For the past year, hope has been a dangerous feeling to have. 2020, even what we’ve experienced of 2021 thus far, has been a series of dim flickers of hope crushed by reality. In the United States, cases of the novel Coronavirus started dropping in May and again in August, leading to hopes that the virus might finally die out, but cases rose exponentially over the summer period and again to unpredictable heights in the fall and winter. In the early months of 2020, the Democratic primaries were crushing, as we watched Joe Biden gain the nomination for President, and the election season following was brutal and horrifying. Just as the better of the two candidates won out and it looked like we might return to some form of normal, the Capitol riots happened. As a populace, we have become numb to hope, knowing that the perceived “light at the end of the tunnel” is likely just a hallucination.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor has returned to tell us, through their new album 𝘎_𝘥'𝘴 𝘗𝘦𝘦 𝘈𝘛 𝘚𝘛𝘈𝘛𝘌'𝘚 𝘌𝘕𝘋! that hope is not an impossible feeling, even in these times. 𝘎_𝘥'𝘴 𝘗𝘦𝘦 is an anthem of happiness, of hope, of looking ahead to the future with the knowledge that we can make things better in this world while we’re still here. It’s the soundtrack to looking out on Earth, where societies are falling apart and our world is the brink of desperation, and realizing that life is not always going to be this way -- that things can and will turn for the better.
I’m going to keep this review short, partially because I’m not even sure how to describe the music on this album in a way that can do it any justice (and partially because I have a lot of schoolwork). Like Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s other releases, 𝘎_𝘥'𝘴 𝘗𝘦𝘦 is a cinematic journey of an album. At the moment, I have no way to put how I feel about this album into words, but this is a masterpiece. I urge you, listen to this album. It provides a cathartic, much-needed sense of looking ahead and saying, “maybe things will be alright”. I firmly believe they will be.