Creating and Defining the Double-Entendre Genre

Alexa VanHooser, Reporter

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Shedding their former moniker – Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – for a more applicable one, The Voidz dropped a new album on March 31, entitled Virtue.

Through and through, this album combines the obvious with the subversive, engineering a real or imagined goal of achieving a non-psychedelic form of enlightenment. Layering, complicating, and reinventing the sounds and styles of different genres on their own terms, The Voidz echo the thirst for change so many Americans find themselves pleading for. Such an album not only delivers, but fast-tracks this spirit of reinvention by weaving political messages and personal criticisms of the very nature of the English language itself in a space dominated by poppy ballads and palatable R&B tracks.

Criticized by prominent music journals as self-important, pretentious, and confusing, these jabs are nothing the Voidz haven’t endured before.In fact, they couldn’t care less what you think of them.

Headed by former Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, this six-man group’s affinity for escaping definition – be it through innovation or destruction of tradition – doubles as their most damning and appealing trait.

To an outsider, this album may give off the aforementioned facade of changing for the sake of change. But to those familiar with their work, the album represents a fuller expression of what it means to be an artist in contemporary America. Crisscrossing the plane between old and new, the band incorporates a fresh take on retro synth, guitar, and vocals.

Opening track Leave It In My Dreams showcases a twangy, out-of-tune introduction and an upbeat, borderline-poppy drum feature. This early poppiness soon juxtaposes the heavy, Middle-Eastern influence in subsequent track QYURRYUS – a wordplay on the word “curious” and a later allusion to the idea that All Wordz Are Made Up – which received the harshest critic backlash due to layers of autotune. This heaviness is followed by a self-proclaimed “homage to hair metal” titled Pyramid of Bones. Cultivating the political seeds they had planted with 2014 debut album Tyranny, the band showcases lyrics such as “Don’t you ever listen to the white man’s lies.”

The 15-track sophomore album continues with a full-bodied display of twists, turns, and strong messages.

Fan-favorite Pink Ocean replicates the new-wave, down-tempo grit teenagers and adults alike have popularized in recent years. Closing with nihilistic ballad Pointlessness, the album mimics the same dilapidated resignation – but this time, with a sort of refined feeling. Instead of replicating the underlying anger featured on their debut album, the Voidz communicate a more positive, yet complex, message.

Recognizing and implementing “complete truth” in American society, Casablancas argues, is an arduous process that separates the willing and the unwilling. It is what separates the leader from the follower – which might not always be as black and white as one may seem.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Creating and Defining the Double-Entendre Genre”

  1. Francisco DeLosSantos on April 6th, 2018 4:50 pm

    WOW, great work!

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Creating and Defining the Double-Entendre Genre