Sometimes, Bwog reviews professional performers showcasing their talent on campus. Other times, Bwog reviews less-than-professional performers holding us metaphorically hostage. This review, by staffer Levi Cohen, falls into the second category.
There are two meanings to the phrase “captive audience.” The first is an audience that is caught up in whatever is being performed. The second is an audience that is being subjected to a performance; an audience held at (usually metaphorical) gunpoint.
I am that second type of audience for the person on my floor’s newest artistic effort, Unearthly Off-Key Shrieking At All Hours Of The Day, released independently and available now on Spotify or through the very thin walls of your dorm room. My floormate has truly taken the musical concept of “what if I don’t understand how to shut up at 2 am” to its furthest conceptual limits. Never before has a performer stretched themselves in such a way.
Some of my suitemate’s biggest hits, like “‘Despacito’ But Sung Off-Key And Weirdly Like A Jazz Crooner,” stand out as singularly fascinating tracks. Tracks like it, or the deep cut “Not Everyone Wants To Hear Your Music Through Crappy Laptop Speakers At Full Blast In The Middle Of The Night,” make this reviewer wonder: has this person ever lived with other people before? Have my and others’ constant polite requests at the start of the fall semester, and our more recent aggressive measures like banging on their door and shouting for them to stop, PLEASE STOP, meant absolutely nothing? Who will break it to my floormate that their singing has zero aesthetic merit and will likely burst an eardrum before it wins them a place in an a cappella group?
The climax of the album might be the penultimate track, “Our RA Has Talked To You Several Times And You Still Do Not Understand The Concept Of Being Fucking Quiet.” It’s a hard-hitting piece, in that I find myself rhythmically hitting my head against the wall whenever it starts.
Maybe this is good life experience. Maybe my first post-college apartment in the city will find me surrounded by screaming babies and beginner’s jazz lessons. Maybe then I will smile with zen-like peace, having already gone through the cycle of grief and arrived at Noise Acceptance. Maybe then. But not now. Album score: 0.0
(PS—to make the suffering author feel better, go listen to Milo’s Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!, ROSALÍA’s Los Ángeles, and Big Thief’s Capacity)