Review : Yonlu - A Society In Which No Tear is Shed...
SputnikmusicIt’s unfortunate that a substantial amount of people will get into Yonlu primarily because he killed himself at the age of sixteen. If history is any indication, the buildup for his only record, A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed Is Incredibly Mediocre, will only be astronomically heightened with the infamous “posthumous” tag that turns mediocre albums into intriguing ones and great albums into legends. Still, with Yonlu (aka Vinicius Gageiro Marques), it’s practically impossible to talk about A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed without mentioning his imminent suicide. The record is drenched with a stark loneliness and melancholy that defines Marques’ work and foreshadows his fate. Toying with every style from Elliott Smith aping doubled-vocals folk to breakbeat techno, Yonlu creates an impressively diverse work with the kind of shit-to-the-wind mentality and experimental approach one would expect from a well-listened teenager. Cross that with his exceptional ability to articulate emotional turmoil and the results speak for themselves. A Society in which No Tear Is Shed Is Incredibly Mediocre is a sprawling and yet unmistakably unified collection of intensely personal songs by a gifted artist cut down before he even approached his prime.
With that set up, it would be no surprise to find Yonlu’s album to be an excessively dreary requiem, like a Joy Division record gone wacky, but here’s the thing with A Society In Which No Tear Is Shed: It’s monstrously catchy. Rarely can the adjective “boppy” be applied to a song featuring the line “Memories of old times made me who I’ll never be: me,” and yet that’s exactly how best to describe album opener “I Know What It’s Like.” Casually flipping between bossa nova verses and a swung chorus, “I Know What It’s Like” is the most easy-to-swallow of A Society’s fourteen tracks, but this in no way separates it from the brooding record that is to follow. Instead, it serves as a clean introduction to the gloomy themes Yonlu explores throughout the majority of the record....full text
StrangeglueBefore you even begin to attempt at thinking about pondering the thought of pressing play on this record, you honestly need to know a few things first. A quick Google search may help you but allow us to compile the needed facts.
Vincent Gageiro Marques was a troubled child and was vastly more mature than the other children his age. Taking a liking to creative arts at the start of his teens, Vincent dabbled in drawing, photography and music, writing hundreds of songs and recording them at his self-built studio at home. By fifteen, he was circling the borders of autism, making minimal friends and taking to the internet instead. Under the screen name Yonlu, Vincent would share and critique his music, photos and art with others, creating and immersing himself within a world that seemed bearable in his mind.
Then, in 2006, when he had hit the tender age of just sixteen, Vincent took his own life.
There's no way to justify why or how Vincent decided to commit suicide but when listening to his music and coupling it with his upsettingly short life-story, it's impossible not to feel completely immersed by every moment of the record.
Listening, absorbing and attaching yourself to a dead teenager's music is not something you intend to do everyday and if we're honest, it's extremely disconcerting and almost uncomfortable at points. Songs will fade or jutter into spates of white noise or stop entirely for a brief moment, picking back up on a completely different melody. Rewound mumbles and home recordings of shuffling around play in the midst of provoking musicality and it not only splices the listening experience but creates a uniquely unsettling atmosphere that weighs heavy on the listener. ...full text
A Society in Which No Tear Is Shed Is Inconceivably Mediocre
(Luaka Bop, 2009)
You know the sort of album that, after you’re done listening to it, be it the first time or the 20th, it leaves you with a peaceful, yet strangely unsettled feeling? Well, A Society in Which No Tear Is Shed Is Inconceivably Mediocre by Brazilian musician Yonlu is exactly that sort of album. The sum arguably greater than its parts—ingest in one sitting for the highest impact—it induces an all-over sense of intrigue and enigma. And the fact that there is a back-story surrounding this artist lends credence to this cryptic notion, yet the album without a doubt stands on its own as well. For the sake of really understanding what a valuable, expressive piece of art this is, allow me to tell you what I know about Yonlu.
An isolated and socially inept teenager living in Porto Alegre in Southwestern Brazil, Yonlu took his own life in 2006 at the age of 16. The only son of highly educated and influential parents, Yonlu (née Vinicius Gageiro Marques) was a brilliant, outwardly seeking individual… but only within the safe confines of his room. What he lacked in gratifying interpersonal relationships he made up for with musical aptitude and a computer savvy that garnered him fans of his creations around the world. Alone and hunkering down with his instruments, at his disposal the sorts of sound pastiches that are available by way of our global internet communications, Yonlu crafted a vast collection of songs that are highly original and strikingly beautiful. After his ill-timed death, an enormous cache of music was found on his hard drive, serving to commemorate and celebrate this unique voice and talent.
With hushed folky melodies reminiscent of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, it’s Yonlu’s exceptionally creative approach to building and crafting original compositions that make his musical story all the more intriguing. Approachable melodic gems (“I Know What It’s Like”, “Little Kids”, “Katie Don’t Be Depressed”) contrast with stranger, more eerie songs (the exquisite “The Boy and the Tiger”, “Polyalphabetic Cipher”, “Waterfall”). Some of the tracks—“Humiliation” and “Suicide”—are devastating peeks into the troubled mind of this young artist, while others serve as startling mash-ups, testaments to our age of intercontinental access. Highlights abound. This is music that pulls on the heartstrings, tickles the ears, heightens the senses, and challenges conceptions. I really mean that....full text
Yonlu Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
- 1. Suicide Song
Do you love myspace