Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #82 Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
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#82 Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary has the persistence of an avalanche down a steep grade, though it's hard to pinpoint at what, exactly, it persists. This isn't the first time I've said this, and it certainly won't be the last, but Spencer Krug has a keen ability to cultivate his own dialect. Dan Boeckner's tracks – "Shine a Light" and "This Heart's on Fire" stand out – are more direct and palatable, but it's Krug's bewildering lyrical racket that solidifies the strange world that Apologies walls in. There are savages, fire and torches, ghosts, a bevy of frightening things. There is also isolation, spatial and temporal disconnection, a lingering distrust of the mechanical world. No one speaks the way he speaks, and his sideways approach to lyricism on this record is a novelty that never seems to fade.
If the subjects mentioned above sound depressing, understand these eerie elements knock heads in a world overrun by classical romance. The breakneck instrumentation conjures an idealized human who is relentlessly upbeat, and for that reason it's easy to miss most of the dark lyricism the first few times through. But the crashing swells at the apex of the album - "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" and "I'll Believe in Anything" - don't merely exist to mask (in a bout of self-inflicted denial) the darker themes of the record. Rather, it plays like an attempt to reconcile the hopeful with the hopeless, to outline a person who is perpetually optimistic in the face of a crushing set of circumstances. On an escapist record, Krug finally outlines his own plans for escape: "I'll take you where nobody knows you / and nobody gives a damn." And there you go: we're isolated, but we're isolated with someone. Apologies to the Queen Mary is that someone, and it is a wondrously comforting someone in our times of solitude.