Track Review: Tortoise: Prepare Your Coffin

I envision this song as the theme for the next James Bond movie; at the very least, I demand that Lil Wayne raps over it for Random of Solstice or whatever.  Jokes aside, the new song by post-rock kings Tortoise is made for a spy soundtrack, given its quick tempo, slightly sinister melody, and vaguely tropical air.  This means it is quite different from classic Tortoise; it’s about as pop as one can get when you compare it to tracks such as 1996’s Djed, from the landmark record Millions Now Living Will Never Die.  This is not necessarily a bad thing- I did enjoy the track- but the poppier aspects of Prepare Your Coffin may bring to light the most embarrassing aspect of Tortoise’s sound; a semi-alignment with background music.  This problem is true for nearly all post-rock, and though Tortoise’s best work (the aforementioned Millions Now Living Will Never Die, TNT) is some of the greatest music of the 1990s, there is no denying it’s as tough listening as the avant-garde sounds of 1970s noisemakers Throbbing Gristle or even This Heat.  But Prepare Your Coffin is an instrumental pop song, meaning that barring transcendence (Miserlou, Telstar, Rumble) it is disturbingly close to music solely created to play second fiddle (no pun intended).  It is perfect for a spy soundtrack, perfect for pretending one is in a spy movie, and perfect for film trailers.  But besides that… there’s not much to recommend Prepare Your Coffin.

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3 Responses to “Track Review: Tortoise: Prepare Your Coffin”

  1. Great review, absolutely on track (no pun intended).

  2. Too bad about coffin preparation. You bring up a good question: What is the worst or best James Bond opening single. Not easy to write music knowing the context is going to be sillouhetted, scantilly clad women floating across a screen.

    I think Doran Doran, “View to a Kill” had the heavy breathing needed to introduce Bond. “Live and Let Die” is not bad but too all over the place. How many Rock hall of famers have scored the Bond single? Maybe that should kick Paul out?

    Takle these questions, please.

  3. Blooper Says:

    Your assuming millions now living is there best album…

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