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The Lobby | JESSIE WARE - THAT! FEELS GOOD! (2023)



Whispers, emanating over and over into my now conscious ears. I shuffle about, observing the spellbound shuffling tarantisms present in the crowd. This ain’t some teen camp cozying-up, or any comfortable little ceilidh. The bass prints out instructions for their footsteps, their voices chanting savoury sultry nectars. The lights paint a constantly shifting blue, pink, and purple like quasars of amethyst, masking the bravado of string and guitars washing over the enchanted audience down to the elementary particles that compose their nigh-communal brain mush. There’s an orgy composed entirely by subtext, the lines so buried into that they have become excavation perimeters. I stand, newly nonpartisan. Pianos opt for relentless behaviours as well, furthering the attempt at mass hypnosis unto the surrender of music. I continue swimming my way through this rainforest of legs, and the many branches of loose arms surrender to the omniscient voice that rings through the many walls in the building and in the… well, you never see that everyday. Maybe I need to explore this raving little gridiron we have here.


They all seem to strike me as liberated in the hubris of dance, with infectious stamina. Through the grand lighting of navy blues and wolfsbane purples, I finally decide to think ‘Well, fuck it. I don’t see a single chair here and I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just walk around and survive this messy mazurka,’ and continue wandering with caution. How lost these dancers are. Their mouths operate like backing vocals, their expensive earrings and pendants raining onto the floor. The shards cause no blood, they sink into the dance floor and choose to contribute to a strengthening of overwhelming lights and reflective marvel. Sifting through sweaty silhouettes. I look up and see the planets of our Solar System orbiting the all-perceiving star that is suspended from a black ceiling, in all of its brilliant tiles shimmering ‘n’ glimmering down on every occupant a dozen at a time, as if subjecting them all to unique prophecies, their own ephemeral spotlights, their skin a pseudo-pluvial plumage.


These many occupants of the display of the 2020’s disco darling, they haven’t been anyone else throughout this eternal duskiness except for themselves. Harder to be yourself than it is to be anybody else, right? Then how about I become myself as well? Or at the very least, I’ll try to have fun with what’s going on. Seeking into my dome now lacking its chrome for the right words to get my kicks. Welcome to the jungle of bodies, lost in sensual cacophony, velvet blankets of sound and vocals matching the appeal of skin as smooth as the curves of a supercar prototype. Here I am, subjected to the fate of the wanderer, not knowing how I got here, not knowing my task at hand, but sure as hell aware of the superficial levels of what surrounds me. I am the lost soul rendered inconsequential in the wind of beautiful reflections of a couple hundred souls. All creeds, colours and genders arranged in the numberless polka-dot of humanity, sharing the floor as much as the trumpets share the skies, as much as Ware shares the room within the brain with all those other sparkles of ideas that occupy your head. Whether chance or destiny, they all assimilate agency to the rhythm of the riled-up rascals we call the wheels of time. I’m now suddenly among them. The quaint and shrewd and quality, I am the ornate happenstance! I perceive it all as crystal queer, their cryselephantine sheen!


The lights switch on over to a warm array of pink, yellow, and blue.”Hey,” I mumble, eyeing up the lights display before shooting my head back down to the crowd in regret of ever having leered up into a brightness that makes quasars seem insignificant. “Don’t dedicate this next choice to me, hear them all commute like doped crows, the music of the speakers and the conscience melting into recession for the mental. Beginning again, and again, reality sheds its nonsense to reveal even more nonsense speaking the love language of infinitely arranged harmony. See all these personal experiences and impregnable memories being manufactured each minute by the amateur dancers, getting kicks and licks in like Bruce Lee in a popsicle commercial. See? Nonsense! God, nonsense hasn’t been so fun. Matter of fact, the word is shedding its meaning and revealing the nonsense behind the nonsense. Keep saying it! Nonsense! Nonsense!”


The lights switch up colours as if they were a mantis shrimp’s kaleidoscope of choice. The slight wet of the eyes, the sweat that laminates skin, the reflections on the floor. They’re secure, confident, they’re looking good. Their minds are so out of order it’s brilliant. The instrumentals complement them beautifully, coshering the crowd with delicacy and paralysing sexual magnetism, the ever iconic voice bloviating and mewling, soothing and swaying, sultry and sensible. Consciousness is eluding me as the scatterbrained display of sensual allures and recreational frictions begin wearing on my head. “Where did he go? Ware, did he go?” All this nonsense is getting to my head. It ain’t easy being a freak, sometimes a headache stabs into the vanguard of thoughts. I’m finally granted the privilege of seating as I find a bar. “Water,” I ask bluntly and exhaustedly. They return with a glass with some purple aurora shit in it. I ask them “What is this?”, and the bartender responds only with “Smell the voices calling?” Now, I’m no expert on voice-smelling, but it sure did sound like a cool idea, so I took my chances and acquired the scent of chic, the scent of maybe, just maybe, the ability to dullen. There weren't any pills present, but it sure was a difficult swallow. Man, I feel like a farouche douche in an amuse-bouche.


The lights desaturate just by an almost atomic amount of change. It takes an adept squint to notice, but the colourful magnetisms of this skin stew is beginning to shed. It’s starting to grow old, and it’s beginning to slow below this psychology’s threshold of satisfaction. The drink forces me to devote a lion’s share of time, almost ten minutes worth of slow drinking and even slower digestion. No longer is a squint required to actualize the decoys in place. I’m perched near the floor, but rendered as much of an outsider as the roaches that sing outside - only a faint correlation. The instrumentals slow and begin revealing their more uninteresting paint finishes, their shedding of sophistication and ability to latch onto me. Golly, my ass is winded, and so will be the heart of those who take that out of context. My lips are growing parched, and I’m slowly able to detect the increasingly exhausted sighs of the surrendered dancers, their joysome sacrifice of will to the cradling shimmer of sounds travelling through the air. My eyes develop tiresome, all those shining scales on all of those magnificent dresses inducing unflattering shines into my looking glass orchestra. They cave into hypnopompic pomp and circumstance, and darkness dominates my vision once more as the dance-pop frenzy and funk fuck-a-palooza being sheared of my attention, ethereality dominating them through the medium of echoes. I would try to get my head straight in this moment of limbo, but I’ve stopped being straight for a while now.


The personal bedroom is where I find myself. Is there anyone else in there eyeing over my awoken and vulnerable self? No, thank goodness for that. The new war begins within my mental as the pieces continue flying out of place and crashing into each other in a desperate attempt of recollection. The next struggle is located: whether that entire feverish night was the consequence of a dream, or a fragmented memory of whatever may have happened in the last eight hours the Sun went grocery shopping. This isn’t quite as marvelous of an outing as when I was surveyed on the street to what my “pleasure” may entail. I ought to maybe pick up more scents next time, if that sounds weird. I’m meaning connotations, not actual, complete smells. Was that building illusory as well, with its boundless floors and undefined architectures, its flawless glass roofing lending our Moon a slice of glory and light to shed onto the hypnotized participants. This voice continues to ring, all of its starting arrangements and instrumental confidants, and the trail of evidence ends there. I’m not bothered enough to contact a friend about it, or attempt getting more sleep, and especially not enough to poise myself from my bedding to start hunting for an elusive club. Those swirling surreal sex fiends and soft-spoken lovers, their somatopsychic entourages, were they all figments never assigned names? Maybe if I head out on the street I’ll find one of them. Definitely not talk to them about the previous night though, we don’t know if that’s a dream or not. I get up and stretch, giving my back a good ol’ rejuvenating crack following this unscheduled slice of oneiromancy. Hey. That! Feels Good!


Review otherwise known as: how some deacon little shit got semi-lost in the new hot disco dish, and eventually his own head just thinking about how to be unconventional instead of track-by-track.


Score: 6.5/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.

Written 5/16/2023, 4:40 PM -


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