Overlooked in the AughtsÂ is an ongoing feature focusing on some of the best albums from the 2000s that havenâ€™t quite received the attention they deserved. Todayâ€™s post: Miloshâ€™s Meme.
Love songs and break-up songs. Seems as though a large majority of pop music can be fit in one of these two categories. So thereâ€™s a lot going against any musician willing to tread the same path. With decades of pop songs and the pitfalls of clichÃ© â€™round every corner, Miloshâ€™s 2006 break-up album, Meme, manages to stake its own ground while creating a thoroughly moving electronic record.
For anyone out there whoâ€™s apprehensive of a genre like â€œelectronic musicâ€ and all itâ€™s subgenres/offshoots (techno, hardcore, dubstep, etc etc etc), Meme might be the perfect break-in record for you. This criminally underrated album has a lush ambience that anyone whoâ€™s enjoyed Radioheadâ€™s more experimental efforts could pick up Miloshâ€™s album without batting an eye. Memeâ€™s compositions flow with an R&B-like sensuality and evoke the powerful emotional essence at the core of the album.
Meme followed Miloshâ€™s debut, You Make Me Feel, which is, ostensibly a love record. Legend has it (or paragraph-sized press releases slapped onto CD cases for college radio stations) that Meme was written for Miloshâ€™s ex-girlfriend, the very one he fell in love with on and all over You Make Me Feel. This is no more apparent than on Memeâ€™s opening track, â€œItâ€™s Over.â€ As if that title didnâ€™t alert the listener, perhaps a few lyric samples could:
Words push through me/Like bullets from those songs/I made for you as you sang along/Now Iâ€™m singing songs for everyone but you
Though the album is about heartbreak, it hardly has anything to do with â€œwoe-is-meâ€ type deliberations.Â A major issue with a lot of romantically-inclined songs, either of the getting-together or break-up variety, is a certain lack of empathy. Meme is chock full of empathy, really suggesting that not only is Milosh a talented songwriter, but one who understands what a relationship entails. A give and take. An equal balance. A partnership with another individual, not simply a bond between you and someone placed on some pedestal. His ex is as human and susceptible to the same problems of existence as he is. And he makes it known.
OnÂ â€Couldnâ€™t Sleep,â€ the albumâ€™s best song and its most devastating, Milosh lets empathy come out in waves. As he softly coos atop a fairly simple, key-driven instrumental, Milosh seems more hurt, angered and perplexed by his actions than that of his ex:
Made a phone call last night/Iâ€™ve been thinking about it all day/I made you cry last night
Rather than sulk in his own pain and misery, Milosh instead offer a portrait of an individual as hurt by his own actions and their affect on someone heâ€™s loved and continues to love. Heâ€™s confused by what heâ€™s done, he seeks solace in three simple words from his ex (But itâ€™s ok/I heard you say/I love you) and yet, heâ€™s restless throughout the night because of his exâ€™s tender response, or his actions or both. Unlike every pop-punk band of the decade thatâ€™s placed the emphasis on the ex, thatâ€™s made them an â€œotherâ€ for which to place all blame, Milosh chose to describe a painful break-up in the most minimal, observant and truthful manner without lashing out at anyone involved in the broken relationship. And thatâ€™s what makes an album likeÂ Meme so affecting and, simply put, great.
Milosh â€“ â€œThe Cityâ€: