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93. The Rakes – Retreat

22/09/2009

93

Few lyrics articulated the grimmer side of the noughties’ neophilia better than “I don’t want to miss out on anything but at the same time I feel the need to retreat”. It’s a familiar feeling: new bands, videos, ads and websites compete for each saccade of your darting eyes while your attention span diminishes and a nagging discomfort sets it – the constantly flickering images make a retreat sound rather appealing. Back in 1995, before ubiquitous internet and mobile phones, Pulp’s character in Monday Morning had “nothing to do, so you just stay in bed”. Fast forward ten years, and the modern diagnosis for the same boredom is the opposite: you “might as well go out for the fifth night in a row”. Suggesting both inertia and nausea, Retreat might be nihilistic, but it’s a brilliantly observed portrait of a certain kind of noughties living.

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