The Voidz are really saturating the market over here, aren’t they? They just shared Virtue track “Pyramid Of Bones,” which is some art-rock-via-Sabbath shit (“nananananananana white man’s LIES” wtf), and concurrently, they drop a different Virtue track, “ALieNNatioN.” These two songs do not sound like products of the same band, which I suspect is intentional. As you’ve probably gathered by now, this is true of every song on Virtue. I really do have thoughts on this, but no opportunity to expand upon them here. Maybe another time. For now, my two cents on “ALieNNatioN”:
“ALieNNatioN” has a truly horrible title, owing specifically to its liberal abuse of upper- and lower-case letters, and I went into the album expecting to hate the thing. Instead, it’s probably my favorite track on Virtue, and in many ways, the most straight-up gorgeous song ever recorded by Julian Casablancas. Compositionally, it kinda sounds like Pinback: that crisp architectural melody over the reggae-ish rhythm; the shift into dizzying angelic beauty on the chorus. But sonically, it could be a Metro Boomin’ production: the vast echo; the hard, sparse beat. It rules.
Then it gets to the bridge … except instead of a bridge, it’s a Lil’ Wayne guest verse … except instead of Lil Wayne, it’s Julian rapping. It is nuts. It should be deeply embarrassing. But motherfucker, get past the novelty/shock aspect, and it sounds absolutely goddamn incredible. (IMO, YMMV, etc.) That chord progression is heaven, and the way it glides back into the melody is seamless. You’ll note that Julian drops a few other Virtue song titles into these lyrics — “Leave It In My Dreams” and “All Wordz Are Made Up” — so if you were assigning any special meaning to those names, you can say goodbye to all that. They were just wordz, man.
Speaking of wordz, this seems like a lot of ‘em considering this post was supposed to go live ASAP, which was ideally like 35 minutes ago, so lemme stop writing and hit publish. I hope to return to this subject another day. If I do not, for whatever reason, just know that I do not endorse the dumb shit Julian says in interviews but I legitimately, hopelessly love this tune. You?
Virtue is out 3/30 on RCA.