The Head Hurts But The Heart Knows

PLZ Make It Ruins • 2023

The review is late. The album was released last year and reached its peak of relative hype in autumn at the latest. The review is late because the problem was big. It hasn’t really been solved yet. What problem? Headache, the project of—presumably—PLZ Make It Ruins Vegyn, makes it difficult for the heart to know the truth, as the title suggests. At first this is very tangible: This ambient rave music contains the scenic melancholy of the minimal techno era and the memory of the last time it felt like there was a future. Add to that marketing-friendly chill-out vibes à la Air and existentialist spoken-word lyrics with a Train-Spotting vibe, delivered by an AI. Very Y2K! And here’s where things get uncomfortable. For about half an hour, »The Head Hurts but the Heart Knows the Truth« feels like it’s going to touch your heart. The music evokes heavy sentimental feelings through its melodies, tonalities and even its timing, and the aphorisms of the lyrics hit some funny spots, where hope meets quiet certainty that it’s all for the birds. But soon you get the feeling that this whole emotional buffet has been manufactured in a factory. Lyrics like »I want to crack jokes and dance under the stars with my friends again. I want to accidentally bankrupt the casino« try way too hard to tap into the Zeitgeist of youthful pain and desire. »The Head Hurts but the Heart Knows the Truth« ends up feeling like a desperate algorithmic attempt to win you over. No thanks, that feels a little too calculated.