Let’s talk Alfred Hitchcock. By far the most celebrated mould-setter and convention-breaker in cinema. The watchword of invention, imagination, intelligence and ingenuity. Unrivalled at the time, barely matched since.
But by the grin, could Hitchcock not finish a movie. Go on, tell me the ‘ending’ of ‘North by Northwest’ was worth so much as a pinch of salt. Or even ‘The Birds’, for that matter, an entire ball park of deflated balloons after being shown around Hampton Court Palace. Nobody dares say it, but I believe many think it. Hitchcock’s films are almost entirely ruined by their endings. There, that’s off my chest at last.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Ooh, clickbait. Well, no. Clickbait is hosting a video on the Daily Mail website in which Liz Jones and Katie Hopkins give up the pretence and just go for each other using wooden instruments and no lube. This is my roundabout-and-hazy way of introducing ‘Duet’ by Everything Everything; a great little number wobbling off its perch by the ending.
Great song up to that point, mind. Coldplay meeting Hurts, broadly speaking, breaking out into Bastille-via-Delays. Who says I’m too mainstream and safe with my references? My pop sensibilities melt at the first sign of verses like this, and when the layers are pulled away things get very interesting indeed. What I doff my cap to is the brazen attempt to write a commercial radio’s next favourite anthem, not a trick to be easily pulled off or sensibly repeated, although with ‘Duet’ it’s done with such charm the effect is disarming. Oh for the better way to end the song though. Is that deliberate, I ask? The almost-ish post-rock guitar stomp to a barely noticeable peak and sudden stop? I could have done with one more whammer of a chorus, old fogey that I am. Still, they’re not covering 90s dance classics in an ‘ironic’ fashion, so there’s hope.