Wednesday, 19 September 2012

So I Read Phonogram: The Singles Club.

Or a 250 word (or less) review of the second Phonogram collection.

By Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, Icon Comics.

The Singles Club is Gillen and McKelvie’s second foray into their urban fantasy world where music is literally magic. The Singles Club focuses on several young Phonomancers1 as they attend a night club playing pop singles with exclusively female vocals. The book presents seven separate character studies that take place over the same evening and which weave together to create a larger story. It's an interesting choice from the perspective of Phonogram’s mission statement to illustrate why music is magical. Rue Britannia2 focused on the musical tastes and experience of a single Phonomancer and only defined how music was magical to him. The Singles Club, with its wider focus, manages to explain a variety of ways people might find music powerful: from dancing to nostalgia to escapism to... well, read the book. The Singles Club is constructed is a lot like a great second, critically adored album.3,4 The way the stories vary in tone and focus, while retaining a central concept/motif is much like how the best albums work. Even the order of the stories reflects how songs on an album are arranged: The Singles Club starts with a fun poppy story, then a sad soulful one, then a throwback story to Rue Britannia followed by a fun, kind-of-wanky pop bit before descending into a couple sad, complicated, and artistic stories before rising to a fast paced ecstatic conclusion. Thus the singles club manages to maintain the core sound of Rue Britannia while adding a level of diversity and complexity.

Word count: 250

1: Those adept at using Music as Magic.
2: The first Phonogram volume.
3: To further butcher a simile from my Rue Britannia review.
4: It also has a higher production value with excellent colours by colourest Matt Wilson, and being printed on nicer paper.

So I Read Phonogram: Rue Britainia

No comments:

Post a Comment