Pop Cult: Robin Gibb, INFINITE
Weekly column featuring knee-jerk reactions (the best kind) to pop culture happenings all over the world.Posted by Allen Huang
Chasing the Night Away
Robin Gibb – Another Lonely Night in New York : A
In eulogizing the great Robin Gibb, people tend to fall into two camps. There are those who correctly praise the Bee Gees for their pop songwriting achievements, bringing dance music to the mainstream with their cache of Disco hits. Then there are those who disown their disco past, pointing more to the Bee Gees’ early days as psychedelic-folk singers, comparing them favorably to luminaries such as Love or even the Beatles.
But overlooked in all of this are the solo efforts of Robin Gibb himself. Well, not technically solo efforts. Maurice produced, played instruments and co-wrote most of the songs on 1983’s How Old Are You?. It was Robin’s strange interpretation of machismo and his embrace of the synths and textures that would soon dominate 80’s radio that sold it. And while the pomp of the music video for “Juliet” gets most of the attention, it’s the above song that really resonates.
It’s the post-disco hangover captured perfectly in less than four minutes. When that reverb kicks in during the chorus it sends chills down my spine. “Another Lonely Night In New York” is an overlooked classic.
It kind of feels like How To Dress Well kinda stole his whole aesthetic from this video.
Infinite – The Chaser : A-
K-Pop tunes come in many flavors: sweet, sour, spicy, cool, sometimes mixed up in unfathomable ways. But while Sistar’s “Alone” may be a cucumber martini, and 4Minute’s “Dream Racer” is a bubblegum flavored ice-cream cake, boy band Infinite’s “The Chaser” is like the best hamburger ever.
Produced by the underrated Sweetune (who worked on Nine Muses‘ last mini-album to much success), this song hangs its hat on that bendy synth hook before throttling you with a firestorm of a chorus. And then the horns and the guitars kick in. Everything in “The Chaser” is layered exquisitely, every sound is sharpened and honed to precision and stacked upon each other like the most difficult game of knife jenga ever. No tricks, no gimmicks, just pure pop radiance.
This is all without even mentioning the video, which is really just a dance inside an “Urban Outfitters Tee-Pee” (stole that one from Reese) intercut with some vehicle stunts. But that shot of the one guy breaking all the fluorescent lights while on his bike is so, so amazing. I have stared at an animated gif of this scene for longer than is considered healthy.