A three legged race can be… awkward. Generally — as is my understanding, it’s been a while — the event entails being partnered up with someone you really don’t want to be standing next to (let alone tied to), then being forced to hang on to said partner’s torso for dear life while hobbling an ungodly distance to the finish line. If you win, you get a pie in the face or a trophy or something. “Persuasive Barrier” definitely points to a certain awkwardness, though it’s certainly not that of Robert Beatty, since he sounds completely in control over this selection from his new record. I guess it’s just me who’s the awkward one (big… surprise…), stumbling my way through this labyrinth of synth, notes trailing off in unsettling echoes and forlorn melodies foreshadowing creepy things to come. I feel like this post is deteriorating before my very eyes as I write it. I’ll be honest, I’m grasping here. Not much of this tune makes much sense to me — the clave pattern(s), the diagonal harmonies, the way the lead synth reminds me of Chick Corea’s The Leprechaun, or that one repeating chromatic line, as if slowly walking down the same staircase over and over and over. Oh yeah, and in the end, he sings. Fuck, it’s weird. Cool.