WITR REVIEW: Shelter, at first listen, is a fun and upbeat song. The lyrics tell a story of moving forwards; using a dreamy past as motivation to strive towards a hopeful future. So, when this video was released, we at WITR expected something good-natured and happy. Oh, how wrong we were. The Shelter video is a deep, meaningful, and sad look at the life of a lonely young girl as she slowly regains memories of her past. We’re shown this girl, Rin, living in a world of her own design. Wantonly creating and destroying with a tap of her tablet, she has deity-like power over her surroundings. However, Rin is lonely; isolated as seemingly the sole inhabitant of this reality. As the video progresses, she begins to remember her past; a happy childhood with a loving and doting father. He’s distracted by something Rin doesn’t know; their moon has fallen out of orbit and is crashing towards their planet. Through these flashbacks, Rin remains naively unobservant of the impending doom. She plays with her father as if nothing’s wrong, laughing and swinging and drawing like any other child. In her final flashback, however, we see Rin’s father loading her into a life-preserving virtual reality machine of his own design. Through all this worry, Rin’s father has focused only on saving the life of his daughter. This is the machine that’s created the world in which Rin now lives, omnipotent yet solitary, the only survivor of the destruction of her world. As this final memory hits, Rin receives a letter from her father in the simulation. He’s not boasting about his creation, but rather apologizing for not being able to spend more time with her. He says that her smile was what kept him going, what allowed him to build this amazing machine that saved her life. The video ends on a shot of Rin’s virtual reality pod, floating through space, towards anywhere but the remains of her dead planet. In this, we’re treated to Rin’s final words in the video: “Thank you.”
WITR REVIEW: The melodic mixers of the mid 90's have had a 16 year hiatus but now return with their new album WildFlower.
WITR REVIEW: Portugal. The Man's 6th studio album to date and first signed to Atlantic Records. With a fresh David Bowie-esque psychedelic synth-pop feel, this album is definitely their most glamorous to date. “So American” starts the album off on the right foot, singing about the typical American things, breaking rules, Rock n Roll, and boys and girls. The album’s single, “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)” is perfect for the bike ride along the Genesee on those rare sunny Rochester days. The rest of the album frolics along beautifully, like the scenery of their native Alaska. The final song “Sleep Forever” is one of the strongest, yet also the most atmospheric song on the album. Thanks to “In The Mountain In The Cloud”, Portugal. The Man sounds better than ever.