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Hauntingly Good

Thumbnail2About a week ago, I mentioned that it would be cool if I write a review about the CDs that purchase monthly. The day after I posted that post, I ran out to the store and bought a CD. What CD, you ask? Well, the hint is in one of the other post suggestions I had last week. Seen it yet? If you said that it's an Imogen Heap album, then you're completely.... WRONG!

No, the hint is House of Leaves. Amazingly, this album is by the sister of the author of House of Leaves, Poe! The album is Haunted and it's rather amazing. It's.... it's.... Well, to quote Drifty: "I like Poe's Haunted album, mostly because of the awesome songs and partly because of the connection to House of Leaves."

Haunted is a very strange album, in it's awesomeness. First of all, it's an amazing 18 tracks (including the bonus track) long and some of them are fairly long. Second, it's one of those CDs where you're supposed to listen to everything in order because the songs connect. Third, four of the 18 tracks are interludes, which aren't really songs but they add a bit of story to the album. And fourth, it can be quite scary. Seriously, listen to the interlude House of Leaves in the dark. FREAKY. :P

As Drifty mentioned, this album is interconnected with House of Leaves--they were both made at the same time. Brother and sister working together, awww. :P Anyway, both exhibit qualities and ideas from each other, which makes listening quite an experience because you recognize all of this stuff from House of Leaves. :P Also, this album is a tribute to Poe's deceased father. The story goes that one day, she and her brother found tapes in the attic with recordings of their father's voice. Most songs of the songs on the disc contain samples of her father's voice and the entire album is really more about her father than it is about House of Leave. Nevertheless, it's awesome. :P

Because I can't think of a better way to do this, I'm going to use the star system. I'll list all of the songs on the album (excluding the interludes and the bonus track), review them and give them ratings. At the end, I'll calculate the rating for the entire album. :P

  • Haunted - The title track and, in my opinion, the best song. I'm not actually sure if this song actually means anything, but musically, the entire thing is wonderful. It's gotten to the point where I randomly go "BA DA PA PA" when talking to people. Yes, I'm that weird. 5 stars
  • Control - This song is very good too. It's about taking control of your life from someone else who thinks they're in control. Not quite the best, but the first verse and chorus are really quite yummy. 4 stars
  • Terrible Thought - Another rather good song. This song is about the easily relatable situation of being consumed by a horrible thought that you just cannot stop thinking--it just keeps returning. The chorus and the bridge are the best. 4 stars
  • Walk The Walk - A fast-paced song about living your life the way you want to. Not quite my cup of tea, but it's good. 3 stars
  • Wild - At 9 minutes long, Wild is the longest track on the disc, but this doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, it's one of my favorites. The whole thing is very sound, and what a wonderful sound it is. :P If I had to choose a favorite part, it would be the fast parts after the second and third choruses. They remind me of the fast part in Imogen Heap's The Walk. After the main singing finishes, the song breaks into what is essentially a three and a half minute instrumental with a bunch of vocals thrown in. It's quite fantastic, too. 5 stars
  • 5&½ Minute Hallway - This song surprised me. It's a slow song and certainly not one that you could dance to, but it's absolutely fantastic. After listening to this song, you'll just be walking somewhere and suddenly, you'll hear Poe singing "I live at the end of a 5 and half minute hallway." It's very ethereal and quite amazing. 5 stars
  • Not A Virgin - This song is, quite obviously (perhaps so obviously that I'm completely misinterpreting the meaning of the song), about letting someone know that you've lost your virginity. It's likable, but not quite my type of music. 3 stars
  • Hey Pretty - This song is, according to Wikipedia, "a sultry pop rant of a woman seeking sexual satisfaction on any grounds possible." Um, interesting. Anyway, it's an okay song. This song was the only song on the album to receive any radio time, albeit in a modified form. Not my favorite, but it's growing on me, and the House of Leaves reference in the second verse makes me squee. Yes, that's how weird I am. :P 4 stars
  • Could've Gone Mad - Another amazing song. In fact, when I first heard it, I didn't care too much for it, but now I'm in love. If I had to interpret it, I'd say that, while it does have some sexual undertones, I think it's more about separation anxiety and her father. She sings about how she would've gone insane if he hadn't arrived, which he didn't, which may imply that she is already insane since she thinks he has arrived. Yeah, that's my twisted, probably incorrect interpretation of the song, but it's mine, so go away. Musically, the entire thing is wonderful and gets stuck in my head frequently. 5 stars
  • Lemon Meringue - Another great song whose chorus stays in my head all day. I'm not quite sure what it's about--I think it's about finding a way to make a bad day or situation better--but regardless, it's great. :P 4 stars
  • Spanish Doll - The first real disappointment on the disc, which is quite a feat considering that it's the 11th real song on the album. It's quite a slow, sad song about a bad break up. The only part of it I like is the "Sweet.... spanish.... sweet.... spanish.... doll" part that could be called the chorus. 2 stars
  • Amazed - This song is not vain, it is quite amazing. Lyrically, I interpret it to be about a new, wonderful love that the singer relishes in, which is good seeing the hurt she experienced in the previous song, before smoothly ending with a whole ton of House of Leaves references. Musically, the entire thing is brilliant. Like Could've Gone Mad, I didn't like it at first, but it really grew on me. 5 stars
  • If You Were Here - What confuses me about this song is that after the singing is complete, there are two and a half minutes of pure silence. It was actually quite terrifying on first listen--I thought something was going to jump out at me. But I checked it with Audacity and, unlike Imogen Heap's The Moment I Said It, there's actually nothing there. Lyrically, this is quite a beautiful song. There's no fooling with metaphors here--it's very obviously about missing her father. There's quite a bit of her father in this song, in fact. I just don't really like the song. 1 star

Wow, that was longer than I expected it to be. Anyway, if you average the ratings together, you get 3.8 stars! Musically, Haunted by Poe gets a 3.8 of 5 rating from me. There's also an awesomeness factor, which I discussed earlier, but yeah. :P

I only rated real songs, however, I skipped the interludes and the bonus track. While I'll keep the interludes how they are (though I will continue to press the fact that House of Leaves is FREAKY :P), I'll tell you about the bonus track. Hey Pretty (Drive-by 2001 mix) is actually a remix of Hey Pretty, but not in a way that you'd expect. Back in 2001, when Poe was trying to get her music on the radio, she encountered many stations telling her that they weren't playing women for some reason. So she got her brother, the author of House of Leaves, to read a section of his book to the music of Hey Pretty. Surprisingly, this mix because a moderate radio hit. It also has a risqué music video, for those interested.

All in all, Haunted by Poe was a great investment and I think I'll be listening to these songs many times again. I hope this review makes you want to listen to it as well and I hope that Drifty agrees with everything I've said or I may suddenly find myself lying in a gutter in Staten Island. Bye! :P

Hatkirby on May 2nd, 2010 at 1:45:18pm
👍 2 👎


But, what if House of Leaves is also about their father? I also have slightly different interpretations of the song, which are rather spoiler-ish for HoL so I'd better hush. :P Interesting how we seem to like the same songs (except for Walk the Walk, which I find very amazing). :D

A suggestion: Continue with these, but also do book reviews (HoL!) and other kinds of reviews. :D

Drifty on May 3rd, 2010 at 3:25:20am

Don't blame me if I sound insane, I haven't finished it yet! :P Besides, it's insane, so :P. And my interpretations are subject to local copyleft law and are totally guaranteed to probably be incorrect considering I wrote it. :P And Walk the Walk is good, but not amazing. :P

Yes, the reviews are fun and they seem to make for VERA long posts, so yay! :D I'm not going to buy a CD next month for financial reasons so I may review an old CD or I may review something else. :) Or maybe I should even review stuff more often? :P

Hatkirby on May 3rd, 2010 at 8:53:21am
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