Week 95: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye

In the same way that Erato enjoyed 15 minutes of internet stardom by putting a creative twist on Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”, the independent band Walk Off The Earth made a clever video cover of this song that you’ve probably already seen via every one of your friends on Facebook, or possibly attached to an email with the subject line: “I don’t usually forward videos, but this is *amazing*!!!”

While I appreciate the creativity of the Walk Off The Earth version, I think the original (which has a pretty creative video of its own, by the way) wins out.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The xylophone. Everything about the first minute of the song is delicate- the voice, the guitar, the percussion –but the xylophone is the best part. And I can’t help singing “baa-baa black sheep” in my head whenever I hear it.

2. The verse sung by Kimbra. I find that when songs follow the he-sings-she-sings format they either turn out being poignant or supremely lame. For me, the “she-sings” verse of this song is effective because you don’t see it coming. It interrupts what you thought was going to be a brokenhearted rant and reminds us that there are two sides to every story.

3. The sudden ending. Perhaps Gotye’s way of implying that the best way to end it is with a clean break.

Recommended listening activity:

Cleansing your inbox by deleting messages you’d rather not read again.

Buy it here.