The Microphones - Microphones in 2020
Microphones in 2020
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Phil please shove your dick in my mouth
When I see the AOTY community quoting lines from this album in their reviews, it just goes to show that Phil Elverum is one of the greatest and most quotable songwriters to ever live. He can say literally anything and it would sound poetic.

I’m not complaining, you old dog.

“Microphones in 2020” makes me feel nervous and at ease and the same time. Whether it be the endlessly progressing yet unchanging instrumental, or the softly spoken, touching, depressive, cathartic ... read more
“It's not that bad, but I know I wanted to go deeper beneath the pain // beneath the human.”

Plato can be credited for saying that it's the ultimate duty of writers and painters to "help us live better lives." Over 2000+ years later and I doubt anyone would want to discredit this sentiment. Though, maybe it could use some amending for the modern day. In a world riddled with injustices (and outlets for mental deterioration) at every corner, I find that the novelist, ... read more
Spiritually and in retrospect, Phil Elvrum has written a kind of autobiography through Microphones in 2020. A grandiose work, particularly intense, introspective and intimate, which remains forever one of the most beautiful demonstrations of life.

Beyond all the nostalgia we feel musically and through all the landscapes of memories he tries to make us live, Phil Elvrum has an extraordinary life and career path. From his youth under the nickname of The Microphones and later his ... read more
I saw Stereolab in Bellingham and they played one chord for fifteen minutes
Something in me shifted
I brought back home belief I could create eternity
Leaning the guitar up on the amp, taping down organ keys
Feeding back forever distorted waves of cymbals oceany
Slowly starting to try to move the words beyond mere melancholy
Into something that rings
True and old and useful hopefully
Before I get into this review, I just wanted to mention that my AOTY 2020 list is out:
Also my top 60 songs of 2020 are here:
Anyways, on with the review.

As a huge Phil Elverum fan, It should be no surprise that ‘Microphones in 2020’ would be a major musical highlight from 2020 for me, even if it’s a bit ... read more
Bluntly honest & thoroughly focused, Phil Elverum’s latest addition to his catalog rivals some of his best work; even A Crow Looked at Me.
Since this premiered about 12 hours early on his YT page, I’ve managed to get through 7 listens of Microphones in 2020. On first listen, I had no complaints except for the opening 8 minutes or so of that infectious acoustic riff. Looking back, I realize that the riff is a main theme of sorts. I know its a bit of a lazy comparison; but think ... read more
WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!! AFRICAN BALLS???????????????????
Wow. I’m genuinely speechless. Phil Elverum has been such an important part of my life, especially as of late his genuine and heartwrenching songwriting has hit me harder than ever before. And these biographical lyrics, reflecting on his life, has hit me SO hard.

This album had so much passion poured into it, I felt captured and trapped in the ingenious mind of Phil Elverum. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about an album on my first listen. Thank you, Phil. Seriously. ... read more
At first I really wasn’t planning on writing a review for this, but at some point when I was listening, this album really engulfed my afternoon, really my whole day when I heard it.

Phil is giving us a record under a moniker that is essentially having a revival, a collective emotional outburst that relies heavily on past emotions, past experiences, and a long and excruciating transition from an earlier period in his passion to the man he’s become now. In the repetitive guitars and ... read more
The mystical magic of meaninglessness manifests itself magnificently, marking many with it's motherless misanthropy. Misdirections make moments, moments make melodies, melodies make music.

The Microphones - Man and Macrocosm
This is one of the most poignant, emotionally charged, and really, one of the most human pieces of music I've ever heard. In roughly 2,300 words and 44 minutes, Elvrlum, who had already pretty much perfected his art, delivers a one-track album that effectively serves as an autobiography in song. This album is one of the most beautiful things to come out of this wretched year- it is effectively the soundtrack to Elvrlum's life and career, going into detail about his different monikers and his ... read more
i was giggling like a little school girl the entire time this was playing
Microphones in 2020 is an album of cleverly handled nostalgia and wordy retrospection set to droney acoustic wankery that I MUST have created an AOTY account, last year, to then find on this date at this point in my life. This album is just incredible and frankly, this is life-affirming for me.
The Microphones in 2020 is only an album by its namesake, in many ways. Rather, the work feels more like a memoir set to music; like sitting down with your friend after their vacation, showing you photos of their experience and telling you about the parts of the world they got to see.

Unlike those instances of watching the experience of others, which can often become tiresome and frankly exhausting, the storybook of Phil Elverum under The Microphones moniker is entirely gripping. The method ... read more
Never listened to anything by Phil before, so while I do like this a lot I feel like I’m not appreciating it as much as many others.

And while this is very impressive, 44 minutes of the same song just doesn’t provide much replay value. It’s immersive and nice while it’s on and I completely get the purpose, but ultimately it just ends up being good background music and not much more for me. Fantastic songwriting though, to be able to make this 44 minute song listenable ... read more
I always come back to you. Like an old friend, one who can always make me feel better, make me feel something. Picking up the needle and dropping it down, letting you spin, letting you spin for those 44 minutes, letting the music consume me, letting you consume me whole. How could you be so perfect? So utterly flawless? And how can you help me so much, making me feel something more than sadness, you make me feel more human than anything else ever could, how?

What makes you so different to all ... read more
best song and album of all time, i guess.

there is nothing i can say to capture what listening to this album is like. there's no point in trying. i've never encountered this, ever. it has broken me. i can say this is the best piece of music lyrically every written and the most genius use of meta commentary in a work of art of all time possibly, if that means anything. if words even mean anything.

thanks phil

It's been a month and I'm still unsure how to put my love for this album into words. On 'Microphones in 2020', Phil Elverum once again proves himself to be a master at seamlessly transforming raw thoughts and emotions into songwriting that is beautifully profound in it's simplicity. This 40 minute long single-track album see's Phil explore and recollect moments and memories from his youth, allowing the listener to get a personal look into his early music-making days, ... read more

Trying to put this album into words, let alone a number, feels so pointless. Just read the lyrics of the song. With Microphones in 2020, Phil Elverum somehow summarizes his life as an artist in a little less than 45 minutes with something that feels mundane and intimate while also sounding infinite. After all, that’s what Phil seeks: infinity. The idea that art can be in a vacuum and go on forever, just like how that one chord he heard Stereolab labor over seemed to. What ... read more
*plays the same 2 chords for 7 mins straight*
yo that's deep

Okay but like, jokes aside, this was a pretty intimate, honest, absorbing, interesting and detailed description of this dudes whole life, down to the moment he started recording this album, in the form of a 44 minute song
If this really is the swan song for “The Microphones” there isn’t possibly a better send off I could think of than this.

Phil is quite frankly one of the most gifted and cherished songwriters of his generation and one who has gotten me through some of my worst times personally. This roughly 45 minute song has everything you could possibly want out of an Eleverum piece. The songwriting is rich and dense and so emotionally complex and honest and Phil’s story of his own ... read more
Great Album even though it's just one track that's 40 mins but moving on great vocals and guitar and drums 9/10 FAV TRACKS microphones in 2020 also it's a V I B E M O M E N T
"It's not fucking sad"

At first, I didn't understand what Mojo meant with their review, "Intimate, absorbing." What does this mean??? I mean it was pretty clear they were describing the experience, still looked silly out of context. But after listening to this album, I finally understood what they meant. This album is kinda emotionally draining, but not for the same reasons you think it might be, I don't think that was the point of the album to make you feel sad. I think ... read more
There is beauty to be found in restatement,
There is beauty to be found in rebuilding,
There is beauty to be found in repetition.

A museme is to music what a Morpheme is to linguistics,
It's a fracture of a statement it's what you get when you slice a word in half,
They can never stand by themselves but we use them every time in a resoundingly strong way.

Musematic repetition is when you take these fractures, these ideas of music and repeat them to build a framework,
Every time you write an ... read more
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