EYES LIKE OCEANS
“From Russia With Love”
Seriously, what? “From Russia With Love” begins not unlike many other Eyes Like Oceans songs, with basic acoustic guitar, Miles Atkins’ overpronounced vocals, and a Garage Band drum loop, before the MIDI strings kick in and bring the song to what seems like its musical and emotional climax. Then, all of a sudden, the guitars shift from acoustic to electric, and there’s a fucking metalcore breakdown--and like a ray of sunlight, that surprisingly beautiful MIDI string section kicks in again. Metalcore/deathcore is one of those genres I’m not too familiar with, but it’s safe to say this isn’t a particularly well-executed breakdown--and it comes right after one of the most beautiful moments in any Eyes Like Oceans songs. So why does it work? Am I just used to Atkins’ idiosyncrasies? Is that cheesy grin on my face because I like it or because it’s so laughably bad? And would the song work as well without it or does it somehow, inexplicably, against all odds, make the tune? Or maybe it works after all and I’m just not expecting it?
The one thing I can infallibly give Atkins credit for on this song is having the balls to not only do this (this could have gone bad soooo easily) but sound earnest while not sounding as if he’s trying too hard. It doesn’t come across as tongue-in-cheek, but it’s too sincere to be nothing more than parody. I am reminded of “Beth/Rest,” Bon Iver’s experiment in unabashed ‘80s cheese-pop which actually ended up being one of the most beautiful songs ever written, but at least it didn’t have the WTF element present here. And at the same time, the placement of the breakdown right after the most emotional and powerful part of the song seems to inexplicably work.
In summation, I like this song. You won’t.
Note: the - rating can be interpreted as either a zero or as a testament to how some music just can't be evaluated with a few stupid stars.