Making Mirrors is Gotye’s third album, the Belgian artist’s first in nearly six years.
Up until a few months ago, this artist remained in relative obscurity. Although I don’t know the full extent of his international renown, I believe he is somewhat popular in Europe. Since the single “Somebody I Used to Know” was released, Gotye has started to receive Stateside attention. In the last few months a cover of “Somebody I Used to Know” became a viral YouTube hit that went on to be featured on Ellen; Gotye performed on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel; and his US tour has sold out in many cities. Apparently Making Mirrors is making waves in the United States.
Making Mirrors is hard to put into any one category of music. The album spans several genres, changing its sound from track to track. People wanting to hear more things like “Somebody I Used to Know” will be disappointed. None of the other songs on the album mimic this sound. To some degree, this is too bad. “Somebody I Used to Know” is a great song that showcases Gotye’s vocal abilities and is really catchy. I was hoping for more of the same, but ended up with what feels like a sample platter that serves up things as different as a peanut butter and caviar.
Making Mirror’s disparate sound makes the album feel unfocused. “Easy Way Out” sounds like Beck, “Save Me” channels Peter Gabriel, and if I didn’t know better I would swear Cee-lo was singing on “I Feel Better.” “State of the Art” just takes things as far from “Somebody I Used to Know” as possible, with its experimental electronica mixed with spoken word Da-daism.
And this is my one complaint. While I liked most of what I heard, I couldn’t find a single theme or concept that pulled it all together. It’s more like a soundtrack than a cohesive album. Because of this, many people will pick up Making Mirrors thinking they are getting an album that sounds like whatever Gotye song they first heard (likely to be “Somebody I Used to Know”), only to feel like they’ve been swindled into something completely different.
Despite Making Mirror‘s identity issues, I like a lot of the songs on the album. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. With this album, Gotye proved he isn’t to be pigeon-holed in one musical genre and has capably shown his musical depth. However, the sound of “Somebody I Used to Know” drew me to the album and is what I really wanted more of.
Tim: “I’m shocked that one person, from one track to another, can sound like Beck, Cee-lo, or Peter Gabriel. At one point there was a space-agey, chill, Tron-type thing. It is probably the most eclectic album I’ve heard in a long time.”
Lauren: “I like ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ a lot, but I wasn’t really into the rest of the album.”
Verdict: It really depends on what you wanted from Making Mirrors. You’ll either be pleasantly surprised at Gotye’s musical aptitude, or disappointed you’re not getting the one sound you wanted. Most of the songs are great, but somehow they don’t seem to belong together. Overall, this is definitely worth listening to.
I recommend you check out the music videos for Making Mirrors below. Some of them are really cool.
Standout tracks: “Easy Way Out,” “Somebody I Used to Know,” “Eyes Wide Open”
Videos from the Making Mirrors
“Easy Way Out”
“Somebody That I Used to Know”
“Eyes Wide Open”
“State of the Art”