Instead of playing this album from beginning to end, in the manner that most albums ought to be, this critic suggests you start with track three.
It’s called Somebody That I Used to Know and will, within 60 seconds or so, determine whether or not you like Walter De Backer (a.k.a. Gotye) enough to give the rest of his music a shot.
The song in question reads like an old-fashioned whining lament, a litany of complaints: ‘No, you didn’t have to stoop so low, have your friends collect your records, and then change your number. Guess that I don’t need that though, now you’re just somebody that I used to know...’ It’s the earnestness with which Gotye and his guest — a singer-songwriter from New Zealand called Kimbra — harmoniously sing their parts above a xylophone solo that helps it stand out.
Spending time with this tune helps the other 11 go down a lot easier. More highlights crop up in the form of tracks like Eyes Wide Open and Save Me, while even the more pretentious stuff (State of the Art, Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You) proclaims a little something out of the ordinary.
Another worthy mention is the closer, Bronte: ‘Since the day we found you, you have been a friend, and your voice still echoes in the hallways of this house, and now it’s the end…’ It makes for an interesting release from an artiste who deserves to be heard by more than just the people of Australia.
— Making Mirrors, Gotye, Universal, Rs 395