Fracture: a Playlist

by Georgia Robson. Listen to the playlist on Spotify here.

Often, we would think of ‘fracture’ in music to be negative. Smooth, slick and overproduced pop has been the order of the charts for quite some time now.  Yet there are many great artists who challenge this.

To me, fracture has three possible meanings in music. We have those who write about their experiences of break-ups, the fracturing of love. Leonhard Cohen’s ‘Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye’ is a perfect example of the carving apart of hearts– in this case ‘it’s come to distance and both of us must try’.

Then there are those great artists who break down what we consider the usual formation of songs. Hip-Hop is my favourite example of this. Wu-Tang’s ‘C.R.E.A.M’ breaks down rhythm, whilst contrasting tough voices with smooth piano. The content of the Clang’s seminal piece also speaks to the fracture in modern capitalism: whilst some get richer, others struggle; ‘cash fools everything around me’. Kanye, as controversial as he may be, is the hip-hop king of fracture in his music. Famed for dropping amazing samples, he cuts and slices his songs as he chooses. The contrasting chorus and verse in ‘Bound 2’ are testament to his skills at making the unblendable blend.


Then we come onto artists who talk about their emotional fracturing and mental health struggles. The theme of depression in music is synonymous with Joy Division. ‘Disorder’, my favourite Joy Division track, is a cry for someone to take control of the protagonist’s life. He feels nothing in a fast-moving world. With this diverse range of songs in hand, I think it is clear most of us need to broaden our musical horizons when it comes to fracture. The artists that mix it up, or write from the heart, are always the most intriguing.

Chamber of reflection// Mac DeMarco
‘No use looking out, It’s within that brings that lonely feeling’

Bound 2// Kanye West
Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures, One good girl is worth a thousand bitches’

Breakdown// Grace Jones
Breakdown, I’m standin’ hear can’t you see, Breakdown, It’s all right, it’s all right.’

She’s Lost Control// Joy Division
‘Confusion in her eyes that says it all… and she’s clinging to the nearest passer-by’

Reflektor// Arcade Fire
‘Trapped in a prison, in a prism of light’

(Nothing But) Flowers// Talking Heads
‘And as things fell apart, Nobody paid much attention’

Where is My Mind?// Pixies
‘Where is my mind? Way out in the water see it swimming’

Disorder// Joy Division
‘I’ve got the spirit, lose the feeling’

C.R.E.A.M.// Wu-Tang Clang
Cash rules everything around me’

Break On Through// The Doors
‘You know the day destroys the night, night divides the day’

Post Break-Up Sex// The Vaccines
When you love somebody but you find someone, And it all unravels and it comes undone’

Fracture// Bombay Bicycle Club
‘When the lights out and all the fracturing starts, You’re just paying for some action you lost in the dark’

Happy Family// Sundara Karma
‘Heavens have you seen the news that’s on the screen, It’s all violence, heartbreak and misery’

We Used To Be In Love// Clean Cut Kid
‘I still find you face in every girl I see, and every touch is not enough’

Lua// Bright Eyes
I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss, so many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift it’

Avalanche// Leonard Cohen
‘The crumbs of love that you offer me, They’re the crumbs I’ve left behind’

Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye// Leonhard Cohen
In a city and in forest they smiled like me and you, But now it’s come to distances and both of us must try’

Love Will Tear Us Apart// Joy Division
There’s a taste in my mouth, As desperation takes hold’

Us and Them// Pink Floyd
‘Black and blue, and who knows which is which and who is who’

The Poor Print

The Poor Print is Oriel College's student newspaper, with contributions from across the JCR, MCR, SCR, and staff. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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