This was written over one listen, but there were a few pauses.
I’m rather tired at the moment and so those pauses felt necessary, but perhaps they weren’t.
The Tragically Hip’s “Machine” is from Man Machine Poem. From what I’ve read, “Man” and “Machine” were going to be one song but the band decided to split it into two separate songs.
I hope you enjoy.
I think I was looking to just describe the song here, but I feel as though I captured a suggestion of mood. Not sure.
A thump and the percussion comes in, playing things seemingly hard, yet gentle at the same time. A wandering bass line follows, as does a matching guitar. A secondary guitar plays out an additional melody for a moment before both guitars disappear and make way for the vocals.
Low and clear the vocals sound, and seemingly relaxed much like the melody. In a brief pause guitar takes time to return, then the vocals go walking forward once more. The song shifts and swings lower and harder, though without being heavy or abrasive. It gains a sense of energy but retains its cool.
The melody switches back to its “quieter”, more drifting state. Additional sounds come in, emphasising the melody and beat as the vocals walk and drift. The song swings back to its harder sound for a moment before expanding outward and almost becoming dreamlike. It seems to build to something and becomes almost this massive thing. However, it retains its soft qualities in there.
The music doesn’t quite unleash, though it does release. It remains soft, though there’s an energy. What could be a solo plays seemingly more with texture and, whilst it holds attention, does not do anything fancy and lets the mood carry forward. It drifts with precision, almost.
The hard swing comes back, the vocals sit firmly in there, then the song returns to its lighter, more relaxed and wandering state. There’s a sense of peace here, though the song has remained seemingly peaceful. It hasn’t become restless, but rather at ease with itself. However, the instrumentation still sounds adventurous. It sounds confident.
Gradually it all pulls back, and as the final sound left curves downward, the song ends.