The VX-323 is one of those artists that are on the next level. Why? Because the VX-323 isn’t even considered human. As I sit here with the lovely bio on the artist, it’s refreshing to see them take the idea of a robot with soul so seriously. I may seem sarcastic here, but I’m not.
I feel a little bit like I did when I first heard Radiohead’s Paranoid Android for the first time, as this album’s vocals are entirely made up of speech synth. I also like the claim of differentiation of who this album is for; a claim of “funk music for robots, but slick techno pop for humans”. I feel like people (or robots) don’t really take this sort of chance to enjoy the idea BEHIND the music.
For instance, I thought the days of Andre 3000 talking about black rights in space, or Deltron talking about what life will be like in the year 3030 were long gone. But alas, we have another tale from the dark future of mankind through this speech synth robot.
The album, entitled Chansons, has a feel that you expect from a robot. Almost 80’s sounding beats, but then there’s a moment where the lyrics and subject matter make it something else entirely. For instance, the first track Billion Dollar Condo, the robot makes fun of its owner who has it all. He even gives us that “sophisticated” British accent to boot, to remind us of how media portrays that accent as the pompous one.
The third track, Factory Blues tells us about VX-323 being put on standby, armor removed, to then be decommissioned. I had a feeling of something like another industrial revolution. We even have the words of hope by the robo-wife: “Don’t give up, you’re my only robot”.
The fifth track, Laptop, was a rather endearing track. To put simply, it’s a poem about a laptop that loves its owner (I’m sure you mac fiends can relate). I actually started laughing out loud at my desk listening to the laptop tell me about how it wants me to charge it up, and how much it wants me to drag my finger about its track pad, but then again, I guess it’s not the first time I’ve had that request.
The ninth and final track, When You’re Gone, reminds me of something out of I, Robot. The premise is about just that, when all humans are on the planet, what the robots will do. Not that it’s close or anything, but I feel like it’s a legitimate question to ask, if not at least an entertaining one. But to be honest, I hope it’s more like the creations of the upcoming movie 9, than of the piss poor I, Robot.
To sum it up, this is more than just an album; it’s an experience... one that most people are too afraid to make in this day and age. Just because it doesn’t make radio play, doesn’t make someone an amateur at their craft. The man behind the machine VX-323 is actually a seasoned lyricist who’s worked with 80’s New Wave band Things Fall Apart.
VX-323, you may just be on to something here, and I’d run my finger across your laptop pad any day of the week. *pause* Yeah I just said that.
Until next time my friends,