play loud” compilation is Crystal Castles‘ “Not In Love” (from their second album), where Robert Smith of The Cure provides his unique voice for the vocals. The whole track sounds incredibly “dirty” and clipped, something I’m actually not too fond of, but I tolerate it here 😉 because of the effect it has.

Play it loud

You need to play this loud right from the beginning. Don’t wait to crank up the volume or you’re going to miss out. (when you begin to actually feel the bassdrum, it’s about right.)

Why? Between verse and refrain is a perceived (psycho-acoustic) loudness difference that is just INSANE. It’s the instrumentation, but this is so incredibly cool and effective, it blows me right out of my chair, every time. If you never heard this track before, you’ll understand it immediately when the refrain plays for the first time.

When you played it loud enough, that is – did I mention that’s the thing with this track? 🙂

In a away, this harks back to the time when amplifying certain elements of music made it possible that a singer would be able to perform along with a big band, for example (without an amplified microphone, the band would just drown out the singer, of course).

Add more modern sound processing goodies like compressors to the mix (literally) and you get this “wall of sound” effect in the refrain – it feels incredibly loud but Smith’s voice still comes through normally and almost passionless – a great juxtaposition. Quite a gem of pop music – I’m in love with it. 🙂

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