5/5 stars

In his newest album, Making Mirrors, Gotye (pronounced go-tee-yay) breaks from the more soul-centric endeavors of his previous music, focusing much more heavily on funk and pop sounds. Gotye, whose real name is Wally De Backer, is a Belgian-Australian singer based in Melbourne. AlthoughMaking Mirrors came out a few months ago, it has recently been attracting a lot of buzz, mostly due to the main single “Somebody That I Used to Know,” featuring fellow Aussie, Kimbra. The lyricism of the album is futuristic and whimsical, covering subjects such as love, death, self-reflection and looking toward the future. Some of the other standout songs include the power-pop song “Eyes Wide Open” (the album’s lead single), the soulful and pop-centered “In Your Light” and the funk-driven “Smoke and Mirrors.”

Altogether, the album shows Gotye’s maturation as an artist from his previous album Like Drawing Blood, which was much more funk-centered and featured a less varied scheme of themes. Gotye wrote and recorded every song on Making Mirrors while in seclusion at his parent’s ranch in Australia, where he has a recording studio set up. He has stated in interviews that writing this album was a huge struggle for him, and he almost gave up the production on multiple occasions. While writing the album, he battled depression and self-doubt, which then became the subject matter for the songs “Save Me” and “Smoke and Mirrors.”

The biggest and most important song on the album is undisputedly the xylophone-heavy “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which features Melbourne-based singer Kimbra. Having already topped the charts in many countries, “Somebody That I Used to Know” has recently taken off in the United States, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for the song has also received critical acclaim. The video features Gotye and Kimbra, both naked (although there are no inappropriate images) and standing in front of a blank, white wall. As Gotye sings, paint begins to cover his skin and the wall in a geometric pattern. The song is Gotye’s commentary on his past relationships, more specifically the post-breakup feelings of animosity.

Although the album overall is incredible, there are a few songs that don’t seem to live up to the standard set by the rest of the album. The electronic and mystical sounds on the track “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” leave something to be desired in the way of lyrics. The futuristic and electronic beats of “State of the Art” are somewhat uncomfortable, without much to offer other than a cool aesthetic. But although these songs aren’t standouts on their own, they fit the themes and mood of the album when listened to in conjunction with the rest of the album. Overall, this album is easily one of the best recent albums, and is a must-buy for true music appreciators.

Song to Download: “Somebody That I Used to Know”

Song to Skip: “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You”

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