Scene and Heard – CCCXLIX : Machine – Djo Life  (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

29216005_191038661499924_7876502852976246784_oLast time we checked in with Djo Life he was cosying up to an elegant French girl in the sumptuous surroundings of a Parisian Bar, or perhaps a sumptuous French girl in and elegant bar, I forget but the result is the same either way. This time he is setting his sights on love of a different kind. If French Cigarettes was all about intimacy and empathy, Machine truly is a love song for the digital age. This time he has fallen for the remote and unrequited image of a girl on a screen far detached from his life, a broadcast and nothing more. But as a concept it neatly gets to the heart of much of  what is wrong with the world today, or at least what is wrong with the way interact with technology and media. When viewed back to back with the previous single, it also shows us how far we have wandered from reality in such a short period of time.

Musically, it reflects that change too. Before he was happy to rustle up a cool indie-pop paean to beauty, a celebration of the girl in front of him. This time there is the sound of cooler clinical electronica which wanders through below the guitar and something in the nature of some of the vocal deliveries, perhaps a whiff of detached desperation, that reflects the world he now finds himself in. It is a fantastic track, still revelling in that great pop and commercially viable sound he brings to it but which at no time panders to fad or fashion and  laced with a gentle warning.

Both this and French Cigarettes are love songs. It is just that whereas the former is a romantic, chance meeting, a blissful memory of the one that got away, Machine is a starker warning about the one that you were never going to have in the first place.

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